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Heart re-broken - losing my cat all over again

Rose12

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So sorry if this is in the wrong thread area, I wasn't sure.

I had to give up my cat on the 28th of July this year for a number of reasons and with the support of this site, I did (to an excellent, verified no-kill shelter). I was extremely devastated but I still knew it was the best decision in my situation, especially for my fur-baby. However, about a month ago, my circumstances began to really change and at my own place and with major life changes, I felt I'd go ahead and re-adopt her. My mom thought it was too soon though and convinced me to focus on my life, and so I did. I still envisioned having kitty back before winter, though. But about a few days, my mom admitted she cries often over the loss and just said stuff to make me feel better, but in reality she was miserable and missed seeing her. Finally, my heart seriously opened up to the idea of having her again really soon rather than later, because my life is not only in a different place, but I could picture things working out now with all the changes. I re-did my entire room with my cat in mind, and was going to go buy all her things and went to mom's, who had piled up some of her old belongings that were kept.

Sadly, when I called the shelter an hour ago to tell them I'd visit tomorrow, they told me that she had been adopted out exactly a month ago (I stopped calling/checking because I would basically have a breakdown every time afterwards - however, they were supposed to notify me if she were to be adopted). I was happy that she had met someone who took her in, but at the same time, my heart crushed to pieces all over again just like it did when I gave her up. I had foolishly given myself so much hope and expectation over having her back that I never really considered this obvious possibility. Yes, it's completely my fault and responsibility. I mean, I gave her away permanently, for life, not expecting to have her back ever again. I gave her up. I chose that. She now completely and rightfully belongs to her new owner and this is just something I have to accept. At the same time, my heart is freshly shattered again as if I lost her all over again but this time with zero chance of ever seeing her again. No visits, no possibilities. It doesn't help that my mom can't stop crying and feeling guilty about disagreeing a month back.

Again, I am fully aware that this was my choice and this is the consequence. It's just... how do I recover from this? I feel like a monster for giving her away but also cruel - I have no reassurance that the new owner is as nice or patient with a difficult cat like her, etc. I don't know if my cat misses me, if she knows what happened, if she's disturbed... And yet, I gave her away. I did that. Obviously, I regret things but I know I was at my own mercy back then and had no other option at that time. I'm here now and I can never go back. I can never see her again and I cannot re-do my decisions and actions. I don't want any other cat. No cat is that cat. That cat, was my cat. How do I live with this choice...

Thank you again to this forum though, for being there at every step I was stuck at so far. I am just shocked at my own self and everything in general. I cannot fully process that I will never see her again. I can't stop crying either. Again, yes, I did this. It makes it all that much worse. Will I ever be okay... this feels so unreal. I really don't think I'll ever get over this.
 
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1 bruce 1

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:alright:
I would encourage you to talk with your mother for as long as you and she both can. You both can help one another heal from this. No "but you said" or "but you said" conversations, just letting your sadness out without any finger pointing. You'll be surprised at how much this helps.
If the shelter was a good one (and it sounds like it is), they do screen adopters. Good shelters and rescues really put a lot of effort into making sure a new home is fit for the pet and visa versa so everyone is happy and pets don't wind up on the street. You did some good research to find a good, safe place for her before and that does pay off.
Many of these places have in their adoption contract that if, for some reason, things don't work out well, the animal is to be returned to the (shelter/rescue). They might ask what the problem was (litter box problems, not getting along with other cats, etc., so they can screen single home adopters or talk to potential adopters about reported problems and how to best deal with them), but no-kill shelters are usually very good about not turning away a former adoptee, if brought back.
You might find some hope in putting in some volunteer hours at that shelter (if it's near by), or making donations (most shelter situations can't get enough of wal mart cards, amazon cards, towels, litter, food, toys, and such as it's usually ran on donations alone), or even calling them up in the near future, and telling them your situation has changed and you'd be happy to pay the adoption fee should she be returned, and would be willing to go through whatever process in order to do so.
Hard as it is, try not to be sad. As I said, good no kill shelters are very picky and the adoption process is very in depth, and whoever adopted her probably went to great lengths to do so.
We've adopted shelter pets. Once, we took in a very old dog who was obviously someones beloved pet. She was a little dog who just wanted to eat treats and sit on someones lap. Pre-spoiled, we joked. I always wondered if that owner went into a nursing home or something, and if he or she did, wouldn't it be nice if we could contact that person somehow and tell them their little pet was alright and was being spoiled all over again?
 
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Rose12

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:alright:
I would encourage you to talk with your mother for as long as you and she both can. You both can help one another heal from this. No "but you said" or "but you said" conversations, just letting your sadness out without any finger pointing. You'll be surprised at how much this helps.
If the shelter was a good one (and it sounds like it is), they do screen adopters. Good shelters and rescues really put a lot of effort into making sure a new home is fit for the pet and visa versa so everyone is happy and pets don't wind up on the street. You did some good research to find a good, safe place for her before and that does pay off.
Many of these places have in their adoption contract that if, for some reason, things don't work out well, the animal is to be returned to the (shelter/rescue). They might ask what the problem was (litter box problems, not getting along with other cats, etc., so they can screen single home adopters or talk to potential adopters about reported problems and how to best deal with them), but no-kill shelters are usually very good about not turning away a former adoptee, if brought back.
You might find some hope in putting in some volunteer hours at that shelter (if it's near by), or making donations (most shelter situations can't get enough of wal mart cards, amazon cards, towels, litter, food, toys, and such as it's usually ran on donations alone), or even calling them up in the near future, and telling them your situation has changed and you'd be happy to pay the adoption fee should she be returned, and would be willing to go through whatever process in order to do so.
Hard as it is, try not to be sad. As I said, good no kill shelters are very picky and the adoption process is very in depth, and whoever adopted her probably went to great lengths to do so.
We've adopted shelter pets. Once, we took in a very old dog who was obviously someones beloved pet. She was a little dog who just wanted to eat treats and sit on someones lap. Pre-spoiled, we joked. I always wondered if that owner went into a nursing home or something, and if he or she did, wouldn't it be nice if we could contact that person somehow and tell them their little pet was alright and was being spoiled all over again?
Awwwwww. My heart is just glowing. It really hurts but this made me feel better. I pray to the heavens her new owner is just right for her - it definitely is an amazing shelter (drove 10 hours just for this one in specific) and I need to stop being so upset somehow. I'm glad I got to meet my cat, and was able to spend these four years loving her so much and getting to know her. There will always be a little hole in my heart without her and honestly, I'll probably spend the next few nights balling my eyes out and I'll probably have these weak moments throughout my life over her, but I just hope she's happy. I have to accept this new reality and outcome. I can't type much more without a lump in my throat but thank you so much. I just needed to hear something like this on a day like this.
 

Mamanyt1953

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At some point, when this new loss is not so raw, you might think of adopting another cat in need, in honor of your baby. Don't rush this...it is too soon after this new disappointment, but keep it in mind for later on.
 

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I want you to know that you reached my heart. I have had to give up kitties too. I spent a few years working with a colony. I rescued kitties, nursed many back to health and bottle raised some of the babies. I invested myself into each one. Circumstances became bad for them and I found myself in a position of socializing each one for adoption in order to put them in the best life possible. Each time I mourned the kitty as I let it go. For a long time I hurt. I knew that they were getting adopted but I still felt the loss. Then one day I got a message that had been sent to the shelter. It was from a person who adopted one of my babies. She explained how her family had lost their own kitty and had gone to the shelter in the hope of finding the “right” cat. They didn’t but the shelter told them some kitties were coming in later. My kitties! They returned later to see the other kitties and immediately fell in love with one. She wrote about all the things she had discovered that my kitty loved and how much happiness the kitty had brought to her family. She also said she wanted to thank the person who had raised this wonderful kitty. That short note changed everything for me as I continued to rescue and put up for adoption my cat colony family. It’s not that I didn’t continue to miss them, it’s that I knew they were spreading the love we had to others. The kitties were doing something great for others the way they had for me. They were playing a bigger part in the world than I had ever imagined. Your love is being spread. You did something great. If you can, volunteer at that shelter once in awhile. I began doing some work to help other kitties. It helped me too. I also was able to keep track of any kitty that went through the shelter. I got to hear more follow up happy stories. Lives were being made better by the kitties. One elderly lady had been terribly lonely but found her best friend in one of the kitties. She sends me pictures. They look so happy together. The shelter is very diligent about screening adoptions. In the end, I helped get a lot of kittens and cats adopted. One ended up living with me. Is she the same as the ones I gave up? No. Do I adore her? Yes. Love can come back to us in many different ways. I continue to work to save the kitties that others rescue or surrender. My life has changed because of the losses but the odd thing is that instead of giving up kitties, I am now helping to save others. I am so grateful to everyone who adopted one of my kitties through that shelter. They wanted and chose mine out of all the ones there. It put me on a path that allows me to honor the ones I gave up. There is a hole in your heart because you shared it with a kitty and another human. You did something amazing. I offer you a part of my heart in return. I know it won’t fill the gap but maybe it will be a comfort to have another beating beside yours with compassion.
 

1 bruce 1

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Awwwwww. My heart is just glowing. It really hurts but this made me feel better. I pray to the heavens her new owner is just right for her - it definitely is an amazing shelter (drove 10 hours just for this one in specific) and I need to stop being so upset somehow. I'm glad I got to meet my cat, and was able to spend these four years loving her so much and getting to know her. There will always be a little hole in my heart without her and honestly, I'll probably spend the next few nights balling my eyes out and I'll probably have these weak moments throughout my life over her, but I just hope she's happy. I have to accept this new reality and outcome. I can't type much more without a lump in my throat but thank you so much. I just needed to hear something like this on a day like this.
I'm glad my message helped ease your pain.
Most shelters won't do this, but it wouldn't hurt to try. Call them up or contact them, and tell them who you are, your cats name, when you surrendered her, and leave your phone number or a way to contact you. Ask them to forward this information to the new adopter, and see if the shelter won't tell them that you're the person who brought their new cat in and would just like to know how she's doing. It might help easing that pain if you can see pictures of her happy and loved.
If you find yourself upset, create a mental photo album of her in her new home. Picture her sleeping on someones bed, sitting on someones lap, hanging out on her big cat tree near a window stalking some birds, playing with toys. That alone can relax you a little bit, enough to be able to get some needed sleep. The more sleep you lose, the more upset you'll become, so remember you need to take care of yourself during this.
 

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I want you to know that you reached my heart. I have had to give up kitties too. I spent a few years working with a colony. I rescued kitties, nursed many back to health and bottle raised some of the babies. I invested myself into each one. Circumstances became bad for them and I found myself in a position of socializing each one for adoption in order to put them in the best life possible. Each time I mourned the kitty as I let it go. For a long time I hurt. I knew that they were getting adopted but I still felt the loss. Then one day I got a message that had been sent to the shelter. It was from a person who adopted one of my babies. She explained how her family had lost their own kitty and had gone to the shelter in the hope of finding the “right” cat. They didn’t but the shelter told them some kitties were coming in later. My kitties! They returned later to see the other kitties and immediately fell in love with one. She wrote about all the things she had discovered that my kitty loved and how much happiness the kitty had brought to her family. She also said she wanted to thank the person who had raised this wonderful kitty. That short note changed everything for me as I continued to rescue and put up for adoption my cat colony family. It’s not that I didn’t continue to miss them, it’s that I knew they were spreading the love we had to others. The kitties were doing something great for others the way they had for me. They were playing a bigger part in the world than I had ever imagined. Your love is being spread. You did something great. If you can, volunteer at that shelter once in awhile. I began doing some work to help other kitties. It helped me too. I also was able to keep track of any kitty that went through the shelter. I got to hear more follow up happy stories. Lives were being made better by the kitties. One elderly lady had been terribly lonely but found her best friend in one of the kitties. She sends me pictures. They look so happy together. The shelter is very diligent about screening adoptions. In the end, I helped get a lot of kittens and cats adopted. One ended up living with me. Is she the same as the ones I gave up? No. Do I adore her? Yes. Love can come back to us in many different ways. I continue to work to save the kitties that others rescue or surrender. My life has changed because of the losses but the odd thing is that instead of giving up kitties, I am now helping to save others. I am so grateful to everyone who adopted one of my kitties through that shelter. They wanted and chose mine out of all the ones there. It put me on a path that allows me to honor the ones I gave up. There is a hole in your heart because you shared it with a kitty and another human. You did something amazing. I offer you a part of my heart in return. I know it won’t fill the gap but maybe it will be a comfort to have another beating beside yours with compassion.
:yeah: You brought a tear to my eye, my friend. That's a wonderful story, and the beginning of an even better life's purpose. Not only are you saving the cats lives, but you're bringing so much joy to so many people, especially the elderly lady that had been so lonely before finding one of your foundlings.
I still miss kittens we raised when I was a kid, and are obviously long gone now. Many of them stayed in contact with us, some didn't, and all I can do is cross my fingers, know that our family did our best to find them the best homes possible, and hope they all had long, happy lives.
 

Jcatbird

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:yeah: You brought a tear to my eye, my friend. That's a wonderful story, and the beginning of an even better life's purpose. Not only are you saving the cats lives, but you're bringing so much joy to so many people, especially the elderly lady that had been so lonely before finding one of your foundlings.
I still miss kittens we raised when I was a kid, and are obviously long gone now. Many of them stayed in contact with us, some didn't, and all I can do is cross my fingers, know that our family did our best to find them the best homes possible, and hope they all had long, happy lives.
I just wanted anyone reading this to know, there are others searching for a reason to keep going or for someone to love and the kitties we teach can fulfill dreams. It helped me so maybe it will help here. I hope so. Thanks. :redheartpump:
 
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