Am I the only one who has changed after losing a pet

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Forever in- Mommy's Heart
Purred: Sun Apr 27, '08 10:30pm PST 
This is one of those things that this seems like the only place to safely say. Does anyone but me feel like they are a different pet owner after losing a pet they had for many years.

I had had other pets before Taz, but Taz was the cat that went to college with me, moved into a first apartment with me, helped me through a major health issue, moved into my first purchased home with me and so much more. She was my companion for 16 years. And has been gone almost 2.

She changed me in life, she helped me learn to trust, but I am also realizing more and more how her death impacted me, and I am not sure I like it. I was sitting holding Winnie and Chester today and thinking about how they have been with me 2 years almost now. And instead of being happy about that, I found myself thinking that meant I was two years closer to losing them.

I NEVER used to think that way with Taz. If anything with her I was too relaxed a mom, I fed her cheap grocery store food, she went to the vet maybe 5 times total in her life, she wasnt spayed til she was about 3 (she was an indoor only cat so no risk of pregnancy) and I never went around my house looking for things she could get killed by. She died of kidney issues from old age.

But with W&C I am a total nut case. They only have the best food, I look at everything in my house as a risk to them I have to protect them from, if they sneeze we are at the vet and worst of all I think about how long til they leave me.

I miss being able to just enjoy my furbabies without the thought of time without them being in my mind.

Am I the only one who goes through this?


Purred: Tue Apr 29, '08 6:00pm PST 
I seem to doing the same thing with Emma now. Only the best. I guess it has something to do with trying to keep the pet forever. I lost Baby a month ago. I have Emma now, and am afraid of losing her. When I lost Baby I thought my life would end as well. I had had him for 38 years. He was my best friend. I knew him longer than my wife. When he died of reniel shutdown (old age). A part of me died as well. I miss him so much. Emma may be here, but she will never take Babys place. I don't think that part of me will ever heal. It would be like eraceing a part of my brain. The part with all of the memories. You have to remember I had Baby over half of my life. That is not something soon forgotten.

So to answer your question.. Yes. there are others that feel the same as you.. Baby's Dad.. Al


Forever in- Mommy's Heart
Purred: Tue Apr 29, '08 8:13pm PST 
Baby's Dad. Wow 38 years (had read about baby in another forum). Guess that proves that no matter how long you have them it is never enough. Taz was with me about 1/2 my life at the time she passed also and it is definitely a piece that never comes back.

I feel bad at times that for as much as I love W&C I am probably cheating them of full love just to protect my heart a little bit.

Abby Angel- at Rainbow- Bridge

Guardian- Angel
Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 10:46am PST 
Hi Taz's mom and Baby's dad. You're not alone in the way you feel. With each new cat, I've gotten progressively more worried! My first cat was the family cat, Callie, who was indoor-outdoor, roamed everywhere, almost never went to the vet, almost never got sick and ate supermarket food and whatever she could catch. No one worried much and she was a tough old bird who died in her sleep when she was 18+.

When I was in my late 20's, I adopted two kittens, Pete and Jennifer. Pete was with me for 16 years and Jennifer for almost 18 years. They were with me through good times and bad times. Like Taz's mommy, I was more casual about when and if they saw a vet and they were fed supermarket cat food. I certainly did not obsess over their health and diet and how long they might live. I was surprised when they both got hyperthyroidism, mainly because I'd never thought about either one of them ever getting sick. Pete left first and I almost fell apart but I still had Jennifer. When she left, a part of me died with her.

When I adopted Abby two years after Jennifer left, she was already between 3-4 yrs. old and I became much more aware of *time* and how long I may or may not have with her. I bought cat books and learned about common illnesses and signs to look for. She was taken to the vet at least once a year for check ups and any time she didn't seem *right*. She was fed only what I thought of at the time as the best cat food. When Abby got cancer and went to the Bridge in December 2005, it took ages to get over my shock. She was only with me for 8 years! I thought I'd taken such good care of her and yet, this ugly, hideous cancer suddenly happened and snatched her away. Was it my fault? Was it the vaccinations she received? The quality of the food? Negligence by her vet for not catching the cancer sooner? What?

One month after Abby left, I adopted two older cats, Mittens & KC Sunshine. KC Sunshine will be 12 tomorrow & Mittens will be 12 on June 1. Being older, they arrived with some health problems yet had almost never been to the vet since they were kittens. I've been totally obsessed about their health and I do mean obsessed! I've researched their conditions on the 'net and in books. Ditto for their diet. They are fed the absolute best cat food on the market and homemade food if they'll eat it. I searched obsessively for a vet that I thought was top notch and took them to several before I found ones I like. They go for wellness checks every 6 months and get blood tests and anything else the vet suggests. I go armed with a list of questions for the vet. big grin I constantly worry about them and am always on the look out for symptoms. They've been with me now for a little over 2 years and I'm just now starting to relax a little about their health and diet.

Cats can absorb our worry and tension and mirror it back to us. It's not healthy for them or us. As I'm starting to realize, quality of life is more than a just a good diet and vet care (altho' they're of absolute importance). We all need to relax, have fun and enjoy life, too, and that's also of importance to the health of our cats too.
(sorry this post is so long)


Forever in- Mommy's Heart
Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 3:41pm PST 
Abby dont apologize for the length it was a great post. Sometimes I think being on catster also adds to the worry. I love it here and love our friends but reading about all the cats who are sick or when a friend passes just reminds me all the "what ifs" out there.


Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 4:21pm PST 
Well I didn't do anything special for Baby. Maybe I should go back to that with Emma.. She gets shots in a few days. Maybe that will be that then. If it weren't for the internet I wouldn't be running out to buy this and that. I also wouldn't be looking so closly for symtoms of what ever. If she doesn't feel good. Then I should be able to tell . In all of the 38 years that Baby lived. He was at the Vet 4 times. 2 of the times were near the end. I guess like Taz says. We should start enjoying our cats, and dogs more, and worring less.. Al

Rufus - In Loving- Memory 12/17

Sweet Angel
Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 7:13pm PST 
You are not alone. My mother passed away early in 1996 and Winkie, the only real pet I had ever had, passed away that October from cancer. He was 13 and I'd had him since the summer before 4th grade. He was an indoor /outdoor cat, ate store bought cat food, and died from a vaccine-associated sarcoma.

About 3 weeks after Winkie crossed, we adopted Bobcat and Rufus. We decided they would have "only the best." We fed them Science Diet dry food, they were indoor only, and they did not recieve any unneccessary vaccinations. Rufus was a month shy of his 9th birthday when he was diagnosed with GI lymphoma. I gave him the best possible care I could afford (some would say that I couldn't afford), and he survived 29 months before he crossed at the age of 11. I did everything for him and he still didn't live as long as Winkie.

This past month I've adopted 2 new babies. I agonized over whether or not I should adopt after Rufus' passing. At first I thought that I should wait until Briana crossed because I felt like she could go any day. I read a dozen cat books before deciding that I needed to adopt for me, even if Briana didn't like it. She's a scaredy cat and could never be the kind of lovebug I wanted, so I decided it would be fairer to her to let her be herself instead of trying to change her or resenting her for not being Rufus.

I kitten-proofed the bedroom before I adopted the first one so he would have a safe room. They will be getting expensive high protein dry food. They have one new cat tree and will be getting another. "Only the best."

Yes, I've changed. Yes, I worry about them much more than I ever did with previous cats. I think it was Rufus' illness more than his crossing that changed me -- both for the better and for the worse. Now I know what the words compassion and commitment really mean. Rufus taught me about bravery and patience and forgiveness. Winkie was my childhood friend, but Rufus was my baby. I loved them both, but I was more devastated by Rufus' crossing.

I worry about Briana and Bob and Jack and Hamlet. Briana is almost 10 and has never been sick, but if she ever got outside, I would never see her again. If she ever got sick, I could never give her the same level of care that I gave Rufus. She wouldn't allow it.

My brother has custody of Bob and I know he doesn't care for him as well as I would. I don't know what I would do if he became seriously ill. I have my own 3 babies, but I'd feel guilty if I turned my back on Bob.

Jack Matt is a little devil, but I love him and I made the commitment to him. I'll do whatever I have to do to keep him with me.

Hamlet has a heart murmur that I'm praying he will outgrow. I'm amazed how much I love the little guy already. He's has some of the best qualities of Winkie and Rufus with his own special quirks.

OK, I've rambled on long enough. Yes, I worry more than I used to, but I also know how much I'm capable of giving.


Forever in- Mommy's Heart
Purred: Wed Apr 30, '08 8:44pm PST 
Thanks guys. Hearing I am not alone in this helps so much. I hate this anniversary crap. You know what else bothers me. Knowing that no one else will even remember. That I am the only one that REALLY cares Taz has been gone two years. She meant so much to the world yet everyone in my life has forgotten about her. Just frustrating.


Purred: Thu May 1, '08 6:22pm PST 
As long as YOU remember is all that matters..

Kissy - 2006-2008

lovey kitty
Purred: Mon May 19, '08 10:41am PST 
You are definitely not alone! When I lost my Kissy cat in February, I found that there are a whole bunch of people out there who feel the way I do. I am about to lose my Bugsy kitty - he's not doing well and I am panicked. He's 19 - so is Dusty and Kitty - and Spot is 20. I worry about the day they cross the bridge. It was a shock with Kissy - he was hit by a car. I have "barn cats" - but they are my babies, too, just like the indoor kitties. bugsy's dad, Felix, was the one that has the special place in my heart - but so did Kissy. They are all different and you love them in different ways - not less but differently. And yes - I hold them and almost cry thinking of when they will be gone. But I won't let that keep me from giving more kitties the lives that they would never have had if I hadn't stepped up to the plate and taken them in. My motto is "I like my kitties more than most people" - they give you the special love that no one else will - or even can. I know that I am going to be mobbed when I finally get to see them all again at the Bridge! That's what makes me able to go though it - again and again. I am terrified of losing Bugsy - but I will get through it - and I will get another kitty when they are all gone. Right now I have 12 here at the house - 6 indoor and 6 outdoor. And I am so glad I have given them good lives - they are all happy and they all love me! Hang in there - you don't ever quite get over missing them. But - the memories always make me smile!

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