Grieving for my Kitten

OligarhMay 31, 2005

All my life I wanted a kitten. For many reasons this was not possible. After being bitten by a mouse, I got pissed off and realized it was time for me to get a furry friend.

I looked for 3 weeks and finally found me a perfect kitten at a local animal shelter.

He was a perfect kitten. The most Perfect Kitten. But two days after he arrived to my house, he stopped to eat. I got worried since he was 2 months old and just had his neutering and all the vaccinations done. The Vet diagnosed him with severe kidney disfunction. After about 4 days of full time supportive care, I realized that perhaps I should bring the little guy back to the shelter since they may do a better job. I collected my mini medicine box with all his medicines I was feeding him and took him to the shelter. They assured me that they will look after him for the night. When I got back the next morning, for about 5 minutes he was still active when in front of my eyes he started to unwind very rapidly. I was told that they were doing their best to help him but as I was driving from the shelter approximately 20 minutes later I received the call.

The little guy has transformed my entire house. The night when I brought him to the shelter I almost cried my eyes out and I am still having a hard time getting over this. I beleived for myself to be a strong person but I am falling apart like a card house. The idea of getting another kitten only gets me angrier.

What to do? I am gonna lose my mind if this doesn't stop.

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I generally just lurk here, but feel I need to respond to you. It's amazing how quickly these little furkids worm their way into our hearts. I understand your feelings completely, having had pets my whole life.
Know that you did your very best: some animals just are not meant to live a long life, they're born with defects that prevent them from growing up.
Since you did enjoy him so much, even though for such a short time, I'd suggest you give yourself a short time, then go back and get another one. Better yet, two. It will help ease the pain. Everytime I've lost an animal, getting another one helps. No, it will never replace the origina, but the fun of owning and caring for another will help you feel better. And there's so so many homeless abused animals out there who need a place in someone's heart!!!
Good luck to you!! - Ellen

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 1:20PM
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you poor thing...I'm an old-style country girl who was raised with critters everywhere, and the simple adage never to count kittens until they're old enough to climb the drapes...for just that reason.

but I would contend that any kitten is The Perfect Kitten-and since my little tomboy just handed me a squirming mass of them (6 pound cat, six small mewling things I'm not admitting to until their eyes open. it's the eyes that do it- they mesmerize us, and in love we fall)

and I totally agree with Ellen- the only thing that fixes that wound is more of what hurt in the first place- kitten claws in your heart. I ALSO agree that two is better than one- cats are independant, but they're also social, and 'playmates' make healthier cats.

there's a great shelter in brooklyn, by the way- walking distance from the Brewery, (it the G line? I think it is)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 4:13PM
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I think the shelter you are talking about is the same shelter that I got the kitten from. I think that I am finished with shelters at this point. I simply can not go through this again. If I am ever to get another kitten, I cant trust the shelters. It's like a part of me wants a kitten and another part doesnt allow.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 6:25PM
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Please don't let one bad experience keep you from taking in another furkid. Most likely, they were not aware that this kitten had something wrong with it. Several years ago, my son brought home a an adorable kitten abandoned in the supermarket parking lot he works in. What a riot he is!!! Then last December, right before the outside temps plummeted into the teens or below, we found a (probably dumped) starving kitten outside our front door. What a riot these two have turned into!!!
But if something happened to either one, I wouldn't hesitate to go out and get another one. -Ellen

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 8:28AM
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You did the best for the little kitten you had; no one could have done more, and sometimes these things do happen. In his memory, you can go save another kitten or cat when you have given yourself some time to recover from this traumatic loss.

Most shelters have to euthanize many animals every year, so if you go get a new kitten or mature cat, you can provide a wonderful place for a homeless animal.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 3:59PM
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I need some help getting over this. I still am unable to get back to normal. It's like only temporarily when I am at work and with people I am somewhat OK but then it just overflows me with mixed feelings such as regret anger and such. I really don't know how to deal with death. It's insane.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 2:07AM
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The only way how I can ever come down is if someone will reassure me that he is truly in a better place. Maybe even with little wings. Or running around the clouds. I don't know but I think that is the only way how I can start getting over this. I don't even think I should have animals. I get too attached.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 5:51AM
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Oligarh~I absolutely believe that our pets go to heaven and will be there waiting for us . Having lost both a mother and close pets, I have to say that it is the hardest thing that a person can go through. But it does take time to heal.
Please be reassureed that you saved this little kitten from the shelter and gave him the best that you could while he was with you. Although he died young, he lived a better life with you. He was happy, loved and taken care of. You can't do any better than that. He will always have a special place in your heart but believe me, there is still room in your heart for another kitten, when you're ready. IMO, God knew that your kitten needed special love and attention and He guided you to him, even though it was for a short time. You both were blessed.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:25PM
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I kinda look on it that this kitten had a purpose: to point you in the direction of taking care of another that needs your love and attention. Don't let this one incident shut the door on your enjoyment of taking care of a kitty (or two!!!). There are so so many out there without any care, sick, starving, abandoned. My two were "dumpees" are they are a riot now that they are fat and happy! - Ellen

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 10:06AM
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:) oli... if you hadn't taken it in, it would have died lonely, never having had someone to snuggle it.

know that you were an angel for it.

and you can go right ahead and be angry- I'd have raised the bloody roof with the shelter, let me tell you. they sent that kitten home with you already sick, and kidney infectons kill cats fast.

but trust me- the best cure really is another kitten. if you weren't so far away, I'd let you have one of my little black-on-black stripers (Moko, the little tramp, just presented us with two sets of triplets!) and you'd see...

but I was being fairly serious that part of the problem is that this is very late in life to be forced to go through the death of a friend- most of us are put through that when our hearts are more flexible, and it's easier for us to believe in angels.

it would certainly traumatize me no end if I didn't know for a fact that all my furkids along the way were in their favorite places, waiting for me to catch up with them.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 3:45PM
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Hi - my heart goes out to you. I've had pets my whole life, and today have 5 cats and 1 house-rabbit, all rescued (shelter, fosters, strays).

As Chinacat said, think of the love that you gave that kitten, even if for such a short time - you were his hero. If his life was to be short, remember that YOU are the one who cuddled him, kissed him, played with him, and loved him.

I, too, grieve insanely when I lose a pet; love is love, remember. Plus, I think for you having that kitten was the culmination of years of wanting, waiting, and finally reaching that goal. So of course so much is mixed into your very real grief!

Don't beat yourself up for grieving. Don't try to get over the grieving fast. Feel it through.

And please, don't give up on shelters. That experience is absolutely not typical. There are so many others that need you - - they need you and you need them.

I'm not in the camp of saying that you should go right out and get another (not that anyone here said that, but sometimes people will say that). I feel that I need to go through the phases, and when I'm ready for another (which always turns out to be more quickly than I thought), another it is.

Usually it's because I just can't stand the hole in my heart any more, so another comes along, not to replace the lost one, but to add another dimension.

Have you ever heard of Rainbow Bridge? I'm sure it'll make you cry, but I also think it'll soothe you.

My very best - -


Here is a link that might be useful: Rainbow Bridge

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 9:24AM
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Thank you for these kind words. I do feel a bit better, although I am still badgering myself for not being able to finish the job. If I did not have to work, I would have dedicated all my time to saving this little guy instead of bringing him back to the shelter hoping that THEY ARE THERE TO SAVE ANIMALS, where he most likely did not get the care he needed. If this is so, then I am not sure how much I would be welcome at the Rainbow Bridge. I surely hope that it isn't so.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 3:46AM
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Of course you're welcome there. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Nothing. You loved that little boy and you showed him that love.

You have to work - most of us do. Yes, if we didn't have to, I'm sure we'd all do things differently on many fronts. But the reality is that we work - and the reality is that you did what you could - and you loved him.

You still love him. When you're ready, I know there's a whole lot of love inside you for another little one.

And yes, the sad thing is that they live fewer years than we do, so we lose them and end up going through that heart-wrenching grief repeatedly. But remember - don't give up the years of joy that are so rewarding and filled with mutual love just so that you don't have to hurt.

There's another cat that needs you - just as you will need him or her. Perhaps that will be your tribute to this little guy - - save another one in his honor.

My very best - as one animal lover to another.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 8:59PM
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Nothing like "Good Grief", but for heaven's sake... you had this kitten for way longer than anyone else would have. He/she had a happy home for longer than it would have at a shelter.

My DH was terrified of rodents. I went to the shelter and got 3 kittens. One got chewed by a dog we had that didn't know any better, the next died of diahreaaha (sp?), the third lived on to have as many litters as she could in the next six years I lived there. She never brought me any trophys... it was my 'wandered in dog' that brought me all the trophys!

Shelter animals are "Shelter Animals".. they're either previous pets or feral animals (most cats).

Dunno what else to say, except you get what you pay for (I MIGHT ADD: I'd NEVER go to a "Puppy Farm'


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 3:03AM
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Oh Gina - this isn't the place to get into this, but I do respectfully disagree with you very strongly.

One reason that 'shelter pets' are in the shelter is that way too many people don't spay or neuter their pets and let them "have as many litters as she could". Remember that each of those kittens in each litter could go on to produce many, many more cats - - - and that's why the shelters are full and have to kill perfectly healthy animals.

I won't continue this on this thread or this site, because that's not what it's about, but please, please think about what you're saying.

"You get what you pay for" is very harsh - - I'll put any of my many shelter pets up against any high cost animal any day.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:38AM
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BRAVO, SUZIE!!!! What a tragic mindset ----- tragic for the pets, that is!! Thank you for standing up to this sad attitude. ALL pets are beautiful - shelter, mixed, purebred - we humans are the stupid ones.

O - please try and go adopt another cat. They need people like you. It's OK to cry at the shelters - believe me they've seen it before. I've cried at the shelters and am not ashamed. I had a worse experience than you at one of the high-kill shelters (spare you the details) but I just went right back and adopted another (free of charge). I know that I have a lot more experience than you at shelters but trust all of us - it will hurt to move on but you will be saving another life and the chance of something bad happening again is so small (really!!) I've had only that one really bad experience where it was the shelters' fault.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Dear friend, i recomend u to adopt another one, they need our help and we should do whatever we can for them, i found a two days kitten this summer, he stayed with me for about 4 days and died althought i did my best, and i really broke badly after his death, but i didnt leave him alone and he thought i was his mother, after him i adopt a 4 weeks old kitten, after two weeks she also died of seizure, but i am happy that i didnt leave her in the street and she had a home to live in, she was so near to me sleeping with me at night we were so close and i still cant believe she's gone but... After my beloved kitten Adora i found a very weak kitten in the street, she had eyes problems and i think she had not been eating for over one week, she was pretty weak and stayed with me just one night but after those hard time she had, she finally find someone loving her...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 3:05PM
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