Unable to move on

Help & Support for those who have lost a beloved cat
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Unable to move on

Post by Sarah3103 »

It’s been nearly 4 months since my cat was euthanised. He was 11 years old, diagnosed with oral cancer in January and we had to let him go in April as he was suffering so much. I’m heartbroken and it’s not getting any easier. He was my angel, the sweetest and most loving animal I have ever known. He was a beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat, an absolute sweetheart. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but I’m lost without him and so angry that he was taken so quickly and so young as he should have had years left.
It’s hard to talk to other people about it as it’s just a pet, but he was my family. I just wish he was still here with me.
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Re: Unable to move on

Post by JulieJulie »

I'm so sorry to hear off your loss. I lost one of my beautiful angels to oral cancer a couple of years ago at a similar age and it's a cruel, vile illness. From diagnosis to losing my beloved girlie (my first cat) was 3 months as well, and I fear I left that too late, as it progresses so fast. I also lost 2 cats in the last 6 weeks - I've got a thread on here as well. One of them was just 9 years old - it's no age - we expect to have them until they are old and frail, so we can grow old together and take care of each other, right.

First of all, know that you had no choice - she had to be let go.
Second, don't expect there to be a timeframe on your grieving. I found people sympathetic in the beginning and then then were kind of done with hearing about it but my pain doesn't follow their timeframe.

The anger and shock eats away at you doesn't it, the injustice of the loss, and the panic every time you can, for a brief time, forget what has happened and then it comes back. Then there are the triggers that remind you again and again. I'm living through it now.

I am like yourself, I tend to take a long time to move on and i remember losing a babycat around 9 years ago to heart failure - the shock was awful and I was deep in grief and depression for 3 months. The only thing that finally pulled me out of it was realising it was affecting my other cats, they were responding to my sadness and it was upsetting them. At around the same time a feral kitten from the local shelter needed fostering.....I just also lost her to heart failure at 9 yo. How is that fair?

I'm not sure if you have any other cats? I can honestly say that they give me a reason to get up every morning, they force me to go to the shops to get them food (and so to feed myself.)

I have found in the past that getting another cat can start to heal the grief. They are in no way a replacement, but they do help to start the healing process.

We all here know how you are feeling. I've reached out to the Blue Cross pet bereavement line a few times, just to talk to someone. If you don't click with the first person you speak to try again.
I've also written down everything about my babies so I never forget a thing. Backed up all my photos so they are safe.

In the end, nothing really helps with the pain, you just get used to it, and start thinking about other things in between gradually more.

I've had some good advice from friends - 'staying home crying is easy. getting up and starting to live is the hard route but you must.' 'find your inner strength'. 'take the next right step'. ' sadness is like a blanket that you carry around but it's ok to put it down sometimes.'
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Or to give help - this has helped me a lot to try and help other people - like, I can't fix my own life but maybe I can help someone else....
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Re: Unable to move on

Post by fjm »

Four months is not long for a such hurt to begin to heal. Is it your first such loss? It never gets easier (in fact I sometimes think each one is harder than the last, as it brings those griefs back as well), but I think you do learn ways of coping. For me, once the first shock is past, it is a new life to nurture - a baby to welcome all the love and understanding that the past animals have taught me. For others it can be creating a memorial - a poem or a garden or a collection of photos. Or contributing to research, so others may not need to suffer. All these things help you to look outwards, rather than constantly circling the pain inside you, and to gradually be able to set that pain aside for a little longer every day. It does not go away, and it can even feel wrong to take pleasure in anything, as if it is somehow disloyal to forget the loss even for a moment. But better to remember with gratitude and a smile, even if it is also a little tearful, than for the love that once gave you so much joy to plunge you into unbearable unhappiness.

Would it help to tell us more about him, and perhaps to share some photos?
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Re: Unable to move on

Post by Mollycat »

My angel boy Henry too, he was 14 and in his prime, struck down with this horror 2 years ago. I knew nothing of it until he came in one morning looking like he might have had an argument with a car, within 10 minutes we were at the surgery. To top it all the vet was so insensitive and I was in such a state of shock I didn't take charge and demand time alone with my boy to say our farewells.

What I did though was research this monster that tore my boy from me. How did I let him down so badly? If only we had known earlier, could we have had a different outcome? But I was reassured to find that the treatment is so traumatic and these tumours so invasive that honestly, even if Henry had been 4 years old and not 14, I don't know if we could have put him through it.

Of course it still feels so raw and life so empty without your boy around, it's early days and your whole daily routine now serves as a relentless jarring reminder that a huge sweet gently fluffy boy isn't there. You know it will get easier and eventually he will take up his new place in your heart and your memories, but right now it feels like this pain will never loosen its grip on you.

Be kind to yourself. Let the tears erode the sharpest edges of your pain, as sure as a river smoothes the hardest rock. Be sure to give yourself the time and care to treasure the wonderful memories you have. Be careful to notice every detail of the scenes replaying in your head, and let the smiles come through the tears when they want to. Feel free to share your stories here, writing can be a great help and we always love cat tales. Also it's nice to look back sometimes months and years later and re-read what we shared and how strangers on the internet offered care, advice and shared their own stories too.
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