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Mourning the Passing of a Pet

Updated on March 27, 2016

When Your Pet Dies

Death of a pet can be a traumatic experience. Not only is it a loss of an animal that has been a member of your family, but the fact that pets themselves cannot express pain or grief makes it doubly hard. We may be able to sense when a pet is not doing well. But, to think about what they may be feeling at life's end is beyond our comprehension. And I do believe that pets, like us, know when the end is near.

For example, cats tend to wander away before they die. They do not wish to end their lives nearby those who love them, or within close distance of their home. I always thought this was a bit strange. But when we adopted a sickly kitten during my teenage years, and that poor animal only lived one week, it was heartbreakingly true.

One of my sisters desired a white kitten. We found one at the Humane Society, that we named "Coconut." That poor pet only lived about eight days in our care. After three days, she stopped eating. Then, we took her to the vet, where they fed her intravenously for another three days. Eventually, fate was in God's hands. We brought the weak kitten home and I willed her to live. Hand-feeding her for hours on end, I couldn't believe that her health wouldn't eventually improve. Sadly, one of the nights that I slept with the small kitten, she moved to the end of the bed, instead of snuggling close with me. In the morning, she was stiff and cold. What a hard lesson at 15 years of age!

Just like our little Coconut kitty
Just like our little Coconut kitty
Taffy's twin
Taffy's twin

Sharing Stories After Your Pet Passes Away

Not less than about 18 months later, tragedy struck our family again with the loss of another beloved pet. For my youngest sister's 10th birthday, we adopted a calico kitten, young and sweet. My mom placed the little cat in a basket and presented her to my sister, who had been wishing on a star for several years for her own pet. The kitten was named "Taffy" and was probably the dearest cat I've ever known. Taffy allowed us to dress her up in bonnets and put her, back down, in baby buggies, as if she was a doll. At night, she slept with her paw draped lovingly over my sister's shoulder in an enduring embrace. Taffy was the essence of sweetness. Eight months later, she had a litter of kittens, all of which were equally dear and loving, like their mother.

About a month after we had given the last kitten away, Taffy met a tragic end. She was struck overnight by a car driving down our quiet, suburban road. In the morning, we called for her and she didn't come. My mother found her across the street, lying peacefully on the neighbor's lawn. It was, and still is, one of the most heartbreaking memories of my life. I recall, as if it was yesterday, my sister sobbing and begging to hold her cat one more time, as my father slipped her into a bag and buried her behind the hydrangea bush in our backyard. Years later, in high school, my sister would still write about the loss of her dear pet. I wonder if she ever really completely recovered.

This fella looks just like Stripey!
This fella looks just like Stripey!
On the prowl
On the prowl

Grieving the Loss of a Beloved Pet

Notwithstanding these two initial losses, I was caught off-guard with the depth of grief I would suffer when my own childhood pet passed away. I was only five years old when my favorite uncle gave me my first pet, a cat, that I named Stripey (he was a tabby cat). Oh my goodness, did I adore that pet of mine! Stripey slept with me every night through elementary, middle school and high school. He was a mutt of a cat, blended with regular American Shorthair and Siamese backgrounds. The Siamese heredity made Stripey extra "talkative," which was actually endearing. He would seem to ask me, "how are you?" when he entered my room each day with a little purrr-up! If I wanted sleep, or was deep in study, I had to close the door to my room. Stripey didn't give up, though. I can still recall his little gray paw coming through under the door in an effort to reach me - his mistress and deepest love.

When I went away to college, things were never the same. My mom told me that Stripey wandered around the house, yowling and looking for me. Of course, I didn't know this at the time. She related these stories after he passed away. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of my dear cat and our lost nights together.

One sad day, my mother called me at work to tell me of Stripey's passing. I was working as a bookkeeper at one of Seattle's finance district restaurants at the time. I recall sobbing and not being able to continue the day after receiving the news. To make matters worse, I found out the truth of Stripey's demise a day or two later. He had not passed peacefully in his sleep, as I had hoped, but had been mauled by a neighbor's dog. A year or two earlier, Stripey would have escaped those vicious jowls. But he was too old and weak to run away that time. I was 20 years old, but I felt as if I was 7. Time is a strange phenomenon in the wells of sadness.

Looks like he's ready to snuggle
Looks like he's ready to snuggle

Sadness When a Pet Dies

Almost 20 years later, I'm still waiting to find another cat like Stripey. I had one, briefly, about 8 years ago. Another adoptee from the Humane Society, Pockets was a loving cat that hugged you when you picked him up. I fell hard and fast for that boy. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Within days of our adopting the cat, he stopped eating. We rushed him to a veterinary hospital where they performed a blood transfusion and other very expensive procedures. Nearly $2000 later, the vet called and said that Pockets's prognosis was pretty grim. I really couldn't pull the plug. I asked them to run the tests and then call my husband instead of me. But somehow the message was lost in the shuffle. Two hours later, the vet called and asked me for permission to put Pockets to sleep. It was too much to bear. I sobbed and said it was OK to proceed, but in reality, it was as if I was losing Stripey, Taffy and Coconut all over again.

Helpful Books for Your Grief

Dexter 2005
Dexter 2005

Have you Lost a Great Pet?

Since Pockets passed away, we have lost two more cats that have run away. They may still be alive, enjoying cat chow on someone else's porch. In many ways, it is much easier to deal with this loss than to see our pets suffer and die. One of our cats that escaped a shed during a thunderstorm in 2006 is living as a farm cat on my in-laws' farm. Because she was never interested in being an indoor pet, I am happy to hear that she is doing well and surviving.

I'm sure that there are calloused people that believe that a pet's passing or loss is but the circle of life, and not to be mourned. But pets own a special place in our hearts - more than regular animals, but maybe a little less than other humans in our lives. No wonder we find their death such a traumatic experience. The steps of grieving the loss of a pet should be respected and recognized as a significant passage in our lives.

If you have loved and lost a pet, I wish you peace in accepting the sadness of your pet's passing. Every owner's experience is unique, and one pet cannot readily be replaced with a new one. Hopefully, you will find some solace in the knowledge that your pet sensed your strong connection during its life. Hold tight to the memories and know that your love for your pet was a special experience.

I would love to read your stories of special pets in your life below! Please post a comment.... thank you!

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks


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      Zed 3 years ago

      Hi, my sisters cat passed away 2 days ago, he got hit by a car... Its very traumatic and upsetting...My little sister who is 22 is constantly crying and getting upset and talking about him.. its a difficult time.. because Rocky's mum and brother miss him too, they don't eat properly... Its hit us hard that we won't see our gorgeous Rocky ever again :(

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      Scott 4 years ago


      Thank you for this hub, on October 4, 2013 I had to put my baby girl Callie down, she had developed pancreatitis, and liver failure. she was my little baby introduced to me 13 years ago, by a neighbor left on a doorstep in the rain with a can of Tuna. She was too young to eat by herself so I took her, got rid of all the fleas and hand feed her and got her to a healthy state. She could beg, and sit, and when I told her bed at night, she would jump on the bed and go to sleep on her blanket next to me.

      At the vet I really feel somehow she decided along with me it was time for us to part. As I held her a feeling of courage and peace flowed from her to. me and I was ready to let go.

      I held her in my arms as she went into her deep sleep and left me, after shedding my tears for her, I left her lifeless body to the vet.

      I miss her soooo much, now going to sleep looking at the empty space at night where she used to lay. I constantly think about her, and imagine her in a field of yellow daisies, happy and content, pouncing on any movement among the flowers and the grass, then lying on her back as she usually did enjoying the sun on her belly, or the feeling the cool breeze that ran through her fur on occasion God watching over her, coming along and scratching under and on the side of her chin that she always enjoyed having me do.

      Like the readings before me, I agree there is a special connection between pets and their owners, it is only people who have pets, dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, etc... That can understand this.

      Although Callie is no longer physically with me, her memories and spirit will always be a part of me, and I am so grateful to have had so many years with her.

      Thank you, for allowing me to express my sorrow for the passing of my cat Callie, a very special part of my life

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      Kathi 4 years ago

      Four and a half years ago, Henry appeared with one paw on the bottom step. I cried because we had lost our Bassett less than a year before. We took Henry in and instantly fell in love with him. He had health issues and we were not sure what he had been through. He brought us joy every day. He stayed close when we took him outside never needing a leash...he was so happy to have a home. It took a while for him to trust again and he was shaky when we took him anywhere. I took his favorite treats and fed him on the way to vet visits to keep him calm. We figured he was so afraid of being abandoned again. He had the cutest beagle howl. The first Christmas with us, as soon as I put the tree skirt around the tree he went over and laid down on it under the tree... one of the many things I will never forget. I had foot surgery and my neighbor would come over and help us out until I could get around. He was not able to get down the steps very well then. I was getting around well when we had to put him down. My neighbor says that he stayed until I was recovered and that my days of recovery would have been so much harder without him. Everyone says that Henry was so lucky to have found us. We were so lucky that he came. I still cry and miss him terribly. I know he is in heaven and feeling no pain.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 5 years ago from Texas

      I've lost many pets over the years. My first was a dalmation/doberman cross I named Kojak. Before he reached a year, he died from distemper. The vet said he would have made it but when one of the neighborhood bully's kicked him, it did so much damage, he died the next day. I still remember that bully's name.

      Another was a full blooded doberman I named Tonka, he passed from parvo.Growing up, my mom had a shepherd, st bernard mix who lived 14 yrs.

      A few years back I had a black cocker spaniel I called Corky. He was a mess, spoiled, loving and sweet. Somehow I came up with the nickname Corky Doodle. My daughter made him a necklace from soda can tabs. She took a photo of him with it on wearing a blue beanie hat cocked over to one side. She call the photo "C.Doodle Bling Bling". She explained that C.Doodle was his gangster name! HaHa. Corky passed due to a mistake caused by a vet, something I'll never forget. I sure miss that little turd. But I still have his bling.

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      Jeff 5 years ago

      My folks had a cat named Linus who was the biggest cat I have ever seen at 40 lbs. It loved my Mom so much. I loved it too and when I went home to visit, Linus came running... and at times I would stop and talk to him before my parents. This past Monday Mom called me. She needed help taking Linus to be put to sleep as he had been in major pain crying most nights within the past week. He had a major seizure from his diabetes on Monday and Mom knew it was time. He was 12 and a half years old.... I am a pastor and have been with people many times who are dieing. Some who I have been really close to... yet this was one of the hardest things I have done. I miss that cat so much.. and have cried more than I have in a long long time... Sometimes a cat is just a cat... and sometimes they are a friend.

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      Regina 5 years ago

      Great Hub. I had 2 hamsters named Sneaky and Muffin. Dwarf and Shorthaired. Only Muffin knew 1 trick,which is flip. Sneaky would play "Tarster". She would swing on her cage bars. They both lived 1 year. I will never stop feeling guilty about their deaths. Muffin died of cancer. Sneaky's is a mystery death.

    • Fabiana03 profile image

      Fabiana03 5 years ago from California

      Great Hub. I lost my 8 month old cat less than a year ago and it was very hard for me. I adopted a 2 month old kitty a few months later because I thought I couldn't go on without a distraction.

      This kitty is cute and funny, but he will never replace my other cat. It's a tough loss.I hope you all can find peace.

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      AJ 5 years ago

      My heart is broken, on Thursday night my beautiful cat Rocco was hit by a car. I cant stop thinking about him and what he went through just before he died, I cant stop crying. I loved him so much, I rescued him from the cat shelter when he was 3, he was the funniest cat with the most amazing personality, he would call out to me if he didn't know where I was and I would have to say 'i'm here' - so he could come and find me, once he knew where I was he was ok! He was 12 and I know he had a wonderful life, who knows what would have happened to him if I didn't adopt him. I just dont know how to get over the pain and guilt that I feel & the he what ifs. Thank you for having this website, I have been sitting here crying for the last hour reading through all the other heartbreaking stories of losing a loved pet. He was just amazing. I'll love you forever Rocco - thank you for coming into my life.

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      kviwhite 6 years ago

      Lovely cat! Sorry to heart that. Animals are friends of us.

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      Jennifer 6 years ago

      I had to get rid of my beloved cat. My daughter is allergic to cats and her doctor recommended that is was time to find him a new home. Luckily I found a caring lady who would take my 8 yr old cat. It was hearbreaking to let go of him but I kept telling myself I was doing the right thing and being a good mom. My sister came and got him because I didn't have the heart to take him on his 3hr drive to his new home. He got there in the evening on Saturday night and passed away late Tuesday night from a heart attack. I feel so guilty. I keep thinking could I have done more to keep him, eased him into the transition of his new home by taking him there myself. All I keep thinking is that they last days of my pet's life were so miserable that he died. My cat was 8 and the lady had another cat age 7 that she wanted to find a companion for. My big worry was that they were both used to being only pets, but I thought after time they would grow on eachother. If I could only go back in time, he could still be here.

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      Beatrice F. 6 years ago

      I had to have my first cat Loloche, euthanized 2 days ago and am filled with grief. H e was a eautiful point flamed himalayian that looked like an ewok, he would elegantly rest anywere with his paws and his head dropping like he was made of faric. Everyday he came to the door to welcome me home, and he knew that whenever he would be on his back I couldn'resist to pet and kiss his cute round belly. I had 2 cats MJ a chocolate oriental and Loloche, they both slept with me and I was my pleasure to wake up everyday and touch their fur. MJ is grieving too and I can feel his sadness. Loloche died in my arms, at the Vet while I told him I loved him and was sorry he was leaving us. I spent my hole day crying and I miss him terribly. The house feel empty and I think of all my interractions with hime all the time, How he always looked at my shoelaces when I was tying my sneakers, when I held him in my arms and kissed him on his belly, and his eautiful profile with his cute nose. Thank you for sharing your stores and giving me a place where I can express my Love and my pain.

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      Lady 6 years ago

      I am so sorry for your losses. My cat, my one and only, passed away a month ago and I still burst into tears most nights. He was only 4, he was killed by my landlord's dog on that fateful day the door to my apartment (I live in a guesthouse behind the main house) did not catch. He was really special and I can't imagine another cat like him- he knew commands (come, sit, stand up, high-five, jump, etc), always wanted to play, would do crazy hyper things, have different meows for different things (my favorite was ma-maah? for food. Accompanied by tapping me with his paw, usually at 5:30 am). I am moving since it is just so hard for me to be here in this place where I found him, every time I come back here it is like a replay for me. I think I will get another cat some day but I want to take time so that I really deal with it. When I get a new cat(s?) I will make sure it is different looking than my cat was (who oddly enough looked very similar to my cat in childhood). No more tabby-tux cats for me :(

      I guess all we can do is have our good memories of our friends. I find it striking that you have had several similar harrowing experiences with your pets. Maybe you can take some small comfort in at least giving them a nice place to stay for a few days or years before their time came.

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      Johannes 6 years ago

      We just lost our dog (Stompie) a Fox Terrier (14y old). It feels like losing a family member. I lost my brother in-law about 4 years ago, but the emotions are the same! I am sure animals have a soul. R.I.P. Stompie.

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      Jason 6 years ago

      I have a beautiful 13 year old Collie and Husky mix dog named Buddy. Four years ago we found out that he has liver cancer. We are truly blessed to have had him this long after the vet gave him three months with this news. After years of trying to get him to eat, giving him vitimans and pain medication, he has taken a turn for the worse and we have made the decision to put him to sleep this afternoon. I am just heartbroken because he doesn't appear to be in pain and looks up at us with those big brown eyes and a smile on his face. We just can't stand to see him not able to work, or have a other issues that just isn't him. I am at work this morning but dreading what I have to look forward to this afternoon. It hurts so bad but I am finding these stories, among other poems and such with great comfort. I'm glad everyone else on here can relate to what I am going through.

      In loving memory of Buddy as I hope he will be watching over me forever in a happier place.

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      Denise Williams 6 years ago

      I just lost my favorite cat. I will never forget how wonderful she was and how she made me laugh. It will take a hell of a cat to move me like Noel did. Noel the little manx kitten I adopted for the pound ing Lakeland, Florida. I really never picked her, she picked me.

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      Cat Owner 6 years ago

      I meant 10/25/2010 not 2019 oops. farewell jinxy

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      Cat Owner 6 years ago

      I read your story and I can relate. I had a himalayan with a little siamese cat and she had to be put down recently. She lived a long happy life to the ripe old age of 18 but her 3 year battle with diabetes had weakened her and she suffered multiple organ failure so I chose to have her euthanized because she was in such a pathetic state from the diabetes ravaging her body that she could barely move and was only suffering. I couldn't help but bawling my eyes out as I watched them end her life. But, I was holding her as they tranquilized her and she knew I loved her as she passed. She loved me and I loved her - I was her entire life. , and I will miss and love her forever. Jinx the cat rip 10/25/2019

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      Era 7 years ago

      I lost my beloved Sushi this morning. I feel like there is a huge hole in my heart and my stomach hurts from crying so much. Dec 5th would have been the 15th anniversary of her adoption from the SPCA. I had been grieving over the loss of my cat of 16 years (cancer)and decided after 5 weeks that it was time to look for a new furry friend. On the very first visit, Sushi chose me and made me smile again.

      My dear calico kitty, with jade green eyes and a raccoon mask, had the softest fur I've ever touched. She was also the smartest cat I've ever owned, and the most obedient (but also the most klutzy.) She has been with me through the loss of two wonderful parents and so many changes, I feel like it is the ending of a chapter in my life and so I mourn that too.

      This past week she just wasn't herself and then she didn't want to eat. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Failure. The only humane thing to do was to let her go. I had the vet come to the house so that she could die in quiet, familiar surroundings. I can still see her little face resting on my arm with her paw touching me. The end was very peaceful.

      Thank-you for this site and being to share with each other our stories and sorrow. They may be small creatures but they have huge, loving hearts and they are a part of the fabric of our memories always.

    • Claudin_Dayo profile image

      Claudin_Dayo 7 years ago from Southeast Asia

      I too am a pet lover :)) great hub.. death is really inevitable. I hope my cat won't die yet until I graduate.. They do bring joy and color in our life, if only God created them to be immortal that would be great right?? ^__^

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      Fran 7 years ago

      What a touching stories!

      We all have one thing in common: we love animals and we have lost what was most dearly to us.

      Although my pet died already more than one year ago, I'm still sad.

      It was a very special pet: it was a duck. Her name was Pipke. She became fourteen years and three months old.

      What we've experienced was unique and I want to share it with you.

      Here you can read a part of her story. It describes her last days.

      On my this blog you can find her full life story.

      Hope to see you there.

      Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our stories with others.

    • Colette H profile image

      Colette H 7 years ago

      My beautiful little cat Phoebe died almost 7 months ago. I keep waiting for the pain to ease but also feel so guilty that it will pass too. I'm afraid that it'll dishonour her memory somehow. She was my little angel.

      she came into my life over 6 years ago. My husband brought her home to me and I had a hissy fit because I really disliked cats. I was in a very dark place in my life. My heart was broken and life was very grim; it had been this way for 3 years. Overnight there was light again. When I woke up the day after we got Phoebe I felt different; I can't explain it, I looked at her and she pulled on my heart strings. It took no time at all for life to brighten again. We brought her sister home to live with us; in no time I had 5 cats living with me, all of whom I adore but Phoebe was so amazingly special. I always cuddled her and told her how much I loved her and that she had fixed my broken heart.

      When she was 3yrs old she was hit by a car which left her body shattered. She survived 3 major surgeries. The vet told me he believed the only thing that saved her was her beautiful nature. She lost a leg and had pins holding her pelvis but she was still the happiest little creature. 7 months ago I moved into a house that had stairs; I'd lived in bungalows before this. After a couple of weeks I came home to find her lying on the bottom of the stairs crying. I took her to the vet who took her to his home that night. He warned me that she wasn't good and that he thought her back was broken. It was the longest night of my life. He rang me in the morning to say she'd died in her sleep. I wish I'd been with her. I miss her every day. She was my angel.

      I had her beautiful little body cremated and engraved on her little casked is 'Phoebe, my angel, you fixed my broken heart'.

      I know how lucky I was to have her. I'm just having a tough time trying to get on with life now that she isn't with me anymore.

      Thank you so much for having a place like this where there are people who understand how amazing and special these little creatures are to us. My heart is with everyone on this site. I've cried for the past hour reading all the stories.

      Goodnight my Phoebe; I hope I'll see you again some day. You were the light and brightness in my life. I love you with all my heart.

      Colette, Ireland

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      Karen Mooney 7 years ago

      It's been a week today since i lost my precios boy Sylvester. He looked just like the cartoon cat. He would have been 10 in a few weeks. I had previously taken him to the vet a year ago for weight loss and acting a little down. They did alot of bloodwork and said that it must be nerves b/c my husband, Sylvester's best friend, had recently changed his work schedule. They said that any kind of change like this could cause a cat to be depressed maybe. I tried to make things at home less stressful for Vester, and it seemed to be working. He had always had a problem with hairballs because he was the bather in the family. A family of 4 cats, all inside. So, i didn't think much about it when he vomited, usually a hairball would appear. Just recently he started vomiting and couldn't keep anything down, although he had a hearty appetite. My mama went with us to the vet, this time a different one, and they did alot of bloodwork, ect.... They sent us home with antibiotics and said to watch him. So, we did, and he still couldn't keep anything down. We took him back the next morning and they did an ultrasound on him. The vet found what she thought to be a foreign body, maybe even a hairball, in his intestines. She wanted to do exploratory surgery to remove whatever this was. She called me at home with heartbreaking news that it was a tumor that they had found. She went on to tell me that it had spread to Vester's lymph nodes. The last thing i remember her saying to me was, "what i want to know is do you want me to wake him up at all?" I was hysterical after hearing that. She said if she woke him and i took him home, he may have 2 weeks left, probably vomiting still. I had to let my sweet boy go, and i think it's the hardest thing that i have ever had to do. I feel like i'm still in shock. I miss him so much that it feels like there is a hole in my heart. Something is missing, and it's that precious thing that was given to me in a paper bag at my mailbox when he was only a few weeks old. I won't ever know who gave me such a gift, but whoever it is out there, you will never know what a blessing he was to me.

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      Sandra Munoz 7 years ago

      My cat got lost this weekend while I was away from town. He was supposedly under my boyfriend's care and I have cried a lot. I hope she comes back home. She is very sweet and loving and loved to play fetch with a small pink toy. I can't believe I may never hold her again. It has been only a year or so. Pets teach us what love really feels like.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Wow, thank you for sharing these stories of your kitties! I have to say that I was interested by the number of cats you'd gotten from shelters that were sick. My shelter cat was very sick when we got her, but we didn't know it at the time, and her sickness still flares up from time to time years later. I know that it's good to get animals from shelters, but you can also get cats from cat adoption groups that are able to pay more attention to their animals - I fostered a few cats through such a program and saw the care that goes into raising the cats, and I ended up adopting one.

    • Ladybythelake55 profile image

      Ladybythelake55 7 years ago from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL

      I lost my beloved cat, Daisy Mae in September of 2009, I miss her very much. I got her as a kitten in November of 1994 and she was with me for nearly 15 years. I had her cremated by a Pet Cemetory Services here in Chicago. I have Little Sylvester I have had him since 2000, and we adopted a new 2 year old cat, Katilin from Chicago's Anti- Cruelty Society at Petsmart and she is a joy. I stil miss my Daisy Mae and all the joy she gave me. I know she is being taking care by those that have gone on before- Rocky, please take care of Daisy until I can get up there myself. Karissa

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      Fran  7 years ago

      Thank you for your story.

      If you would love to read a life and love story of a special pet then I would invite you to read the story of my beloved pet duck. Her name was Pipke. Unfortunately she died last September. She became 14 years and three months old. She was the best that could happen to us. What we have experienced is unique. I have written her story, it became a book on a blog

      If you are interested here you can find her story:

      Hope to see you there.

      Thanks in advance!

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      Kimmie 7 years ago

      Thank you for your story. My childhood cat Flicka died today and I am crushed. I have a supportive family and boyfriend to help me through this time, but i found your story extra reassuring and touching. I related with your story about Stripey. My cat was also part simease. She would also sleep by my side throughout elementary, middle, and high school. And my parents said she would look for me when i left college too! I am now doing my post grad in England so i haven't been able to spend the past couple years with her. I knew she was getting old, but the news has still crushed me. The night when she passed away, i dreamt that she was sleeping on the foot of my bed purring me to sleep. She will always be in my heart. Thank you for posting your story. It's means so much just knowing that there are other people out there dealing with losing a pet. They will always live in our hearts. Stripey and Flicka... and yes, we must be thankful for all the good times that we shared with our pets. I want to make it a point that i make something positive out of her life. I'll start with smiling a bit today and knowing that she led a happy and long life. Thank you once again for sharing and your encouragement. :)

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      Ken 7 years ago

      I lost the only cat I've ever had today, and the sadness and emptiness I feel is immense. I'm a middle-aged man who would be described as all-business or hard-nosed, but today I've been crying like a baby. Spook was a loving, faithful, and playful companion for 16 years. I had to make the decision to put her out of her suffering today. It's one of the hardest decisions I believe I've ever had to make. I was with her at the end and, again, crying my eyes out when it was over. My wife was there as well, and was a great comfort to me. We buried her under a tree with a big bird's nest in our backyard. Spook was a stray who I took in 16 years ago. She was just a frail kitten who was malnourished and had worms. After overcoming these ailments, she developed a bladder infection that would keep coming back after treatment. I decided that this poor kitten could not keep getting antibiotics every other month and hope to have a long or good life. I started giving her an eye-dropper full of cranberry juice every morning for about 4 years. She didn't exactly like it, but we never had another bladder infection.:) That was how we started, and we grew together over the years. She would love to watch the birds out the window, so our first Christmas in our current house (10 years ago) I bought her a perch that would allow her to look out the front windows at two trees filled with birds. She loved the perch and I loved watching her watch the birds. Every evening when I got home she would jump on the bed while I was changing, put her front paws on the footboard and start purring in anticipation of the petting that was to come. Unfortunately, her body just wore out over the last week or so. Her lungs were obstructed with fluid and she was laboring to breathe. I'm going to miss her more than words can express, but I could not allow her to suffer. I will miss my old, trusted friend. I thank all of you who have shared your stories on here. I read them all before I started writing and they have helped me understand what I'm currently feeling. I know my heart will heal and I will cherish the good memories, but I am hurting right now.

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      Abby 7 years ago

      My cat sugar died in may this year from Kidney failure he was 9. He was my first pet i got him when i was four he died when i was 12. In his last few days we allowed him out side for awhile. I was so happy to see him chasing around leaves he almost looked like his old self. it has been 7th mnths now after his death and i am still crying over it. I think i never will get over his death. I don't know if his old bud will either after his death he got three colds. we were guessing it was the stress from sugar's passing.

      The sweet thing was that on Sugar's last night. My oldest brother just got back from college, he went in to see him said hi and goodbye and 2 hrs later he was dead on my mom and dads floor. I think he was trying to hold on till my brother was able to see him.

      I miss that cat so much. For the New Year of 2010 i won't be able to hug him. R.I.P. Sugar. and i hope he will be waiting for me when i get to the other side.

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      Mel 8 years ago

      I adopted a young cat almost two weeks ago. I named her Callie. She brought a new energy to my apartment and my two older boy cats. One of them loved to play with her. She was the picture of health until this morning. She had trouble with her balance. I had hoped she was a little dehydrated, but it was FIP. I put her down about 12 hours ago. I knew her for such a short time, but her death has been extremely hard on me (much harder than the deaths of pets I knew for years). I miss you Callie. I am sorry that your life was so short. I hope that you were happy and enjoyed your last few weeks.

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      Christy Toney 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for having this page up. I am in fresh mourning over the loss of my precious cat Shadow. I got him as a kitten from a couple back in 2000. He was very scary/skittish so I named him Shadow, as in scared of his own Shadow!

      I got married in 2004 and my (now ex) husband didn't want the cat. I gave him to my mom and my brother to care for and now I have been back home for a year now. I feel so much regret because I didn't have that much time with him.

      He died just this past Thanksgiving, while we were cooking dinner. He was in his usual spot, playing in the window sill and he just slumped over and went through a couple of spasms, and it was over. Very quickly. I am now re-thinking everything. The vet I used to take him to, the extra weight he was carrying, his diet, his exercise. I wish I could have done more to extend his life.

      He was such a part of me and now I feel so sad. I am crying as I type this. My mom and brother are equally mourning the passing of Shadow. I see him still all over this house. His bed, his toys, I just can't believe he left us so quickly and unexpectedly. All of the other cat owners that I know usually go through some long sickness, this was just unpreventable. I am assuming a blod clot went free or he had a heart attack... I just feel lonely, guilty, sad, regretful, all those emotions at once.

      I know that it gets better though, I will never forget him and I, again, appreciate you having this page up. I just felt the need to connect to others who have gone through this.



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      Mia 8 years ago

      I just had to put down my baby Lunchbox early this morning. He unfortunately had liver failure and this was the more humane option for him. It is so hard to believe and accept that he is gone. I love and miss him so much and it is so painful for me right now. He was so bad sometimes, getting into everything. He was my wild child and as annoying as that was some times I would welcome it in a heartbeat to have him back. He was so fun to play with and when he would cuddle and lay with me I just felt to blessed and lucky to have him. I just don't know what to do with myself right now. I feel so lost and I just really want him back. I always thought of him as my actual baby. As hard as it was I am glad that I decided to be with him in his last few moments instead of leaving him alone and scared with strangers. Though I completely understand why some people wouldn't want to be there. It was heartbreaking to see him like that. He unfortunately is not the first cat that I've lost but of all the cats I've had him the longest and we've been through a lot these last 5 years we've been together. I do also feel like people will think that I am silly, breaking down the way I have over him but I don't care. I owe it to him to take some time and mourn him. It's the least he deserves. I decided to have him creamated but I am not sure what to do with the ashes. He was an indoor cat so he doesn't have a spot outside and I don't have a spot I always go to where I think I wouldn't want his ashes but I also hate to think of him being bottled up in an urn because he wouldn't have liked that either. Anyway this site was very helpful and I know that I am not alone in my grief. I send out my condolences to anyone that needs them.

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      kaywilks71 8 years ago

      I lost my beloved cat Coco on the 7th of this month she was so very ill and had not eaten for weeks she had a thyroid operation but that was masking a tumour which they think was probably cancer so I had to make the horrid decision to let her go I stayed with her while they did the injection that put her peacefully to sleep, I cannot tell you how much pain I felt but I knew it was the kindest thing she was 16 1/2 years old and was my first pet and not a day goes by that I don't think about her I had her cremated and will be getting a plaque done for her and will visit soon. She was the nicest cat who doted on me and was a rescue cat and I had her from the age of 11 months I loved her like she was my child, I now have another rescue cat (my third) aged 7 called Molly she is a sweet thing, totally different from my Coco, it has helped the pain to have another puss around the house and although I do not feel for her like I did for Coco I am hoping in time I will.

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      Stephanie Hicks 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Lauren, I am truly so sorry about the loss of Tom yesterday! I certainly know how you feel, and you are not silly for crying over your cat. He sounds like a very special pet! Wishing you healing thoughts, Steph

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      Lauren 8 years ago

      I lost my beautiful cat Tom just yesterday...he got hit by a car. I came home from school on friday to find him lying in the middle of the road. By far this was one of the hardest things i had ever faced. Im going to miss him like crazy. Many people will call me stupid for crying so much over my cat. But i loved him and i still love him even though he has left my side. Everyday after school he would run up to me and race me inside to jump on my bed. I will never forget his friendly, amazing personality and how he made me feel. All i have left now is his collar, photos of him with his little brother, and all the memories him and me shared. I just hope Tiger (his little brother) can live on by himself and get over the tradgic death of Tom.

      Thank you to whoever created this page as it was nice to share my story.

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      Russian Dwarf Hamster 8 years ago

      I recently lost a cat that I had owned for fourteen years. It was a devestaing thing for me and my kids, but now we have the thought that we can get a new pet, and it' picked our spirits up a bit. Thanks for the nice page.

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      Mark 8 years ago

      Hi Stephanie. How sad you must feel about your best friend. As much as you feel pain now try to remember how much you both meant to each other and that having each other was a very special thing. When you feel sad try to think about something happy you both did together. Our pets can feel our love for them, that is why they love us back so much. Your love would have made Bella a very happy animal and she would have known your love right to the end.

      Your love would have been a source of comfort for your loving friend and in time you will feel better again. It will hurt and you will cry, but that is fine. Crying is a gift we give to those who are very, very special to us and Bella is your special friend. I am sorry to hear that you are being bullied and I hope that somebody is there to help you. I have a 4 year old little girl and I worry about her being bullied very much. Do you have anybody to talk to about the bullying? You need to make sure your parents are aware of what you are going through. Try to remember that bullies are cowards and full of fear. Be strong and understand that how they treat you has nothing to do with who you are and what you are about. You are the kind soul who loved her Bella and you will again feel joy. Hold on and keep Bella in your mind and heart where she will give you joy forever.

      Just last night my wife and I had to put-down our beloved cat Minnie. It was so very painful. I can't begin to describe how much we loved her. Love can hurt a great deal Stephanie, but we are very lucky to have had such wonderful pets to share our love with. Grieve for Bella, but remember she would want you to be happy again. That is what love is all about.


      Ottawa, Canada

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      Stephanie Wilde 8 years ago

      Has Anyone Got Any advice Im 12 years Of Age and my names is stephanie annie wilde i have just lost a loving beatifull labrador as i get bullied she was the only one i could talk to and know i dont have her she was wonderfull i feel i have lost evrythink i have loved and that kills me =:::{ i have a hamster but it isn't the same bella was her name a black labrador of 8 years of age she was an angel ill never forgett you bella boo's i love her always and very much too. xx

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      Stephanie Hicks 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Joe, I am so, so sorry to hear of your minpin's loss! I have a small dog too, who is 5 years old. He has epilepsy and I worry all the time. Take care, Steph

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      Joe..Toronto Cda 8 years ago

      I just lost a 5yr old minpin...he fell down 7 steps broke his neck...miss him

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Lizette, I am so sorry to hear about Vinnie's passing. I know that you must be having a very, very difficult time. Cats can be so special in the way that they talk to us and they know just when we need a snuggle on our lap. I truly am certain that Vinnie knew how much you loved him. He sounds like a one of a kind pet. All the best to you, Steph

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      Lizette217 9 years ago

      I lost my Vinnie today, the most gorgeous black and white persian on the planet, he would sit, shake, speak, play hide and seek, some when summoned, my buddy.  From one minute to the next he started breathing heavily and in 20 minutes he was gone.  I've been crying all day.  Don't know how to mend it or how to fill the void.  I refused to see him after the vet was done with him, and opened to keep his beauty (inside and out) as the last memory I held.  I looked at him this very morning and said to him, Vinnie, your gorgeous, and he meowed.  I will miss him, dearly.  Thanks for all of your posts and sharing your thoughts.  

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you josephdiego. Just last week, my parent's 18 year old cat died. It was so sad. I remember him as a kitten. My poor mom could not hold him when they put him down to end the suffering from congestive heart failure. It still brings tears to my eyes.

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      josephdiego 9 years ago from Eastern Long Island , New York

      What a nice Hub, Bito (Our pet pig) died last year. I couldn't even bring myself to burying him. Thank God for Daughters Boyfriend. Imagine me a big and tuff construction worker crying on the job sit. I still miss him. Thank God for Mr Bailey, destiny,Oreo (Dexters twin) and Rocky the rest or our pets...

      Thanks again for a great hub...

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Dear Veronica, I am heartbroken to hear of your loss. Animals are very dear companions and always there for you, especially during hard times. Butters was a lucky dog to have you as his owner. I am thinking of you and your loss, and hoping you find peace soon. I am so very sorry! In Butters memory - Steph

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      Veronica 9 years ago

      My baby Butters died last night. He was my center and my light. He was only three years old but he had a heart problem we never knew about. He was a jack russell and the happiest dog I have ever known. I have had a tremendously hard year and Butters was my rock throughout it all. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong this year and I was shocked to find out that my love died and I would never see him again. I am truly sad and grieving. He was a happy, seemingly healthy little boy and I hate to sound like a crazy dog lady but I loved him so much. I have cried all day and I still do not know how to get through the night. RIP my friend, I'm sure your jumping around the clouds right now and bothering God. I love you buddy. And I will miss you deeply.

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Dear Toni, my heart breaks at your pain and sadness right now. Oh, I am so sorry you must put Achi down. I am thinking of you and praying for Achi's brothers and for you through this difficult time. Truly, Steph

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      Toni 9 years ago

      I'm so heartbroken today more than any other day. After a week's worth of tests we received a final diagnosed DNA test confirming that my little baby girl has FIP. I got Achi and her two brothers (8 weeks old at the time) for my birthday a month ago and what a trio they were. All they could do was play, eat and sleep. They are little monsters in the day and night but at bedtime they all became snuggle bugs especially Achi whom my vet nicknamed the Purr Monkey. Sadly a week ago I noticed Achi was very down and her belly was distended. We rushed her to the vet where sorts of lab work were done and drained some of the fluid from her belly. My vet suspected FIP and thus ordered the DNA test to confirm as it has a 98% certainty. I am so heartbroken right now because I just put my other 14 yr old gal down 4 months ago after a 2 year bout with lymphoma. I waited some time until I found out my vet was fostering 3 little babies. I went to visit and fell in love immediately, especially with Achi as she was the cat I had always wanted; a brown tabby who would purr if you just made eye contact. My vet called me to confirm the test and so I must put her out of her pain this afternoon. I will wonder now for some time if her brothers may possibly get this same disease. It is almost certain they have contracted a caronavirus but we will not know unless they show symptoms if they have the gene that can mutate into the deadly FIP. I will pray hard and keep my fingers crossed that they remain healthy. Thanks to all who may read this.

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      Margaret Hampton 9 years ago from Florida

      Thanks, Steph. I have lost sweet birds, faithful dogs I had from early puppyhood (even born in my home), and more. Truly, it is so painful to lose our beloved pets - like my Golden Retriever, Amber, who was my constant, patient, loving companion for almost 12 years, starting right after my husband died. Whe was there when I needed to love on someone, or to feel gentle sympathy with my pain.

      When are close to our precious ones, we grieve their passing deeply. They aren't just "things." There's so much I want to share, but it's too much for a comment. I wrote a deeply personal NOTE "In Remembrance of My Precious Amber" on my Facebook Profile. It would probably resonate with each of you and possibly help with your own pain... and joyful memories. So if you're on Facebook, visit "Margaret Hampton" -

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      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      :) ty.

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I'm so sorry to hear that, Compu-Smart! These sweet animals, they mean so much! What a shock that must have been for you. I wish you the best and happy, fond memories of your dear cat.

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      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      losing a pet is very traumatic and i can totally relate to the extream sadness and pain of anyone losing a pet. i have also unfortuenetly had to experience this last year my cat was 10 and i just poped him into the vet because he was being sick and they found out he had a tumour and had to be put down. Stripey reminded me so much of my kitty, he was always in my bed on my lap and very clingy and i miss him sooo much.

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you both for your comments. Stacie, I am right there with you! I can completely picture the scene of the kitten rescue. Topsie was a lucky cat.

      Peter - your Maggie tribute was so endearing. I love the way you've written it to your dog. Sorry for your loss.

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      Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great hub, steph. I just published a hub in tribute to our Maggie, who we lost this past year. You are absolutely right, there is no replacing a special pet.

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      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      I almost didn't read this because the title warned me it would be sad. I have my first two cats as an adult; and, while they are still young, a part of me is already afraid of the future day when I lose them. I had a Stripey growing up too. Her name was Topsie, and we loved each other with a passion. I was about nine when we found her, a tiny, abandoned kitten on the boardwalk while vacationing. She was wet, and barely conscious. Her eyes were crusted shut with from the salty sea water. My mom was hesitant to take her, but I wasn't. I nursed that kitten to health, feeding her my baby brother's milk, gently rubbing her eyes until the crust was gone, then finding a vet to help with the infection that developed in her eyes. We didn't know if she would ever see. But, she did, and grew to be a beautfiul cat. One of my current cats, Benny, looks a lot like she did. I still have a hard time remembering her death. Topsie was one of a kind. However, I have just as much devotion to my current cats, to the point that it surprises me. While Topsie was my childhood friend, companion, and confidant, my kitties now are more like my furry children. I definitely mother them more than I did Topsie.

      Thanks for the hub. It truly brought tears to my eyes, but also allowed me to take a moment to remember Topsie. If I hadn't loved her the way I did, I wouldn't be able to love the cats I have now the way I do.

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      Olive S. 9 years ago

      Great hub.

      Ever since my moms' cockateil past away she has never wanted to get another pet. =( I'm sorry for your cats

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      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Kat and Amy Jane! Thank you for your touching stories. My heart breaks at the thought of an innocent animal suffering or dying. That's part of the reason I decided long ago I could never be a vet. I'm so sorry for your recent loss, Kat. That must have been so difficult.

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Wonderful hub, Steph. I am an animal lover too, and have always had multiple cats and dogs in my life. I've lost so many throughout my life, but the worst situation was when I was 15. My sister (10 at the time) and her friends were playing with our dog on the front lawn. We lived on a quiet dead end street - our neighbor, driving way to fast, hit our dog. I heard my sister's screaming and by the time i got outside, our beloved pup was dead. We had a little funeral in the backyard and all the neighborhood kids came to say goodbye to him. It was heartbreaking.

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      Kat07 9 years ago from Tampa

      GREAT hub. We just lost our precious little hamster a week ago. It wouldn't have been so hard if she wasn't so young and so very ill. She has a fractured vertebrae, systemic infection, and abdominal tumor. Several days of feeding her baby food, forcing fluids and administering antibiotics, along with her sleeping on my chest at night, made her passing especially difficult as we had to make that horrible horrible decision to have her put to sleep. I have never suffered so much the passing of such a small little animal.

      Thanks for the hub, Steph - your stories are touching.