Registered: 1511019404 Posts: 4
I just joined because, as usual, I'm sitting here crying over the death of my beautiful 12 year old cat in September. In June I took her to the vet with an ear infection. I was told she had a growth that looked "unusual," probably a polyp. The next week she became very unbalanced and started throwing up. The vet couldn't find anything. I switched vets. She ran tests and said she couldn't see any growth because there was too much blood. In the mean time, my poor baby lost weight, could hardly walk, and her face started physically changing. I kept hoping there would be some sort of miracle, and the vet would be able to help her. All she kept saying was "cancer" and "euthanasia." Right up to her last week, my boyfriend and I were in denial, even when she could not open her mouth to eat or drink, when her voice changed, when she was 5 pounds, I couldn't stand the thought of life without her. The day before she died my boyfriend took her outside because she had been trying desperately to get out, which she NEVER wanted. She walked down the sidewalk as if she was heading somewhere. That's when we knew. That night she woke me up sitting on my chest gazing at me and touching my face with her paw over and over, as if she was saying she loved me and knew she had to leave. I spent the last day with her and it was probably the worst day of my life because I knew what was waiting at the end of it. I hated myself for making her suffer for almost a week with no food or water. I held her on my lap and gave her my glass of water. She was so desperately thirsty and kept dunking her face in but couldn't drink.
Now two months have passed and I don't feel any better. I cry ALL the time. I had to take her pictures down at work because I was crying there and I'm a teacher, so I can't cry in front of kids. I feel guilty because I couldn't do anything to help her and then feel like I caused too much suffering by not having her euthanized sooner. I have three other cats but I feel as if my emotions have been destroyed and I can't give them as much love as I should. I don't enjoy doing anything anymore.
I'm very lucky to have an understanding boyfriend. He feels it too. I just want to feel normal again. I can't even sit on the couch because it was "her" couch. I left the bag with her ashes on the spot where she sat. I can't bring myself to take out the urn and put in a picture. I feel as if I have stopped living, and it doesn't seem normal. How do I get through this?
Registered: 1503009956 Posts: 158
Dear SarahR, sorry to hear about your baby girl's passing!
This probably doesn't help much right now, or at all but I have a feeling if you had put her to sleep sooner, you still would have regret about that option. It's really what I have been reading on this forum, no matter what we do or don't, we have regrets about our furbabies passing. I feel like I missed that part in your post, so you actually had to put her to sleep, right? The part where you wrote: " That night she woke me up sitting on my chest gazing at me and touching my face with her paw over and over, as if she was saying she loved me and knew she had to leave." is very touching!May I ask if you been getting any signs from her or anything? Even tho I don't like when others say that time heals, but it is true. It takes longer for some. I completely understand that it is hard to look at her pictures, and about her ashes and the sofa. I really hope you can go easy on yourself about the guilt you feel and you find more support to ease the pain! Hugs and blessings 🌷
Registered: 1511019404 Posts: 4
Thank you. Yes, we did have to put her to sleep. I play it over in my head all the time and wish I could stop. I have a hard time even driving by the vet clinic without crying. I haven't gotten any signs,, although I do think I see her on the couch all the time and so does my boyfriend. And I had a dream about her last night for the first time since she died, but it wasn't terribly comforting because her fur was all matted and she looked terrible. Even when she was at her sickest her fur still looked OK, although she was a bit smelly because she couldn't bathe properly and I had to wipe her down with washcloths.
I know eventually this will get better but right now it's pretty horrible.
Registered: 1510451043 Posts: 22
Sarah, the pain you are feeling is totally normal. I don't think you mentioned your kitty's name, but Kitty was lucky to have you in her life and lucky for the home that you provided to her. She was part of your family and you are feeling a deep loss because the two of you shared a very special bond. You have no doubt learned some important lessons from this experience that you will take with you into the future when it comes time for one of your other beloved kitties to pass. I know I learned some lessons from my dog's passing 10 days ago. I carry some very heavy regrets for the decisions I made during the time she became terminally ill. I made some bad choices. And in the future, if I am in the same position, I will likely make different/better choices when it comes to the end of my pet's life. But there was no way for me to know that ahead of time. Same with you, my friend! You tried your very best, you took her to a couple vets, you were willing to try anything to keep her with you! That's because you loved her so much. The last month or two of Kitty's life was such a small fraction of her entire life, which it sounds like she spent happily with you. You two got to say your goodbyes, no? What a gift that is. Remember Kitty in a positive way. Chalk the rest of it up to life experience and promise yourself to do better or differently the next time around if that is possible.
I am lucky that I have a wonderful therapist who is helping me through this. I would say if you continue to feel really down about this there is no shame in getting help from a professional. Like I said, your kitty was a family member and losing her is really no different than losing another member of your family. I use an online service called Better Help which connected me to someone suited to my needs, but there are probably therapists in your local community as well who are great. Take good care of yourself Sarah. Do something extra kind for yourself each day. I am so sorry for your loss.
Registered: 1512228148 Posts: 5
I am going through the same emotions Sarah. It is debilitating, like you I have a supportive and patient partner who is feeling the same pain. If anything your story helped me feel less alone. And Brooklyndogmom, thank you for your kind words. I have read some of your replies to those that are hurting and you are very kind. It seems that you also struggled with similar feelings during your loss, that I'm dealing with right now. I lost my Willie last Monday.
Registered: 1511019404 Posts: 4
I'm very sorry you are going through this too. It really helps knowing other people have gone through it and are going through it. Every time I think I'm doing OK, I get hit by another wave. I was fine all week but yesterday while cleaning my house it hit me again and I lost it.. I think it's because the last day I spent with her I cleaned just to keep busy in between picking her up and crying. Now I associate it with that day. It has to get easier because I can't stop cleaning my house! And we can't stop living our lives. Just know that you aren't alone and eventually it will get better. As a friend of mine once told me, "you don't get OVER a death. You just get used to it."