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My Old Family Cat (Who I Took in After My Mom's Death) Died Suddenly Thursday

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This forum was such a boon to me when my mom died all too soon of breast cancer several years ago. It was unbelievably helpful to join in on the chats in the parent forum because it was the only place I could find other 20-somethings who understood. I find myself facing this awful grief again, and I hope someone can relate.

After my mom passed away, I ended up taking in our old family cat. She was 14 when Mom died and was closing in on 18 here before she died. She had lost a bit of weight recently, but her behavior was the same so it didn't really register. She seemed perfectly healthy otherwise. I got back from work Wednesday, and she did her usual scolding greeting that I had left her for the day and she hadn't had her dinner yet. Then she followed me around while I made dinner and sat with me in the living room while I ate. Nothing out of place. Then around midnight, she started yowling in fear, and I went to check on her. She was clearly having issues seeing and kept walking into stuff. Then she started having trouble moving. My boyfriend's old family cat suddenly died a few years back after showing the same symptoms. I was super scared but tried to sleep because I couldn't do anything until morning. After a while, her scared yowls really got to me, so I held her for hours until we could get in to the vet. I thought I'd have to put her down, but they said she was experiencing thyroid and kidney issues, which was totally treatable. They'd just keep her for a few days and get her started on the medication I'd need to give her. Fast forward to Friday morning, they called to say she'd died that night.

I'm a whole mess of emotions for so many reasons. First, I wish I'd taken her in for a checkup or something so we'd caught this sooner.I was her person. That was my job. Second, I am absolutely heartbroken that she died without any of her people with her. We owed her that. Third, I was in junior high when we got the old kitty. We had just moved and I was having a very hard time adjusting. She helped me through it. She was my furry buddy in high school and breaks from college. I moved back in for a bit after college, and I was there when my mom got her terminal diagnosis. Stinky's loving companionship helped my sister and me through that. (Sister is 12 years younger than me) After Mom died, my old kitty became my roommate and was absolutely indispensable in helping me get through things. She'd been my furry roomie for several years at this point. She was unbelievably sweet and talkative and loved to be held. She followed me everywhere and chatted while she did. She definitely loved me in whichever way a cat can, and I loved her to bits and pieces. She just made my heart warm and made me feel so needed and loved.

I just got back from running, which I made myself keep doing after my mom passed, too, and I'm just sitting here so sad because Stinky always greeted me at the door when I got back and followed me to my room to "help" me finish my workout. That generally included trying to sit on my feet while I did lunges or laying next to me while I planked like she was planking, too. Now, there's just a silent apartment and no faithful furry companion to join me. I'm just devastated looking at her empty kitty beds and toys, that she was using in a completely normal way just three days ago. My work let me take personal days Thursday and Friday, and I've basically just been crying in bed. I am absolutely broken-hearted and crying just as much as I did when I lost my mom. I was not expecting Stinky's ultimate death to impact me like this. It feels the same as when Mom passed. I basically lost the two "people" who loved me the most, and my heart feels like it's had a huge chunk removed again. 😕

I don't know if anyone will reply, but I just had to get it out there. My little furry support system since 2001 has been suddenly ripped out of my life, and I'm just left with a sad, empty apartment that used to reverberate with loud, loving kitty meows.

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I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your Stinky, my dear, and I know how much it hurts. Everything you describe is normal, although I know there is precious little reassurance in that. I hope you will give yourself plenty of time to mourn this loss, and know that the pain you're feeling is directly in proportion to the depth of love you have for your fur baby. That is why it hurts so much . . . ♥️

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I am so sorry for your loss.  I think regrets and guilt feelings must come with grief because they sure are common.  No matter how it goes down, we wish it was different.  The truth is that you were getting help for your cat, so you were doing the best you knew and you thought she was going to live.  None of us can know when things are about to take a turn for something different.  I pray you find peace and comfort, I know this is hard.

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I surely can relate having put my cat to sleep Monday.   She had been experiencing kidney and thyroid issues for the last couple years.   Don't beat yourself up about not doing anything sooner.    They are both progressive diseases and will win eventually as they did with my cat.   I was told the renal failure can last a long time or it can be very aggressive and not much can be done in that case,  which might have been the case with Stinky.  

I live alone and the emptiness is killing me.   In fact I am ready to go rescue another cat at my local shelter.   I know it will never replace my Joy,   but hopefully I can give it a loving home for his/her benefit and mine at the same time.

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18 hours ago, ayrton88 said:

I surely can relate having put my cat to sleep Monday.   She had been experiencing kidney and thyroid issues for the last couple years.   Don't beat yourself up about not doing anything sooner.    They are both progressive diseases and will win eventually as they did with my cat.   I was told the renal failure can last a long time or it can be very aggressive and not much can be done in that case,  which might have been the case with Stinky.  

I live alone and the emptiness is killing me.   In fact I am ready to go rescue another cat at my local shelter.   I know it will never replace my Joy,   but hopefully I can give it a loving home for his/her benefit and mine at the same time.

I hope you do...it may not diminish the grief but it might help the being alone and give you some purpose at the same time.

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On 2/7/2019 at 11:12 AM, ayrton88 said:

I surely can relate having put my cat to sleep Monday.   She had been experiencing kidney and thyroid issues for the last couple years.   Don't beat yourself up about not doing anything sooner.    They are both progressive diseases and will win eventually as they did with my cat.   I was told the renal failure can last a long time or it can be very aggressive and not much can be done in that case,  which might have been the case with Stinky.  

I live alone and the emptiness is killing me.   In fact I am ready to go rescue another cat at my local shelter.   I know it will never replace my Joy,   but hopefully I can give it a loving home for his/her benefit and mine at the same time.

I'm sorry for your loss. When I can separate myself from the situation for a minute, I know it's probably better that she just went super fast and didn't have her life prolonged by meds. At a certain point, their quality of life goes down in that situation and you have to watch them suffer before deciding the suffering is too much. That must be terrible to go through. I'm glad Stinky was "healthy" to the end. I kept thinking I should take her in a for an exam, but knowing how much she hated the car and the vet made me think I could just keep a sharp eye out. My boyfriend said he thought the same thing with his Marie, but she and Stinky went down the same way... suddenly after less than a day of symptoms. I just wish I'd been with her when she died. It kills me that I wasn't.

I live alone, too, so I understand. Things get so quiet, don't they? You're used to furry chatter and some fluffy company, and the nothingness that replaces it is heavy! You should get another cat if you think you're ready. I've had a lot of cat people friends tell me they've done so fairly quickly after a cat dies. It's not replacing them, just opening their heart up for a bit of love to help the healing process. I think I'm at the stage where all I want is my Stinky, so it'll probably be some time before I decide to get another one. I don't know if it's harder because she'd been my buddy since junior high. She was almost like a furry sibling. (She was only two years younger than my sister.)

I hope you do find a buddy that helps your heart. Just go and see which one seeks you out. Cats like to pick their people.

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You will know when the time is right for you.  I know it's hard.  I haven't rushed to get another cat, either, since Miss Mocha died, she's been gone since June 3, 20016.  I still have Kitty, 24, but she is polar opposite from Miss Mocha.  Miss Mocha used to sleep with me every night, was very affectionate, Kitty...nope!  I've had some wonderful cats, not sure I want to get another one, but I will know if/when the time is right.  I still have my Arlie (dog), he's 11 and for a super large dog, that's elderly, so I don't know how much longer I'll have him and Kitty.

I'm sure it's all the harder since you did have your cat since you were so young.  

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I understand how hard this can be. My spouse and I had to put our boy down recently. Completely unexpected. They mean so much to us all. It's like I lost I a close family member. I still forget he's gone and wonder why I don't hear him screaming at me, welcoming me, or when I meow in the house why he didn't meow back. 

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