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My cat had to be put down

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I am Tyler, a pet loving fanatic. I have two dogs, and i have been taking care of my aunts cat recently ( With the help of my grandma ). Our beloved cats' name was Maddie.  We were taking care of her and giving her a lot of attention, she had been not eating at all, and she had alot of problems, the doctors said she was very sick and damaged, but we managed to get her weight back up soon enough. It was going fine until her weight started going down, so we kept feeding her. One morning, my grandma woke up, went downstairs, and saw that maddie seemed like she was blind, she was dragging her paw, she was staring at nothing, and she kept walking into things and falling over. My grandma told me that something was very wrong, and that she must have had a stroke in the night ( She used to be a nurse, she knew the symptoms ). Then came that devistating thought... We had to put her down. We talked about it with my family, and we tried to calm down my aunt, she was so sad, it was like she was out of reality or something.... We scheduled the vet appointment for the morning. I got not sleep that night, i just cried for unbelievably long amounts at a time. I had not idea what to think, or what to do. I had known that cat for so long, and to think by sunrise, that she would be gone... I wanted to die. By next morning, i was not doing my normal activites. I don't kow what to do with out Maddie, i can't cope with this. Does anybody know why to do? i would greatly like talk to someone about this. Please help...

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I am so sorry for the loss of your family's cat, Maddie.  It's so very hard to lose our pets, they're family, they were in our lives, day in, day out.  I don't know of an easy way through this, death gives us loss, and with it, pain.  We can't avoid it, there is only one way and that is straight through it.  Some get another pet, that doesn't stop the grief, it just fills a spot within us and distracts us some, but sometimes doing that helps, sometimes it just calls home the fact that the new one is nothing like the old one.

I've lost many pets over the years, and it seems it's getting harder when I lose them, perhaps because they're such a big part of my life.  I wrote the following with regards to losing a spouse, some of it isn't applicable in losing a pet, but some of it is, I hope the part that is can be of help to you:

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

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