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My cat Ruby died a few months ago and I’ve been thinking of her today. I adopted her 14 years ago when I got my first apartment. They said she was aggressive and made me sign a waiver just to touch her at the shelter. She turned out to be nothing like that. She was always front and center and loved to be around people. She was a great cat with a lot of personality. Moved through 3 apartments and into a house with me. I’ve felt horrible because I had her and my other cat locked in a room for a couple months while I renovated my house. One day they managed to get outside through the window and they stayed around the yard all day. so I decided to install a cat door and let them go in and out. It was working out great until one day I found her in the pool. Took awhile to realize it was her until I saw her teal collar. It kills me for so many reasons. I probably wasn’t far away when she was drowning. I wish I could’ve saved her. I wish I didn’t make her spend the last months of her life locked in a room. And I wish I kept her in the house. Bad decisions all around. Atleast she seemed to have a good time being out in the yard her last couple weeks.
 

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Phoenix, Tiger & Crackhead!!!
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That's a sad tale, but sometimes these tragedies happen... and you shouldn't give yourself too much grief. You had a number of years with her, and she did enjoy the outdoors toward the end. My cats, they all have to run free and take their chances, same way I do. They go out every day, and here in the high desert, well, anything can happen... we have large raptors, we have coyotes (especially around midnight, when human activity dies down and the varmints infiltrate the 'hood), we even have bobcats & cougars. Wasn't so long ago that a mountain lion was spotted in the wash to the north of my home, probably some young male cat looking for his own territory and a little off route, lol. He figured out that town wasn't for him, and he made his way back into the San Pedro Valley.

There's a Zen Buddhist proverb which has helped me many times in the past, it covers a lot of ground including the desire for lost friends & loved ones to return. The proverb runs like this:

IF YOU ARE FILLED WITH DESIRE, YOUR SORROWS SWELL LIKE THE GRASS AFTER THE RAIN... BUT IF YOU SUBDUE DESIRE, YOUR SORROWS FALL FROM YOU LIKE DROPS OF WATER FROM A LOTUS FLOWER.

There are other Zen Buddhist proverbs which have helped me in the past, but this one has always been my favorite, it really strikes a chord with me, and has let me know peace in troubled times. Hope it helps you in some way...
 

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Jb. I'm so very very sorry to hear about your Ruby. There are no words that will take away the anguish, and guilt is such a terrible burden to bear. But please try to think about all the wonderful years you had together, and honor her life with the memories of love you shared. There's a post here that helped me, and I'll be back to pass it on to you.
 

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Over the Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
 

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Thank you for sharing your story about Ruby. I truly understand your grief. Please don't ever feel any guilt. You contributed to 14 great years of her life. And she was beautiful girl.

We put our 6 year-old Toby to sleep due to severe asthma about a month ago. He was such a sweet cat and we loved him so much. We gave him meds to make him better and I bought a very expensive air purifier so that he could breathe easier. We beat ourselves up when he passed away but then I remembered that he had been in 2 shelters prior to our adopting him so his 6 years were much better than what he would have faced otherwise. I do think of him often and was crying last night thinking of him.

Just remember those wonderful 14 years and how you made Ruby's life so much better.
 
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