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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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lost 1 of my 2 best friends

I will try to make this as brief as possible, but it will probably be long, so I apologize in advance.

Around 3 years ago, my mom found 3 small wild kittens on the farm she lives on. They thought that something happened to the mother because they seemed abandoned. She caught 2 of them, and the 3rd was more wild and couldn't be caught. I caught the 3rd one trying to eat from their trash pile (they didn't have trash pickup at this time). The 3rd one seemed very sickly and I didn't think he would live. My mom kept the 3 on the porch and fed them, her husband gave the 3rd one some antibiotics and he improved. My mom wanted to keep them, but he didn't want them in the house. 1 of them died, and she asked if I would keep the 2. I had pets as a kid, but I didn't consider myself much of an animal person and I didn't want them. She wouldn't let it go, so finally I agreed to take them. She got them their shots, and had them neutered and we found out that they were little boys. I let my ex-wife name them, and she decided they were "Mittens" and "Pepper".

Mittens was the first kitten my mom found, Pepper was the 3rd dirty, sickly one that I caught in the trash pile and didn't think would live. Mittens was noticeably bigger, I always wondered if Pepper's growth was stunted from being sick or being wild a little bit longer. Mittens and Pepper were absolutely inseparable, they did everything together. Eat, play, sleep, even groom each other. But they have very different personalities. Mittens was very quiet and reserved, only meowed 2 times that I ever heard. Pepper always meows and makes other sounds, and was the more playful, and gets into more mischief. Mittens was bigger and stronger, and when they would play fight, would always win, but when there was trouble to get into, it seemed like he was the reluctant follower. When Pepper would get into stuff he shouldn't, Mittens would sit there looking at me like "do you see what he's doing? I know not to do that". I really came to enjoy them, and be entertained by watching them.

My ex-wife left, and it was just me and "the boys" as I called them. The marriage wasn't that great, so the divorce didn't really affect me as much. I'm not a very social person, and have very few friends, and other things happened in that time that their company really helped me through. I did my best to be responsible with them, I read food reviews online and gave them the best food I could, I would only let them out into my fenced backyard while I was out there to watch them. I gave them as much attention and affection as I could.

"The boys" and I had a great life until 2 months ago. I noticed Mittens seemed to be having a hard time urinating, and I took him to the vet. They explained urine crystals to me, but it might just be a bladder infection. I got a urine sample and they said it was just an infection, they gave him an antibiotic and anti inflammatory and he got better for a week or so, then started having problems again. I took him back, did another urine sample, and they said he had crystals. They gave him an anti inflammatory again, and sold me some prescription food to dissolve them, told me to get him to drink more water etc. I was a little concerned that they gave me 2 different diagnosis in that short of a time, so I found another vet to take him to for a second opinion.

The second vet confirmed the urine crystals, said for me to get him on the food and come back in a month for another test. He was fine until this past weekend and I noticed him having trouble again. I tried getting him in to the vet Saturday morning, but they couldn't see him until Monday. He continued to get worse and I took him to a 24 hr emergency clinic on Sunday. They said he was completely blocked and they could put a catheter in him. They said he might not make it through the procedure from being weakened. I wanted to give him a chance at life, so I let them do it. I got to take him home later that night and he was in terrible shape. He didn't move all night long, and his breathing was very shallow. I slept on the floor by him. I called the vet in the morning, and they told me to keep the afternoon appointment, but call if he got worse. I called my mom and she called a vet they use with the farm animals, who said I could bring him right away. I got dressed and went to pick him up to leave, and he had passed away while I dressed. When I composed myself, I went to Lowes and got some pine wood, and made him a little wood casket, put his pillow in the bottom, wrapped him in a blanket, and my mom and I buried him in the backyard he loved to explore with his brother.

I am a 40 year old man and I feel I have faced a lot of adversity in my life, and I can't believe how deeply this has affected me. I am overwhelmed with the guilt that he suffered all night long because of my decision. If I had known how traumatic of an experience that was going to be for him, I would have had him put down and ended his suffering. I have the guilt that I should have taken him to the emergency clinic on Saturday when I was concerned about him. I wish I could have held him as he passed from this world, rather than him dying alone. He was such an amazing pet, and I feel like I failed him in so many ways, and now he's gone, and there's nothing I can do to make all of this right. I don't have children, never really been an animal person but I feel like I buried my child. I'm not a man to cry, but I have cried and cried over him.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Pepper on left, Mittens on right

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 01:22 PM
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I am so very, very sorry you lost Mittens...
Most of us here have lost a 'friend', if not more than one...
Through the years, I've lost several and even tho I know I will recover, it never gets any easier on the heart.
A piece of my heart goes with them, yet they have left a piece of theirs to help fill the hole...
Please do not beat yourself up...
There are people here who have done everything 'Right' and still lost a beloved companion...
It...just happens.
You need to be there for Pepper now, because he'll be missing Mittens too.Sharing tears with you.
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 #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 01:30 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss of Mittens. I know you and Pepper will be grieving for awhile now. It really does help to express your grief out loud to Pepper, I firmly believe they understand us at times like this.

This forum is a great place to express our love and pain when we lose someone dear - no matter who it is. We understand and most of us have been through it.

I adopt senior cats, so never really have them all that long so I totally understand what you are feeling right now. Hugs to you and Pepper.

Cat owners' prayer: "Lord help me be the person my cat thinks I am"
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 01:32 PM
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Oh Dear, I am sobbing right along with you.
It never gets easy when we lose our companions (human or animal) and I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You sound like a nice man who did all he could for his Mittens.
There is no easy way to decide when to end a life; if you had done it earlier, you would be mentally punishing yourself that you ended his life too soon; waited and you are punishing yourself that you waited too long.

Sending hugs to you and take care of Pepper. He will need you now, more than ever.
Again, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It would be great if animals could talk to us and tell us what is hurting, but we do the best we can with what we have.
May Mittens enjoy the rainbow.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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My eyes welled up reading your sweet story. He was lucky to have you!!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for taking the time to share the kind words and thoughts. Pepper seems so lost, he's always been very energetic and playful, and he won't play. He would always chase anything that moved or I would throw, but not now. He always seemed to need more attention than Mittens, but even more so now. He won't leave my side. I'm sure he feels the loss, I try to get him to play to make him feel SOME sense of normal.

I can't believe how quiet and empty the house feels. Mittens was always a very calm, quiet cat but I can't believe how much his presence is missing.

The morning ritual here is as soon as I get my feet on the floor, they would go running to the kitchen because they knew it was "breakfast". He passed away on Monday morning. Tuesday morning, I woke up and knew he was gone, but I guess habit and my mind being what it is right now, I filled both food bowls. I immediately realized my mistake and it just tore me up.

I know everyone that's ever truly loved or bonded with an animal thinks that THEIRS is the cutest, smartest, most special, unique, etc, out of all the billions of animals that ever lived. It's amazing how all the however many cats alive on the planet right now, I feel like none would ever be as wonderful as he was. I could probably go out to the farm right now and catch any number of wild cats, possibly even related to him, but none would ever take his place. I don't even want another cat, the only reason I'm considering one is because it's obviously affected Pepper so much, and I don't want him to be lonely. I am doing my best to give him extra attention, but I can't sit in the house 24 hrs a day, and I feel guilty when I leave even for a short time right now.

Again I can't even believe it's ME that's feeling all these things. I've seen some really ugly and horrible things in this world that I wish I could forget, but I never shed tears over. And this little 3 year old, rescued farm cat has me feeling like a part of me died and I can't stop crying. All I can figure is that for all the ugliness in the world, I had these 2 little pure, sweet, innocent creatures that I would do anything to protect that purity, sweetness, and innocence. Every time I walked through that door, they never cared what my flaws and shortcomings were, what mistakes I made, however I fell short...they came to greet me and looked at me like I was the greatest person in the world. And I failed my boy when he needed me the most.

Last edited by Mittens&Pepper; 08-21-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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I'm so sorry for your loss. He was so lucky to have you. My cats are my best friends too. I hope time will eventually heal your pain.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:01 PM
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You write so beautifully. Perhaps you can start a small journal and write your daily feelings. You express so well what many of us have felt, but you hit it perfectly.
May the pain lessen.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:46 PM
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I'm sorry bout Mittens, just know that everyone knows that you took great care of Mittens.
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