Dealing with your cats death – Part 2

There are people out there who just don’t understand how someone could feel devastated at the loss of a pet cat. I, on the other hand, can’t understand those people and how they can treat the death of any pet as an everyday occurrence.

Having had to put my 14 year-old cat down a few days ago, I am still in a state of shock, and I am grieving the same as I would for any family member or close friend because that is what she was to me. Not only a close friend and companion, Sydney was my family.

When I got home after dealing with that horrendous task at the vet’s office, I couldn’t walk into the house yet, so I went across the street to a friend’s home. Luckily, she hadn’t left for work yet, so I was able to sit and share my feelings with her. This was especially helpful as she had had the same unfortunate experience about eight months before.

As I sat with her, her new cat, Lily, scampered over me, scratching me (her way of playing) when she could and making a general nuisance of herself. She is such a little scamp, I just had to laugh; and I think being able to laugh was therapeutic.

Our other friend happened to drop by, and as I was leaving, I got hugs from both women, which also meant a lot to me. I was able to go into my house and deal with all the reminders of my sweet girl without completely breaking down. This meant taking all of her cat beds (she had four, scattered around the house), her cardboard scratchers (three), and assorted toys (a million) and removing them to an unused bedroom. I also had medical supplies for her, which I stashed temporarily in the same place until I can give them away to an animal hospital or vet’s office.

Clearing out her things helped in one way; it removed physical reminders of her that will always be painful. But I can’t rid myself of the images of her in my mind, doing all of the things she did and interacting with me every day in our timeworn routines.

That first night, I found it difficult to sleep because she wasn’t up on my bed with me so at about 12:30 a.m., I turned on the radio for some company. Most nights, she would sleep on top of me (usually on my legs or shoulder) and then when she’d had enough would retire to my closet where she perched on a high shelf atop stacked blankets. In the morning, before I had to go to work, she would always make her way down from her shelf and jump on the bed to greet me and the day.

The next day I had to go to work and I knew it would be a challenge, but surprisingly, it helped me more than I could have imagined. Just being busy and out with people helped me control my grief, and I got through the day without breaking down.

I have a very compassionate manager, and he was extremely sympathetic. I was glad that I hadn’t called off working because I had thought of it. As it turned out, our one other associate came in sick and had to leave, which may or may not have been some kind of omen that I should be there.

I got through the day, and the hard part, of course, was going home to an empty dark house. I had gone food shopping after work, and putting groceries away kept me occupied for awhile after I got home. After I finished, I ate dinner and turned in early because I felt emotionally drained and also tired out from work.

Today is the third day without my little girl, and I woke up sad and tearful, still in a state of shock that she is not here. I know that I will recover, and I know that I need to keep busy right now, so that is what I will do.

The time will come when I will be able to smile and laugh about my time with Sydney and tell funny stories about her, but that time is not now. I have to get through the grieving process, and that I will do one step at a time.

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