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/feels/ - Advice & Venting

Talk about relationships of all kinds, ask for advice, or just vent

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pet grief Anonymous 107146

my cat just died, my first ever pet. I thought I'd have longer with him since cats can live into their twenties, but he was only 14.
I feel really lost without him, the house is too quiet.
It was a very sudden death as well. He had been himself, acting completely normal, then just died. The vet suspects cardiac arrest from a blood clot.
I just want him back nonas.
Have any of you coped with pet grief before? How long does it take to start feeling better?

Anonymous 107147

I'm sorry to hear that. Losing a cherished pet is always sad. I remember when it was time for my first pet's time came. He was a poodle, and was the most attentive and patient dog I've ever known. He got cancer, and we eventually had to put him down. I was there with him at the vet when it happened. If I spend too long thinking about that day, I always start to tear up a bit…
The grief never goes away I guess, it just recedes over time, ready to come back if you let it. I think it is healthy to a certain extent. To lose a pet is a good way to come to grips with death and mortality in a safe way. As long as you don't let it consume the rest of your life let it run its course. Perhaps in a month or two, start looking around for another cat. Another cat will never replace what you lost, but can help fill the void in the lifestyle that your first cat filled so well. I remember feeling a bit guilty over getting a replacement dog, thinking it was commodifying or trivializing the relationship I had with my first one. In hindsight, I realized that each pet has its own personality. Learning to love a new pet didn't tarnish the memory of my first one. I can't say when exactly the right time will be to move on, only that if your cat took a piece of you when he left, it will take another one to restore it. At least that was the case for me.

Anonymous 107150

I'm sorry about your poodle nona. It sounds like you had a very close bond with him. I have the feeling I'll have a similar situation as you in regards to always tearing up when I think about my cats passing. He died in my arms, and it was devastating knowing there was nothing I could do to save him.
I think you're right though, in regards to getting another cat later down the line. Right now I can't even imagine doing it as no other cat could ever replace him. But I also know that I wouldn't actually be replacing him.
He was so talkative and I really regret not getting any video recordings of him when he was being chatty.
For any pet-owning nonas in here, take as many videos and photos of your babies as you can. You never know when their time will come.

Anonymous 107168

So sorry, anon.
Yes, I lost my childhood cat (and best friend) when he was 15 a few years ago. It was awful, I broke down sobbing at work and felt the deep emptiness of his missing presence to my core. I'd always be expecting him to come around the corner or slip into my room and onto my bed like usual.
My mother encouraged us to get a new kitten a month and a half later, and even if it felt like betrayal of him I'm so happy to have her! Like other anon said, she's so different in her personality that it doesn't feel like a "replacement" as I feared. I could never replace him after all, it was just meeting a new friend to help the healing process.
The period with no cat felt 6x longer than it actually was though, fuck.

All this to say, don't feel guilt about making a new friend but also only do so when you feel ready. And take as long as you need to mourn both he and your life alongside him. 14 years is a long time filled with what I assume to be some of your early memories if he was your first cat (even if you got your first cat at 20, that's young in a different way). Take time to appreciate his companionship during your ups and downs and growth. Also don't let anyone make you feel silly for mourning a pet.

Anonymous 107169

I lived in a big house in the rural area of a city for most of my life, so I've had more pets than the average person. Still, I always grief for months when my pets die.
Like >>107168 said, adopt another pet when you feel ready. Helping an animal in need is the best way to honor the memory of your pet. You're not replacing them in any way, I have so many good memories of all the pets I had. I'll die one day too, but until then I'll love and care for as many animals as I can.

Anonymous 107346

>I'd always be expecting him to come around the corner or slip into my room and onto my bed like usual.
I'm so sorry nona, this is exactly what I'm going through with my cat. He'd always jump onto the bed with me at night time and be purring away until he fell asleep. I miss him so much.
I do actually have two other cats that I got last year. I just don't have as strong a connection with these two.
Originally I had two cats, the one who just died plus another who died at the start of 2022 (kidney disease). My senior cat went into a bad depression and stopped eating after she died, which is why I got the other two cats. So you could say they were his cats, and he became his happy self again once they settled in. Thankfully they seem to be doing okay without him, I suppose because they have each other. It's just so strangely quiet without him because he was super talkative, and they don't meow at all. I hope I can grow closer to them with time.

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