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Posts: 3

This is my first message to a pet loss support group.  I thought this was the time to try it.
My cat Blackie passed away one year ago today.   With the arrival of this very sad anniversary I've been reliving the whole ordeal all over again is if it just happened a week ago.  I have struggled over the past year to deal with the sorrow of losing him and have made some slow but steady progress toward getting some closure.  But remembering what I went through one year ago has brought all the negative feelings back again.

Blackie was diagnosed with Renal Lymphoma just weeks before his 7th birthday.  I started him on Chemo in hopes of a miracle cure or at least to prolong his life as long as possible.  I learned more about Lymphoma and chemo than I care to know.  I never gave up hope and always tried to stay on top of all the various conditions and side-effects he was dealing with.  Blackie fought as hard as he could but lost his battle with cancer 7 months after being diagnosed.

It is hard to deal with losing him and losing him at such a relatively young age.
But the part I am struggling most with is the way he passed away.  He passed away alone at home when I was at work.  I never intended him to pass away on his own, I always assumed I would have to make the difficult decision to euthanize him when to time came and I would know when that time was here.  He seemed to go down hill the weekend before he passed and I could see that his time was getting closer on Sunday, the day before he died.  As was the case many times during his illness, it was difficult to tell if his condition was because he was dealing with chemo side effects or just having a bad day.  He had an appointment with his vet in 3 days so I thought I would have to make the difficult decision on what to do then.  The next day, Monday, I went to work in the morning thinking Blackie was OK, not great, but stable.  As I would do most days, I came home at lunch that day to check on him and spend time with him.  I could see that he was not doing too well and may not make it another 2 days to his next vet appointment.  I tearfully decided to call my vet to set up a time for them to come to my house the next day to put Blackie down if it seemed as if he was still doing poorly that night.  I wanted another night to spend with him and to make sure this was the end for him.  I went back to work to get things straightened out so I could take the next day off if I needed to put him down.  But I never got the chance to make the decision because he had passed away by the time I got home from work that afternoon.

I feel so mad and upset with myself for not being there for him.  I'm mad at myself for not realizing that he was really that bad off.  I'm mad at myself for letting things get to the point were I couldn't control the situation so he wouldn't suffer and so that I could be there with him in his last moments.  I feel like I let him down at the most important time. 

After everything he and I both went through during his illness and the great life we had together it seems so cruel and unfair to loss him the way I did.  It just makes things so much worse for me not being there with him when he passed.
I also feel guilty for putting him through so much with the chemo.    I think that maybe I should have euthanized him weeks before because I should have seen the end coming. 

I can't seem to get past these feelings of guilt and anger at myself.  I hope people in this group can help me find some closure to this tragic event.



Posts: 457

Dear Gerry........My heart goes out to you as I know many other hearts do here as well...Guilt always, in one way or another, seems to be a part of loosing a pet....We know they are completely dependent on us, and although we do the BEST WE CAN AT THE TIME, we look back after they have passed and ALWAYS wonder why we didn't do this or that differently...Then, we wonder if we had of handled some things differently, would they still be around?  Maybe, but they might be in pain without us knowing it....They seem to hide their pain from us pretty well....
I'm including a link here which if on the home page of  Dealing with the Guilt-  I think it would be helpful if you read this posting.  It has helped countless people....

Try to let go of second guessing yourself b/c it makes the grieving much harder, and we do need to grieve....It may sound trite, but I believe God knows the appointed time when each of us (person or pet) is going to pass from this world to the next!!

We will be here to help you through this time.  Please rely on us and tell us more about your Blackie when you are ready!  We are eager to hear about your beloved Blackie!!
Many HUGS to you, Gerry...................Kelsey's Mom  (ruth)



Posts: 686
Dear Gerry

I am so sorry you are dealing with such a sad anniversary.  It is so hard to lose our beloved furbabies. It is even more difficult when they are fairly young as your Blackie was.  I lost my kitty Gus in December.  He was only 3 yrs. old.  I still miss him so.  There is just some pain that time can't completely erase.

From reading your post, I don't feel you have anything to feel guilty about.  You did not let Blackie down.  You were there for him and tried to treat his illness.  When that didn't work out, you were willing to make the decision to let him go.  He just decided on his own when the time was right.  My Gus also passed by himself.  I had spent the entire week of his illness with him and then I put him to bed the last night and he passed quietly without me knowing.  I also wanted to be with Gus when he passed, but I think that sometimes they hold on so that we are not there when they leave.  You were a wonderful mom to Blackie and the decisions you made were out of your love for him.  Someone once wrote on this site that any decision made out of love is never the wrong decision.  I hope you can find some comfort in that thought.

I'm glad that you decided to come to this site.  There are so many wonderful people here to offer comfort and support.  I pray you find peace and  healing.

Kate (Gus' mom)


Posts: 1,093
Dear Gerry,

I am so sorry for your loss of Blackie.  And, for the anniversary day, which does seem to bring things almost back to the beginning.  I lost Molly last February 18th and had a really hard time with the one year anniversary too.  She was my life, my heart, my best friend.  I miss her so, although it is somewhat easier now to live each day.  I try to remember what she brought to my life, what she taught me, and how she would want me to live - and that's the way I try to live.

I know how you must feel guilty, but I don't think you have any reason to.  Blackie knows how much you loved and cared for him, and he knows that you were with him - I'm sure (and so is he) that you had him in your heart and thoughts every single moment of that day.  Also, he was met by all of our babies at the bridge, and was not alone and will not be alone.  His spirit will be with you forevermore.  The golden thread that connected the two of you will never be broken, no matter what.  I remember the night before I lost Molly, talking with her oncologist (at 3 in the morning) and she said to me:  "When it's time for them to go back, we must let them..."  When she said "go back" it somehow gave me some comfort, and the next day I helped Molly on her next journey, "back". 

Here's a piece of a poem that a friend of mine wrote (about her Molly, not mine).  It often gives me comfort.  I hope it might give some to you as well.

"And when someone asks you, 'Where has Molly gone?' You will tell them, 'Right here, right now.  Molly is in my body and in my soul.  She is in the pupils of my eyes, she is the dance of the seasons and the rhythm of my days."

Please try to remember that Blackie will be in your soul - in the rhythm of your days - and he does not feel anything other than love for you.  There is nothing to feel guilty about.

I hope you'll continue to post here, and maybe join the Monday night candle ceremony. I hope to hear from you again...



Posts: 346

 I am in the same crowded boat as you, I am grieving all over again for my cat Smokey...he stares at me now from a picture on top of my laptop. I lit a candle and cried....we must all do this unfortunately...the loss just never goes away....keep strong . I put Smokey to sleep at 12:20am on May 16th 2007. I am dedicating this night to him alone. I hope he knows I still love him very much just as you do with your furbaby. I want to be with my cats all the time..they comfort me but when I work it bothers me to leave them alone. I have a geriatric female calico I worry about . Smokey was a very sick cat also, he was anemic, had a tumor near his lung and was losing weight and stopped eating...I put that poor animal through conventional tests as well as simultaneously dealing with a Holistic Vet at once...I think everything stressed him out more and excaserbated the illness further. I am a registered nurse and I felt terribly guilty after I had to put him to sleep. And he fought at the end with crying and all and I was a basket case....I relate....we can talk...always here at are a great person for feeling the way you do..dont let it get you are special.  Yoda


Posts: 445
Hi Gerry I can relate when my Reggie was sick last year I wanted to have him as long as possible.  I took him in to see the vet on a Wednesday and she said he wasn't in pain, on Saturday he didn't seem well and I slept on the couch but I never checked his towel he had been sleeping on or I would have known he had peed on it (something he would never ever have done on purpose).  I woke up SUnday morning to find him unconsious in front of the water bowl.  I took him to the er and stayed with him till he was gone.

I'm so sorry for your loss, I don't know if the if only's or what if's ever go away.


Posts: 3
Thanks to everyone who replied to my message. It has helped to hear from all of you. I'm doing better this week than last. I was away this weekend which I think also helped me deal with things a little better because I wasn't surrounded by memories of him. Although I usually like being home because I feel he is still here in some way. I still say goodbye to him when I leave for work in the morning.

I'll try to share more about Blackie in the future. I hope to upload some videos of him to youtube. After he was officially diagnosed with cancer I went out and bought a video camera to record him. I'm still trying to watch all the videos I took of him, but it's just too painful sometimes. It is great to see him and hear him as he really was though.

Thanks again to all of you for your kind and healing words.

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