Jump to content
Buster's Mom

Feeling guilty and still grieving

Recommended Posts

My beloved Buster, who lived with me across multiple states and eras of my life, died 2 months ago this week.  He had cancer, it was sudden, it was awful.  I miss him every day and I'm still grieving over his loss.

About two weeks ago I went to the shelter and ended up coming home with another cat.  Zuzu is a sweet, timid but sassy 2 year old tortie and I already care for her as she is starting to open up to us as she settles in to her new home.  When I went to the shelter I didn't feel "ready" to adopt another pet, but as I told my partner I figured I'd be grieving the loss of Buster for a long time to come. Getting another pet was not a replacement, but I wanted to help another animal in need and I honestly did not physically feel like I could leave the shelter without her. 

Still, it's been tricky.  As lovely as it is to have Zuzu and to get to know her, well, it has sort of exacerbated the grief I feel over Buster.  My heart still wants my sweet best friend back.  There will never be another cat like him, he truly was my "heart cat."  At the same time I have affection for this new sweet cat, I have guilt that I know is not "logical" over getting another cat "so soon" after B's passing. And as much as I know in my head I did not get her to "replace" Buster, as there is no replacement in my heart for him, there are times that I wish she would do things that Buster did, like purr me to sleep while sitting on my chest. That also makes me feel guilty that I think that, because it's not her fault she isn't my Buster cat and I know logically that we will develop our own unique kitty-person relationship. We already are. 

To make matters more difficult, she has a deep cough that is very likely just an upper respiratory infection she caught at the shelter and is under treatment for it, but it reminds me of Buster's cough right before we found out he had cancer.  I'm deeply worried about her health, and just hearing the cough is triggering and takes me right back to those awful days. I know I'm being intense about it and spending way too much time on PetMD worrying she has some kind of awful disease and worried that we'll have to go through this again, so soon.  I don't know if my heart could take it.  It's likely just a cold, but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it.

I'm not sure if anyone has adopted a new pet after losing their dear pet, or has ever felt like this before.  It feels complicated and illogical, but there you have it. Any advice or just knowing someone out there understands might help. Thank you for reading. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Busters mom, I understand where your coming from, and have had similar feelings. I  lost my heart dog, a big black beautiful Labrador named Quazar unexpectedly to a heart hemangiosarcoma that burster filling the pericardium sac arround the heart with blood. This only happened on Easter Sunday. Before this happened we had already decided to welcome a new pup into our lives to keep our almost 13 year old lab active and company. He did not act his age, he was very active and had no arthritis or medical issues before he passed unexpectedly from this horrific cancer. We lost him in just under 2 days. We had already made the commitment to this new fur baby, but I felt like I was dishounoring him by getting this new friend after he was gone. We only brought her home 4 days ago, and sometimes I think to myself I just want my boy back. My new fur baby is really sweet, but I thought I would have my boy by my side to help with her. He was so good with pups, all our friends would bring theirs over to have my boy be a big brother to them. So I do understand how you are feeling, if  my new girl even pants after play or gets hiccups i freak out. As  laboured breathing is what my boys symptom  was that brought us to the vet followed by him not being able to get up. So I am grieving and starting to love this new friend all at the same time. I thought about not bringing her home because of what happened. But I already had met her and already made a commitment to her. It's so very hard to grieve and be happy at the same time. What a mix of emotions. I totally understand where your coming from, you are not alone. I am so very sorry you are going through this greiving process to. It really sucks, I wish there was something I could say to make things easier. All I can say is that I write to my fur baby daily,  it helps a little. Sending you positive energy and healing thoughts your way.  And know you are doing everything right for your new fur baby.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buster's Mom,

I feel for you and totally get where you're coming from, I know I will feel that when my dog, Arlie, dies, he's elderly and he is my soul mate in a dog.  I also know I'll never have another dog like him, he's so smart and has a very unique personality, I just love him!  The thought of losing him terrifies me but I know it will happen in the not too distant future.  I also know I can't be dog-less and will adopt another as the house is too quiet without one and as I am aging, I can't get a Husky/Golden Retriever again, they have a lot of energy and are powerfully strong...the next dog will take me into my 80s.  It breaks my heart.  I also know I will have the same feelings you are going through right now.

I think all you can do is realize you are still mourning your Buster and you already know you don't expect Zuzu to be him, still we would be elated if that were the case.  In time your love for Zuzu will grow but will never be a replacement for Buster.  I have lost many many dogs and cats in my lifetime, I was closer to some that others for various reasons, but I love each one and miss them still.  I have Kitty who is 24 but I lost Miss Mocha three years ago 6/3 and her and Kitty were nothing alike, so even though I still have Kitty with me, it doesn't relieve the missing Miss Mocha.  What it does do is give me a family to interact with.  I can't imagine how lonely these walls would be without Arlie and Kitty.  But I still miss Miss Mocha, terribly.  She was a very unique cat, I've never seen another like her, with a feminine dainty meow and flirtatious, she'd blink blink her blue eyes at men and lay on her back and roll side to side, she always won them over with her feminine wiles, even if they weren't cat people!  Then she'd look over at me like, "See?  I got him!"  She was so sweet, she'd lay on my lap and knead me, she slept pressed up against me, I adored her and it's still hard.  I've learned to live with the "missing them", all of these precious members of my family I've lost...the pain lessens in (much) time, but always they'll have and belong in our hearts.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to you both.

April, I'm so sorry to hear about Quazar. I loved my black lab growing up, and Quazar sounds like just the sweetest pup ever.  His passing also seems so sudden, that's so difficult to bear.  I really feel with you about your new puppy, but it truly seems like you did the right thing in adopting her and have such a beautiful way of talking about it.  It was so truly comforting to read that you are going through something that is so similar.  I think we both will be grieving and learning to care and love a new little personality all the while.  

It is really hard, but even just writing it out helps a little.  I do think that having Zuzu is helping just, as you said KayC, in having a "family" to love when I get home from work. It's great to see her growing more comfortable every day.  But, no there is no replacement for Buster.  His personality was so unique, he changed from a feral cat to a lap cat over his lifetime, and he was my constant companion from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep. He just was my heart and soul.  And it is soon, only a few months, after losing him.  Honestly a new kitty in my home has heightened my sense of loss a little, but it has also helped to care for a cat who now no longer has to live in a shelter.  

Thank you both for responding.  I think it's hard and it is just going to be day to day.  

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buster's Mom, 

I also had a black lab growing up, my first dog.  I got him when I was five, got to pick him out, when I left home I wasn't allowed to take him.  When I was 20 my mom called and told me they had him put to sleep.  No warning, no goodbyes, nothing terrible wrong with him, he was just old so they did it.  I would have gladly taken him had they told me what they were thinking.  I guess we viewed animals differently.  Years later my grown son asked me what you do when your dog becomes incontinent.  I told him, "You clean it up, same as you would for an old person."  I explained to him that it wasn't his dog's fault, that he'd always done his best to KEEP from going where he shouldn't, we later found out he had a rectal tumor.  It's so hard watching those we love grow old. ..and even harder saying goodbye.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...