Coping with the thought of losing my cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Coping with the thought of losing my cat

My Barnaby has been having some health issues lately. 2 weeks ago he became very lethargic and weak and after an antibiotic and steroid he was gradually back to his normal self, but that was short lasted and 2 weeks later he is back to not doing well.

I did bring him in this morning to get looked at and the vet says his symptoms point to GI tract lymphoma. It would take some extensive testing to determine it and if that's what it is, his days are numbered. He was given an antibiotic which he was given 2 weeks ago to see if that has any effect. The steroid was supposed to be long lasting so I didn't want to give him that again so soon.

I guess at this point I am trying to accept the fact that he may not be around much longer but I am having a difficult time with it. My heart is constantly heavy and I find myself easily tearing up when I think of him and even when I pet him. I know it will be no easier once he is gone.

How do you cope with it? He has been my purring lap occupant for over 13 years. I knew some day the day would come that I have to say goodbye but how can you ever be ready for it?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:13 PM
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I'm so sorry Richo. I remember you posting about Barnaby a while back. There is never a time when you are ready. You just try to cherish the time you have left. You rely on friends, or crazy cat people like many of the people (like me) here to talk about it and help you try to ease the pain somehow. It just really sucks though. I have yet to had said goodbye to one of my cats yet in my adult life, and I'm 44. We had cats when I was little, that ran away, or my parents gave away when we moved, but I've never had a cat from beginning to end yet, so I can't even imagine how you are feeling. I tear up just thinking about it with one of mine. You just do the best you can, and just give him your time and love until it's time to say goodbye. Being there for him til the end is the most you can do for him. I'm so sorry, ((((((hugs))))) to you and Barnaby.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:14 PM
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You can't be ready for it, even if you try to tell yourself all along. It hurts all the same and you will miss him terribly. But like with all losses, time will eventually heal and you will carry on.
I feel for you and all I can offer is a prayer for you and your Barnaby.

Take care and try and be well.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:18 PM
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I will assume that some tests were done? Would a second opinion help? As for coping, you know how people say we should live as if it is the last day of your life, well treat Barnaby with the love and kindness as if.... I don't know any way to avoid grief when we lose a loved one. Time helps but it hurts.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:40 PM
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Richo, so sorry about Barnaby. Look up the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement online - they have online chat groups that you can join almost every night of the week and they do have one especially for what they call 'anticipatory' bereavement. That is exactly what you are experiencing right now and maybe being able to talk to others experiencing the same thing might help.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 06:30 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about this. I know how hard it is to have to prepare.

I think all people deal with it differently.

Some obsess over it and start crying years before it happens. Each day they obsess over how it's just one day closer to the end.

I remember very clearly how hard it was to lose Mini (my canine companion for 16 years). I bottle raised her (she was a runt) and we were inseparable. If I had to stay after school for ANY reason, my mom would drop her off and Mini would ride the late bus home with me(she sat through a LOT of detentions with me, poor girl). If I went away for a weekend to a friend's house, it had to be place that welcomed her or I didn't go. I never went to summer camp because I couldn't find one that allowed her to attend as well. The only time we were apart was when I went to college and I drove 550+ miles (1 way) every weekend just to spend time with her).
Losing her was worse than losing a limb to me. There was a huge empty hole in my life for a REALLY long time. She has been gone for almost 5 years when MowMow chose me. He was about 4 years old and he is my little furry soul mate. It sounds kookie as ****, but I swear he's Mini reincarnated and I take a LOT of comfort in that thought. Within weeks it seems like we picked up right where Mini and I had left off. He even has the same mannerisms and habits (good AND bad) as that old dog had. The idea that one little soul and I were meant to go through our lives together in whatever form makes me feel so much better.

MowMow may pass on, but at some point in the future that little soul will find me again... as a cat..or a dog... or a horse... or whatever form. It'll be back just like it came back this time. I'll love it just as much and it'll irritate me just as much.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words and support everyone.

Right now he seems to be doing a little better, back to purring when petted and he is coming into other rooms in the house instead of just laying in one spot. He also seemed interested in eating but didn't want the food. I don't know if the antibiotic is working that quickly or at all, or if he would have come around this way regardless. Right now it's just a matter of waiting to see what happens next.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 07:37 PM
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Richo, How is Barnaby doing?
Hugs and Prayers...

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 07:50 PM
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I don't think you can ever be "ready" for it. I recently lost one of my boys to cancer and was told he'd probably survive 1 to 3 months after his diagnosis. So I knew it was coming. But that didn't mean I was ready. When that day came 6 weeks later when he wasn't himself anymore, I just knew in my heart. Maybe I was in denial up until that point because he was doing so well, but I took it very hard. I sometimes think that knowing a loved one is going to pass is harder than losing them suddenly. It's hard not to be able to say goodbye, but I think it's harder to watch someone you love die. Just listen to your heart and your instincts and you'll know when it's time. I know that doesn't make it any easier. I'm sorry you're going through this. I would definitely recommend a support group if you can find one. Talking about it, and hearing how others are going through the same thing really does help. (((Hugs)))
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone

Right now Barnaby is back to being more like himself but I can't get my hopes up because the same thing happened last time he got an antibiotic shot 17 days ago and then slipped back into lethargy when it wore off. Diagnosing his problem is the hard part and it would seem that the antibiotic is just masking a more serious problem. Question is, if he does have GI tract lymphoma, would that shot make him appear better? He does also have a long lasting steroid in his system but that alone apparently was not helping him this past weekend.

I was exchanging emails with someone whose cat has asthma and she said that sometimes her cat slips into lethargy and it's just part of the asthma but up until now that has never happened and he has been showing asthma like symptoms for 2 years.

Not sure what to think at this point. I just have to take it day by day and see how he does.

Thanks for all your concern.
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