I am posting this in the hopes that it helps me to find some closure. I'm not sure if this post is typical of stories posted in this forum, but hopefully it's within the guidelines.
This is Tigger - one of the sweetest, most lovable cat you'll ever meet. A friend of mine had asked me to look after her while their family was away. An initial introduction with my own cats didn't go well, so we agreed to have my parents look after her instead. Tigger would have a lot more room to herself, and since both my parents are retired, there would always be people around the house to keep her company. After an adjustment period, Tigger settled in quite well - she would "supervise" when my mom was cooking, and snuggle up to her on the couch during her breaks. I only lived a few minutes away, and dropped by a couple of times a week to check on her.
Yesterday morning, my mom calls me, telling me Tigger is just lying in the litter box. I rush over and my heart just sinks when I see her... she isn't moving and her breathing is labored. My last visit was on Friday, and she seemed fine at that time - my parents had noted a slight loss in appetite, but she was otherwise active.
I couldn't even get her into a carrier in her state. I wrapped her in her favourite blanket, put her in the passenger side, and took off to the nearest emergency vet clinic. They took Tigger immediately to the back when I arrived. At the same time, I had started filling out a form I was given, and was on the phone with the owner. When the vet came from the back, I started to hand the phone over to her... she asks me to put the phone down, telling me she needs to speak to me first. I probably should've guessed at this point what the news was, but I was in a bit of a frantic state. When she tells me they couldn't detect a heartbeat, and Tigger was gone... I have no words to describe how I felt...
Now, I had to call my friend back and give them the news. The vet offered to speak with them, but that wouldn't have been right. I know that losing your own pet is heart-breaking. But having to tell someone their companion of 12 years has passed away - I hope no one here has to go through that experience. While Tigger was living in my parents home, I felt that I held the responsibility for her well-being. My friend was very understanding, especially given the circumstances. Tigger was an elderly cat which had undergone some medical issues in the past, but was reasonably healthy otherwise. I won't go into all the details of what happened the rest of that morning, suffice it to say, it was an emotionally devastating Sunday for everyone involved.
Coming back home to my own cats didn't even help, it only acted as a reminder that my friend will be coming home to an emptier house when they return. And that she never had a chance to say a proper goodbye.
Although I only knew Tigger for a couple of months, I would like to do something to honour her memory. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear it.