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Posts: 65
As some of you may remember, my 14 year old cat, Kitten, died tragically in early August when he climbed into the trunk of my car and I shut it, not knowing he was in there.  I realized later in the day that he was missing, but I never, ever thought to look in the trunk.  I was devastated when I found him.
I blamed myself then--and I still do--for the death of my beautiful, gentle cat.

Several weeks later, I stopped at the local animal shelter (not sure why) and saw a little white cat named Winter.  She had been picked up as a stray and someone had painted her white fur pink.  I really liked her and although I was not ready to take in a new cat, time was a factor, so I adopted her.

There have been many posts on this board about when is the right time to adopt a new pet.  Winter is a sweet cat.  She is playful, cute, funny, and her antics amuse me.  She is well-behaved and has adjusted to her home here.  I have nursed her through the upper respiratory infection she had at the shelter and what I thought was going to be a subdued cat has turned into a bundle of energy. 

However, every time I find myself playing with her or enjoying her, I am so filled with guilt and remorse over what happened to Kitten that I am not allowing myself to fully love and appreciate this little cat.  I know on one level that I have saved another animal, but I still feel such sadness when I look at her.  (I know Winter is not a "replacement" and she is the complete opposite of Kitten in looks and disposition.) 

I will not return Winter to the shelter, although that is an option.  I like her too much to do that and I have seen how she has "blossomed" here.  However, I do wish I had waited to adopt--and if I felt that I was never ready, that would be okay, too.  I should have just let Winter remain at the shelter for someone else to adopt.

Kitten has been gone for ten weeks and every time I open the front door, I can almost see him sleeping on the lawn, or walking toward the sound of my voice. 

I know many of you have wondered about what is the "right time" to adopt.
My experience is that I should have waited.  I still have too much sadness and guilt.

Thanks again to all of you who helped me in those dark, horrible days right after Kitten's death. 


Posts: 282

Thanks so much Irene,  for sharing your experience with adoption after the death of a loved one.  Your Kitten's passing happened just shortly after I lost my little 4 yr old Pom.  I remember being devastated over my own loss and also sharing in your sadness about your terrible accident.  I still long to see Captain's little face on our stairwell and in the yard too.  Many times since,  I have been tempted to adopt again. I've thought about adopting a look-alike,   or going the opposite route and getting a shelter dog,  a Heinz 57 of some sort.  It's very quiet in the house and I long to fill that silence with another pup's voice. But I've always worried that if I do so too soon, the new dog will remind me of the loss.  Thanks for this perspective.  I think I may postpone adoption plans until the new year.


Posts: 65
Darian, I don't know if my feelings and reactions are typical.  I would be interested in hearing the experiences of others who felt they adopted too soon after the loss of a beloved pet.  It seems I have read recent posts from people who were very happy to have a new animal in their lives.   

If you really want another dog, please don't let my experience deter you.  I am all for saving animals and giving them a chance. I would probably be grieving still whether I had a new cat in the house or not.  As I said, I really like Winter and she is a very nice cat.  I just miss Kitten so much.  I tend to be a gloomy sort and I live in the past a lot.   

I know it took me several weeks to even connect with my remaining cats after Kitten died.  They were just there, needing to be fed and cared for, but I was not really interested in petting them or having them around.  I think that was when my depression was at its worst.

Would anyone else care to comment on this topic?



Posts: 628
We lost our precious Beagle, Bonnie Lou this past June.  We had her for 13 beautiful, but short years. 
As you know, the grief over the loss is horrible.  They leave such a void in our lives.
About 5 weeks after we lost Bonnie, my husband went into the hospital with a pretty serious illness.  I was home alone every night and all I thought about was Bonnie(and of course husband).  But Bonnie was always here with me when hubbie would go into the hospital.  Which unfortunately happens too often.  
One night I was on the computer and out of pure bordom, I went to our local animal rescue.  They had a Beagle!!!!!  OMG my heart just stopped.
Long story short, hubbie got out of hospital on Thursday and Sunday after church, we went to the shelter to meet this precious Beagle.  Well, we adopted her.  We named her EmmyLou and she is the ray of sunshine that shines upon us.
EmmyLou will never replace Bonnie Lou.  But we have found that we have tons of love in our hearts, especially for the "throw away" pets that need forever homes.
It is a very personal decision of when to get another pet; or if you will at all.  We all must make that decision.  But for us it was the right one. 
I hope things work out ok with your Winter.  Give it some time.

Posts: 11,059
I can understand your feelings about your cat, Winter.  Some people here do adopt soon after suffering a loss and I hope they will contact you.  When my bunny died two years ago, I was so devastated at his loss but was unable to bring another one into my home.  I looked at bunnies in a few pet shops, plus a ton online, but just couldn't do it.   I truly hope that in time you will feel better about bringing Winter into your life.  She sounds like a very sweet and loving cat.

precious Christoph ~ my sweet bunny boy ~


Posts: 564
Irene, maybe you have been following my story.  I lost my precious pups, Luke and Lil in July, and I was so devastated that I never considered the idea of adopting more least at first.  Later on, it became clear to me that I still had much love to share, and that I would probably start looking again the following Spring.  But, my dear departed pups had other plans for me, and I believe they helped shape the adoption of two shelter dogs, SilverCloud and Rowdy, just two weeks ago.  I couldn't be happier, and I think it was exactly the right thing to happen.

It is not like that for everyone....we all grieve in our own ways, and things happen the way they are supposed to.  You will grow to love Winter, not as a replacement to Kitten, but as a whole different relationship.  Winter is with you because she is supposed to will come to see that as your grief lessens.  You are a wonderful person for rescuing this sweet little soul!

May God comfort you and show you that you have done the right thing!  Rick
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