Such sadness

aurorabee

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I am struggling so much with the recent loss of my beautiful 12 y/o tabby. The sweetest, most gentle soul. "Needy" in the best possible way. Always a lap cat and cuddler. Total non-complainer. Would run to the sound of a baby crying and look so worried. Travelled 6000 km in a car with me without issue. She was rescued as a barn kitten, runt of the litter and obviously wouldn't have survived that situation. She was a sickly little kitten - lots of vet appointments in the early days - respiratory infections, eye goop, green goop sneezes on the walls! The vet first thought she was a boy and then she surprised us all! At three she had to have all her teeth extracted - the vet said it was genetic. However after those early years she had good health - although part of me wondered long term how her digestion would be as she loved to eat and not having any teeth didn't slow her down - but she would swallow kibble whole.

Here is the sad story. Around February I was thinking she was due for her annual wellness exam. She had some blood in her stool, and was just overall not herself. I was planning to take her in for appointment when the 'pandemic' was declared so got a little preoccupied. I then was able to book a virtual consult at the end of March with the vet. Again, it was vague but just a sense of something was off. Withdrawn, sleeping more and just looking more ragged. The vet said very hard to tell without an actual exam but could be IBD, arthritis or lymphosarcoma. Hard to process all the details of the conversation, but I know I said my main goal was her comfort and not causing and unnecessary stress. She recommended some supplements/probiotics and to continue to monitor. Forward to the end of April and I could tell she was declining still (growling once when I went to pet her - completely unusual for her) and I knew I needed to take her in for an actual exam. Again, they were only prioritizing urgent care, but I remember even saying on the phone "I think this is a palliative situation..." I remember being so nervous that day and dreading to take her in. Because of the pandemic the vet meets you curbside and they take your cat in. So it's not like regular appointments in the past where you are there in the room and just feel like you have more time and collaboration. I remember telling him she had done well on gabapentin in the past. I remember telling him I just wanted her to be comfortable. Anyways, so he tells me that there is a "lot of pain" particularly with her spine and he was in agreement with first vet's consult to start pain medications but would need to do bloodwork/weight to ensure was safe to start. Her bloodwork and weight were good (he was surprised). That hurt me so to hear she was in so much pain. But. That's where I think I got some dangerous false hope thinking everything would be ok. I was ELATED. (But now realize that there may have been more to the story that only an xray, ultrasound or biopsy might've revealed?) The strange thing is I was oddly more prepared that April day to hear the worst and think I would've handled things better then. But something about hearing that bloodwork was good made me forget the reason I brought her in in the first place. The vet told me to keep him informed. After about 10 days on the pain medication she seemed to slowly/slightly improve - eating a little more, not as withdrawn. Then about 6 days after that she seemed to be declining again. I emailed the clinic Wednesday night. I don't know why I didn't rush her in or call. She was still eating and drinking a little bit and using her litterbox and jumping up/down her favourite spot. I spoke to the vet on Friday. I was at work so maybe it was a bit rushed conversation and I worry I didn't convey everything about her situation. I remember asking him if the pain medication was safe long term, and should I bring her in again to get labs rechecked. He didn't think so since it had only been 2 weeks ago the labs had been done.
That evening she was still eating/drinking a little bit but I could tell she wasn't comfortable because she was moving around to different spots. She wasn't hiding though - in fact at one point she was lying down in the kitchen to be near everyone. She did jump up on the bed to be next to our other cat (unusual but not unheard of - they 'tolerated' one other but the odd time would sleep near each other). Something in me told me to bring her outside. It had been a long winter so she hadn't been outside for a long time and she loved to bask in the sun. I brought her outside for a little bit and she was chewing on the grass. No crying out when I picked her up. That evening she scratched twice to get into the baby's room. Unusual but again not unheard of as she would sometimes sneak in there. (Now I feel like I refused her last wish to be in that room). I checked on her at midnight and she was sleeping near her food. I even ordered kitty CBD oil that night. I slept out on the futon in the living room that night. Around 4 am I was awoken by a sound. I looked over and saw she wasn't on her usual spot on the couch...she was passed away, a few feet away from me. I was in shock at first. I thought I heard her purring but it was the songbirds. I shouted her name but immediately saw the tail had no flicker and her paw just lifeless. Such a shock. The absence of the vital life force. I then found out that the pain medication can have side effects and the guilt is tearing me up that I gave that to her. Why didn't I research more. I didn't advocate for her. I can't bear it. Also the guilt of not taking her in again that Wednesday night when I first noticed a change again. I keep reliving it in my mind. I feel like I failed to protect her and she was such a sweet baby. This has been about a month ago and I've cried every day. I am just faking it to get through the day.
 

jefferd18

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Please accept my condolences on the loss of your sweet feline friend. She sounded like an exceptional kitty who kept a sunny disposition despite going through a rough start in life. The fact that hearing a baby cry upset her, tells me that she was a cat who knew the meaning of empathy. She was indeed a rare gem and that makes losing her all the more sad.

I will not lie to you, the first year will be the most painful to get through because of what I call the 'firsts'. the first summer without her, the first Halloween with her, the first Christmas....... I lost my cat, Jeff, on March 29th of last year and I am still have trouble coming to terms with her being gone. What made me feel better was two things- talking and writing about her and also getting two portraits done of her.

I also did things in her name. Since Jeff was a throwaway, (a feral cat that nobody took interest in) I found myself giving a lot of attention to cats who are similar in fate. I feed the ferals over at a lot each night- I make donations to feral rescues- all in Jeff's name. Maybe there is a Barn cat program in your area that you can help out?

I don't know why your kitty had to leave you but I do know this much: pain medication did not kill her, in fact, if anything, it gave her a better quality of life towards the end.

You two had quite a life together so please celebrate that because it is the life that we give our furry friends that matters, not how they leave this world.
 

di and bob

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I'm so very sorry for the pain you are going through, the pain of a broken heart is devastating. The guilt and all those should haves, could haves, is always a part of grieving. Because none of us are perfect. But I do know one thing, to have guilt you have to have intent and all you intended to do is to have her better, to do what you could for her. The pain medication has side effects, as do ALL medications. I truly doubt she was on it long enough to have done her harm. It surely helped her through the end. She was declining, sometimes there is nothing that can be done to help. A vet was consulted, they did what they could, you have to accept what they believed in and did, they are experienced and have seen much. Sometimes, no matter what we do it is not enough. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, to die at home near the ones who love us is all many of us can hope for. She is at peace because she has your love.
Like jefferd18 jefferd18 I found that doing something in my little one's name helped me to feel a little better about myself. I donated to my local shelter and paid for the cat's adoption that had been there the longest, in my Chrissy's name.
It helps to reach out to others who have stood where you stand now. We intimately know the pain of losing a little one and how it affects your soul. And although this is your love, and no one else can know it, we can empathize with the knowledge of how it affected us.
The bond you have with that little girl is a strong one. It can never be taken from you. "Death cannot take that which never dies".....
She will be forever as close as your thoughts and prayers, and her love lives on through you now, growing with each and every love that is added to your heart, growing stronger with the sunshine and happiness in your life. As you would want for her if you were the first to go, live your life seeking joy and wanting it to last as long as it can, she would want no less for the one who cared for her and loved her so much.
My heart goes out to you, I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. You have others who need and love you, open your heart and accept the comfort of your precious memories and of the memories still to be made. Time is the ONLY thing that helps ......RIP dear, sweet girl. You will always be missed, you will forever have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

Norachan

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Oh, I'm so sorry A aurorabee

:hugs:

It must have been awful to wake up and find her gone. It sounds to me as if there wasn't much that could have been done. Even if you had been able to take her to the vet earlier or more often I think she was going and there wasn't anything that could have been done to keep her here.

At least she passed at home, close to you and in her own time. That must have been easier for her than passing away at the vet's or having to undergo a lot of procedures that would have only bought her a little time. Pain medication can have side effects, but if you knew she was in pain you wouldn't have denied her the pain killers, even knowing that.

Please don't blame yourself. It's obvious from your post that you loved her completely and did everything you could for her.
 

solomonar

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You did all a human being can do.
We cant give life, we only can love.

You shared home with a feline friend, so you will be forever together, no matter the material world.

Pain medication does not kill, it is only human abuse that may kill the addicted persons, but even so, it takes a lot of time.

Hugs and my hearts goes out to you.
 

les26

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I am so sorry that you had to go through this, you did all that you could for her and more, for some reason it was just her time to move on to the next life. Like the others said the medication most likely did not do her in, it was what was wrong with her inside that you could not see. And I don't have much faith in results from blood tests, ever since we had Simon and Sebastian have blood tests that the vet said were "good" they both passed away right afterwards so I have become very cynical about blood test results, as it seems to give false hope....but I stray from your situation, she was a wonderful little friend and it was just her time to move on, and I also believe that she had that famous "last surge of adrenaline" when she seemed to be fine and jumped up on the bed etc., just like a person does soon before they pass, they seem to be improving and surprisingly doing well but it is the "last hurrah" and shortly afterwards they slip away, I don't know why but it happens. But you did all you could, please check into Ignatia Amara and Holy Basil as they help with the stress and grief and shock, and it will get better but it takes a very long time.

And she passed peacefully in the home she loved with the person she loved, she spared you the awful decision of having to make the choice of putting her down, with time you will appreciate that.

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

I am sorry for your loss, I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, God Bless......:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 

Becky and Fiona

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I’m so sorry. I’ve had similar situations with hopes being raised after bloodwork so that really resonated with me. You gave her a good life and she loved you. But now she is pain free. Looking back on what you could’ve done differently... doesn’t help I find. You did the best that you could at the moment. Wish I could give you a hug. It’s tough. I was just crying this morning over a cat that I lost 4 months ago after seeing a pic of him. The love is always there. :hugs:
 

betsygee

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You gave your girl all the love and care a kitty could ask for. :hugs: I know it's easier said than done, but please try to not beat yourself up. Sometimes even if we'd have done things differently, the outcome would be the same.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace, sweet girl. :rbheart: What was her name?
 
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aurorabee

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Thank you all so much for your kind words. You are all so kind.

Yes, she truly did have empathy. We had a soul connection...I could lock eyes with her across the room and she would walk towards me. When I was pregnant she would sit on my belly and send loving purr vibrations to the baby.

It's the not knowing exactly what happened that is so painful. I think I could've handled this better if she had received a terminal diagnosis back in the April. But the bloodwork blinded me I think. And then in my search for answers I have gone into a kind of hell searching online and thinking that I poisoned her with the pain medication. And I am normally so careful, researching everything. I don't know what happened this time. I even have a health care background which stings even further. I pray she did not suffer in those four hours between when I last checked on her and she passed. She was such a sweet pleasant girl she was probably trying to hide it from me, which makes me so sad. I called her name out and it was so lonely. As though if I could call her name enough times she would come back. I just feel like I failed to protect her and she was so dependent on me.

I'm not sure if it's the trauma of seeing her body...I realized that with other childhood pets but family 'took care' of everything so it was out of sight out of mind situation.

I have another cat, which helps a little. My other cat is more of classic 'aloof' miss diva type cat. She is NOT a lap cat but in my first few days of grieving she did come and sit on my lap which helped but she has since stopped.

I agree it would be good to donate to some causes in her name. I keep trying to remind myself of the 12 beautiful years, but it is so hard because it feels unfair she should have more especially if it was my negligence. It's hard to feel like I will feel joy again.
 

Mamanyt1953

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

Oh, my dear, dear friend, I grieve with you. I will tell you the Deepest Truth I know, that is that love never dies, it only changes form and continues on, still Love. And the best part of your beloved girl, her love for you, is now translated and purified into Love, and is with you still. Because Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides.
 
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