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Grieving Over a Lost Pet!

Updated on May 7, 2011

In Loving Memory

This article is dedicated to my beloved cat, Specks! I never had such a loving, sweet, and affectionate cat in my life. Her loss still is painful even though it has been over 3 years now since we had to part! God Bless you, Specks! You will always live in my heart, sweetie!

Losing a Pet

I am sure every pet owner out there has had to experience the loss of a beloved pet. Psychologists compare this loss as equal to losing a child! Since I have never had children of my own, I cannot compare the two, but I do recall the loss of Specks in vivid detail! Writing about this is not brings up a lot of sadness and pain. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her and the tears just flow sometimes. Throughout this article, while making revisions and corrections, the tears are flowing! I made a memorial of Specks in a large picture frame that now hangs in my bedroom where Specks spent a lot of time napping.  I used poems and prayers I found on the internet, along with several pictures of her. It is a reminder to me of a very special, sweet natured cat that added so much to my life that I can't even describe it.

Specks at about 2 years old

Speck's Story

I found Specks on the day before Halloween at our local animal shelter. I had just moved into a condo and didn't want to take my other cat, Eowyn, since she was very old and thought she would be happier in my parents home. I just couldn't put her through a major change like that at her age. I lived close by so could always come by to visit. When I met Specks, she was only 8 weeks old. A family didn't want her anymore, so put her up for adoption. I cannot believe a family would give up such a wonderful, special kitty!!!! Even at that young age, Specks was not the typical kitten.  Lucky for me, the people didn't keep her, because Specks had a very good life with me!

I remember the first time I saw her like it was yesterday! She was in a large cage with about 10 other cats. They were all playing or just sitting around. I walked up to the cage and said, "Come here kitties" or something like that. Specks was sitting on a little shelf completely oblivious to the other cats and was off in her own little world.  When I spoke, Specks was the only cat that responded. She came running. and I mean running,  right over to the cage where I was standing, flopped on the floor and just was begging to be petted. I love 'lap cats' and thought this cat would probably fit that desire. Little did I know 'lap cat' would be an understatement! LOL

I adopted Specks, her name was Pumpkin then,  on the spot and took her home. That was the beginning of a wonderful 17 year relationship that I will never forget! Living alone isn't the greatest, though many people say it is fine. I didn't like it.   Specks eased the loneliness more than you can possibly imagine. She followed me everywhere in the house to see what I was doing, keeping me company. Whenever I was on the computer or watching TV, she was either on me or by me. She just LOVED to be petted and cuddled and talk about a purr machine! I don't think Specks ever stopped purring.

Specks in Dreamland

Sharing My Life with Specks!

About a year later, I moved to Olympia,Washington. I drove up there with Specks. I had no idea how she would handle a 2100 mile trip in an SUV. I began with her in her cat carrier and she seemed to be fine, but I just couldn't confine her in that for the whole trip. I let her out finally and had no clue as to what she would do. At first, she wanted to crawl on my lap, but I couldn't let her do that since it wasn't safe. After a few 'no kitty', she finally found a place to travel...sitting on TOP of her carrier. I put a towel on top so she would be more comfortable, and she stayed there for almost the entire trip! At night, I would sneak her into my motel room so she could stretch and get some exercise. I never saw a cat so well behaved in my entire life!

This was just the beginning of the astonishing things Specks did while spending her life with me. I eventually returned home, but flew back, and of course, Specks flew back, but wasn't allowed in the passenger she had to go into cargo. I was really not happy about that, but had no choice. Well, she came through it with 'flying colors'!

I went through some very difficult times during those years and Specks got me through them all! She seemed to sense when something wasn't right and would try to console me! She really helped, more than I describe here, but I have to tell you it did wonders! Nobody can convince me that animals don't understand emotions or cannot show empathy!

Over the years we spent together, Specks learned some unusual things. I didn't have a fenced yard and didn't want Specks roaming free. I certainly didn't want her get hit by a car or attacked by some animal. I trained her to go on a leash! She took to that like a duck to water! Eventually she wouldn't even try to go outdoors without her leash. I would even hold it up at the door and ask her if she wanted to go outside, and she would come running in from wherever she was, meowing like crazy to go out in her yard! She knew what many words meant, like "Outside, No, and Tup Time (Supper Time)" LOL

Specks had a very specific routine that she followed when she went out. She had a leash attached to about 50 feet of rope. The first thing she did when she got out the door was trot around the house from the backyard, along the garage, down the driveway to the sidewalk. There she would flop down and just roll all over the place, picking up leaves, grass, you name it. She was just filthy! Then she would walk around sniffing bushes around the other side of the house, growling if she smelled any cat scents on the plants. Then she would walk over near this stake we had in the ground and wait. I would put the end of her rope on it and she would just wander around the backyard or sleep on the concrete wall. Specks just loved her yard and even defended it from dogs. I always stayed out there with her to keep her safe.

Specks in One of Her Favorite Places

Unconditional Love!

We spent our lives together and grew very close! Some people don't believe pets can feel emotions or understand love. I strongly disagree with that!! Specks somehow knew when I was down about something. She always loved to sit on my lap, lay on my chest when I was laying down on the couch or bed. She slept with me all the time, even up to her final day when she was so sick and I knew her time with me was drawing to an end! Her time with me will NEVER be forgotten and I will treasure the time she had with me forever!  She is sorely missed!

Specks certainly new what love was!! She gave her love COMPLETELY and unconditionally. She taught me what unconditional love is! I lost Specks in the spring of 2008. She got a tumor in her throat and it grew so quickly!  She couldn't eat hardly at all and her veterinarian said it would be almost impossible to remove. I considered surgery but just couldn't put Specks through that pain and suffering. She was 17 years old and we didn't think she could survive the anesthetic or operation. My poor baby's days were almost over!

Of course, I was completely devastated! But I had to put her down to ease her suffering. She couldn't even eat due to the mass in her throat. It was so heartbreaking!  That horrible day finally came when I had to say good-bye to Specks. I was awake all night, but stayed in bed since Specks spent the night with me, cuddled between my legs to keep warm.  It was a beautiful, sunny spring day and cool. I took Specks out one last time in her yard to walk around before going to the veterinarian. The tears were just flowing down my face. I had decided I would stay with my sweet Specks until she left this world! It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I owed it to her to be with her when she needed me most!

Thank God that she went very peacefully and quiet. I completely fell apart when the doctor told me she was gone! I stayed in the small examining room for quite awhile holding her lifeless body and kissing her sweet face!  I cried a bucket of tears talking to my beloved Specks....I hope she heard me!  I still grieve over her so much! I loved her deeply and felt like I was going to die! The first few days were the worst...I was just horribly upset and sad! I missed Specks terribly! Just seeing her food bowl and her toys when home just tore me apart. I went to a grief councelor at a local animal shelter and it helped some.

Better Days

On a brighter note, I met a lady the very week Specks left who had abandoned cats. I saw a cat she had that really needed a loving, forever home! She and I talked for quite awhile and she decided to break the rules and let this cat 'visit' me for awhile. She knew full well what I was going through since she had gone through loss of her charges many times. This cat, named Olivia, was an unusual cat. Very self-assured, comical, and wouldn't go hiding for days in a strange home. Reluctantly, I agreed. I felt like I was betraying Specks by having another cat so soon! You just wouldn't believe the guilt; but finally talked with some experts about this. I am so glad I did, because after 4 days, I couldn't part with 'Livvy' and adopted her. I found out later Livvy had been adopted out before and kept being returned. I have no idea why to this day. She is a good cat, but was different from Specks. Livvy would never be Specks, and I will always have a large, special place in my heart for Specks, but Livvy did help me deal with the pain.

Livvy has been with me now for over 3 years. She is a character and loves to drink out of water faucets, play with little yarn pom-pons all over the house, loves to be chased and is just a funny cat. I still miss Specks terribly, always will, and every day I think of her sweet face and loving ways. But I do love Livvy very much too!

Specks added so much to my life and I will never forget her for that! She was so special to me that I can't even express it adequately. I love you, my sweet girl!!! I found this prayer and thought I would share it with you:

Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for allowing me to care for such a loving, sweet, affectionate, and loyal pet! The unconditional love she gave me was a true blessing from you! I place Specks in your loving arms to care for now....may Specks rest in eternal peace with You! --Amen

This little poem I wrote for her soon after her passing. I have a little wooden box that I put a couple of her toys, collar, and tags in. The poem is on the outside lid. I hope you like it!

"My beloved, sweet Specks,

My best friend and companion!

I will always love you deeply!

My dear, gentle, loving girl!

I miss you and love you, my forever pet!

Thank you for reading this tribute to my dear Specks! Please be kind to your animal companions and show them LOVE and AFFECTION every day! They deserve it!

Livvy, Totally Out of It!


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    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Thank you so much. Sometimes I feel kind of like a wimp, crying and missing my cat so much, but can't deny the way I feel and the love I have for my Specks!

      I long for Jesus to come back. I have had enough of this world and want to be in peace, endure no pain and live with total joy with my loved ones and of course our Creator and Savior! Plus, I want to see what my mansion looks like! ROFLOL I know Specks will have fun there!!!!

      Bless you!

    • skye2day profile image


      10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      kingheart I believe specks is with the other animals!! I really do. God is love. He loves All HIS creation.

      He wants none to perish. specks gave love and you gave specks love. Now i have tears. It is all good. God is so good. Lion and lamb lie together. Also children can put their head in a lions mouth and the lion will not hurt or harm but love. AMAZING Oh Jesus Come. Your sista in Christ.

    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Skye2day...Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting! This hub was very hard to write...the emotions just caught me. Three years ago I had to put my sweet Specks down. It just tore me apart, but I had to stay with her until the very end. She was so special to me and still is. I have tried to find in the Scriptures the answer to where our beloved pets go when they pass on. They have to have a spirit, though some clergy say they don't. It is very confusing, but whatever gave Specks life, her personality and that love left when she died. I truly pray that she is in Heaven, returned to our Father's loving, secure, and peaceful embrace! He blessed me by letting me care for His cat for almost 20 years and when she left, I lost part of my self. I know there are animals in Heaven...the Scriptures mention the lion and lamb living peacefully with each other. And of course, Noah followed God's command to save the animals before the flood. Even though I know these truths, I still would love the reassurance of reading in God's Word the fate of our beloved pets when they leave us.

      Specks was one in a billion and I still miss her every day. I love my Livvy too, but Specks is one of those pets that just captured my heart from the very start.

      Thank you for your kind words and I will sure check out Stars439. There can't be too many cat lovers in the world for me! LOL

      I have read some of your hubs...they are great but haven't gotten to them all. I did read one about angels and left a comment to that one, I know.

      God Bless you and keep on doing God's work here on the hub!!

      Your brother in Christ ....Knightheart

    • skye2day profile image


      10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      knightheart Ahh, what a precious story. I loved it. Your heart is so kind and loving. specks was truly a character. I am so sorry for your loss. specks is in heaven hanging with all the animals no pain no fear no suffering! I believe our animals are there. God so loves His creation and His Children he must have them waiting for us! I need to find scripture on that. Of course GOD does not tell us all in HIS coming kingdom. Very Nice read and pix. I voted up and awesome Livvy is so preciuos. I am more of a dog person but cats I love them I just go for dogs. I wrote a hub 'GOD sends angels to rescue dog and heals dog' A true story that happened about a month or so ago.I will return bro.

      You would love stars439 he loves cats. He writes on hubpages. Hugs galore brother. In Christ.

    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Dat on a Soapbox!

      Love your avatar and screen name! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my tribute! Specks had a great life, though it sure ended tragically. She fought to the very end. I know she wasn't eating since she was getting thinner, but she still never missed going to her litter box and still moved around well. I never cried so hard in my life when I had to put her down. Her personality and manner were highly unusual...she even didn't mind getting wet! LOL

      I take it you are a cat lover too! I am so thankful that there are people out there that truly love and care for our animal friends. There is too much hate and disregard for life and to take it out on an innocent animal is totally unacceptable! Bless you for your kind words and compassion and give your cat(s) a big hug and kiss for me!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      10 years ago from Los Angeles

      What a loving tribute to your best friend and companion. You and Specks were lucky to have each other. She would be happy to know that a heart as big as yours has made room for another kitty. You've found one of your callings in life. Bless you :>)

    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Peggy, thank you so much! Losing a pet is just as bad as losing a person close to you...grief is grief. I hope someday soon I will be able to think about Specks, look at her photos without feeling sad. She did make me laugh quite often with some of her funny 'cat' ways, like sitting on her back legs resembling a prairie dog begging for a piece of fried chicken in which she loved, or dragging a steak off the counter to the basement steps to devour! ROFLOL And paper bags...oh my, she just loved those!

      Thank you for your kind words again! Bless you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Posting this may help others understand that the grieving for a pet is just as real as other types of grief. Nice that you could do it. We have lost many beloved pets through the years and thinking back to them now mostly brings us smiles and happy thoughts. I hope that you get to that place with your Specks.

    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Greetings PrairiePrincess!

      I appreciate you stopping by to read about my Specks. She truly was one of a kind! Not a day goes by that I don't think of her or am reminded of something she die. She loved looking out the window on winter days, meowing at the birds and squirrels on my feeder. She was such a character and just loved to be cuddled.

      That trip to Washington was a long one and I really wasn't sure how Specks would handle it since I really didn't have long at that time, under a year. But she surprised me. She didn't fuss at all, never messed in my vehicle, and just sat on her carrier looking out the windows! LOL

      Maybe Shiloh and Specks are related! ROFLOL Anyway, I hope your Shiloh is still with you! Thanks for you compassionate and comforting words. I almost didn't post this since I wasn't sure if I should, but I am glad I did. God Bless you!!!!

    • Knightheart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from MIssouri, USA

      Hi Peggy,

      Thank you so much for commenting on this page. It was very difficult to write since it brought up memories of Specks and how much I miss having her here. She was such a rare and adorable cat! I don't think anyone ever gets over the loss...I know I haven't. It still hurts almost as much as it did 3 years ago. Specks was such a huge part of my life and always there for companionship!

      I thank you for the encouraging words. I read the Rainbow Bridge and pray that is true. I would give anything to see and be with Specks again! I have the Rainbow Bridge included in my memorial wall hanging and read it often. I can't imagine being in Heaven without our pet loved ones. God created them so I pray my Specks and Eowyn of there too. I appreciate your warm thoughts and compassion! God Bless you!!!!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Knightheart, thanks for sharing your experiences with Spec. She really was such a wonderful cat, and I can her in my mind's eye as you describe her. I love how she travelled with you all those miles. My cat, Shiloh, did the same things with us, when we travelled across Canada 1500 miles, for Christmas.

      This hub moved my heart. Bless you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Well now...I have a few tears in my eyes also. This is a wonderful tribute to your dear Specks and nice that you and Livvy now have each other.

      Many accounts of near death experiences written by different people see pets also going through that tunnel of light. So hopefully you will get to see your Specks again someday and we will see our beloved animals again. Why not? They are also God's creations...pure of heart and, as you said, give unconditional love.

      Voted beautiful.


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