My little Gem

Rowen

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I lost my Gem on August 5th to fluid around her lungs. She had been diagnosed with gi lymphoma in early 2019- when she was 12 although I never had her biopsied because she was too small. Her only symptoms were weight loss-whether eating or not eating- she was not absorbing nutrients. Seemlngly this all started when she had 4 teeth pulled- but they hide things so well. I tried changing food and had tried for a long time since she was addicted to Science Diet- a food that when I adopted her in 2007 from the shelter was supposed to be good- she also got wet food- but if I knew what I know now- wet food would have been her main diet. I wonder every day- was that what caused this? What could I have done differently that would have changed the outcome. After her diagnosis- and one vet- only one- who said get her off the dry food- I gave her only wet- or wet with dry on it- I tried everything to get her to eat and gain her weight back. I wish I had known about this forum then, because I researched everything, but somehow missed important information. When she died I was so focused on her eating- the fact that she was eating alot- ahi una by tiki cat only- that that anything else would be serious escaped me. It was like I was in denial that she would ever die.When she started having breathing problems I thought it was a respiratory infection- which in itself is serious- I took her to vet thinking we'd come home with antibiotics. I had to stay outside when she was taken in -xrayed and they found the fluid around her lungs and body cavity. They didn't think she would survive the treatment- and I had to decide what to do then and there. Only 13 1/2 years old. The vet said think of quality and I always did which is why I never put her through chemo-knowing she hated the vet so much and the stress it caused her. So I had to decide on euthanasia, and they let me in. Before I could see her they gave her a sedative to prepare her and she died from it. The vet brought her to me, and it continues to be the worst and saddest day of my life.I can't get past the what ifs. She also had a slight heart murmer- how did that play into it even though they said it doesnt always mean anything, can't get past that she was eating, drinking, and jumped up on the couch with us the night before- it all meant she would be ok to me.This forum and being able to write- potentially let someone else read her symptoms and get information, help someone else helps me. I need to try to think about 13 1/2 years we had together and how much happiness that little face, curiousness, playfulness, love I felt, bond brought me instead. I hope I can get to that point for her.
 

BellaGooch

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I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a cat is never easy, but, as you said, try to focus on the happy 13 1/2 years you had together. She sounds like such a sweet cat who loved you very much. I am praying for you, that you may find comfort in the happy memories you shared.
Remember that "Love... always perseveres. Love never fails."
Everyone on this site his here for you. God bless ❤
 

daftcat75

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My beloved Krista passed at 16 years one month ago from this past Saturday.

The best advice I received in these forums was, "don't let her death take on more meaning than her life."

The shock and proximity of her death and her illness before it will be in the forefront for some time as you replay all the "ifs" and "shoulds." At the end of the day, none of them matter anymore. When you're feeling overwhelmed by the pain, sorrow, and regrets of her illness and passing, try to recall all the love you shared in those years before she was ill. Try to remember her healthy and whole. Because that's how she is now. That's how she would want to be remembered.

May her memory be a blessing unto you! May thoughts of her (eventually) bring more joy than sorrow.
 
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Rowen

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I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a cat is never easy, but, as you said, try to focus on the happy 13 1/2 years you had together. She sounds like such a sweet cat who loved you very much. I am praying for you, that you may find comfort in the happy memories you shared.
Remember that "Love... always perseveres. Love never fails."
Everyone on this site his here for you. God bless ❤
Thank you so much for your kind words🦋
 
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Rowen

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My beloved Krista passed at 16 years one month ago from this past Saturday.

The best advice I received in these forums was, "don't let her death take on more meaning than her life."

The shock and proximity of her death and her illness before it will be in the forefront for some time as you replay all the "ifs" and "shoulds." At the end of the day, none of them matter anymore. When you're feeling overwhelmed by the pain, sorrow, and regrets of her illness and passing, try to recall all the love you shared in those years before she was ill. Try to remember her healthy and whole. Because that's how she is now. That's how she would want to be remembered.

May her memory be a blessing unto you! May thoughts of her (eventually) bring more joy than sorrow.
Thank you that is a wonderful way to think about it. She gave me so much and brought out the best in me. Looking at all of her pictures and videos I can remind myself of the loving life we had together when I'm overwhelmed.🦋
 

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The what-ifs are the worst. I know it’s easier said than done, but please try to not second-guess yourself. You did the absolute best you could and your kitty was clearly loved and well cared for her whole life.

My deepest condolences to you. Rest in peace, little Gem. :rbheart:
 

les26

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The grief has ahold of you right now and that is what is causing the "I should've seen this happening" and "I should've tried this or that" and that is normal, we always think that we missed something or should've seen or done something else but it sounds like you did the best with what you had and knew at the time and the important part is that you CARED and tried and loved her and she knows that, and one day when you meet again she will thank you for it.

Look into the homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara, little pills that you put under your tongue with no side effects, it helps with grief and loss and stress, very helpful when we lose a loved one.

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I am sorry for your loss, remember the good times and know that she is fine now, just fine. I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, God Bless.......:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. Oh my goodness, do I understand everything you are experiencing. I had to let my 13 year old baby, Oliver, go on August 17th and I have questioned everything. After what we thought was just an infection, they did x-rays and found a mass in his stomach that was most likely lymphoma. I could not understand how in July he was playing around and then in August he was gone. Then came the questions. Was it the food I was giving him? Was it something in our water? I am still questioning things, but you know, there is a post on here that I happened to read the other night about cancer, but really could apply to any disease. I think it says it all. Let's see if I quote this right. I want to make sure I give proper credit for this wonderful post:

Cancer is natures greatest confusion. It's been linked to a lot of things and genetics is one of the top links we have to go on at this stage.
You did nothing wrong and absolutely everything right. There are claims all over the place that feeding a special food or a special diet, or not doing this or doing that or using this special supplement will somehow "prevent" cancer. It's bogus, a money maker.
We've fed our pets a raw diet for decades, before it was "en vogue". Nothing pisses me off more than a raw food company saying their food will "prevent cancer". Nothing pisses me off more than a supplement company saying their product will "prevent cancer". If cancer is in the genetic make up, you can't prevent it. And for us owners, that just plain sucks :(
Intestinal lymphoma is nasty business. You didn't "give" her this cancer or somehow "not" prevent it, my feeling is even in utero the genetics are in the cards and if they get a bad hand, they get a bad hand. Many of us have lost pets to cancers at young ages, people have lost children at a year old to cancer. You can't prevent it, can't control it, and sometimes you can't even treat it. I've been there and many others here have as well.
You did nothing wrong, just remember that. She sounds like a little cat who was loved to the ends of the earth and got the best family she could have wanted. I know I want my pets to live a long life, but if they have 5 good loved years with us, it beats 5 1/2 years of hell.
Euthanasia is emotional and upsetting. I don't do it on a whim but when they go from great to not good to feeling horrible in such a short period of time, with a diagnosis that can be deadly, weighing their quality of life over our feelings is something we need to do. From what I've read, I would have done the same thing as you.
:grouphug: Chin up. It's rough, but you'll be OK, and you're welcome to come here anytime you want to talk :alright:
We can try it all, but nothing prevents everything. My vet's cat recently passed away from lymphoma and she was feeding the best foods and had access to the best medical care. I know it's so hard to not feel that something you did or did not do contributed to this. Oh, do I know it. So well. But know this- you didn't do anything but love your baby. As it states above- you never caused this. You couldn't have prevented it. And 13 years is a good, long life. I felt the same about Oliver, but I too never wanted my baby to go through chemo and endless vet visits. That's not a happy life. The pain of losing them is hard to deal with, but your baby had over 13 years of love, and I bet a lot of fun in her life, because of YOU. You. Hold your head high and be proud of that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. ❤❤
 

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13 years on this earth for a cat is a great accomplishment. To have someone love her, care for her, and provide her with a home is a blessing and something she will always be thankful for and love you all the more for. Over thirteen years builds a strong, unbreakable bond between two souls, love is spiritual, so eternal. "Death cannot take that which never dies" and you know in your heart this is the truth. Everything you do from this day forward will still have her in it, she lives on through you now and will be forever as close as your thoughts and prayers.
She was in your life for a reason, to fill your days with happiness and love, to have never met her at all would be unthinkable. So though it hurts so very much to say goodbye, know she performed her job of loving you, of teaching you what love was about, and she did it well. She now is at peace because of your love, holding it in her tiny heart until the end of time, just as you hold hers. She would like nothing better than to know you will add on to her love, to help it grow and flourish, by going through life seeking its joys. Just as you would want for her if you were the first to go.
My heart goes out to you, I know how much this hurts. I want you to know that it does get better, your life will somehow make a new life's order for itself, that time is the only thing that will dull grief's sharp edges. It takes a lot of time, one day at a time.........RIP beautiful Gem. you will be so dearly missed, you will always have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

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Rest you gentle Gem, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.

And now, your Gem is the brightest diamond in the Crown of the Night. And always will be. Know that whenever you do look up into the night sky, you'll see her winking back at you, saying, "I love you always! My Love never leaves your side!"
 
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Rowen

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The grief has ahold of you right now and that is what is causing the "I should've seen this happening" and "I should've tried this or that" and that is normal, we always think that we missed something or should've seen or done something else but it sounds like you did the best with what you had and knew at the time and the important part is that you CARED and tried and loved her and she knows that, and one day when you meet again she will thank you for it.

Look into the homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara, little pills that you put under your tongue with no side effects, it helps with grief and loss and stress, very helpful when we lose a loved one.

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I am sorry for your loss, remember the good times and know that she is fine now, just fine. I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, God Bless.......:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 
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Rowen

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Thank you,
I miss her so much everyday, I know you know the feeling of the void there is now. I try to remind myself that she wasn't well and hadn't been, that her quality of life was not what it had been- she couldn't enjoy it, but she had had a good life and that so was so loved. I will look into the homeopathic remedy.:butterfly::butterfly:
 
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Rowen

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I am so sorry for your loss. Oh my goodness, do I understand everything you are experiencing. I had to let my 13 year old baby, Oliver, go on August 17th and I have questioned everything. After what we thought was just an infection, they did x-rays and found a mass in his stomach that was most likely lymphoma. I could not understand how in July he was playing around and then in August he was gone. Then came the questions. Was it the food I was giving him? Was it something in our water? I am still questioning things, but you know, there is a post on here that I happened to read the other night about cancer, but really could apply to any disease. I think it says it all. Let's see if I quote this right. I want to make sure I give proper credit for this wonderful post:



We can try it all, but nothing prevents everything. My vet's cat recently passed away from lymphoma and she was feeding the best foods and had access to the best medical care. I know it's so hard to not feel that something you did or did not do contributed to this. Oh, do I know it. So well. But know this- you didn't do anything but love your baby. As it states above- you never caused this. You couldn't have prevented it. And 13 years is a good, long life. I felt the same about Oliver, but I too never wanted my baby to go through chemo and endless vet visits. That's not a happy life. The pain of losing them is hard to deal with, but your baby had over 13 years of love, and I bet a lot of fun in her life, because of YOU. You. Hold your head high and be proud of that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. ❤❤
 
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Rowen

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I'm so sorry you are going through the same experience- and thank you for your post. You read that when a cat is sick or dying they hide away and stop eating-being with you- but its not always the way it is. Oliver was playing, Gem was less active because she had been sick but still eating drinking jumping up to wake me,sitting with us on couch for pets, until the day she died. So nothing is the same and you think because they're eating they'll be ok. You feel like nothing is enough, and question everything. I have moments of every day that I question myself and cry. Make their life more important than their death- the best advice I've had and thats what I'm trying to do now. I'm framing pictures, and making a scrapbook in memory and that helps me see the great times we had and to remind myself that she was loved and taken care of when I start to question if I did enough. Please take care of yourself this is so hard but you know you did everything and loved your Oliver!
 

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I'm so sorry you are going through the same experience- and thank you for your post. You read that when a cat is sick or dying they hide away and stop eating-being with you- but its not always the way it is. Oliver was playing, Gem was less active because she had been sick but still eating drinking jumping up to wake me,sitting with us on couch for pets, until the day she died. So nothing is the same and you think because they're eating they'll be ok. You feel like nothing is enough, and question everything. I have moments of every day that I question myself and cry. Make their life more important than their death- the best advice I've had and thats what I'm trying to do now. I'm framing pictures, and making a scrapbook in memory and that helps me see the great times we had and to remind myself that she was loved and taken care of when I start to question if I did enough. Please take care of yourself this is so hard but you know you did everything and loved your Oliver!
Thank you. It is so hard. So very hard. We will see them again soon though. Please take care of yourself as well. ❤❤
 
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Rowen

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Thank you that is a wonderful way to think about it. She gave me so much and brought out the best in me. Looking at all of her pictures and videos I can remind myself of the loving life we had together when I'm overwhelmed.🦋
Hi, I saw you on another thread, and read your thread about Krista, and your care for her- the comments were closed so I'm writing here. It was amazing how you cared for and loved Krista. I saw many things that reminded you of myself some of how you felt after-including the fear of vets. My fear came from a senior cat I adopted before Gem- who I took to the vet many times and in the end gave me some bad advice. I still am not happy with some of the advice I got and didnt get.
I adopted Gem as a kitten from a shelter and she was my first so I am trying but really having a hard time. With Gem things seemed to have the same sequence as Krista up to a point. First visit to the vet at 12 although she had had one home visit for nails and rabies shot the year before. Then the teeth, pancreatitus, possible IBD- the gi lymphoma. I always end up going back to how it all snowballed after the trip to the vet and her teeth. I question it all. Always worried about her stress levels and taking her to the vet- yet she ended up going almost every 4 mos and had no other symptoms besides the weight loss- the blood tests were always fine, check ups showed nothing else. I also keep focusing on our last moments together, I remember how nervous I was waiting to put her in the carrier, even though I thought it was a respiratory infection. I was just letting her hide out and now I wish I had been talking to her, I didn't want her to feel my nerves. I just had to call out to her and then put her in the carrier which she hated- and said we'll be home soon. I think because we had just been to the vet 2 weeks before and everything was "fine" I didn't fathom her going. I feel like I was so hyper focused on her, yet not in reality. I even got her a new senior litter box, and a new bed delivered the day before. What was I thinking? My wife has to remind me that I didn't know how serious the breathing issue was- that she was eating and even though lethargic still doing what she always did with us. At first thinking it was stress, then allergies, I even put the air purifier on. It still comes in waves. I question whether the glut of vet visits -the teeth, the pulling the drugs for, the stress helped push the rest. I still have her bowls, brushes, and am making a decorated box with her ashes and things, as well as photo album, and have many videos. I also thought of volunteering at a shelter, but was too afraid of becoming overwhelmed. Had I been working I wouldnt have been able to function in public.
A situation came up and we ended up adopting a kitten, although at first I felt it would be disrespectful to Gem to do it. Robin- our new kitten is not a replacement and will never replace Gem, but is her own little being, and has some of the same calls, and reminds me of Gem in the way she plays. I so glad we got her, to give her a home. She is amazing, and we are loving her. From reading your threads and advice I can see you would give any new cat a wonderful loving home, and I hope when you're able you do.
 

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Hi, I saw you on another thread, and read your thread about Krista, and your care for her- the comments were closed so I'm writing here. It was amazing how you cared for and loved Krista. I saw many things that reminded you of myself some of how you felt after-including the fear of vets. My fear came from a senior cat I adopted before Gem- who I took to the vet many times and in the end gave me some bad advice. I still am not happy with some of the advice I got and didnt get.
I adopted Gem as a kitten from a shelter and she was my first so I am trying but really having a hard time. With Gem things seemed to have the same sequence as Krista up to a point. First visit to the vet at 12 although she had had one home visit for nails and rabies shot the year before. Then the teeth, pancreatitus, possible IBD- the gi lymphoma. I always end up going back to how it all snowballed after the trip to the vet and her teeth. I question it all. Always worried about her stress levels and taking her to the vet- yet she ended up going almost every 4 mos and had no other symptoms besides the weight loss- the blood tests were always fine, check ups showed nothing else. I also keep focusing on our last moments together, I remember how nervous I was waiting to put her in the carrier, even though I thought it was a respiratory infection. I was just letting her hide out and now I wish I had been talking to her, I didn't want her to feel my nerves. I just had to call out to her and then put her in the carrier which she hated- and said we'll be home soon. I think because we had just been to the vet 2 weeks before and everything was "fine" I didn't fathom her going. I feel like I was so hyper focused on her, yet not in reality. I even got her a new senior litter box, and a new bed delivered the day before. What was I thinking? My wife has to remind me that I didn't know how serious the breathing issue was- that she was eating and even though lethargic still doing what she always did with us. At first thinking it was stress, then allergies, I even put the air purifier on. It still comes in waves. I question whether the glut of vet visits -the teeth, the pulling the drugs for, the stress helped push the rest. I still have her bowls, brushes, and am making a decorated box with her ashes and things, as well as photo album, and have many videos. I also thought of volunteering at a shelter, but was too afraid of becoming overwhelmed. Had I been working I wouldnt have been able to function in public.
A situation came up and we ended up adopting a kitten, although at first I felt it would be disrespectful to Gem to do it. Robin- our new kitten is not a replacement and will never replace Gem, but is her own little being, and has some of the same calls, and reminds me of Gem in the way she plays. I so glad we got her, to give her a home. She is amazing, and we are loving her. From reading your threads and advice I can see you would give any new cat a wonderful loving home, and I hope when you're able you do.
Please try not to give much to the ifs and shoulds. They don't matter anymore. Nothing can be changed now.

Those remainders they leave are tough. I gave the vet all her meds (except a few that would be useful with any cat like anti-nausea.) But I have unopened cases of her food. I don't know how much I'd get back after shipping if I were to try to return them. I had ordered her a cat tree that arrived fully assembled on my door step an hour after I got the call that she had passed. The delivery guy was long gone if I wanted to refuse it. I had to take in this cat tree knowing that Krista would never get to use it.

I'm happy you have a new kitten to love on. I know and you know she's not a replacement. Still, I hope you will take the time to finish memorializing Gem however you need to do that. I got Krista a week or two after Cabbie passed. Cabbie was my first cat and the first animal I had to help pass. My girlfriend at the time saw how miserable I was without her that she took me to the shelter and offered to pay adoption fees as a belated birthday present. Krista chose me. She was the only one who looked like she wanted to leave and she wanted to leave with me. She made that very clear when I got to meet her in the introductions room. She was just what I needed after losing Cabbie. But now 14 years later, I can hardly remember a thing about Cabbie anymore. I don't think I took the time to memorialize her and to mourn her. To be honest though, I never expected her to pass as early as she did (eight years old) and did not have very many pictures and no videos. This was before we all had digital cameras with video recording capability in our pockets. I'm not going to repeat that after Krista. I will make memory videos, photo tiles, a photo book, maybe a puzzle, and even custom coloring book pages. I never want to forget how much love and joy I shared with that goofball.

As lonely as it is without Krista (or any other cat) around, this "between cats" opportunity won't come around again for hopefully another 12 plus years after I bring the next one home. I made a lot of changes in my life to care for Krista in the last few years. Now I'd like to take some time to reshape my life once again for myself before I welcome another.
 
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Rowen

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Please try not to give much to the ifs and shoulds. They don't matter anymore. Nothing can be changed now.

Those remainders they leave are tough. I gave the vet all her meds (except a few that would be useful with any cat like anti-nausea.) But I have unopened cases of her food. I don't know how much I'd get back after shipping if I were to try to return them. I had ordered her a cat tree that arrived fully assembled on my door step an hour after I got the call that she had passed. The delivery guy was long gone if I wanted to refuse it. I had to take in this cat tree knowing that Krista would never get to use it.

I'm happy you have a new kitten to love on. I know and you know she's not a replacement. Still, I hope you will take the time to finish memorializing Gem however you need to do that. I got Krista a week or two after Cabbie passed. Cabbie was my first cat and the first animal I had to help pass. My girlfriend at the time saw how miserable I was without her that she took me to the shelter and offered to pay adoption fees as a belated birthday present. Krista chose me. She was the only one who looked like she wanted to leave and she wanted to leave with me. She made that very clear when I got to meet her in the introductions room. She was just what I needed after losing Cabbie. But now 14 years later, I can hardly remember a thing about Cabbie anymore. I don't think I took the time to memorialize her and to mourn her. To be honest though, I never expected her to pass as early as she did (eight years old) and did not have very many pictures and no videos. This was before we all had digital cameras with video recording capability in our pockets. I'm not going to repeat that after Krista. I will make memory videos, photo tiles, a photo book, maybe a puzzle, and even custom coloring book pages. I never want to forget how much love and joy I shared with that goofball.

As lonely as it is without Krista (or any other cat) around, this "between cats" opportunity won't come around again for hopefully another 12 plus years after I bring the next one home. I made a lot of changes in my life to care for Krista in the last few years. Now I'd like to take some time to reshape my life once again for myself before I welcome another.
Yes the Gem alter is in progress. We are both artists so her box its being painted by both of us. When I adopted Gem she was the one who had the most attitude, and she was a sweet, playful and mellow cat. I'm glad you are taking care of yourself after all the stress, and as you say you need to do that before you can take care of another.
 
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