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My Baby Gone Too Soon


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On Monday after a sudden illness and week long fight I had to say goodbye to my beautiful orange tabby Samson - just 2 1/2 years old.

He began throwing up on Sunday. He had two vet trips on Monday and Tuesday with X rays and medicine he was still listless, eating very little, regurgitating and swallowing, and not moving his bowels. After exploratory surgery on Friday thinking he had an obstruction, they discovered that his intestinal track was not moving and not a healthy pink color, but grayish. They gave him more than one medication that should have gotten it working, but he continued to decline all weekend. My vet even came in on a Sunday to see him and give him more meds and fluids.

I dropped him off at the vet Monday hoping that with some more care, and possibly a feeding tube, he would pull through. But by noon his organs started failing and he had a stroke. Eventually he wasn't breathing well and I couldn't allow him to suffer slowly so, even though I couldn't be there with him I had to let him go.

As a kitten he had an upper respiratory infection, then problems with his anal glands. In October he went through a UTI followed by another URI and then in November surgery to remove a foreign object from his stomach. He was always trying eat things he shouldn't - like bread, crackers, beans, cellophane, thread, rubber bands etc. And I was so careful to keep small objects and plastic and other things he liked but could swallow away from him. His vet believes that he ate something poisonous possibly chocolate, though I can't figure out what it could possibly have been or when it could have happened. I'll probably never know for sure.

Samson was such a special kitty. He purred as soon as anyone touched him. He was friendly and outgoing, a real "people person" and so young. He was a talker too. His meow when he wanted something or was looking for me in the house sounded just like he was calling "mom." He liked to be carried, or to ride around on people's shoulders. He loved anyone that came into the house and wanted to be with people and playing (almost) all the time. He wasn't what you would call a lap kitty, but he would snuggle with me. He would knead my lap and then curl up there to sleep.


Delilah and Samson in 2010

I'm heart broken and struggling with so many emotions. I'm so angry that this happened to him so young. I feel guilty that I should have done something more to help him. Maybe if I had paid better attention to his stools I would have noticed something going wrong because I don't think he could have poisoned himself. Or if I had weighed him on a regular basis (a goal of mine when the were kittens) I'd have noticed his UTI and gotten him to a vet then maybe his immune system would have been stronger - I don't know. And if he did get into something poisonous (though I've been through the house top to bottom more than once and can't find anything the vet says would cause this reaction) then I feel like I didn't do my job as his mom in protecting him. I'm sad for missing him, and I am sad for his best friend, Delilah my beautiful black kitty, who I adopted with him. She has already started missing him - crying and wandering the house, she stops eating 2 or 3 times a meal to sit at the kitchen door where she calls for him.

I have no answers about how or why this happened to him. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye. And all I want to do is curl up in a tight ball to cry and grieve. But life goes on and I have all these other obligations (work, a job interview, my other wonderful kitty) but other than Delilah, I can't seem to care about any of them. My house is so quiet now with out him and I miss him terribly.

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I'm sorry you lost your Samson too soon. That is how I felt about my Chappy because I only got to have him about two years and a cougar got him. We always wish we had more time to hold them, tell them how much we love them, but the truth is, we loved them completely and did our best. Our time with them is a gift and truly none of us knows how long it will last.

My daughter's cat, Casey, died a week ago and I told her if she wants to keep her eye out for another one and I'll get it for her because their remaining cat, Rick, is so lonely without her. It's so hard because we can't explain to them what happened or where they are and you know they're wondering.

My thoughts are with you as you suffer this loss, I pray comfort finds you.

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Thank you for the reply. You are right and I try to tell myself that I did the very best I could by Samson. And I did love him completely. I can't imagine ever finding another kitty as special as he was. I've been looking at some pictures when I think they won't make me break down, and I've been trying to write down memories of him so I never forget how wonderful he was. It's rough because I think about it all the time and I don't really have anyone to talk to about it (why my original post was so long). So thank you again.

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You can come here and talk about it any time you want, there's always a listening ear nearby.

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  • 1 month later...

Last Sunday was Mothers Day here in South Africa. When I awoke early Sunday morning, I noticed my 7 month old kitten Patches had not come in to greet me as he always did first thing in the morning. Most nights he slept next to me at least for part of the night too. I was worried about this. Also, my beautiful lilac Burmese, called Rupert, was not around. So I got dressed and went outside to call. Normally Patches would come roaring up to me all lovey and purring. Nothing.

I walked to the areas around our home where Rupert liked to hang out and called. Nothing. This went on up until lunchtime, all the time I was feeling sicker and sicker. You see, Patches was one of a litter that we rescued. We managed to find a home for one kitty, but couldn't for the other three, so we kept them and I adore them all. They were like the 3 musketeers, always playing together outside of our house and in the bushy area across the road from our house. On Saturday, I was sitting there with all of them, and the kittens were playing and happy, and Rupert was lying on his back asking for a chin-rub. I commented to my Mom that I was so pleased to see them so happy in our new home.

So, Sunday lunchtime, I noticed blood in the road, with white and beige fur. My heart dropped. I went deeper into the bushes and saw my little Patches lying dead. A few metres away was Rupert, dead too. Except he had been eaten away by something, and was surrounded by his beautiful beige fur. I am completely traumatised by this. I can't sleep, I can barely take care of my home, to be honest, I would like to curl up and die, the heartache is so bad. We live in an area where wild animals have been seen. When we moved here two months ago, the locals told us not to worry about wild animals, they didn't come this far onto the estate. Obviously they do, and I suspect it was Lynx.

I can't bear it, Patches was a mama's boy, it's like there is a huge empty space in our home now. I feel so guilty that I didn't bring them all in every night, I feel that I have contributed towards what must have been an awful death for them. I don't even want to mix with people, talk, or do anything. I want to scream because the hurt and the missing is so bad. A year ago my Dad died a painful death from cancer, recently my Mom had to give up our family home, and now this. It's like I barely recover from one terrible thing, and then another hits me.

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I am so sorry for your loss...when you have one after another like that, it tends to pile up so it's hard to deal with them one at a time.

No matter whether you'd brought them in at night or not, you still could have lost them. I lost my husband nearly seven years ago, and was given a cat, Chappy a few months later. I felt Chappy was a special gift and he used to sleep on my chest with his arms around my neck and his head burrowed into me. A few months later I lost Chappy due to a cougar in my back yard. I'd never had one here before to my knowledge, and haven't seen one since, but there was one then...and I never saw Chappy again.

Please don't feel you are to blame, sometimes we can't protect them from everything we'd like to and cats are very independent, they want to go outside when they want to...it makes it hard to protect them.

I am sorry for all of the losses you are experiencing.


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Hello K

Thanks for your kind and wise words. I think that is what my problem is - I want to protect my cats from everything. I always tell them it's a bad world out there!

I can't believe my Rupert won't be lying at my feet anymore when I paint, and little Patches won't be with my on the bed when I wake up.

I am sorry that you lost Chappy that way, when I read that, I thought you may understand how I feel. I'll keep visiting here, because it is very comforting to know I'm not alone. Thanks again for taking the time to help. Suzy

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That's why I shared that, so you'd know I understand. I had a really hard time when Chappy died, I thought it was bad enough to lose my husband, why did I have to have Chappy taken from me too! There are no answers, none that we can understand, but I've learned that loss is part of life's cycle and there's no predicting when it comes. I had one cat that lived to 19 (I adopted an older cat, "Kitty" and she's almost 17 now) yet sometimes we lose them their first year or two. It seems unfair. But "unfair" is an inequitable term for we aren't guaranteed any measure of life, we get what we get.

I wish there were something I could say to ease your pain. I'm so sorry.

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Yes Kay, I think that the big thing here is "acceptance". I've noticed that this is something I'm not very good at! I'm already 42, but I hope I can learn to accept things that happen a little more as I get older. You see, we always have loads of pets at any given time. Up until 2 months ago, we lived in a suburban area. We lost many pets there through cars. As I have sat and thought about it, it has always been me who has had to deal with it, alone, because my husband had a strange upbringing and is not able to show emotions or give any support. I've made many emergency trips to vets with hurt, suffering pets, spent the days after visiting my hurt pet at the vets rooms (if they've survived), cried in bed at night, walked the streets for days looking for missing pets, retrieved dead pets from where they were found, taken so so many pets to vet when euthanasia had to be carried out due to old age or ill health. I've done all of these things alone, and when I've come home from the vet without my pet, I've had to handle that alone too. There had never been a hug from my husband or emotional support. He's not a bad man, he just had a bad upbringing and doesn't know any better.

So, I think this is why each pet trauma I have is hurting so bad, like a piece of my heart breaks off each time I lose another. The thing is, I don't want to not have any more pets, thus avoiding any more heartache. There are too many pets in the world and the more I can care for, the better. Our Animal Shelters here try very hard, but they are not like 1st world Animal Shelters. They have really limited resources, very few vehicles, no government financial assistance, and rely solely on donations.

I'm sorry I'm rambling on. It just keeps coming out as I'm typing this letter to you.

Thank you for listening x

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Your husband may not know how to connect with his inner feelings...he may shut them off or bury them for lack of knowing how to deal with them. He may deal with his inner feelings quietly, alone, but not know how to comfort someone else in their time of need. Sometimes people who have had repressed childhoods need help knowing what to do since they didn't have that demonstrated for them in the crucial years. Have you tried just telling your husband matter of factly what you need from him (I need you to hold me just now)? My son had such an upbringing from his father, an Italian, he was taught NOT to show emotion, not to cry, etc. When he was a young man and I'd ask him to hug me, it was something like hugging a stiff ironing board for all the comfort I got from it. He is engaged now and he told his intended that he loves her but he doesn't know how to show it and he needs her to help him out with it...she has been great for him and I have watched him blossom through her patient tutoring. My daughter and I have been amazed!

To go through this alone is really hard. Do you have a friend or older child that could be present when you bury a pet, etc.? My son has been that one for me, but now he lives away...I think if I had to go through it now, I would have my neighbor, a good friend of mine, be present. I can't imagine doing it alone.

If there just is no one, at least come here and voice your thoughts, for as long as you need, that's what this place is for. I thank God for this site, it has been here for me through so much.

I do think (for me) getting older has lent me a broader perspective that has aided me tremendously. When you are young, you don't KNOW you will live through that break up, that death, that loss. When you are older, you have already survived so much in life and you know if you survived all of those hard places, you will this too. You know it's not fun to go through and you don't look forward to what is just ahead, but you put one foot in front of the other anyway, knowing you will eventually make it through to the other side. Loss may have a beginning but there is no definitive ending, rather it just evolves. Knowing that, you can realize it is a process and not expect more from yourself than you should and be patient and give yourself time, knowing that each little adjustment is part of that process. It's important to give ourselves credit for all we have already gone through and help ourselves prepare for that next footstep.


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Hello Kay

It's been a tough week, so I haven't been able to answer sooner, sorry. I've told my husband what I need from him many times, it doesn't seem to be sinking in, but I will keep trying!I am pining for my cats though, I keep hearing Rupert's meow - it was a very serious,demanding meow, because Rupert was a serious cat! Even as a kitten, he decided life was very serious. And I miss my little Patches rushing around, doing his best to trip me up as I walked. Oh boy, he was going to be a big beautiful cat, he had great bones (does that sound funny?) - strong bones, and had a super-gorgeous face, with big eyes that looked like they had eyeliner around them. I have made peace a little now, but it's just the missing. You know what I'm talking about. And only time can heal that, I realise.

Thanks for being here. And for the hugs (hugs are very important you know!)

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