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Missing My Fancy

Devastated By The Loss Of My Best Friend

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Hello everyone. New member here. I've been reading through some of your posts and would like to offer my support to you all for the devastating losses you've had to face. I'd like to sometime in the (hopefully) near future be able to reply to as many of your posts as I can to offer my condolences and well wishes but I need to share my story with you first:

I lost my best friend of almost 12 years (and a big piece of me, along with it) about 3 weeks ago and I've been heartbroken ever since. The name she came with was Fatsy but my family and I nicknamed her Fancy and she was an adorable black Angora cat (possibly mixed) with big yellow-green eyes full of affection, eagerness and curiosity. People say I adopted her and that she was my sidekick but really it was more a case of her choosing me as her person and me feeling privileged to have been her "chosen one" and, if anything, I was HER sidekick lol. I've been totally lost without her. She went on road trips with me to my parents and slept with me every night. Her purr was so loud and relaxing, it helped put me to sleep. We were totally inseparable.

I had been taking her to an animal hospital vet every 2-3 months for the past year and a half because she became an insulin-dependent diabetic and towards the beginning of last Fall she started breathing heavily, as though she were congested or asthmatic. I brought this to the vet's attention and he blew it off as just the sort of thing that senior cats sometimes develop, reassuring me that he had a cat who had the same loud breathing. At the next appointment I pushed for something to be done, not satisfied with his explanation that her breathing was a normal symptom of aging in cats and he said the only thing he could do would be to perform a scope to see what the cause was but he strongly advised against it, saying it would be risky to put a senior cat under anesthesia and that it was a costly procedure. Not being content with him telling me that there wasn't a less invasive and cheaper alternative, I called a private vet for a second opinion but they said they didn't do any kind of breathing treatments or testing. That left me and my best friend stuck. Around April 5th her breathing had gotten so bad that we couldn't wait for her next appointment and so we made a trip to our vet's clinic's ER. Our vet agreed to do the scope and of all things it turned out to be cancer on my poor baby girl's larynx. The room flipped upside down when I heard the devastating news- I never anticipated that the diagnosis could be so horrible. Since every avenue of hope for treatment was a dead end I had to make the impossible decision to say good bye to my best friend. The day I found out she had cancer was the same day I had to say goodbye, and what made it even worse was that my Fancy was under anesthesia from the scope when the euthanasia was performed, so I didn't feel like it was a proper goodbye or the type of farewell I badly wish I had with her. I talked to her and kissed her and held her paws but she wasn't awake to be receptive to our last moments together. I'm still in utter disbelief over it. It was just so cruelly abrupt with no time to prepare for such an overwhelming and tragic loss.

There have been many moments since of not only deep grief but complete despair when I feel almost out of my mind with heartache. It's been even hard to breathe at times. I just don't understand why our vet didn't take my companion's breathing issues more seriously when they first started, or why she had to get cancer. People have been trying to reassure me that my Fancy had a good and long life but I keep asking, why couldn't it have been longer? Why couldn't she have lived out a full, natural life instead of ending up with something so terrible? Why couldn't she have been with me for a few more years? It just doesn't feel right not seeing her laying contentedly in one of her cat beds or sitting next to me in the car on one of our many road trips or her eagerly following me into the kitchen for a treat or her grooming one of my other cats before sending them on their way. I miss her so desperately, as do my 3 other fur babies. Seeing them grieve has made this time all the more unmanageable. I've written so much already and it's still not even close to half of the sadness, pain and confusion I'm feeling.

I apologize for my long-winded post but I just needed to get my thoughts out. I've talked with family and friends about missing my Fancy but I don't want to constantly burden them with the weight of my grief. So here I am. I'd greatly appreciate any responses; coping tips, similar experiences with a negligent vet- anything at all. I'm looking for anything that might help me navigate this painful journey through grief.

 

RIP My Fancy Girl. You were, and always will be, loved.

Fancy- Christmas Day 2018.jpg

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Hi I felt your sadness whilst reading your post.. I related to alot of your feelings.I'm so sorry sincerely for your loss.. don't apologise for writing and sharing your feelings. We have all experienced this utter devastation.

I lost my soulmate of 14 years old 8 weeks ago.. there hasn't been a day yet I've not cried. The mere mention of his name breaks my heart.. I too have cried to family members on numerous occasions. I'm still heartbroken.. I miss him him so much .. everything reminds me of him .. I soon as I open my eyes his on my mind .. I loved him so much .. I want to see him again so badly.. 

Much love from me x

 

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Thank you so much for reaching out, Sharon C. I'm very sorry for the loss of your soulmate. I understand your pain well because I, too, have cried every day since I said goodbye to my Fancy girl.

I had a particularly unbearable bout of despair last weekend. I only work weekends but they're long shifts and I despise my job. Coming home and being greeted by my Fancy always used to be a big bright spot in my day. Last Saturday was my first day back and I had to keep running off to the bathroom because I couldn't control my sobbing; all I could think about was that my baby girl wouldn't be greeting me at the door when I got home. I was in complete and uncontrollable sorrow and panic pretty much the entire weekend. I'm hoping I won't have to go through another 2 day-long stretch of continuous anguish because I won't be able to stand it.

It's so true that there are reminders of our loved ones everywhere. It's like I've become hyper-aware of what I see and hear because so much can be traced back to my Fancy. I think about her constantly. She's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and she's the last thing I think about before going to sleep at night. I still talk to her and kiss her picture on my phone and blow kisses skyward to her whenever I need to "connect" with her (which is numerous times a day). It helps ease the burden of grieving a little, if only for a precious few minutes. Maybe you could try it and see if it gives you some relief?

Anyway, thanks again for responding and offering your support. It means a lot during this difficult time.

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She’s beautiful. My dog was my inseparable companion as well, so I completely understand. He went everywhere with me. 

I too, am angry and saddened that his life was cut short. I feel like he was cheated. 

I think that whether you had her for a few more weeks, or months, the pain would be just as bad as losing her the same day.

I say that because my dog’s lung tumor was discovered in November, (by accident during an MRI for his back) and he started having trouble breathing towards the end of January. Within weeks he was gone. I spent November thru Feb 12 trying to memorize every inch of him, every bit of his personality, every mannerism, etc. The last week of his life was agony, trying to work up the courage to let him go. 

I had all that extra time after his diagnosis, but it still was and still is excruciating. I know you wanted a real goodbye, I’m sorry. I would be heartbroken about that too. 

I hope you find some rest soon. I am glad you shared your story about Fancy, it’s a comfort to hear you share the same feelings. 

Wishing you peace...

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Hi K.D. Thanks so much for your response.

Cheated is the way I feel as well.

It's true that having my Fancy for a little longer wouldn't have made the pain any less than having to say goodbye on the same day because I would be lost without her, regardless. It's just that it came as such a shock whereas knowing a few weeks or months in advance would have softened the blow. When I took my Fancy to the vet that morning I had absolutely no clue I would need to say farewell to her only a few short hours later. The possibility never even crossed my mind. I would never have wanted my baby girl to suffer, though. The vet said if I did nothing she would have most likely died from respiratory failure; the mass was blocking her airways and her lungs were working too hard as a result in order to keep air flowing in and out. So I could never have stood by and done nothing for my baby girl. I just keep coming back to the same question: why did she have to get cancer?

I'm truly sorry you had to endure the pain of seeing your beloved pup's health decline in such a way. It must have been a devastating process for both of you to live through. I would never have wanted that for my Fancy and me. My heart goes out to you.

The extra time would have been a cushion for me but it wouldn't have stopped the inevitable. Ultimately what hurts the most in all of this is that my Fancy and I didn't have the goodbye that we rightly deserved. I feel she was ripped away from me and I can't stop thinking about that. When I was escorted back to the exam room for the euthanasia to be performed the vet was ready to get right to it and I had to tell him I needed a few minutes alone with her to say goodbye. Where was his head at?! But he agreed to it. 11 and a half years of total love and devoted companionship came to a grinding halt while my baby girl lay unconscious on the exam room table and I stood over her sobbing. It's not the sort of goodbye anyone should have with their best friend.

Thank you for your kind and reassuring words, K.D. Going through the grieving process is a seemingly insurmountable feat but knowing you have the support of others who are dealing with the same thing brings a sense of comfort. I hope you're able to find some peace of mind soon because your beloved pup wouldn't want you to be suffering.

Best wishes to you.

 

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First I want to say how glad I am you dignified her with that appropriate change of name.  She does look like a Fancy.  

I am very sorry for your loss.

I had a cat, George, I got him when he was six and his owner going to assisted living.  He was a wonderful family cat, he loved being a lap cat and spending time with his people.  When I married a George, I dubbed my cat King George to differentiate.  A few years later my husband died, and 14 months later my King George came down with what I thought was a cold or respiratory infection, he had a secretion coming from his sinuses/tear duct.  I live in the country, only have a vet on Wednesdays, but thought this warranted more immediate attention so I drove 50 miles to a vet that was open on Saturdays.  They wouldn't allow me in the room with George, which I thought was strange.  Much time passed.  Finally I inquired, found him in a room all alone.  They came and gave him a cursory glance, prescribed an antibiotic and told me to get the area soaked with a warm wet washcloth and express the gunk out of it daily.  I did, but he didn't get any better.  Called them when the Rx ran out and they called in a refill to my local vet.  Went through that Rx, still no better, so took him in to my own vet.  He examined him and immediately showed me he had cancer, he showed me where it started (behind the eye) to where it went to (roof of mouth).  He said to imagine the worst head cold I've ever had, multiply it by 1,000, and that's how this cat was feeling.  I chose to euthanize immediately.

In the time following, I was sick to my stomach at the thought of how much suffering this poor cat endured.  It angered me that the city vet had not paid more attention, had not been thorough in their examination, they charged twice as much and cared little about his demise.  I called them...they were cold and callous and unapologetic.  I thought of when he'd endured the soaking wet washcloth (cats hate water) I'd held him up in the bathwater to do it as it took swishing the water over his eyes repeatedly to get the gangrenous secretion out...I thought about the pain he endured and while I held his little body up in the water...he purred.  My love for that little cat grew leaps and bounds, he really was the best little cat anyone could ever have.  He was 19.  He'd always been my greeter, coming to greet me in the driveway when I came home from work.  In latter years he was slower and would meet me on the ramp to the patio.  Later yet, I would approach the patio and would see the top of the porch swing moving as he'd jumped down and was making his way towards me, not yet in view.  He'd lost much of his body weight the previous year or two.  

My heart was broken, not just for losing him, but even more for the suffering he'd gladly endured just to be my cat one more year, one more month, one more day.  He was the best.

I can relate to your story for it's very similar.  I don't regret the quick decision to end his suffering, rather I regret the suffering he endured to be with me that last month.  Had I only known sooner...but that is not on me, that is on that lousy vet office that didn't do their job as they should have.

You did the best you could for your cat.  I'm sorry we were left feeling our hasty goodbyes, our cats deserved everything.  You know what?  I bet they think they had everything!  They had their lives with us!  They were happy.

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Thank you, kayc.

Yes, the name Fancy suited my baby girl perfectly. I used to call her Fatsy every now and then but when I did I never meant it maliciously; I thought of it more as Patsy but with an F. I would never have said or done anything degrading to my best friend.

First, I'm very sorry for the loss of King George (and your husband, as well). Please accept my condolences. Your story about your beloved companion was both moving and heartbreaking; moving because you had such a long(!) and wonderful companionship with him and I loved reading about how he was your little greeter; heartbreaking because you found yourself in a hopeless situation due to that vet's carelessness. I wish you and your King George wouldn't have had to deal with people who were so unsuited to a job dealing with care and compassion. That seems to be too common an occurrence these days, unfortunately. Just know you did all you could and made a great effort to heal your cherished friend and when nothing else could be done you made the most merciful and selfless decision you could. I'm sure he knew that, too. No regrets!

The vet I had been taking my Fancy to was very pleasant. Not at all cold, stuffy or unapproachable (same couldn't be said for all of the staff, though- one wretched tech, in particular) and he helped get her back on track after 2 hospitalizations for diabetes, so I grew to trust him pretty quickly. That's why I took his word at first when he said not to worry about her heavy breathing (although I have to say I had a parental instinct that something wasn't right). I had forgotten to mention in my original post that in addition to my baby girl developing heavy breathing she also started to groom herself excessively. The fur on the sides of her body was changing from its normal black color to a reddish brown. Our vet said the frequent grooming was probably just due to stress, which I kind of accepted as a possible explanation because I had started a new job with a new schedule shortly before all this began and thought that might have been the reason for my baby girl's anxiety (although I felt it was odd since up to that point I had bounced between different shifts every few years with never any apparent changes in my Fancy girl those other times). In hindsight I can't help questioning our vet's judgment. Isn't the job of any medical professional to get to the root of a problem, not just assume?

On one hand I want to blame my vet for negligence but on the other I wonder if I'm being entirely fair to him. I know he said that performing a scope wouldn't have been ideal when I brought up Fancy's breathing issues the second time but ultimately that's what he ended up doing anyway and by then it was too late. But, then again, did he only agree to perform the scope because he saw how desperate I was to help my baby girl? He did come in on his day off to perform the procedure but was that because he genuinely cared or because he knew he screwed up and it was his way of making amends? I don't know. All I know is that the wheels in my brain have been turning ever since I said goodbye to my precious Fancy 3 weeks ago to the day.

We definitely did all we could for our loved ones and we should be able to rest easy knowing we gave all our love and devotion to them.

Thanks again for reaching out, kayc. It's greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Missing My Fancy said:

He did come in on his day off to perform the procedure but was that because he genuinely cared or because he knew he screwed up and it was his way of making amends?

Perhaps he felt both of those things.

18 hours ago, Missing My Fancy said:

did he only agree to perform the scope because he saw how desperate I was to help my baby girl?

It provided you the knowledge of what was going on but it wasn't likely he'd have been able to save her regardless, that's a pretty hard area to get to and the risk would have been prohibitive, same as my cat's was way too widespread by the time it was discovered.

I hope you can lay aside the urge to blame yourself, you are blameless, the only thing you are guilty of is loving your cat!  And you did a good job of that.  (((hugs)))

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Thank you so much for the reassuring words, kayc.

It's true that our vet may have had a few reasons to come in. I just can't shake the thought that he had to have treated other animals with larynx cancer and known the signs- at least some of them (the heavy breathing and the excessive grooming resulting in fur discoloration). How does a supposedly competent vet who works at an animal hospital and specializes in medical procedures miss this? This is a question that's going to be rolling around in my mind for a long time.

And yes, our vet did say removing the cancer would be extremely risky and that he could try but that if there was a mistake my poor Fancy could bleed out and even if he succeeded the cancer would be likely to return. And on top of that I know the recovery process for my baby girl would have been long and painful and I would never have been able to see her suffer like that. Thinking back on all the months of her labored breathing and to now know what the cause was has been excruciating enough for me. But yes, as you said the scope provided me with the knowledge of what was going on and at the very- VERY- least I have the closure of having gotten a diagnosis for my best friend and soulmate.

Thank you for the comforting words. I loved my Fancy with all my heart and soul- and still do- and I have to keep in mind that her happiness and well-being were always a priority for me, so even if the end result was the worst one possible I have the consolation of knowing it wasn't my fault.

Best wishes to you, kayc.

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You know, I can't think of one of my dogs' or cats' deaths that I haven't asked what if or regretted something about.  I'm not sure there IS a good ending to such a wonderful life.  Huck, parents euthanized without telling me, age 15.  Lobo, ran into foul play, 2.  Brandy, disappeared, age 5.  Baby, choked on a bone he accidentally got.  Missy, someone ran over.  Teddy, put down one day before his 10th birthday...bit someone (he had brain cancer).  Taffy, attacked by a wild animal, had to be put down, 9.  Midnight, caught in a trap for five days, gangrene had set in, lost a lot of blood, had to be put down, 2.  Fluffy, overheated and died in van, didn't know he was there, 10.  Autumn, went off to die at 14.  Never found her body.  Tigger, ran away after my husband died. King George, cancer, had to be put down, 19.  Chappy, fell prey to a cougar, 2.  Lucky, arthritic pain, had to be put down, 14.  Miss Mocha, suspect prey to cougar, never found anything,14.  For each one of these I have regrets except maybe Lucky, I knew it was time, she was whimpering in her sleep.  There's a few others I can't even talk about to this day.  It's never easy, none of them, these are the furry animals that have comprised my life.  Death regrets, wishes, we could right a book about them, we all have them.

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You had so many companions, kayc! That's wonderful. Terribly sad, though, that you had to experience so many untimely losses.

For me, there was Nicky the yorkie (who I always say was my Mom and Dad's first kid) who lived a long life but was put down due to chronic asthma and complications from old age. Then we had Homer the cat who we took in after someone dropped him off just up the street from my parents house.  He was such a good cat and, of course, well-loved. He was an outdoor cat but always came home without fail. Then one morning my Mom received a call from her friend telling her there was a dead cat that looked a lot like ours alongside the road. Must have been hit by a car. Tragically enough it was our Homer. That was a devastating day. I was just a middle schooler and it was the first shock death I had ever experienced. To lose my beloved friend in such a way haunted me. I took it very hard for a very long time. There were some nights when I was terribly grief-stricken and couldn't sleep so I'd sneak out of the house and go to his grave in our backyard to talk to him. But early in my freshman year of high school we went to the SPCA and adopted Tiger Boy. He had a mischievous streak but he was adored and pampered just like all of our other animals. He was with us up until the beginning of my senior year of college. We kept him strictly indoors but one day he snuck out while the door was open. I was living in an apartment near my college, which was 2 hours away from my parents house. When I found out Tiger had gotten out I was beside myself. I drove the 2 hours home to my parents to look for him, going up into the woods to see if I could find any trace of him. For about a week the process was: drive 2 hours to my parents so I could look for Tiger, drive 2 hours back up to my apartment a day or 2 later and then back to my parents. I looked for him day and night, rain and shine, by foot and by car, but I never found our Tiger.

One of the friends I was living with saw how heartbroken and depressed I was over the loss of Tiger and suggested she bring a recently adopted cat from her cousin's house. This cat had been found in the woods behind their house fairly recently and since they already had 2 big dogs and another cat it wasn't the best arrangement for any of them. I wasn't really ready to accept another animal into my life but since I deeply missed the companionship of a furry little one I agreed. That's how my Fancy came into my life, and right away she singled me out and decided I was going to be her person. And so I was, from then on and forever after.

I apologize for the tangent but your comment stirred up a wonderful remembrance of all the cherished furry companions I've had throughout my life. Like you, I haven't had the greatest luck with my animals as far as health and unexpected tragedy, but the bond I had with them was everything (particularly the one I had with my Fancy because I had her for so long and we did so much together).

 

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I love your story of how you came by Fancy's acquaintance and how well that went!  It is heartbreaking to lose our animals, but the joy we get from their companionship far outweighs that for me.  I can't imagine life without them in it.  I hope you are one day able to have another in your life.  The dog and cat I have now are nothing like the ones previous, and so it is, each of them making their own spot in our hearts for who they are...and us continuing to miss our ones gone by...

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Thanks, kayc! I know I'll never have another companion like my Fancy- she left such a stamp on my heart!- but the joy of having pets is that they bring their own distinct personalities and energies to your life.

I feel that the most painful part of the grieving period for my Fancy may be drawing to a close. Since this past Friday I've received several (what I interpret to be) signs from my baby girl. Friday was the 3rd week anniversary of her passing and around the time she was put to sleep (2:15pm) the sun came out after a morning of gloomy, rainy weather. I thought, "oh, it would be so nice if that sunlight and blue sky were a sign from my Fancy girl" but I just shrugged it off. Then early Sat morning I had a dream and although I don't remember what it was about, I woke up from it with my arm around her cat bed and feeling like she was right there beside me. It took all of a microsecond to realize that she wasn't and so I chalked it up to my mind playing cruel tricks on me but then I got another sign on Saturday evening when the song "Sister Golden Hair" came on the radio. That song had gotten stuck in my head about 2 months ago and at that time I came up with the nickname "Sister Fancy Ebony Fur" for my baby girl. I had been calling her that up until she passed away. Finally, last night after coming home from work I felt a wave of relief wash over me and I was left feeling blissful, as though my Fancy or God or perhaps the 2 were telling me, "hey, you've suffered enough and now it's time for the pain to go away". That euphoric feeling- so very thankfully!- has continued on, so far. I still miss my Fancy deeply and I've cried several times already today but the tears were of joy and thankfulness instead of anguish and despair. It's the first time I've been able to breathe easy since April 4th, as though the weight I'd been carrying on my chest has finally been lifted. I think now the time has come for rejoicing and remembering.

Thank you for your kindness and support in all of this, kayc. Wishing you peace and happiness.

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I wish for you that the mourning will become less frequent and your heart receive healing peace.  I know it can come in waves, I had to learn to let them ride out, I've heard it likened to a roller coaster, yes it can be like that.  Keep on breathing easy!

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On 4/28/2019 at 8:33 PM, kayc said:

I'm not sure there IS a good ending to such a wonderful life.

Kayc thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us, and so blessed they are your many loved pets for you remember them, and honor them by sharing with us even with their endings.

If I live in an igloo and am a monk who never or is so little changed by my surrounding maybe my dear cat would have continued to live.

But then maybe my dear cat would be bored...

I wish all of us here animal lovers much peace and strength.

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On 4/25/2019 at 9:46 AM, Missing My Fancy said:

People have been trying to reassure me that my Fancy had a good and long life but I keep asking, why couldn't it have been longer? Why couldn't she have lived out a full, natural life instead of ending up with something so terrible? Why couldn't she have been with me for a few more years? It just doesn't feel right not seeing her...

I feel so badly for you in losing your beloved kitty - it was heart-wrenching to read your story. It is terrible to lose your best friend. People say these things about how so-and-so had a good and long life and I don't think they realize that it's no kindness to say that. Losing a loved one is always too soon, and grief is not about them - it's your loss and you are the one who got "ripped off" in not getting enough time, not the one who died. 

The Guinness book of world records on cat longevity is 38 and I can tell you that if my Lena lived to be 39 it would not be ok. I have had her for six years and she is eight now. Based on statistics, chances are we are closer to the beginning of our relationship than the end. But statistics say nothing about an individual. Many indoor cats who are well cared for live to be 20, but there is no guarantee. There is nothing I haven't and wouldn't do for Lena, but there is no guarantee of anything.

Be easy on yourself, and know that it is a long road. I lost a cat named Freya and while the devastated-can't-stop-crying part didn't last all that long, I had dreams of finding her for twenty years. These dreams were like the end of a Hallmark movie...we would run towards each other in a field of flowers, she would leap into my arms, and we'd spin around in each others' arms in the sunshine. I had a dream not long ago that Lena went into the underworld through some hole at the end of the street and reappeared with Freya and my best friend's old cat. It has now been more than 30 years since I lost Freya and in some way she is still part of my life and my heart. Relationships don't end when someone dies; they change and we have to live with that as best as we can. Fancy was beautiful and she will always be a part of you...

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Thank you so much for your compassionate and beautiful words, Clematis. Your Lena is adorable. Black cats are the best! Before getting my Fancy I never thought I'd have one. Now it feels so wrong to NOT have one.

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People say these things about how so-and-so had a good and long life and I don't think they realize that it's no kindness to say that. Losing a loved one is always too soon, and grief is not about them - it's your loss and you are the one who got "ripped off" in not getting enough time, not the one who died.

That's so true. When I took my Fancy to the vet for the last time I had no idea at all that it would be the last time. In my mind she was going to be hospitalized for a few days, treated and then I was going to bring her home. We were going to spend at least a few more years together. I had so much love left to give her. I was woefully unprepared for the hopeless diagnosis my baby girl received and hearing people say that she lived a long time is no consolation and has not brought me any comfort. The fact is she got cancer and didn't get to live out a full, natural life and I'm left to deal with the passing of my soulmate. You're absolutely correct in saying that "losing a loved one is always too soon", and in mine and my Fancy's case it was WAY too soon.

 

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The Guinness book of world records on cat longevity is 38 and I can tell you that if my Lena lived to be 39 it would not be ok. I have had her for six years and she is eight now. Based on statistics, chances are we are closer to the beginning of our relationship than the end. But statistics say nothing about an individual. Many indoor cats who are well cared for live to be 20, but there is no guarantee. There is nothing I haven't and wouldn't do for Lena, but there is no guarantee of anything.

It's true that we can never know for sure how long we'll have a loved one, no matter how well they're cared for. All we can do is continue to give them our love and devotion. I'm certain you would do everything and anything for your beloved Lena. Lord knows I showed every kindness to my Fancy and spared no expense for her. Even though I amassed a crushing amount of debt in order to get medical attention for her I don't regret it because I wanted to help her. What I DO regret, though, is that our vet put off finding the cause of my baby girl's troubled breathing for too long and there was basically nothing that could be done to save my best friend by the time he finally decided to take action.

 

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These dreams were like the end of a Hallmark movie...we would run towards each other in a field of flowers, she would leap into my arms, and we'd spin around in each others' arms in the sunshine. I had a dream not long ago that Lena went into the underworld through some hole at the end of the street and reappeared with Freya and my best friend's old cat. It has now been more than 30 years since I lost Freya and in some way she is still part of my life and my heart. Relationships don't end when someone dies; they change and we have to live with that as best as we can. Fancy was beautiful and she will always be a part of you... 

Those dreams sounded beautiful! Did you feel they were just dreams or that they were signs from your Lena? I don't know if you read my one response to kayc up above, but I've already received what I truly believe are signs from my baby girl. I've lost many loved ones over the years (both animal and human) but have never experienced what I experienced last weekend with my Fancy. I'm something of a cynic and never put much belief in metaphysical or supernatural stuff before but I don't think what occurred could be chalked up to mere coincidences. I believe my Fancy girl was communicating with me to let me know she's fine and that I shouldn't hold on to the tremendous anguish I'd been feeling. I've felt lighter ever since. I rest a lot easier now because I believe, as you said, relationships don't end when a loved one passes away, they merely evolve. Do I have my baby girl with me to kiss and pet and snuggle with anymore? No, and that saddens me a great deal- but I feel her spirit is around and watching over me, reassuring me that things are ok and that we'll be together again someday. I truly believe my soulmate will always be with me.

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Our dreams show us they are still with us in our hearts and minds and will never be entirely lost to us.  

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On 5/2/2019 at 7:29 AM, Missing My Fancy said:

Those dreams sounded beautiful! Did you feel they were just dreams or that they were signs

I really don't know if they are signs from Freya or not. She had such a distinctive personality - I think I would recognize her anywhere and in any form. I think it's quite possible for a pet to return in the form of another pet. It has crossed my mind that there could be a connection between Freya and Lena, but written that off because they are SO different. Freya was a wild thing and I was the only person in the world for her.  Lena is a "people" cat, and incredibly social. Part of that is the socialization I helped her with, but part of it is just her. She is a friendly pushy food-loving pussycat. She loves all kinds of people, but I am special to her and she trusts me to make the world - and other people - safe. Freya trusted me not to hurt her, but she didn't think I or anyone could make the world safe. She was always looking over her shoulder for possible threats. Lena and Freya are very different souls. Nevertheless, I do know that Freya is still around me because Lena sees her. I got that from the dream where Lena went into the underworld and brought back Freya to show me. Lena hates living cats, but apparently spirit cats are ok. So, anyway, I think Freya has been hanging around me for a long time after she passed.

I have thought about this kind of thing quite a bit since my dad died because he talks to me. I hear him talking to me and I recognize him because I recognize his voice. I don't know how I would recognize Freya's spirit if she was right here next to me. There are times when I think Lena is in the bed with me, or more like on the bed when I am sleeping. Occasionally she is, but usually not. I don't know what that means. Sometimes I think I see Lena out of the corner of my eye but when I turn around she is not there. Perhaps it is Freya. I don't know.

I had a fifteen year period during which I could not have a pet due to allergies and I was grief stricken and angry. I had a burning envy of others who were able to have cats and I thought I would never ever have a cat again. But I had dreams - for 20 years - that I was much older and I was puttering around my tiny garden with a tabby cat winding around my legs in the sunshine. This always gave me hope that I would indeed someday have a cat in my life. And now I have Lena. And I have a garden in my tiny yard. She seems so much like the cat in the garden dreams, but I thought that couldn't be Lena because Lena is black. But Lena seems like the garden dream cat. Then I learned that underneath all cats are tabbies, just like all jaguars are spotted - it's just hard to see the spots on the black ones unless they are in the sun.

My dad never believed that there was anything at all after death other than the classic picture of heaven. No reincarnation, no spirit world, none of that. I bet he was really surprised when he realized that he could contact me after he died. He showed up right away, and got Lena's attention. Lena responded by licking me over and over on the face until I woke up in the dark and looked at my phone to see a missed call. Later that day I heard him talking to me, making suggestions and comments. The only time I have gotten a message from him in a dream was when I was trying really hard to get him to tell me the combination to get into the Mercury he left me. Maybe I was trying too hard,  and maybe he didn't know how to tell me numbers...or maybe he told me and I missed it and kept asking him for the number. In the dream he was showing me a little book with great intention and I knew it was about the code. When I woke up I realized he was showing me the owner's manual and I trotted over to his house and fetched it. Sure enough, there was the code!

I don't know why I hear my dad like I do. I have also heard his dad and my mother's dad, but not as much as my dad. I have the feeling that he's always kind of around, and when I start to stress about something or am really focused on him, he suddenly says something. I have been afraid he would only stick around for a while and would move on, but he keeps telling me that he'll never leave me. I think I'm starting to believe him.

I have a friend, Wayne, who died late last fall. I heard from him several times after he died and asked him directly why he was talking to me because there were quite a number of people who miss him and that he was a lot closer to when he was alive. He said, "yeah I know but you're the only one who will listen to me." I'm not sure how it is that I can hear Wayne, and my dad and the others. I think it's possible to try too hard to hear them, because then you doubt that you are really hearing them. And it's hard to believe something that everyone around you is telling you is all in your head. I try to keep it to myself...

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It's amazing that you're able to hear your deceased loved ones! I've never had that experience but I can say I definitely feel the spirits of certain loved ones who have passed away (namely my Fancy girl and my Nana). My Nana passed away on her 98th birthday back in September of 2017 and an hour after her passing a rainbow appeared in the sky. I haven't received any recognizable or distinct signs from her since then where I've thought, "oh, hey, that's my Nana trying to tell me something"  but I do feel that she's always with me. In some ways it's like she never left. My Fancy was/is my soulmate and I've received several unmistakable signs from her since her passing back on April 5th. They all came last weekend for some reason, though. Maybe my baby girl knew she would need to reach out to me in succession in order for me to "get the message", so to speak. Otherwise if the signs were spread out over a long period I may have interpreted them as mere coincidences. But anyway, one of them was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. On Sunday night a wave of total bliss washed over my whole body and I could literally feel the weight of grief that had been laying heavy on my chest just lift off, as though this burden I had been carrying for weeks just evaporated. It was an extraordinary sensation! I felt delirious afterwards and I know in my heart that my Fancy girl had a hand- correction, paw!- in it. It was exactly what I needed. The elated feeling has dulled since then but at least I haven't been in a constant state of anguish the way I was. I would love to have another experience like that again and hopefully it would be soon!

I completely understand your hesitation about sharing your experiences. Sometimes people just don't "get it".  But it's important to trust your heart.

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20 hours ago, Missing My Fancy said:

I've never had that experience but I can say I definitely feel the spirits of certain loved ones who have passed away

It seems to me that these experiences are individualistic, and it depends on who the parties are. My mother was a lot more communicative than my father when they were alive, but he is the one I have heard from since their deaths. I hear him talking to me in straightforward English, and he is more chatty than when he was alive. It's like he just figured it out and had a high desire to "be there for me". My mother, with whom I had a relationship with many many unresolved problems...well, it's been very different. I have never heard her speak since her death, but I had quite a number of odd experiences with rabbits. I think she was waiting for my dad to join her. In life she was obsessed with bunnies since she was a small child, when she had pet rabbits. She always got excited about them, and it was actually a clue to her early dementia - when she could not follow or participate in a conversation, she would wind the topic into either her childhood or something about bunnies. So, after she died I think she was hanging around my dad - and me, since I was close to him.

I would be hiking on a trail or walking in the neighborhood where my dad and I lived and a rabbit would appear, running towards me or across my path, stopping within 6 feet of me and staring at me. I had the feeling that it had something to do with my mother and I was annoyed and worried about it. At first I thought she was coming to get him, and I wasn't ready to lose him. I would talk to these rabbits aloud saying things like, "No, no, no, don't take him away from me! I need him!" Eventually I got the feeling that she was trying to tell me to take care of him. Eventually everyone realized that I took better care of him than she had. The bunny interactions stopped. Did she understand what everyone else did? I don't know. And then near his death the bunnies reappeared and I was again afraid that she had shown up to take him away from me. There were no words from the bunnies - or her, but I got the very calming message somehow that she really had loved me. I don't understand if she couldn't figure out how to communicate, or if she was prohibited somehow. She was a horribly destructive parent. I don't know. Mostly, I am still relieved that she is no longer here, but still she was able to communicate with me and I was able to get the message.

But then I never heard from Freya, the wild little Tortie I loved so much so long ago, the first pet I had on my own as an adult. That is wonderful that you have had these experiences where you can feel her spirit with you and you know that it is her. I can't say that I have had that experience. It's quite possible that there have been spirits around me and I never believed whatever I felt was real. It seems like my dad knew I needed something more concrete and so he flat out talks to me and I recognize his voice. But Freya...I don't know. I think because of the dream about Lena bringing back Freya from the Underworld/spirit world that Freya has been hanging around all these years, and it may be that it's her when I get the sense that a cat is there and none is there, but I don't know. It seems magical that you sense Fancy and know for sure that it's her.

It's so hard to know what is going on with people who have died, or their spirits. I think sometimes spirits are really ready to move on, to another life or somewhere, no matter how bonded there were to loved ones when they were here. I feel like my mother moved on after my father died, but he is still hanging around here and is keeping me company. I'm so glad he is - I need him. I hope he keeps waiting for me; it could be a long time.

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I have never heard her speak since her death, but I had quite a number of odd experiences with rabbits. I think she was waiting for my dad to join her. In life she was obsessed with bunnies since she was a small child, when she had pet rabbits. She always got excited about them, and it was actually a clue to her early dementia - when she could not follow or participate in a conversation, she would wind the topic into either her childhood or something about bunnies. So, after she died I think she was hanging around my dad - and me, since I was close to him.

I would be hiking on a trail or walking in the neighborhood where my dad and I lived and a rabbit would appear, running towards me or across my path, stopping within 6 feet of me and staring at me. I had the feeling that it had something to do with my mother and I was annoyed and worried about it. At first I thought she was coming to get him, and I wasn't ready to lose him. I would talk to these rabbits aloud saying things like, "No, no, no, don't take him away from me! I need him!" Eventually I got the feeling that she was trying to tell me to take care of him. Eventually everyone realized that I took better care of him than she had. The bunny interactions stopped. Did she understand what everyone else did? I don't know. And then near his death the bunnies reappeared and I was again afraid that she had shown up to take him away from me. There were no words from the bunnies - or her, but I got the very calming message somehow that she really had loved me

I found all of this very interesting. Having so many run-ins with rabbits when you knew that particular animal held such a significance for your mother definitely seems like she was trying to communicate with you. I haven't dealt with anything like that but my Aunt who had been my Nana's housemate and caretaker has been fixated on cardinals ever since my Nana passed away in 2017. A cardinal sighting is supposedly a sign that a deceased loved one is nearby and my Aunt has had several. This has brought her the sense that my Nana is doing well and sending her love. As far as your relationship with your mother, I'm sorry it wasn't a very positive one but so nice to hear that you felt she was reaching out to tell you she loved you. I'm sure that was a very welcomed bit of closure for you.

 

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That is wonderful that you have had these experiences where you can feel her spirit with you and you know that it is her. I can't say that I have had that experience. It's quite possible that there have been spirits around me and I never believed whatever I felt was real. It seems like my dad knew I needed something more concrete and so he flat out talks to me and I recognize his voice. But Freya...I don't know. I think because of the dream about Lena bringing back Freya from the Underworld/spirit world that Freya has been hanging around all these years, and it may be that it's her when I get the sense that a cat is there and none is there, but I don't know. It seems magical that you sense Fancy and know for sure that it's her.

I'd always been very skeptical and pretty disbelieving about communicating with the dead, psychics and things of that ilk prior to my Fancy's passing. In all honesty I always thought people who said they were visited by a dead relative or could see dead people/animals were either crazy, attention-seeking or both. Now, in spite of myself, I feel a bit differently. Friday, April 26 was the third week anniversary of my Fancy's passing and I was terribly depressed but around 2:15pm (the time she was put to sleep) the sun came out after being gloomy all day prior. Then early the next morning (Saturday, the 27th) I had a dream and while I couldn't remember the dream at all it was enough to wake me up and when I woke up I thought that my Fancy girl was curled up next to me; through my sleep-hazed eyes I swore I saw her for a split second. Sunday night (the 28th) "Sister Golden Hair" came on the radio while I was at work and that song was significant because about 2 months prior it was stuck in my head which prompted me at that time to nickname my baby girl "Sister Fancy Ebony Fur". Finally when I got home from work that night, I sat down feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. All of a sudden I felt this exhilarating rush of relief all over my body and as it grew stronger I couldn't stop myself from sobbing with joy. I felt delirious, elated and full of bliss. I'd never experienced a sensation like that before in my life. I literally felt the heaviness of anguish on my chest be lifted away and I noticed a significant change in my ability to breathe. The immense grief that had been weighing on my heart was gone just like that and suddenly everything was put into perspective. It was as though my Fancy came to me and said, "you've suffered enough and now the pain's going to go away so you can move on". I know I must sound totally nuts but I swear on my life I'm telling the truth. Of course I still miss my Fancy but things have definitely been a lot easier for me since having that experience. I wish everyone could feel what I felt at least one time in their life.

 

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It's so hard to know what is going on with people who have died, or their spirits. I think sometimes spirits are really ready to move on, to another life or somewhere, no matter how bonded there were to loved ones when they were here.

I agree. My Nana was like a second mom to me but other than seeing a rainbow in the sky about an hour after she passed away back in September of 2017, I haven't received any noticeable signs from her. What comforts me, though, is I feel her spirit. I don't see her or hear her but I just have a sense that she's around. My relationship with my Fancy has obviously been quite different. Like your Freya, my Fancy was the first pet I got while on my own. She came to me during my senior year of college while I was living in my first apartment. I was on the cusp of adulthood about to go out into the world and to have had such a great companion during that time was so very special. To have had her for 11 and a half years, though, is even more so. Not having her with me (physically, at least) has felt like the end of an era... and really, that's exactly what it is.

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On 5/8/2019 at 4:58 PM, Missing My Fancy said:

I agree. My Nana was like a second mom to me but other than seeing a rainbow in the sky about an hour after she passed away back in September of 2017, I haven't received any noticeable signs from her. What comforts me, though, is I feel her spirit. I don't see her or hear her but I just have a sense that she's around. My relationship with my Fancy has obviously been quite different. Like your Freya, my Fancy was the first pet I got while on my own. She came to me during my senior year of college while I was living in my first apartment. I was on the cusp of adulthood about to go out into the world and to have had such a great companion during that time was so very special. To have had her for 11 and a half years, though, is even more so. Not having her with me (physically, at least) has felt like the end of an era... and really, that's exactly what it is.

I think there is much that we don't know. I had ten years with my dad after my mother died, and it helped me to deal with things that had happened earlier. I also think he and I have a bond that goes beyond this life but I don't know what that is or what that means. I just feel it. If that is true and we have more together after this life when we were father and daughter, he will be waiting for me and so it makes sense that he would be hanging around keeping me company and offering advice and solace when I need it.

Sometimes when someone passes, there is a message that we receive and that is all. I don't know what that means, but I have had it happen. Many years ago I knew a woman named Cynthia and she was really really helpful to me in a job that was almost unbearable. She made it bearable. She was a volunteer and was living in Tucson, as was I. She was helping her adult son get established in Tucson when she became ill after some dental work. She went to CA to spend some time with her husband and see her own doctor. I had an intense dream one night that she came to see me where I worked and I was very excited to see her. In the dream she told me that I shouldn't be that excited because things had not gone as well as she had hoped. I woke up in the morning, all shook up, and managed to find and call her husband. He told me that she had died from an aggressive leukemia a couple of days before. Ever vigilant and attentive to detail, she couldn't help me anymore but she did want me to know what had happened to her and why she wasn't coming back. I really appreciated her letting me know because I would have had no idea, since we had no common friends or acquaintances. I would have never known. She wouldn't have wanted that. 

I suppose when we have also died things will be more clear to us...

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Reading your story gave me flashbacks to my own.  My cat had lung cancer and passed away a few months back.  I had been taking him to the vets regularly for hyperthyroid and had told the vets about his coughing and vomiting and they thought it was hairball related.  I had to bring him to the ER one night and they told me the news and I was flattened and devastated.  He was with me for a few more weeks.  


I am so sorry you had to go through this, it's truly one of the hardest things. As a caretaker for our pets we want to do what's best for them, and faced with news like this it is just so hard.

 

Sending you love and light, hoping that the sweet memories of your Fancy will bring you some solace.

 

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