Still overcome with grief 3 years after rehoming my cats

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
3 years ago I lost my darling cats. I was homeless and no longer able to care for them. I found them a great home with a wonderful family who sent me regular updates for the first year.

It's been such a long time and I can't seem to let go. Seeing old photos of them makes me burst into tears. I have dreams about them all the time and it ruins my whole day.

I know that I had no choice at the time and I did the best I could in a horrible situation. But I just miss them terribly and now that I have my life together and a stable home I just yearn for them to come back to me, even though I know this isn't possible.

I had them since they were babies and they kept me company for 8 wonderful years despite many periods of homelessness, mental illness, and poverty.

They're 11 and 12 years old now and every day I worry about how they're doing as they go up in years. Sometimes when I'm alone I think of them and cry for hours.

I adopted a new rescue kitty recently with special needs. Caring for her has felt healing in a way, but in another it tears open old wounds. I just want my sweet babies back.

Any and all advice very appreciated.
 

Jerseymeow

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
62
Purraise
179
Location
New Jersey
You gave them a good life for 8 years! You put the cats wellfare ahead of your own needs when you re-homed them. It's hard to accept changes that we did not anticipate or have control over. You did the best you could. Try to focus on the present and the rescue you have now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
You gave them a good life for 8 years! You put the cats wellfare ahead of your own needs when you re-homed them. It's hard to accept changes that we did not anticipate or have control over. You did the best you could. Try to focus on the present and the rescue you have now.
Thank you for your kind words ❤ It really means a lot to me. I'm ashamed to talk about this to my friends and family because I still feel horrible guilt, and in a way I feel silly to still be so inconsolable for such a long time. I really appreciate your kindness
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
1,639
Purraise
6,725
I have had cats my whole life and currently feed a bunch of cats on my block. I have seen much heart break with losing my indoor cats to cancer to seeing the hardships the outdoor kitties suffer and tragic outcomes. One thought came to my mind each time I suffered a loss or an outdoor cat went missing and was never seen again-- Were there lives made better under my care?

Even though you had to give up your kitties due to hardship, know that you did your best for them. You had them for 8 long years and showed them you loved them by taking care of them and having them be an important part of your life. You found them a new home and it sounds like they got a good one. If someone else is taking care of them and they are responsible and loving pet parents, than know in your heart your kitties are loved and safe. This is a very good outcome! I have seen lovely homeless cats live there whole lives on the streets who would have loved to have a home, but sadly it never happened. I feel terrible that I couldn't get them off the streets and their are sweet cats currently on the street who I really want to get off the streets, but it has gotten much more difficult with this pandemic. I am frustrated and regretful, but try to give them the best life I can (by feeding them well and taking care of their other needs).

It is best to let go with love. Your cats are settled into their new life. Thank you for adopting a new kitty. Put your focus on this kitty now. Keep your memories alive of your former kitties, but leave your heart open for new fur babies. I wish you all the best.🙂
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
I have had cats my whole life and currently feed a bunch of cats on my block. I have seen much heart break with losing my indoor cats to cancer to seeing the hardships the outdoor kitties suffer and tragic outcomes. One thought came to my mind each time I suffered a loss or an outdoor cat went missing and was never seen again-- Were there lives made better under my care?

Even though you had to give up your kitties due to hardship, know that you did your best for them. You had them for 8 long years and showed them you loved them by taking care of them and having them be an important part of your life. You found them a new home and it sounds like they got a good one. If someone else is taking care of them and they are responsible and loving pet parents, than know in your heart your kitties are loved and safe. This is a very good outcome! I have seen lovely homeless cats live there whole lives on the streets who would have loved to have a home, but sadly it never happened. I feel terrible that I couldn't get them off the streets and their are sweet cats currently on the street who I really want to get off the streets, but it has gotten much more difficult with this pandemic. I am frustrated and regretful, but try to give them the best life I can (by feeding them well and taking care of their other needs).

It is best to let go with love. Your cats are settled into their new life. Thank you for adopting a new kitty. Put your focus on this kitty now. Keep your memories alive of your former kitties, but leave your heart open for new fur babies. I wish you all the best.🙂
Thank you very much for this perspective ❤
 

Maria Bayote

Mama of 5 Cats, 4 Dogs , 2 Budgies & 2 Humans
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
2,974
Purraise
7,892
You did what is best for them given the circumstances. You do love them selflessly and not everyone has that courage to let go, but you did it because you know your cats will be in a much better home. I am glad that they are adopted together.

Now you are caring for another kitty. It just shows how good your heart is. You are one of a kind.

As other said, move on with happiness. Your cats are well taken care of and that is because you did the right thing. Remember them with a smile. If it is a possibility that you can visit them once in a while, you can also ask the new owner to allow you to.

You are a good person. Your heart deserves to heal and be happy.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
13,008
Purraise
16,214
Location
Nebraska, USA
Of course, you still miss and love them, you always will. But you were selfless and put your own feelings aside to do what was best, what was right for their well-being. They are settled and happy where they are now. Though you wonder what is going on, it is time to move forward in your life because you know they are loved and well cared for. You did not abandon them, you did not put them to sleep. You found a wonderful home for them and though I am sure they missed you at first, they are settled and happy now. Cats live in the present and do not dwell on the past or the future like we do. So you are left to be plagued with doubt and sadness instead of knowing you did the right thing and concentrating on your present too. They are a beautiful part of your past. A good part that will always be remembered and you will always have that bond of love with their souls. New loves, like that beautiful little soul with you now are added on besides what is in your heart and only help that love to grow stronger and become even more. Put your mind at ease, know you did what was right and move forward. that sweet little one with you now needs you so much and you can show her what love can surely be. Keep busy and don't let your feelings of loss and grief build up to a breaking point. Don't let them take over your life. You have a wonderful heart and so much to give. Make it a priority to lavish your care and love on that sweet little girl who needs you so much and loves you right now.
My heart goes out to you. I know I still love and remember the little ones I found homes for that showed up at my place seeking any kind of love they could. I know my husband keeps telling me "you can't take and love them all' but you sure can't make your heart feel that. You did the best you could at the time with what you had. After seeing all the tragic outcomes that CAN happen, I can truly say you were absolutely right in what you did. Take that truth and try bring peace to your hurting heart........
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
Of course, you still miss and love them, you always will. But you were selfless and put your own feelings aside to do what was best, what was right for their well-being. They are settled and happy where they are now. Though you wonder what is going on, it is time to move forward in your life because you know they are loved and well cared for. You did not abandon them, you did not put them to sleep. You found a wonderful home for them and though I am sure they missed you at first, they are settled and happy now. Cats live in the present and do not dwell on the past or the future like we do. So you are left to be plagued with doubt and sadness instead of knowing you did the right thing and concentrating on your present too. They are a beautiful part of your past. A good part that will always be remembered and you will always have that bond of love with their souls. New loves, like that beautiful little soul with you now are added on besides what is in your heart and only help that love to grow stronger and become even more. Put your mind at ease, know you did what was right and move forward. that sweet little one with you now needs you so much and you can show her what love can surely be. Keep busy and don't let your feelings of loss and grief build up to a breaking point. Don't let them take over your life. You have a wonderful heart and so much to give. Make it a priority to lavish your care and love on that sweet little girl who needs you so much and loves you right now.
My heart goes out to you. I know I still love and remember the little ones I found homes for that showed up at my place seeking any kind of love they could. I know my husband keeps telling me "you can't take and love them all' but you sure can't make your heart feel that. You did the best you could at the time with what you had. After seeing all the tragic outcomes that CAN happen, I can truly say you were absolutely right in what you did. Take that truth and try bring peace to your hurting heart........
i felt this post deeply and its really comforted me. thank you for your kindness ❤
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
You did what is best for them given the circumstances. You do love them selflessly and not everyone has that courage to let go, but you did it because you know your cats will be in a much better home. I am glad that they are adopted together.

Now you are caring for another kitty. It just shows how good your heart is. You are one of a kind.

As other said, move on with happiness. Your cats are well taken care of and that is because you did the right thing. Remember them with a smile. If it is a possibility that you can visit them once in a while, you can also ask the new owner to allow you to.

You are a good person. Your heart deserves to heal and be happy.
Thank you for your kind words and understanding. You're 100% right in everything you've said. Thank you so much ❤
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
25,394
Purraise
642
Location
North Carolina
How strong you were, to send your babies to a wonderful home when you could no longer care for them! And now, you are called on again to be strong...this time, for yourself. I will tell you this...cats adjust far better than we. Your babies are well-cared-for, and loved, and happy in their new homes. And they remember you. Cats remember all of their lives. But they do not mourn for what is gone, rather they rejoice that they knew you at all. It is the way they are made. I think that we would do well to learn that from cats...to remember with joy, not regret. If I figure out that trick, I will tell you how it is done! For now, focus on your new baby, and love her in honor of your babies that you miss so. Open your heart and let her heal you. My heart is with yours on this journey.

OH...and I know that they remember through personal experience. I have been where you are now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

crispy-tofu

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
7
Purraise
24
How strong you were, to send your babies to a wonderful home when you could no longer care for them! And now, you are called on again to be strong...this time, for yourself. I will tell you this...cats adjust far better than we. Your babies are well-cared-for, and loved, and happy in their new homes. And they remember you. Cats remember all of their lives. But they do not mourn for what is gone, rather they rejoice that they knew you at all. It is the way they are made. I think that we would do well to learn that from cats...to remember with joy, not regret. If I figure out that trick, I will tell you how it is done! For now, focus on your new baby, and love her in honor of your babies that you miss so. Open your heart and let her heal you. My heart is with yours on this journey.

OH...and I know that they remember through personal experience. I have been where you are now.
Your words brought tears to my eyes, thank you so much for the positive thoughts ❤❤
 

Jerseymeow

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
62
Purraise
179
Location
New Jersey
I hope you are feeling better. Spring is around the corner. Be sure to focus on yourself. If you are well and strong, you will be able to give to others in your life, as well as your cat. You know what to do - rest, exercise, eat well, focus on the positive. You did a good thing for your former cats. Our lives are always changing.
 

purrfect mom

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
56
Purraise
39
You did the best thing for them at the time and they are still thriving. As one other commenter said, cats live in the present. 8 or 9 years in, if they are still living a great life you are lucky lucky lucky. I was not so lucky w/my kitty's adoptive home even though it seemed totally and completely ideal. As others said, there are so many kitties who need great homes and a good heart like yours. Maybe you can volunteer for a cat organization and help even more cats. But I understand how you want your cats back. One thing might help: when I gave away the 2 kitties (1 unfortunately no longer w/us 1 yr later) they took directly to the new home, barely giving me a backwards glance. It was a little disconcerting. And you know how the mother cats don't really even seem to remember that their kittens are their kittens and not just other cats? So as much as we attribute all human emotions to cats, your cats hopefully are perfectly happy in their new home and perhaps you can seek to find a new cat family for yourself that you find just as beguiling.
 

betsygee

Just what part of meow don't you understand.
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
23,828
Purraise
10,278
Location
CA, USA
Please try to remember that you did the absolute best you could in a very difficult situation. You loved them enough to give them up when you knew you couldn't care for them and it sounds like they went to a wonderful home. That is so much more than some kitties get and they were lucky to have you looking out for their well-being. I'm very glad you have a new kitty to care for and to help heal your heart. :hugs:
 
Top