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I am beyond devastated after my beloved cat, best friend and companion died


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Just over three weeks ago I lost the most precious thing in my whole life, my wonderful fur baby April the cat. I have been struggling so badly since she died, it is the worst grief I have ever felt in my life. I have lost my father and five other beloved family members (my aunties and uncles) in the past two years so I was already grieving when she died to make it so unbelievably difficult and surreal. 

I have struggled with not wanting to be here anymore but I am just doing my best to get through each day. I have no partner, no children, no close family except my mum and I only have a few friends, none of whom live nearby so the loneliness has been absolutely horrendous and overwhelming. April was my best friend, after years and years of being let down and hurt and abandoned by people she loved me unconditionally, was always there for me whatever I was going through and she always wanted to be involved in whatever I was doing so she was my constant, wonderful, funny, sweet, affectionate, playful, adorable, loving companion around the house for the past 9 and a half years that I have had her.

She had been diagnosed with cancer out of the blue in July 2022 (just three months after another uncle died), but apart from a lump on her neck showed no signs of being ill, and certainly not being close to dying, so her death came completely out of the blue. The day that she died, she ran up the stairs at 7am like she usually would. She jumped on my bed, purring and I hoped she was going to curl up next to me (I always made her a 'nest' out of pillows so she could sleep next to me). She briefly walked in the nest then walked back to the other side of the bed and I looked up and saw her facing the door. She jumped down and I heard her softly trot down the stairs and jump onto the last step. I assumed she'd gone down to sleep downstairs again after saying hi, or inspect her food bowl, or sunbathe in the window and wasn't worried at all as she was her normal, happy, healthy looking self.

I had been very tired as I'd been juggling lots of different things from studying to trying to start a business, making sure she was happy and well with her cancer and that morning I'd woken up very tired. I decided to go back to sleep for a couple of hours to recover. At 8am I went downstairs to close the stairs door because normally she'd run back up and jump on the bed waking me up periodically when I had a lie-in. I woke up about two hours later and went back downstairs. I thought it was odd how she wasn't meowing at the door like usual, then I saw she'd done a poo on the kitchen floor which she'd never done before. I rushed into the lounge and I found that she'd just passed away in her bed. She was still warm and I wasn't even sure she was gone initially, I tried to hear a heart beat but my own heart was pumping so loud it was difficult to hear. I carefully placed her on a towel and listened for a heartbeat, she wasn't breathing. I considered rushing her to the vets I knew she had gone but I knew it must have been only in the last half an hour before I came downstairs. In hindsight I'm so glad I never rushed her to the vets because she had cancer and they'd only have put her down if she was still alive and that would have been worse than her dying at home in her bed (she absolutely hated the vets and was always traumatised by going there).

When she got diagnosed, the vet said the options were risky surgery on her neck (it was most likely a thyroid tumour), and/or chemotherapy and radiotherapy which would involve multiple trips to the next town an hour away every week, at the cost of £4000-5000. I have been out of work for a long time due to my mental health (depression and PTSD) so I was finding it very stressful and scary paying all the vets bills up to that point but I couldn't afford £5000. On top of that, I knew she would absolutely hate being taken in the car for treatment as she was always traumatised by vet visits and I could never reassure her so I decided against it. The tumour had previously been misdiagnosed as a benign cyst by a previous vet so she'd already had it for three years before we found out it was cancer. The vet said it mustn't be an aggressive cancer since she has had it for three years so I wasn't super worried and I certainly had no idea she was near the end of her life (the vet refused to give any sort of life expectancy). In my head I thought she would live another 3-5 years which would bring her up to life expectancy as she was between 10-12 years old. Our previous family cat had lived to 19 so I always thought April would too.

Anyway I thought I would share because you're probably the only people who really understand what I am going through. I have no other animals so the house is now deafeningly silent and I have lost my role of being April's mum. I would like to adopt more animals in future but I have never met a soul like April, I knew in the shelter she was absolutely different to every single animal I'd ever met before in my life (and I was volunteering with cats at another shelter at the time) so there will never be another creature like her. I am so, so, so glad I met and adopted her, she was not a favourite at the shelter with the staff and had been there for three months, like me she had been overlooked by everyone else. I am absolutely heartbroken and devastated beyond belief and have no idea how I will get through this but somehow I want to, to put the lessons she taught me into place and keep going like she would want me to. I'm an artist/designer and she always loved being involved with my work so I want to keep doing this because she was my biggest fan and support. 

I am just struggling very badly at the moment and nothing feels ok anymore. I have lost my father and 5 beloved aunties and uncles in the past two years and April lifted my heart and was able to help me get through each terrible loss. Whenever I was out of the house I looked forward to returning, seeing her in all her vibrant gorgeous cuteness and telling her about my day to which she'd listen intently then want to spend the evening sat on my lap, even if I was trying to eat or do work. Whenever I got home she would smell my shoes to find out where I'd been, investigate the shopping bags and she was just involved in my whole life every single day. Our only time apart was usually the afternoons where I'd do errands and she'd sunbathe or sleep. I don't have what most people my age have in life (such as a partner, children, lots of friends etc) but I always used to think 'at least I have April.' She was so wonderful she basically replaced all these other relationships for me, I didn't feel lacking in my life due to her.

Being in the house is very difficult now as it was our sanctuary together. I've been getting out every day but I do at some point need to continue studying my course. So I can't be out all the time. This is the hardest, worst thing I have ever been through in my life. April always made me feel like everything would be ok, whatever I was going through. It's like my sense of peace and comfort and reassurance has gone and I feel terrible, distressed, scared and alone now most of the time and unlike all my other losses I am not sure how I can cope with losing the most precious soul in my life, April.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your cat.  It's the hardest thing in the world!  I lost my soulmate in a dog in 8/16/2019 and my 25 1/2 year old Kitty 1/6/2020.  It felt much like losing my husband had years ago.  Losing Kitty was easier as she'd had a good life and her kidneys & liver had shut down, they tld me no options for that but she could have received treatment for her thyroid.    She masked it well.  Her first sign was on Christmas!  

Arlie was a different story, he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer 6/6/2019 and the vet offered no help so I provided hospice at home.  We were a family!  I couldn't get how they missed this when he got a clean bill of health just two weeks prior to diagnosis!  When I had him euthanized, they botched it, under anesthetizing him, he went out in severe pain.  That was the hard part and the thing I will never forget.  :(  I am thankful he is out of his pain now but it killed me to watch him in severe pain when they administered the shot.

Yes, we get it, I am just so sorry you are also missing your best friend.  Eventually we learn to carry our grief inside of us, though no one can say how long that'll be.  We all have different coping mechanisms and carry our grief differently.

I hope this will bring you some comfort and peace...

Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers


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I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know (as all here do) how difficult the loss of our babies can be. I'm glad you found this place as it can be a comfort to tell our stories. I understand that connection you had with April. Once in lifetime, if we're lucky, we find our soulmate. April was yours. To lose such a bonded companion is the ultimate devastation. It destroys our sense of comfort and ease and happiness. The thought of never seeing them again, of returning home from errands to an empty house can be so horrible. The sudden stillness and quiet of the home where before there was such joy and life is suffocating and nearly unbearable. The emptiness they leave behind seems like it will swallow us whole.

All that you described I've felt. Not wanting to be here anymore. Wishing I could be with them. The guilt, the regret, the tears. The pain seems immeasurable. It can seem at times as if you will never heal. In the days and weeks after such a loss I've thought that I didn't want to heal. That the sadness and tears keeps them with me, keeps their memory sharp. And that by healing I'm slowly losing that connection. The healing though is inevitable. It's how we survive. But I will never forget the joy they brought to my life. They've taught me patience and fortitude and how to unconditionally love. Even now as I write this the tears are coming. Your story and your loss are so prescient and so relatable. I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this.

Although I do have a small family, I have always felt a closer bond to my little fur babies. I have never felt as emotionally attached to people as I do to my kitties. They ask for so little. A warm beam of sunlight. A comfortable lap. A full bowl of food. And every so often we are lucky enough to find that little one who is perfect for us. 

It sounds as if you will be taking her beautiful memory and using it to push forward with your art and design, with your life. I've found that fostering and adopting kitties who have never experienced love, whose lives have been unimaginably hard, gives me purpose and helps to fill the void left behind. Perhaps it could also help you someday. When you're ready.

There are online chat groups for pet loss as well. These have been vital to help me heal. If you need a link to one of my favorite chat groups that meet 5 times per week please let me know.

And please know that we are here for you.

Biscuit's Dad


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On 10/25/2022 at 10:49 AM, SunflowerCosmos said:

I have struggled with not wanting to be here anymore but I am just doing my best to get through each day.

Please believe me that we all understand.  Most of us have felt that way at one time or another, especially in the beginning.  When my beloved husband died, it wasn't so much that I wanted to commit suicide, but more that I simply didn't care about living.  I knew I could live without him; I just didn't want to.  Whether it's an animal companion, a "soul pet," or our human soul mate doesn't matter.  Losing that one companion who is special above all others fundamentally shatters our hearts and lives.  We will never be the same again.  But I promise you that grief doesn't stay the same crushing, all-encompassing weight it is for you now.  Over time, months and years and different for everyone, we learn how to carry it with us as part of us.  It's not easy, but slowly, slowly it does happen as we take steps forward into a different life.  The painful memories don't go away, but as my grief eased--also slowly--I was able to bring all the happy, funny, wonderful, and even mundane every day memories in to mix with the ones that hurt so much.  Please don't give up.  There is hope and you are not alone.

I'm so very sorry that you lost your precious April.  You've found a very good place to be to talk, rant, and even "scream" if it helps.  The members here helped me so much during my first devastating times.  I hope you will find being here helps you too.

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