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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.

 

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Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry for what you've been put through, tezster. That's a horrible experience for you to go through. I cannot imagine the shock you must've felt at the e-vet, and the uncomfortable position you were in to relay that message to your friend.

I don't have any suggestions, but wanted to offer you my sincere condolences for Tigger. She was a beautiful tabby.
 

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Oh I am so sorry Tezster. I have been in your shoes as several years ago I looked after my parents cats while they were away and the little girl cat died. It was awful and it was easily as bad as losing my own and I felt terribly guilty even though I knew there had been nothing more I could do. With an older cat things can happen fast and take them down quickly. Rigger was being cared for by you all and you did what you could. Sometimes when it's time for them to go it's time. So sending hugs to you and your friends
 

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Oh no, Tezster, I can't imagine how difficult this situation is for you.

With regard to honoring her memory, creating some sort of photo collage or slideshow are good ways to keep happy memories alive. Or you could establish a fund with a local no-kill in her name where designated donations are given in her memory.

I wish you peace of mind, T.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all for your kind words - I really appreciate it.

I think I'm going to commission a local artist to create a painting of some sort... not necessarily a portrait, but something a little more abstract and symbolic.
 

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Awww Tezster,
(((HUGS))) I know you feel bad about this happening...you did your best for Tigger, and I'm sure your friends family won't blame you...
I'm sure they knew, that something could happen, since it sounds like Tigger had been through some other health problems...
Sharon
 

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tezster, i'm so sorry for your loss, for the whole experience, which just sounds awful. i admire the way you handled it every step of the way, from getting her to the vet asap, to bravely taking the lead to talk to your friend. i know that was difficult. in these times, all we can do is be there for one another.

i hope today feels a little bit better than the one before it...
 

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Yesterday felt very strange... there were moments when I felt almost normal, but there were long stretches where my mind was just re-living what happened Sunday morning, and I was unable to focus on any other task. I basically slept-walked through large chunks of the day.

I suppose it doesn't help that I haven't personally gone through a lot of loss in my life, so it's not something I'm used to. I think focusing on a tribute to properly memorialize Tigger will definitely help me cope with this.

I do thank everyone for all the sentiments that have been expressed :)
 

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I suppose it doesn't help that I haven't personally gone through a lot of loss in my life, so it's not something I'm used to.
Tezster,
It doesn't matter how many times you go through the loss...it is something that will tear you up, each and every time...:'(
About the only thing you learn, is you will survive, after the grieving...
(((HUGS)))
Sharon
 

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I missed the edit window...

I wanted to add, after the grieving, comes happier memories, and the funny things, and All the love that was shared, with another Life Force...

And, at some point, you feel a calling, in your heart, from another Life Force, you haven't met yet...and the search begins to find that one...

Not to replace, but to pass on the Love, of the one that's waiting at the Bridge now...
It's the Ebb and Flow of Life, in action...

And you... will...remember...every...single...one...of them...
They live on, in our hearts, till we finally get to join them...
Sharon
 

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Oh tezster, I'm so sorry about Tigger. She looks every bit like the sweet kitty you described. What a terrible situation for you, your parents, and of course your friend. I hope that you push any thoughts of guilt out of your mind; she happened to pass away while your friend was gone. With older kitties, especially those with health issues, you just never know what will happen. My Margaux had been declining slowly, but I certainly never expected that anything would happen so suddenly.

Sending hugs to you and to your friend.
 
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