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Pudge'sMom

Trying to cope after losing my emotional support animal and best friend.

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Last November I came back to my dorm room to find my sweet little boy Pudge in some serious distress. He was yowling, his back legs lost circulation, he couldn't move, and he was so so scared. I immediately started crying because I knew he was going to die, and despite my pleading with him not to as I drove to the vet, he did just that. The doctor told me that he was in a lot of pain, his heart was weak, he had a blood clot in a major artery, and there was nothing to be done. I had to make the most difficult decision I've ever made and I'll never forget the way he looked at me as he went. His little head was resting in my hand as I cried. He looked at me as if to say it was okay, and it was his time to go. As his eyes finally closed, and his breathing stopped, it felt as though the whole world went silent.

Pudge was the sweetest little boy in the entire world and I loved him with all of my heart. I am a college student living with Major Depression and a General Anxiety Disorder. In the Fall of 2016, I decided to bring my cat to school with me as an emotional support animal and it was the best decision I've ever made. I am an RA and I live alone, so it was perfect. He helped me sleep, or calm down during a panic attack. He was there for me and loved me unconditionally. He was an older cat, 14 at the time of his death, and he LOVED attention. I would look forward to coming home every day because he would be there waiting for me. We spent hours doing homework, cuddling, watching Netflix and YouTube videos, and taking naps. You name it! He was the sweetest cat I've ever known. He never hissed at, scratched, or bit me. Many of my friends and residents commented on how close we were. He really was like a son to me. He lived a happy and beautiful life with me, and now he's gone. I just... I thought we had more time to be together. I thought he would be there for my graduation. We were going to make Christmas cards, I bought him a little sombrero to throw him a quinceñera this year, etc.

I don't know what to do without him. I can't sleep, I just lay in bed and stare at the ugly white box they put his ashes in. Sometimes I start crying and I hold it wishing that he were there. I need to find an urn for him but they're all so expensive, and I'm on a college student budget. I miss him, I miss everything about him. Even the way he would cry to be held at night, the way he would rub against my face when I was sleeping and he wanted attention, or how he would walk all over my laptop and disrupt my work. Now I have no one to hold, to cuddle with or kiss on the cheek. My room is silent, empty, lifeless. I could barely open the door to my room and spend five minutes in there after it happened. Now it's more bearable but I still feel an overwhelming sense of dread when I go home. I recently went to my actual home for Winter Break. I used to cry every day, but the entire week before I went home I only teared up a little. When I packed my car and put all of his stuff in it... the litter box, the food bowl, his toys, his treats... it was all too much. I broke down crying. Now I cry every night, despite my best efforts. 

I don't know what to do. I'm at a loss because of my loss. I realize that getting better and moving on isn't a straight line. I'll have setbacks, take one step forward and three steps back, etc. But I feel like I'm grieving INCORRECTLY or something. He was my best friend, my little son, my love bug. We were co-dependent. He wasn't just a cat, he was my family. Now he's gone.

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I can't lie, I broke down crying reading your story. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my Tommy on May 6th, 2017, and I've gone into major depression since. It unfortunately hasn't gotten "easier" for me. He was all I had, and just like your beautiful Pudge, he would wait for me when I got home and we would just spend the nights together enjoying each others' company. I lived alone as well, and didn't have much at the time, but we had each other and thats all that mattered to me. Lots of similarities in your story, brought back a lot of memories for me. I'm really sorry for your loss.

It's hard to talk to people about it... I've had too many people tell me "its just a cat" for me to realize that it's best I suffer alone. These support sites do help however. I'm not sure who you are, or where you are located, but I am willing to make a donation to help you find a nice urn for Pudge. I don't have much, but I know something will help.

Reach out at any time. 

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Pudge'sMom I just read your post.( I replied to your other post a few minutes ago)  My heart breaks for your loss and your loneliness and your heartache. No you're not grieving "incorrectly" because there's no "correct" way to grieve. When our pets go our hearts break and our lives fall apart. Your kitty was your companion, your best friend. What other way to react to his loss than cry and grieve? Allow yourself to cry, even if you feel that your heart will burst from the pain. Do not keep it inside, it will be worse.You must not go through this alone, even more so if you have serious depression and anxiety. If you have even one person in your life who understands your loss try to talk to them every day and keep seeing your therapist. Also keep posting here to let your feelings out. No, going through grief isn't a straight line ,it's forwards and backwards, mostly unpredictable.But it will get better over time. Not eating or sleeping after loss is normal , but It is crucial that you try and eat and sleep a little. Your guy looks so sweet...I am so sorry, I wish that I could say something to make you feel better...Please know that we're here for you.Also, in response to Tommy'smama lovely thought, I too will gladly make a donation for an urn for Pudge.

Tommy'smama I read your post too and it broke my heart.I am so sorry for your beautiful Tommy...I know how it is ,watching your pet deteriorate, slip more and more away with each passing day and being powerless to help him, the agony and the despair...I lost my kitty to fip, they told me it was a fatal disease but I denied it and kept trying and trying to help her...but the sickness won.She was only 6 years old .Who can understand this loss except for the  people who are going through this? Yes for everybody else "it was just a cat".And after a while, people are even more reluctant to listen because "you should be over it by now". So the sense of isolation and loneliness often grows with the passing time. It seems like you have no one to open your heart to. If this is the case have you considered talking to a grief counselor? You can always post here but talking to someone face to face is different.You shouldn't carry this alone. I am here for you as well.And I hope you're not still feeling guilty. The "what ifs" always accompany a loss but you really did everything you could for your kitty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading both of your stories is breaking my heart. I lost my wonderful cat on Aug 12. 5 months ago actually today. :( When someone posts about a similar experience; the shock of finding their sweet cat on death's door, the horror, the panic, I know how it is.   

My cat had some health issues but he got horribly sick from something. We rushed him to an emergency vet and put him down (his organs were all shutting down by then anyway) to ease the final suffering. It was the worst experience of my life. Followed by an emptiness... life just gets really really dark. 

@Pudge'sMom you are not grieving incorrectly. The fact is, it is exactly as you describe, one step forward, three steps back. Okay one moment, hit by a wave of grief the next. You both are not alone. I just don't know if other people have the type of bond we had w/ our cats. Mine was like my child. We had a friendship, a bond that is hard to put into words. It wasn't like cat/owner it was like, we both loved being together.

So, this loss is not something you just bounce back from. It's a slow process. I am so much better 5 months later. I finally adopted a new kitty b/c I can't live without a cat. (Especially knowing so many sit alone at the rescue, waiting.) She is entirely different from the one I lost. He can't be replaced obviously.

My heart is broken and though it functions and I am learning to be happy again, but that crack is forever.       

 

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@Maria9 I really appreciate your kind words and an offer for a donation. I had privately messaged @tommysmama and mentioned that even my own mother told me to just go to the dollar store or keep the box he's in now. The box they put him in... it's an ugly, hard plastic white box that they taped shut. Not fitting for my little boy at all. It seems pretty disrespectful to be honest. But please don't feel as though you need to donate, I would probably feel a little guilty to be honest since my own "family" doesn't even want to help me.

I have been trying to sleep, but every night is the same. When the room gets quiet and dark, and I don't hear his little snores or purrs, it really gets to me. Every single night he slept right by my head, usually with his face right next to mine. He would stay there until morning but now, it's just me.

@AJWCat Thank you for your response, I am very sorry for your loss. My little boy was also just like my child. I probably called him "my little son" at least once a day, and my friend even got me a shirt that says Pudge's Mom on the back. I really need another cat, but I can't get one until I figure out what I'm doing in the next few months. I'll be graduating from university and then who knows. Maybe Graduate School, maybe not. I hate not knowing where I'll be, if he were here things would be much better. 

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I am so sorry for your loss, words are inadequate, I know.

I found an urn for pets, it's only $3.49 with free shipping https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Steel-Always-in-my-Heart-Paw-Print-Pet-Palm-Memorial-casket-Urn/232530841633?epid=3007619716&hash=item3623eb1021:g:bLIAAOSwdW1Z6hcF  There is a wide array on eBay.

 

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Hi, I love that Lemony Snicket quote, so true. Totally understand about another cat, you do need to get situated. I remember the first visit to the pet rescue to find another cat - my husband and I looked at all these cats and I broke down in tears b/c I was looking for our cat. I wanted our cat again. So I waited a few more weeks and tried again. I guess what I am saying is, the time you are taking to finish school at least is giving you time to grieve sweet Pudge over the next few months.

My heart goes out to you, I know exactly what you are going through. It is so hard without him there physically with you. I like to think, his spirit is still with you.

 

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@KayC thanks for looking! I don't think that's quite big enough though. He was about 12 pounds when he died so there are a lot of ashes. I don't want to scatter any or only keep a few, I'd like to try and keep him all in one place. So all of the urns that are cheaper turn out to be very small and not big enough for my little boy.

@AJWCat Thank you. I'd like to think that he's still with me too, but it's a little hard when the room is so quiet. I imagine that I will have the same experience. Each cat I interact with I find that I'm looking for signs of him. 

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That's just one urn, they have countless ones listed, look for something, there's many to choose from and inexpensive ones.

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