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12 Year Old Cat Lost - Should I Consider Him "Passed On"?


thrifty-chick

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thrifty-chick

Right before Thanksgiving 2012, I lost my beloved cat, Chessie. It was not unusual for him to disappear for up to a week, so I was not initially worried. He has vanished without a trace. He was almost 12 years old and in excellent health.

I have had this cat since he was a kitten -- he was actually born in my son's room and I delivered him, so he was special to me. When he was born, he stopped breathing and I had to give him mouth-to-mouth in order for him to live. The mother wouldn't tear the sacs off of her kittens, lick them, etc., so I had to intervene. I have never owned a cat their entire life, so he was my sweet little boy.

Chessie had mysteriously disappeared for an extended time before (approximately 8 years prior), for approximately six weeks, but I did eventually get him back by finding a "lost and found" ad that sounded like him. He had somehow wandered about 5 miles from my home, so I brought him back thanks to the kindness of the woman who found him and took care of him with her 12 other cats.

This time, however, it has been over two months. I have asked everyone in the neighborhood, made flyers, given said flyers to the vets' offices, registered a "lost" report with the animal shelter & police, took out a "lost pet" ad in the local newspaper, regularly check the shelter's website AND check the newspaper's "lost and found" section DAILY. I have even driven around my neighborhood, multiple times, looking for his body in case he had been hit by a car. At what point should I give up? I really feel like he went somewhere to die. He slept with me the night before, which he very rarely does, and followed me around the next morning. I only feed him canned cat food twice per week, as he normally eats crunchy food. He begged for soft food that morning, but I was running late for work and told him, "Sorry, old man. I'll feed you 'stinky' food when I get home today." I never saw Chessie again. I cannot describe the incredible guilt that I feel for not feeding him his special treat. He was not ill, as far as I know, and he did not look as though he was nearly 12 years old. He was an indoor/outdoor cat and never had a health issue.

Any ideas or insight anyone can add would be greatly appreciated. I really don't know how to mourn this. To make matters worse, I had to put my 7.5 year old Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix down on New Year's Eve, due to an extended illness. Our pets make our lives full, but we don't realize just how much until they are no longer present.

-L@ur@

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Laura,

I am so very sorry about the loss of your doggie. I just had to put my 11-year-old cat down, so I can relate to how difficult that decision is.

As far as your cat, yes, I would honestly say Chessie left so he could spare your feelings. I would believe he has passed on.

Please don't feel guilty. Many times, my cats have begged for their special treats, and I have been in a hurry. Chessie understood, I'm sure. Perhaps he wasn't asking for food, but was instead telling you "goodbye" in the only way he could.

You must be reeling from your double loss. Give yourself some time mourn, and feel free to cry if needed.

We will be here for you.

How are your other family members doing with the loss?

ModKonnie

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BreathofAngel

My dearest concerned of her wonderful pet, I am sorry that your beloved cat has not returned home. Sometimes they leave for reasons known only to them. Some time ago I had a cat that was a housecat but he once got the urge to go out into the world, so to speak, and made his place in the company of other cats I was later told. One has to simply allow for that possibility to happen as it is ultimately their life and as much as we want to hold on to them sometimes that is not the best decision to make. We are not our pet therefore, we cannot know what they are desirous of and to simply allow them to be free as they so choose sometimes is the best gift we can give to them.

One does not know if Chessie will return but if he does not and the worst may have happened that he is now in a far more beautiful world, you can remember him fondly with the Love you always gave to him which he will still be able to feel.

In the meantime, you may wish to visit this beautiful website for pets that are remembered in a most special way.

Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board: http://www.petlossmessageboard.com/

May you be blessed always and may your heart be content in knowing that all is as it should be.

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I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had great words of wisdom regarding your cat however, I do not. I think it's a personal decision on when to let go of searching for your cat. Hard to say this but don't judge yourself for whatever decision you make. Comfort and be kind and gentle to yourself. It's very apparent you love your pets. Peace and Love to you

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