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Having trouble coping with the loss of my cat, 11 years together

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  • Having trouble coping with the loss of my cat, 11 years together

    Well the title says it all. Miss my cat Max terribly, he died this Sunday. We had routines together and doing them without him is heartbreaking. He played with my son and loved him. Miss him so much.

    Any suggestions about moving on? I have rarely in my life experienced loss, and have never coped with it well.

  • #2
    This site has been a great resource to me over the years: Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss

    We tend to adopt senior pets, so I know the sting of loss all too well. I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to Max *hug*
    Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


    • #3
      Just remember the good times. Losing a pet is just like losing a kid or any other loved one. It is always difficult in the beginning, but you will be able to move on. I also remind myself that death is part of the circle of life and that at one point, we'll be back with our loved ones, animal or human at another time.


      • #4
        You don't have to move on right away. It's okay to take time to grieve. We have a culture that says people should just get over things this instant, and it's destructive. More traditional societies make a space for people to mourn a loss, and I think it's far healthier. Treasure the memories, allow yourself to cry when you need to, and eventually, you will start to feel better. Forcing yourself to move on too fast will often make it harder to deal with the sadness in the long term. Don't quit living, but make room for your feelings.
        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

        Owly's Journal


        • #5
          I am very sorry for your loss. I know it hurts like hell. I had to put my 20 year old cat to sleep a while back and it broke my heart. It gets easier with time, but I know that doesn't make you feel better now.


          • #6
            At the risk of sounding callous, I suggest this: haiti earthquake - Google Search

            I don't at all mean it to be dismissive, but honestly, perspective always helps me move past disappointments, losses, anything negative in my life. It's what works for me. Then I take the real pain I feel for the much larger loss and do something about it. That can have a huge range of possibilities - volunteering to help with a blood drive, collecting clothes for earthquake victims, organizing or running in a fundraiser, working in a soup kitchen, sacrificing some luxuries to give to those with next to nothing ... in other words, giving to others leads me to get out of myself.
            5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
            Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
            Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
            Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
            ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


            • #7
              When I grew up we had two cats. One of them was put down when my parents moved and the other went missing a few years later. Even though it's been more than a decade, I still think about them every now and then. The initial sadness went away after a while, and now I mostly think of the good memories, how we used to play with them, how they woke me up lying in my bed in the mornings, etc.

              Right now it will be hard for you focus on the good memories, but eventually that time will come and you will hopefully be happy for the time you had together instead of being sad for him being gone. It will take some time though.
              Norak's Primal Journal:
              2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
              2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
              2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"


              • #8
                (((Hugs))) I am so sorry for your loss.

                When I lost my 13 year old Husky/Shepherd, I allowed myself to cry as often as the waves of grief came. This helped so much, and it only took a few weeks for me to be able to see another dog and not burst into tears. Everybody has their own rhythm, so be patient with yourself.

                The loss of Max will also bring up any earlier losses that haven't been fully resolved--and that's normal.

                EFT can be really helpful to make this time a bit easier.
                Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                • #9
                  I'm sorry for your loss. Pets do become family.

                  I lost my 10 year old girl (tortishell cat) a year and a half ago the day we left on vacation. She started not wanting to eat the night before and was worse the next morning. We took her to the vet and she was in renal failure. Twenty-four hours before that she was fine. They thought maybe she had gotten into some sort of poison, but she was basically an indoor cat. Going on vacation was sad, but we had distractions and were away from home. Coming home to an empty house was really hard and the DH and I just cried. I must've cried off and on for 2 weeks. I swear I kept "seeing" her out of the corner of my eye for months. I decided I didn't want another pet right away and my asthma has cleared considerably, so we probably won't get another. I still think about her and miss her. The pain does go away with time.

                  We do have a "rent-a-cat" every now and then when the BIL and wife go away. They leave their Bengal cat with us.


                  • #10
                    I SO know what you're going through, EvansMom! My cat, Piglet, that I'd had for 14 years was dying during Christmas and I had to put him down right after. Things got real bad there at the end. For a while after, my house seemed so EMPTY without him, even though I have other cats. It just wasn't the same. I am embarrassed to say that I bargained with God to please take these other cats if only I could have my #1 boy back. It's still so weird to be in the kitchen without him constantly underfoot and me shooing him away. He's come back to visit a couple of times now, and I wish he'd come back some more. I'm crying as I'm typing this. Sorry that I'm not very comforting to you, because I just don't have it to give right now, but I wanted to say that I definitely do understand how your heart is broken.
                    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                    • #11
                      grieving is not a bad thing. I lost my childhood cat a few years ago, Rambo, he was 17, I had him since I was in first grade and my mom got him for me after she got divorced. I cannot express the love I had for that cat, even now I tear up at the thought that he's gone. There is NOTHING wrong with feeling sad one of your best friends is gone, human or not. No other cat will replace the one you lost, but a new cat does help one cope with the loss. I was in a deep depression for a month when I lost Rambo, it wasn't till my husband forced me over to the Adopt-a-center at our local pet store that I saw a kitten I had to rescue. The new kitty cheered me up tremendously. I was worried he would feel like a replacement, but he wasn't. The new kitty had his own funny and unique quarks to him, he helped heal the missing hole in my heart.


                      • #12
                        I lost a beloved kitty very suddenly last year and I know how hard it hurts. He was such a wonderful cat. Definitely take all the time you need to mourn him.

                        I agree with Lizzychan5 that when you feel ready, a new cat can be a huge source of comfort. We got our new boy about two weeks later - I saw his photo on the Animal Allies website and knew he had to be mine. He didn't feel like a replacement, either - he's his own cat and has his own habits, and I love him every bit as much as I did our other cat.
                        Sassy: Revised - my primal log


                        • #13
                          ((((Hugs)))) We've always taken in the ones no one else wants, often those near the end of their lives due to disease or old age. It only takes a few days to get hopelessly attached and losing them never gets any easier, no matter how many times you've been through it.

                          After all the years I still can't read this without crying but it helps me cope. It's a myth of course, but I believe with all my heart that on some cosmic level it is true:

                          The Rainbow Bridge

                          Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

                          When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

                          There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
                          There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

                          All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

                          The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

                          They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

                          You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

                          Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

                          Author unknown...


                          • #14
                            I`m sorry I will be facing the same thing sooner than I`d like to think probably. Our Smudge is 17 and we`ve had him from 10 weeks on...rescued him as a kitten He and my son (15) are extremely close. My Golden is 15 and we`ve had her since she was 12 weeks old. This sounds cliche-ish but time will heal. Just remember all the fun and let yourself and your son grieve. Your tears of sadness will soon turn into a smile of joyful remembrance. For some it helps to get another pet or to volunteer at a shelter. Alot of times caring for another helps...makes you feel good. My heart goes out to you
                            "Anxiety is a sign of spiritual insecurity"


                            • #15
                              EvansMom, so sorry about your cat. It's hard when you feel like someone or something is missing every day, but it seems like you have some great memories to hold onto. I find it easier to deal with these things if I keep remembering the good times. And then I can look silly as I am sobbing with a big smile on my face. After a while, the crying slows down and you're left with the smile and the happy memories.

                              I agree with other posters, it's ok to take your time grieving. Your son might also need to grieve somehow. Maybe putting some photos of you both with the cat into an album would help.
                              Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.