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Thanks for being there

Posted by: garden girl Posts: 9 - Joined: Mon Aug 15th, 2016 09:19 pm

#972 - by garden girl >> Thu Aug 18th, 2016 10:05 pm

Hi, I'm relatively new to this site but so glad I found it. Coping with the grief over my precious cat Jasmine who was put to sleep on 16 May is hard but reading some of the posts makes me feel part of a large family.
I received an email from the Ralph Site at work today - a reminder about the poems that are on the site - and foolishly I started to read them. Moments later I was on my way to an empty office where I could cry in private. Ho hum.
Still, I have learnt my lesson the hard way about bottling up feelings (I was diagnosed with panic disorder about a year ago, which was the worst experience in my life) and now am applying techniques I learned for this to help with the heartbreak. Whatever emotions come, face them head on. Don't try and run away or distract yourself - they'll only come back twice as strong when you least expect it. And you know what - it works. I actually feel as though my little girl is spiritually 'head-butting' me in the way she used to do when she wanted attention, and saying "There you are Mum, that feels better doesn't it. OK, now you're not crying, remember when ....." and it makes me smile. Until the next time I look at her photo and wish I could stroke her fur instead of the image of her. But as my CBT therapist used to say, one baby step at a time. If I refused to let panic attacks beat me, then I know for sure that I can get through this.
Posted by: Nicola Hartley Posts: 6 - Joined: Wed Feb 25th, 2015 08:12 am

#973 - by Nicola Hartley >> Fri Aug 19th, 2016 07:40 am

I fully understand what you are going through, I lost my beautiful Tom cat, a year and a half ago now, the Ralph site has been a real comfort on an ongoing basis to deal with that loss. As you say, your jasmine will be with you in spirit always and always be by your side as my Fidel is with me. Wishing you all the very best, Nicola
Posted by: Karen_C Posts: 3 - Joined: Thu Jun 23rd, 2016 04:46 pm

#974 - by Karen_C >> Fri Aug 19th, 2016 12:24 pm

I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my cat Tinkerbell almost 10 weeks ago and some days it still feels very raw. I knew I'd be upset but I wasn't prepared for how completely overwhelming the grief would be.

One day at a time. Much love to you xx
Posted by: garden girl Posts: 9 - Joined: Mon Aug 15th, 2016 09:19 pm

#976 - by garden girl >> Fri Aug 19th, 2016 03:13 pm

Thanks for your best wishes. The two worst parts that play over and over in my mind are firstly, when I came in that Monday to find she wasn't at the door waiting for me. She was still in her bed in the lounge from the morning, something that had never happened before. She looked very poorly and when I picked her up and set her on the floor she sank down to the ground. I slid my hand under her and found she'd wet herself. The look on her face as I cuddled her will stay with me forever. Then secondly at the vets when he explained there was nothing he could do, the renal failure she had had for 3 years had suddenly taken over. I hardly heard what he was saying, I couldn't take it in. Not here, not now - I wasn't ready. But of course I gave him the ok and held her as she slipped away.
I had her individually cremated at a private crem and brought her ashes home in a beautiful little casket with her name on a brass plaque. I can see her resting place from my bedroom window and have ordered a little granite memorial stone for my precious girl. I miss her so much - the house is so quiet as she was a really vocal child. My other cat has basically lived in my bedroom ever since - won't settle in the lounge at all. Coincidence? I wonder.

Posted by: Kiz Posts: 28 - Joined: Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 11:20 am

#977 - by Kiz >> Sat Aug 20th, 2016 01:08 pm

Hello there, So very sorry for the loss of Jasmine. It must have been a terrible shock to come home and find her so ill, and then to have to make that final decision so suddenly.

I also lost my cat in May, just a few days after your Jasmine, and I cannot put into words how much I miss her. She was also very vocal and the house is so quiet and empty without her. I was totally unprepared for the extent of the grief I've been feeling. As you say, it's very much one day at a time and there's no telling when those waves of intense sorrow will hit. It sounds as though you are facing up to this situation and I am sure you will have the strength get through it. In one book I have read over the past weeks it pointed out that our pets do not like to see us unhappy (it was certainly true with my Kiz) and I find that simple thought a small help when I'm feeling down.

Your memorial for Jasmine sounds lovely. Your other cat must be missing her too. Did they grow up together? Sending you both love and best wishes.

Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#978 - by Penny Hudson >> Sat Aug 20th, 2016 05:05 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Jasmine; such a terrible shock to come home and find her so poorly I lost my darling cat Toffee nearly 5 years ago in December. I experienced such grief and wondered how I was going to cope without her. My vet recommended the Ralph Site and I found a great friend on the site ; and we communicated regularly; she had lost her cat and we helped one another talking about our feelings and sadness. I have photos of Toffee around the house and find this a comfort. She is buried under the garden seat where she used to sit. You will always have the feelings of sadness and time does heal, but our pets are such an important and loving part of our lives and they leave a big gap. Last year we decided we would do some fostering for the local CPL and we were brought a 10 month old kitten who was pregnant; she had her kittens while she was with us and then after a while they were all transferred to another fosterer as my husband had to go into hospital; the kitten was a stray with no name and I felt we had to have her back and give her a home; we called her April as that is when she was brought to us. A long time not having a cat since Toffee died, but somehow I felt that Toffee wanted this little one to be with us; she has helped ; I talk to her about Toffee and show her her photos. Your other cat must be grieving for Jasmine and missing her; your memorial sounds lovely ; she will always be near you; always in your heart. Sending you love and understanding ; always here for you xx
Posted by: garden girl Posts: 9 - Joined: Mon Aug 15th, 2016 09:19 pm

#979 - by garden girl >> Sun Aug 21st, 2016 09:32 pm

One of the things I read in "How to ROAR - Pet Loss Grief Recovery" e-book which was very good was to write a letter to your pet (and I guess this holds true for the loss of a person too). Today I put the memorial stone at the site of Jasmine's ashes and was in floods for ages. The best thing I could think of afterwards was to write a letter which I did, telling her I hoped she liked the granite memorial plaque and how I planned to work in the garden later as I really felt I could breathe freely there. i babbled on about all sorts of things and by the time I'd finished i almost had writers cramp and my eyes were so swollen I could hardly see...but I felt a bit better. I write all the letters in a notebook so I can look back at them.
It's such a blessing to have this site where people understand - thanks everyone. Talking about it certainly helps.
Posted by: Kiz Posts: 28 - Joined: Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 11:20 am

#981 - by Kiz >> Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:24 am

I also write to Kiz a few times a week – and add pictures – a sort of journal I guess. Many people may find that a little strange, but it helps. I have a memorial pebble with her name on it, in the garden she loved. This summer has been so hard, not seeing her there. All the best.
Posted by: garden girl Posts: 9 - Joined: Mon Aug 15th, 2016 09:19 pm

#982 - by garden girl >> Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:45 am

I'm putting together an album sort of thing. Photos and little poems and notes that I want to write. I've got photos from when she was a few months old right through to when she was an old lady. I can only do a bit at a time as it is so heartbreaking but I say to myself it doesn't matter, there's no deadline for finishing it. When I feel it's right, I sit down and do a bit more...
I'd like to see some pictures of Kiz but I don't think you can put attachments on here can you?
Posted by: Kiz Posts: 28 - Joined: Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 11:20 am

#986 - by Kiz >> Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 06:55 pm

Dear garden girl, It seems we are doing very similar things. I am surrounded by pictures - they were all stored digitally of course and had to be printed. I keep thinking I need to do more, but then realise there is no deadline.

Thank you so much for asking about pictures of Kiz. There are some on this memorial, which I only managed to complete a few days ago: Her beautiful tortoiseshell colours never show well in pictures, and she was always difficult to photograph as she was rarely still!

How is your other cat doing? You said they were keeping very close to you now? Kiz was my only one so I do not know how it would be trying to comfort another cat while dealing with your own grief. All the best.

Dear Penny, Karen and Nicola, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It helps.

Posted by: garden girl Posts: 9 - Joined: Mon Aug 15th, 2016 09:19 pm

#987 - by garden girl >> Mon Aug 22nd, 2016 10:52 pm

Dear Kiz,
Went to the memorial site and saw your beautiful fur-baby. Really strange - I had a cat many years ago (in another country) who was the exact image except for her face which had a straight line almost down the nose with paler fur on one side and darker on the other!
My other cat is at my feet as I type this - I always called her Jasmine's "sister". She wasn't a Ragdoll like Jas but a Cat's Protection League special! She was born a week after Jasmine and they were inseparable - often slept curled up together.
Before we go to sleep at night now (next to each other of course), she comes and snuggles into the crook of my arm, sometimes pats my face to make sure I'm still there! She has been diagnosed with the very early stages of renal disease, plus - after having a heart ultrasound scan - they tell me she has the very early stages of heart disease too. So I know we are on the downward slope, but I pray the slope will be a very gentle one and I'm making sure that any and all time we have left is going to be the best I can make it.
She has always been my rock. When Jas was a fussy eater from kitten-hood, Kimberley ploughed her way through whatever was put in front of her. When I spent lots of time with Jas through her illness, Kimberley was content to stay in the background and not make a fuss. I think that's why I'm so determined to spend as much quality time with her as I can - to try and make up for the last few years when Jasmine - through necessity - had to come first. I try not to think ahead, just love her every single day that I can.
Posted by: Kiz Posts: 28 - Joined: Sun Jul 3rd, 2016 11:20 am

#988 - by Kiz >> Tue Aug 23rd, 2016 05:45 pm

Thank you for looking at the pictures. Did you post a memorial for Jasmine?

Nice to hear you had a tortie too. I have a particular fondness for them now of course. I am missing Kiz today - it is warm and sunny and she would have been snoozing in her KatKabin in the garden. Now it lies empty. I cannot move it or hide it away.

It is good to know that Kimberley is there for you, especially at night. She sounds very special and must be missing Jasmine too. So sorry to hear that she is facing illness. Really hope that she stays well and you have much more time together. One day at a time ... cats are very good at that, people not so much. I'm sure you'll make every day the best for her. All the best.


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