We got my cats shortly after we moved when I was in 8th grade. I had never moved before and didn’t expect making new friends to be so hard and because of this I was very lonely and depressed. My cats gave me a reason to keep living through this, everyday I knew when i got home I’d have two sweet meowing faces looking up at me. Through the years the cats chose their favorite people and we chose our favorite cats and mine was my little black and white kitty cat. He’d follow me all through the house everyday, he’d let me cry in his fur, he’d come when I called, he would even push open my bedroom door so he could sleep next to me. He was there through everything, my first heartbreak, all my breakdowns, drunken nights in my room, and he was there for so many of my best moments too, snow days curled up in bed watching movies, summer laying out by the pool in our backyard.
I loved him more than anything in the world. then one night he got out and instead of us waking up in the morning to him sitting on the porch meowing for us to let him in like he always did, one night became two and when we talked to neighbors they said they saw a tuxedo kitty with an injured leg walking around. My mom finally found him because he was sitting in a bush in our front yard crying out for us. He had one of his front legs almost completely missing, the other with most of the skin torn off with maggots already eating away at it, a severe injury on his back leg and bad injuries to his jaw and mouth. When she found him I was over at a friends house and I didn’t have service but she called my friends phone and I picked up and she told me that he’d have to have three legs amputated and to meet her at the VCA. I was panicking like anyone would be but I thought he was gonna be okay and that he’d just have to adjust but when I got there she asked me if I wanted to say goodbye. I was crying out and begging to save him but we couldn’t he was in too much pain and he would be for the rest of his life if we didn’t put him down. They wrapped him up in a towel and brought him into the private room we were in. I kissed his head and told him that I loved him and felt his soft little ears one last time, but I never held him because I was too scared of feeling his injuries under the blanket or hurting him, I regret that a lot. I watched him slowly drift away and I watched my mom cry. I walked out of the clinic and felt the eyes of everyone in the lobby on us.
I keep going over it all in my head and trying to save him, trying to tell my past self things that my current self knows but none of it works. I don’t have a time machine and even if I did what could I have done? He was faster than I am and my friend said she saw a coyote wandering around a couple nights later so it’s not like I could’ve stopped a coyote, but at the same time I can’t stop blaming myself. Like maybe if I begged harder the doctors could’ve saved him, given him a little kitty wheelchair, fixed his jaw. Logically I know we did the right thing but I can’t stop thinking that he came home, despite only really having one working leg, so that we would save him and instead we just killed him. I don’t know how to live with that.
- It is very hard to lose an animal you care so much for- it is a family member. You build memories with them and you love them unconditionally, as they love you back this way. Grieving is never easy but is necessary to express deep pain for losing something you care for.
- Maybe you can take time to make a memory of your cat through a photo book or picture to frame so you can remember the good times he brought.
- Having lost something so dear to your heart is also a good time to remember to take care of yourself and do some things that you like to do, like going to see a funny movie with friends, spending time outside and enjoying the summer or spending time with your family.
- There are also grieving animal support groups online and possibly in your community. Support is always available on Teencentral.com as well, you can find more information on the Grief and Loss page.
- Making the decision to relieve your cat of pain could never be an easy, try to take comfort in the fact that you had his health and peace in mind, and that you were there to love and support him at the end of his life.
- What could you do to help you remember the good times with your sweet cat?
- What can you do to take care of yourself right now?
- What would happen if you found a support group for grieving pets to help you process your feelings?