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Avatar universal

I'm feeling a tremendous amount of guilt

About my cat dying. It's not just because my cat died. But it's because I realized I didn't spend enough time with her as I should have. And I grew up with this cat. This isn't your ordinary cat, that all she does is eat and sleep and likes to be alone. This cat is people person cat. She doesn't think of herself as a cat, she thinks of herself as a human. And she personally loves me. I had this cat for 19 years. Toward the end of her life, I still pet her and stuff. But when I usually became a private person and I stopped having her in my room. When I grew up, I didn't have a door to my room. When I moved to another home, I still let her in my room and stuff, maybe as not as often. She would paw under the door to get in.

Towards the last couple of years, she didn't try much to get my room that much. I still let her in once in a while if I recall. But she realized probably that I didn't want her in her room all that much. It's like when you grow older you get a bit colder, I guess?

Anyways, last week Wednesday, she cried at my door to get in. I let her in, and I had her on my bed. For only about 2 hours. Then I let her go, out of my room. Thursday came she cried at my door, but I was sleeping, so I wasn't in any mood to let her in. Anyways, Thursday afternoon I saw the her on the couch. Then later on at night, I still saw her at the couch. I noticed she wasn't moving.

And I thought it was because the other cat was groomed and she had a different smell. So I thought she was stressed because of that. Anyways, I went to check on her again, and she was hiding. I knew something maybe wrong and she might be sick, so I took her to her dish bowl to see if she would drink some water. She drank some water. She wouldn't eat any food. I thought the cat maybe stressed. The next day I still saw her hiding. That's when I knew she was sick, my father took her to the vet. And I couldn't go with him for some reason. I wanted to.

Anyways, I guess I didn't want to face reality, that she was probably dead. Yeah, she died. All her internal organs were failing, she was just dying. She weighed 5 pounds. They had to sedate her to end her suffering. She also had a tumor under her belly.

I feel tremendously horrible, that I didn't spend a lot more time with her than I should have, or at least had a time period with her before she died. I would have stayed longer with her on Wednesday (the whole day or as long as she wanted me to). I should have taken her to vet for check up. I mean this cat, she loved me. And cats don't care about possessions, they aren't judgmental like human beings are. They just want the basic essentials out of life, water, food. And your love. But I didn't show her enough of this back. I forget that my cat could die, because I had her so long, I was in denial even though I knew she was sick from time to time. And the thought never occurred to me I should spend more time with her.

She didn't want to be alone, and at the very least I should have spent time with her near the end of her 3 days of living. I don't know why my brain didn't form this thought. I could have had her on my bed. I was worried if I had her on my bed, then she couldn't go out of room to get her dish bowl. Maybe I didn't think she was dying. I don't know.

Not only that, I feel that I should have spent way more time with her in the past 3 years that I did. People keep telling me, she had a good life and she lived long as she did because she was so lucky to have me as a pet owner. But I failed her near the end. This guilt is killing me. I know she was waiting for me in heaven. But I have this tremendous amount of guilt. I can't shake it, and knowing what kind of a person I am. I won't get over this, because I don't want to get over it.

I still didn't ignore my cat, I still pet her, I know she loved me unconditionally. But I just did a horrible job at the end. I don't think I'll ever feel happy again, after her. And I even got a new kitten that almost looks like her. But I feel tremendous amount of guilt sharing with this new kitten that I didn't show near the end of my other cat's life.

I don't know what kind of advice I want, I don't think there is a fix for this my mind. Because I know cats can get depressed also. And I'm thinking I know she that loved me, and my family. But what if she thought that I lost interest in her near the end of her life? All these questions, and negative thoughts keep popping in my head.

Things like also, maybe I should die now, to be with my cat. Questions about death and stuff. I keep telling myself, I wasn't cold to my cat, I spent 2 hours with her on Wednesday when she was crying to come in. I let her in, I let her in. I should have taken her to a vet. A cat doesn't get caught up in obsessions such as playing video games all the time, etc. She wants love. And I know I could have done a better job. And don't say just because she is old, she wants to sleep all the time, so it's okay. The cat personally wanted to be with during the end of her life. And that scares me that I went cold.

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Avatar universal
Hey there

Sorry to hear about your cat, I was very upset when we had to put our dog down a few years ago....I don't even like thinking about that time because it was so upsetting.

Please don't feel guilty, as it sounds like you were kind to your cat and cats are pretty independent so I'm sure she was happy enough.
I sometimes feel sad that I didn't pay enough attention to my past dog in the last years of his life. He had very bad arthritis and we gave him medicine but couldn't take him for long walks. Also I've been suffering from OCD and was having a bad phase of it then. I always walked by dog everyday but then I'd worry about him doing poos on the street, and when I went to scoop it up with a bag I had OCD about getting it on my hand and not noticing, or contaminating someone else without realising. I was really sad but my Mum said she would walk him from then on. But after a while I found I could manage my OCD and take him for walks again. Though I was staying at my university during the weeks and weekends were often rushed - and to be honest my dog wasn't well enough to play. I do feel a bit sad but I know I was going through a rough time back then and life changes, and I'm sure he was content enough (he was always independent enough). And now we have another dog and I love him so much, and I take what I learned from the first one. Try not to feel so guilty, animals are independent and I'm sure your cat was happy enough (plus it sounds like u have other cats anyway). Also my parents don't let my dog into the bedrooms so your cat got more than my dogs got :)
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Avatar universal
Thanks for your help. But I don't entirely agree with you. This can't wasn't independent, she wasn't your ordinary cat that preferred to be just left alone. She loved to be held, she came up to you on your lap. She loved humans. My other black cat, is very nervous and doesn't like to be picked up or hold. She is definitely isn't the same cat.

To prove what I'm talking about to prove that my cat prefers to be alone. There was a time in my life were I wasn't suppose to touch her or pet her, due to allergy issues. She got depressed and even howled at night. She got very, very sad. But eventually, my allergy issues went away. And I could pet her again. I grew up with this cat, she loved me personally.

And if I go into denial mode, saying oh she was independent, she didn't need my love. That is denial. Which isn't true.

I just want to know something else about cats. Ah man, I just wanted to spend the whole night with her on Wednesday.

Hypnotize me, or damage my brain so I forget about my cat, or go into denial mode, so I believe my own lies? I don't know what to do.

I know she loved me, I know that's not a lie. And I did love her back. But at the time, I didn't realize what I should have. I did pet her, I did, when I went out to the kitchen, I sat by her. But having a cat for 19 years, I should have done more in the end.
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Avatar universal
it is very hard to lose a cat that is another person who lives with you.  my niece moved in 6 years ago and brought her 2 cats.  I never had a cat.  she really loved the grouchy one.  they would argue at night.  she would say be quiet figgy and figgy would yammer back at her.  this went on for a while.  then she would say I love you now shut up and go to sleep.  the cat would yammer back at her.  then off to sleep.  her other cat momo we connected.  the first night they were here.  I told them I am tired I am going to bed.  I said hey mo you coming with me.  I looked behind me and he was strutting down the hall. so cute.  I patted the foot of the bed,  that is where he stayed from then on.  when he felt bad he would come stand on my stomach and I would turn over and he would curl up against me.  I loved this cat more than I could have thought possible.  he had been in their family 20  years.  figgy died first.  that was so sad.  then my momo died and I did not realize how much I loved him.  when I was sick he would come stand by bathroom with his back to me.  I would go back to bed he would lay down on my hand and lay there and watch me,  you could see the love in his eyes.  at the last you could tell he was in pain.  his kidneys were failing.  you gave your cat a good life and I gave my momo a good life.  they had it better than most cats.  they have to be abused and dumped out on the street and try to find food and water.  you were good to your cat.  be proud of taking care of him.  I know how strong that love can be.  be proud your cat knew you loved him.  but don't think about doing anything foolish.  he would not like that.  he will be there when god takes you to be with him.  mandy876
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480448 tn?1426948538
You're struggling with grief and feeling regret.  For the most part, cats ARE pretty "alone" kind of creatures.  I think that maybe there's some validity in what you're saying, that maybe you could have done a little better reading some signs, but I wouldn't beat yourself up over it.  The best thing you could do in a situation where you have regrets is to learn from it...so okay, maybe you could have done better.  We ALL could do better sometimes...but it's not like you are a monster.  Of course you gave her the basics to live, and you gave her affection when it suited you.  You didn't have to spend every waking moment holding her.  You did fine.  

The grief is magnifying the severity of the situation for you too, so keep that in mind.  Obviously, YOU dying is not the answer, and if you're feeling that depressed where suicide is on your mind at all, then you need to seek some help.

Time DOES heal all wounds.  You won't always feel this badly.  Try not to be too hard on yourself.  I'm sure there was a little room for improvement, but you're not the reason the cat died, it was an old cat.  There's nothing different you would have been able to do to save her.  Also, you're making assumptions that she was telling you she wanted held, etc, when the truth of the matter is, with her advanced age, her behavior could have been caused by all KINDS of things, including confusion.

Be kind to yourself and hold the good memories close to your heart.  Sounds like you reacted pretty normally to me.
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4190741 tn?1370177832
I do know how you feel about your cat.  Cats are very very good at hiding pain and illness, its built into their genetics not to show pain so that they don't become another animals meal, and once a cat gets so sick that they go into hiding, they probably have been sick for a longer time then we realize.  

Take the best memories you have of your time with your cat and build on those memories.  You had a wonderful 19 years with her, through your childhood and hers, animals don't think abstractly like humans and as much as she loved being held and petted, she never held it against you if you did not do it as much as you think you should have.

If you want to help other animals, you can volunteer with homeless pets, or foster a pet, or visit pets in a shelter.  All the little babies were just born this spring and if anything helps a person heal from a broken heart it is being around little animal babies.

There are also Pet Grief support groups on line or in person.  If you find you can not move on from your cats passing, I would look up 1 or 2 of these groups and see what they can offer you in the form of healing.

Good luck to you

M
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480448 tn?1426948538
Amazing answer!!!
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Avatar universal
"when he felt bad he would come stand on my stomach and I would turn over and he would curl up against me.  I loved this cat more than I could have thought possible.  he had been in their family 20  years.  figgy died first."

Sorry about your cat also. My cat also laid on my chest also or on my lap, I could pick up my cat and hold her like I'm holding a baby. I regret not taking more pictures, but I didn't really have cameras. When I did get disposal cameras , I took pictures, or when I borrowed a high quality camera. Do you have any pictures of yours?


"they had it better than most cats.  they have to be abused and dumped out on the street and try to find food and water.  you were good to your cat.  be proud of taking care of him."

"I know how strong that love can be.  be proud your cat knew you loved him. "

I am proud, but a little disappointed in myself.
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Avatar universal
"Of course you gave her the basics to live, and you gave her affection when it suited you.  You didn't have to spend every waking moment holding her.  You did fine.   "

Yeah, I accept that, the word "fine". I'm learning from it, also. But I did more great when I was a kid, and most of all my adult life too, except a little less sociable towards her maybe towards the end of her life . She also had my family, not just me. I also found photos where she is happy just seeing me around, watching me. I remember when I sat down the other side of couch, if she saw me, she always came towards me. I liked that, because I always loved testing her, I wanted to go pet her, but I loved the fact that she would come up to me. And I didn't have to go to her. So instead of just going up right to pet her, I would go on the other side of the couch, and waited for her.

"Obviously, YOU dying is not the answer, and if you're feeling that depressed where suicide is on your mind at all, then you need to seek some help."

Not dying, I know I'm young. Just a part of me died when she died, a past time of great memories with the cat. Christmas morning with her as a kid with presents all around, and she just tearing up my presents and playing around. If I did die, I would be more than happy with my life at this point and say I had a great life(I mean I would not be happy to upset my loved ones, I don't want to die, I'm just saying if I did die, I would not be unhappy at the life I had). Not that I would kill myself, because that is a sin(Not that I would go to hell just for one sin either, just saying). I'm still young but the years flew by fast. I wish the cat could age as slow as I did. It scares me to think the atheist think we don't go anywhere when we die. They are trying to put doubt in my mind and fear, but I have faith in God, and that is just Satan trying to trick me.

"Time DOES heal all wounds.  You won't always feel this badly.  Try not to be too hard on yourself.  I'm sure there was a little room for improvement, but you're not the reason the cat died, it was an old cat. "

Yeah, time can heal, but not all wounds, although. I know, I'm not the reason my cat died. Old cats, still can look very beautiful.  Old, young, it doesn't matter. They still need love. It wouldn't even matter what she looks like either. She is unique with color patterns on her fur. That's all that matters to me, is that she is unique. She is a calico cat.

"There's nothing different you would have been able to do to save her.  Also, you're making assumptions that she was telling you she wanted held, etc, when the truth of the matter is, with her advanced age, her behavior could have been caused by all KINDS of things, including confusion. "

I know, I wanted a time frame. So I could be with her at her last moments. Not talking about the moments where she was suffering, in those moments, she did want to be alone. I understand that. But for me, I don't want her to be alone no matter what, anyways. It doesn't even really have to be a time frame, because I know anything can happen in life. I just didn't put my mind in a mindset that she deserves more attention than I gave her.

"Be kind to yourself and hold the good memories close to your heart.  Sounds like you reacted pretty normally to me."

Yeah, you are helping me bring that out a little. Every time you do say "For the most part, cats ARE pretty "alone" kind of creatures", That is  not my cat. I highly disagree. Maybe they want to be alone sometimes, from time to time, just like humans. But I remember a time when our family was gone for the night, and when we came back. We noticed she didn't eat any food. Pretty much tells you the cat was scared or lonely or too worried to eat. She didn't know if we were returning or dead.
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Avatar universal
"I do know how you feel about your cat.  Cats are very very good at hiding pain and illness, its built into their genetics not to show pain so that they don't become another animals meal, and once a cat gets so sick that they go into hiding, they probably have been sick for a longer time then we realize.   "

Yeah, that scares me. Which is why people should take their cats to the vet for a check up now and now. When cats get sick, they can meow or howl before they throw up.

"Take the best memories you have of your time with your cat and build on those memories.  You had a wonderful 19 years with her, through your childhood and hers, animals don't think abstractly like humans and as much as she loved being held and petted, she never held it against you if you did not do it as much as you think you should have. "

Yeah, she loved me unconditionally. But how do I really know she didn't hold it against me, if  she didn't hold it against me, maybe she felt a bit lonely then? I mean last Wednesday, I was only with her for 2 hours in my room. I feel like my heart has sunk, and even if she didn't hold it against me. I hold it against myself, like I know I get obsessed with video games and such, and I had one track mine, but a animal, lives, breaths, thinks, loves, doesn't care about worldly possessions. I needed to balance my time with my cat more than I should have. I can enjoy work, video games, watching tv. But I could do that with my cat or balance my time out better. And the thought never crossed my mind, that I should have give my cat more attention. Humans are so sinful. Also, God knows the truth. God may hold it against me. It's like now, only now I focus on cats, like extremely caring about my cat.

I just try to take comfort in this:

(Psalm 145:-9-10,13,15-21)  God loves all His creation and has made plans for all His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom."

"(1 Corinthians 2- 9): "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"

She is waiting for me in heaven. And I still got a long life ahead of me. And there is no doubt if God knows how happy one of his creatures made me. She will be there.


"If you want to help other animals, you can volunteer with homeless pets, or foster a pet, or visit pets in a shelter.  All the little babies were just born this spring and if anything helps a person heal from a broken heart it is being around little animal babies. "

Yeah, I know I could do that. I love cats, but I loved my cat for 19 years. Once a cat has a connection with you for 19 years or even the first 3 to 4 years. I think that makes them more human then you realize. You have a relationship with a cat, so you have to remember that you always have to give her more than a fair amount of attention. And I believe I did this most of her life, but near the end, I could have done so much better. I know she was happy. Like I said, I know it.

Those strange cats I don't know, they don't love me. It would take many years. And I can never grow up with a cat again, because I'm grown up. I have a new kitten right now, calico, almost looks like the cat I lost, her personality is the same. I'm trying to humanize her. But I have to remember, she is not the same cat, and she won't be.
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4190741 tn?1370177832
A cats nature is to be a cat, a pure and simple cat, and a humans nature is to be a human, a pure and simple human.  Trying to make a cat into a human is precious time spent on something that might be more rewarding for you and your life.

Good luck to you

M
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480448 tn?1426948538
M is absolutely right.  While our beloved pets all have different personalities, and some seem to communicate on a higher level, the facts are, they do not have the same ability we as humans do...to remember, to have feelings of anger or resentment the way we do.  They have instinct and reaction, but they do not have the same cognitive ability we do.

The truth of the matter is, you lost a beloved pet, and it hurts, simple as that.  We love our animals so deeply, that they become a part of our family, and that loss cuts deep.  

Your cat lived beyond it's normal lifespan, which means she was well taken care of.  Try not to think so philosophically and deep when it comes to this.  Don't make more out of it than it is..it's grief, and grief brings out all kinds of emotions in us.  Just allow yourself to feel sad, and know that the feelings will begin to dull with time.

Time absolutely heals all wounds.  It doesn't mean we forget, or that there isn't some remaining pain or hurt...but with time, those emotions aren't as raw and painful.  Look at people who lose their young children.  No one can even IMAGINE getting through something so awful (I know I can't)...yet those people find the strength somewhere...and they go on with life.

I've lost beloved pets and had all of the same regets and deep unimagineable pain.  We had a dog who was barely a year old when he got hit and killed by a car right in front of our house.  Talk about guilt and regret!  We had a hard time containing the pup (he was a Newfoundland,  which are HUGE dogs)..and because of that, I felt solely responsible for what happened.  "What if I had not let him out?"...."What if I had watched him more closely or had him on a leash?"  It was awful, I sobbed uncontrollably for DAYS and cried every single day for weeks.

After some time passed, the pain eased, and I was able to forgive myself a little, and just concentrate on all of the wonderful memories we had with him during his far too short life.  I learned from it, I realized that there WERE better options to ensure his safety..our dogs now have an invisible fence.  I took it as a learning lesson.  

He will always have a piece of my heart, but with time, I healed and it got easier.  It will for you too.  Even if you had taken your cat to the vet, with her age, likely whatever was wrong wouldn't be curative, and VERY possibly, there may not have been anything you could have done for her.  You would have probably been encouraged to put her down, which is VERY hard to have to do.  In a sense, it's a blesssing that she died at home, on her own terms.  I don't know if you're aware too, that animals (cats especially) often go off on their own to die, when they know it's coming.  There are many theories about why they do that, but it's a well known fact that they do.  Therefore, more likely than you not giving her attention and her just giving up on YOU...she was leaving the world on her own terms.

Don't be so hard on yourself, and don't overthink this and make it more than what it is...a normal grieving period after suffering the loss of your beloved pet, a pet you had for a LONG time.   Of course that's going to be very hard!
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Avatar universal
Life isn't simple as just saying oh cats have cat nature, and humans have human nature. Life isn't about what I want as a reward. Or how much I can get from others. This time around, I wanted to make myself a special loving person. I do know my cat was very lucky to have a pet owner as me. As I think about that, my heart sinks. As I didn't have the thought occur to me, I should have spent the last two weeks with her to show how special she was to me. But it's like I forget (I know I did spend 2 hours with her on Wednesday on my bed in my room). Only death has made me realize.


If a cat can provide unconditional love for us, and if we name her, and she has the last name as our family members. Then I certainly do think she should be treated as one of the family members. I can't believe after all the examples I gave you girls, you still think the cat can't show no love, can't get depressed, can't get scared or worried. I don't know about anger or resentment. I don't believe that she resented me, but my worry is she got depressed a little bit. Besides how do we know what a cat thinks, show me an article on how we know what a cat thinks? I certainly know for a fact what cat's can feel.

She thought of herself as one of her family members, she didn't love being around other cats. She loved humans, she thought of herself as a human. Is a figure speech, I'm sure she knew she wasn't human, and knew she was our masters. But what I'm saying, we treat her like human, she treats us like humans back.

One of the thoughts I can remember before she died, was when I touched her, she went "hmmm", she felt my presence, I knew she was scared, and suffering. My dad took her to the vet, by the way. I didn't go with. Terrible mistake on my part. But before that day on friday. On thursday night, I helped her from hiding, put her near her dish bowl, and she drank a little water. I was still concerned for her. I felt like I should have spent the whole night with her.

Your situation is a little different then mine, we are talking about 19 years with our cat. I grew up with her. If I lost a cat for a year, I would be sad, but it would not be the same. This is 19 years, and I felt I like near the end of her lifespan, I could have done so much more. I didn't feel responsible for her death. But I felt responsible for not being with her a lot more. On Wednesday I spent 2 hours with her on my bed. I just keep going over and over with that thought. My regret was that I didn't take her to the vet for a check up this year before it happened, so I could have the vet tell me how long she has to live. So I could have spent more time. The thought didn't occur in my brain. It didn't go into my brain.

Sorry, my cat didn't die at home, she died at the vet. I didn't take her there, my dad did. And I didn't want to go with. Because of fear, or I'm a moody private person. I don't know what my problem is. I know animals go on their own to die. But on the day before she even wanted to hide, on Wednesday I spent 2 hours with her on my bed. And Thursday she meowed at my door at around noon, I was sleeping. I didn't know the cat was dying then, I had no clue. I would have let her in.

I wanted to be that special loving person to my cat. I don't want to get over her, or have my wounds heal. And besides, a great time span in my life is gone, with her in it. I forget about that. I wish someone would have told me this, before my cat died. I wish my brain would have produced this thought, but I was thinking too much of myself.

I think the reason why I let her in my room on Wednesday on my bed for 2 hours is because I felt sorry for her, not because I loved her. That's not true, is it? I loved my cat, I cried after she died. Oh gosh, I hope that's not true. I loved her, I loved going on the couch when was on there. Ultimately, I just want to make sure I'm not a evil person, and I want to make sure I loved my cat enough, I know I did. But these regrets and fears come up. If you feel sorry for a cat, that means you love her.

I didn't ignore her, I went out to the kitchen, and I sat with her. I didn't ignore her. Was I thinking right, right?
Helpful - 0
480448 tn?1426948538
I'm not sure really what to tell you.  I think you are very much overthinking and overanalyzing this situation.  I think your cat died, a pet you loved very much, and you feel very sad...I think that's all super normal.  It's also normal to have regrets, as I was trying to explain with my own story.  I had regrets as I didn't do everything I maybe could have to ensure the safety of my dog.  Of course they are different situations, but the emotions were the same.

I think maybe some therapy may help you work through these intense feelings you're having.


"I can't believe after all the examples I gave you girls, you still think the cat can't show no love, can't get depressed, can't get scared or worried."

To clarify, no one said all of the above.  We're trying to say that you're projecting human cognitive abilities onto a cat.  You're taking a lot out of context when it comes to your cat and making a lot of assumptions.  Even if you're 100% right, you're making assumptions about the way she felt and was thinking...and you'll never be able to KNOW that for sure, so you shouldn't allow those assumptions to distress you so much was the point.

Best of luck to you.
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Avatar universal
I felt I became cold to my cat near the end of her lifespan. Like I just went through the motions of having a cat. My emotions dulled out. And I just think about my cat roaming around the house, feeling sad. And finally just dying, sad. But I know that's not true, every time I was eating out in the living room, she came to me, wanted to be fed. And I fed her human food, she has to remember that. And I petted her.

I feel really horrible. I'm just trying to convince myself that isn't true. I was with her 2 hours on Wednesday. She hanged out in the bathroom during the winter, near the vent. I still petted her. I still loved her.

I wake up and just feel depressed and scared of myself. Like deep down I might think that I'm glad she died, so I don't have to clean up puke. Or like she was just a chore to me, now having the cat. But I know that's not true. I loved her. I hate cleaning up puke, but that's what you got to do, and the other cat puked a lot too. I know they are sick when they puke.

I wish the thought would enter my brain, if she is near death. Then I need to spend some serious time with her. There was times were I did spend with my cat. I'm going to spend some time with my cat now. There were times when she wanted to enter my room. She was lonely and I didn't let her in. I had a close door policy of my cat not coming into my room. But I did sometimes anyways.

I know there were times when I did let my cat in, I wanted her on my bed, but sometimes after a little while, she would go under my bed. So I didn't want her in my room. Some times she didn't. And some times, when she was in my room, for a while, she wanted to go out quickly.

I know she loved me unconditionally. I spent time with her. I went on the couch. I waited for her to come to me, so I could pet her. I spent 2 hours with her on Wednesday, I did let her in my room. I did still care about her.

But my mind didn't produce this thought before she died "hey, if this cat is old and dying, I should give her some extra attention as possible" "Make sure to spend quality time with your cat"

That's what bothers me the most. I know she loved me, she loved my family.

"We're trying to say that you're projecting human cognitive abilities onto a cat."

Well, I did say for a moment I thought a cat could hold something against me. But other than that. Cat's can remember. I don't know why you said they don't remember. They can remember certain signals. They remember what you look like. I do appreciate you confirming that cat's have important emotions also.

Life is a little more important than "MYoungAtHeart" statement saying oh human nature is human nature and cat nature is cat nature. And that I should only reward myself or please myself. No, I did show love to my cat. Not to just please myself! But to please her, as well. Make her happy in her environment. Happy to be with me. She wasn't just for my amusement.
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480448 tn?1426948538
You're reading more into what we've said and misinterpreting our statements I'm afraid.  You're stuck inside your head on this, way overthinking and overanalyzing everything, to the point of making yourself feel much worse.  I would suggest you seek some professional help, to work through this.

I'm sure you were a perfectly fine cat parent.  No one is perfect.  Could there have been things you feel (for yourself) that you could have done better?  Yes, maybe so....but I don't think your cat suffered any kind of emotional neglect, as you're indicating.  You describe a perfectly normal human-pet relationship.  

Just one example...you having the thought, "boy am I glad I don't have to clean up cat puke" is a normal thought process that you're trying to twist into "I'm glad my cat is gone".  Not the case.  Again, an example of you overthinking the situation and your own thought process.  Your thought process is very similar to someone who has OCD.  That kind of anxiety can be very distressing...and you're already grieving.  I hate to see you unnecessarily making this worse for yourself.

Maybe you could discuss this with your father, or the vet?  Maybe they could offer you some reassurance that there wasn't anything you did (or didn't do) wrong?

Hope you get yourself some help if these kinds of thoughts don't ease up for you.   You had 19 long years with your cat, be grateful and thankful for that.  THAT is what you should be concentrating on.  
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Avatar universal
I was a great fine cat parent. Problem was I wasn't an extra special loving person to my cat near the end of her life span. Maybe because I was partly a private person that stayed in my room too much. I mean if I did spend more time in my living room at least, instead of my room. It would be automatic, because then the cat would come to me more. What I did do was let my cat in my room 2 weeks on Wednesday. And if I knew she was dying, I would have stayed with her longer. And also, I shouldn't just do that because she is dying. I should have done more attention, because she is my cat and I love her. And I want to have her feel special. I mean I wasn't even working. I had plenty of time for her. The most amount of time I spent with her every night, is when she came up to me in the dining room at night. And I fed her. I'm a night person now. So maybe I was extra special loving, enough.

When I was a kid, I didn't have my own room, I shared a room. So I spent a lot a time with my cat and loved her. What I'm saying about cat puke is, yeah you don't really want to clean it up. But you got to do it. Now to make sure I thought that statement, I would be glad my cat would be gone, so I would not have to clean it up. That is a dumb statement I said. I'll admit.

I did talk to my father about this. He said, the cat is old. But that is no excuse not to love your cat the same. My father said she slept a lot too. And the cat lived a long healthy life. And she was lucky to have me as a pet owner. And she is heaven now, probably drinking out of a meadow right now. He also told me, no my cat wasn't mad at me at all(of course I realize that also, of course not). He doesn't feel guilty at all. He also said my guilt would go away. I don't know how there isn't a bit of guilt there. We should have taken her to the vet, this year, or last year. It probably wouldn't have helped, but at least I would have a time frame to know she was dying.

I could have managed my time better. I mean you could watch tv with a cat. Play video games, heck you can devote your total attention to a cat for at least 1 to 2 hour a day for her. I'm not sure I did that.

So I have two problems here:

1. The thought never entered my head, or no one told me. Hey, your cat is getting older, make sure you spend some extra time with her.

2. I gave her , her best years of her life and made her very happy to live in our household. My brain froze, it didn't realize she could die. I would have let her in my room a lot more. Done more. I feel so guilty. And I'm trying to recall in my head what was the total time I spent with her. And battling this in my mind.

I'm not misinterpreting anything. MYoungAtHeart's statement was a self pleasing statement. After all, this is one of the most important things in life, is love. And that is rewarding.

But you are right, I am over analyzing this. Perhaps there is more to it, then losing her, and the guilt. Perhaps there is something else going on here. But this is one of the biggest mistakes of my life. But even then, I know my cat still loves me, and I loved her unconditionally. And we came together, we didn't ignore each other. She died so fast.

I'm not sure what professional help will do. Perhaps a part of me died along with her. Perhaps I was happier when I was a child and a kid then. Maybe that is part of the equation, as well. But I know 100% sure, if I could take it back and spent some extra time with her, and record video footage. And I took the guilt away from the equation. I wouldn't be feeling as bad as I do now.

Facts:
1. I loved my cat.
2. My cat loves me back.
3. She was a very happy cat.
4. She was more than a cat that just ate and drank water. She was a cat that loved people, loved me especially. Loved being around me. Doesn't judge me, she just wanted my love. There are times when she can get sad, lonely.
5. If she was alive today, and I went up to her pet her today, she just loves it.
6. If I sit on the other side of the couch, she would come up to me, meaning she is a loving cat that loves me like a person.
7. She doesn't hold it against me, the amount of time, I didn't spend with her. Even not having my door open for her. And the time I did come out, she just enjoyed watching and was happy just seeing me around. And I did pet her. And rolled my face against her fur.
8. She had my family as well, to be around. So anything she didn't get from me, she got from them.
9. She loved my family, but I was special to her , personally.
10. She may have gotten a little unhappy , there was a time she puked at my door, she wanted to come in. Sometimes I didn't let her in.
11.  She didn't ask much to get in my room anymore, because maybe she I thought I didn't let her in anymore. Which is a false fact, because she tried  two weeks on Wednesday, and I actually let her in, and I spent time with her on my bed.
12. I would be out later in the dining room for her.
13. There were times when she was unhappy, because she wanted to come in my room. But after those times, I did spend some time with her, anyways, then she was happy again. Could have I made her more happy, yes? By giving her more attention. But I don't think cats forget all those other years I grew up with her. So she has unconditonal love for me. Defining happy, she was always happy, but there could have been brief periods of sadness, for her.
14. Just because I don't spend lots of lots of time with her, doesn't mean she is always sad when I don't. Maybe because her old age and sickness, brings on her wanting to be with someone. So later on, when I was available, that helped her. Granted I was with her, but she may have needed more.
15. I made a mistake, I'm only a human, I forget about love(extra caring I mean because I still loved her). And being extra special loving to my cat. But she is in a better place now. And her creator is watching over her for me. When I get there, she will recognize me. And lick me, and welcome me. And I will redeem myself with this mistake. And this time she will be healthy forever. Ultimately I will honor the creator the most.

If I can concentrate on these facts the most, maybe I will be alright. Maybe I will ask a vet about this stuff. But I'm not too comfortable going up to strangers and asking about this sort of thing.
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Avatar universal
Correct some grammar mistakes:

What I did do was let my cat in my room, 2 weeks ago on Wednesday. For 2 hours.


When I was a kid, I didn't have my own room, I shared a room. So I spent a lot a time with my cat and loved her. What I'm saying about cat puke is, yeah you don't really want to clean it up. But you got to do it. Now to make sure I never thought that statement at all, I never even said I would be glad that my cat would be gone because of her puke. That is a dumb statement I said. I'll admit. I was just worried, what if I had. That is not true at all.
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480448 tn?1426948538
Hey, I just wanted to share something with you, as I thought about you right away yesterday.

We had an indoor/outdoor cat named Peanut.  He always came in at night and always came in for feeding time.  Sunday into Monday, he disappeared.  We had been looking everywhere for him.  My husband mentioned to me over the weekend that he hadn't been eating as much as usual, and I kind of shrugged it off, as he was a big hunter, so he didn't always eat every day.  I DID think when he told me that that I noticed he was doing some things a little out of the ordinary for him, like hanging out on the front porch versus the back patio.  By the time I thought hard about it, he was nowhere around, and while outdoor cats certainly have a habit of going on adventures, Peanut didn't really do that anymore, he stayed closer to home.  I just had a feeling in my gut that something wasn't right.

We found him deceased yesterday under the front porch.  He looked like he was just sleeping.  Now I'm plagued with all of the "what if" questions.  "What if I had watched him more closely?"  "What if I could have gotten him to the vet?"...and then of course, I remembered all of the times I shooed him away when he was being a pain, when I wasn't in the mood, wishing I could have those moments back to show him to love and affection he was looking for.

So, sweetie, I get it.  It's kind of ironic that this happened to me, right after I had been conversing with you about your situation.  I want you to understand that I too have a lot of regrets, and all of those same feelings, BUT even in my grief and sadness I know a few things.....

That ONE, I cannot change that he's gone.  TWO, while I may not have been the most perfect cat Mom, I know that most of the time, I gave him everything he needed and then some.  I know he was happy and lived a full life.  I don't feel at all that he would have been upset with me in those moments when I couldn't be bothered to give him a little pet...because there were plenty of other moments when I did.  Plus, like cats typically do, he sought attention mostly on HIS terms.  If HE wasn't in the mood and I sought him out for some QT, he would take off.  So, in reverse, *I* certainly don't have any negative feelings toward him for that..it just is what it is.

I just want you to know that I'm faced with the exact same emotions now.  I too am feeling sad because my cat is gone, and of COURSE, as a human, I have regrets.  We wouldn't be good people if we didn't constantly evaluate and reevaluate situations to see how we could have done better.  

But you better believe that even when we didn't always do right by our cats, they knew they were loved, and they knew we kept them safe, and fed.  I'm going to try to replace my "what if" thoughts with happier thoughts.  Were going to make a photo collage of Peanut to hang up, and I've changed my pc wallpaper to a picture of him.  Please know that I understand how you feel....just don't continue to torture yourself about all of the details okay?  You need to get out of your head on this a little bit.

Thinking of you....and I'm so in your shoes right now, which stinks, but one of the first things I thought of last night was that I wanted to share this with you.  I think it's important for you to realize that what you're feeling is normal, and that it's normal to have regrets.  That doesn't mean in ANY way that you didn't do right by your cat.  You have to stop thinking that way sweetie.

You HAVE to let the guilt go.  If you were a mean person, and abused her, or didn't feed her, and she starved to death, oh boy...you would have a reason to feel guilty.  But because you may have fallen short in your eyes with affection and time...that's not a reason to feel guilty.  We ALL get stuck in life and daily routines and we DONT normally think that our pets could die.  We do absolutely take for granted when they're here, but we do that with people too.  That IS human nature.  None of that makes you a bad person and I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about.  I'm living it too and understand the feelings of regret, but I also can understand that it's a normal emotion and doesn't mean I didn't do wrong by my dear cat.
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Avatar universal
Hi, how old was peanut when he died? Because I think indoor + outdoor cats don't live as long.
And ironically, if you read all my posts. And you had a cat. Why didn't you think and learn from what I did, and give her some extra attention, per each day? Or maybe the timing of when you read my posts was too late?

Because what I'm thinking if someone told me don't forget to give your cat some extra attention or I read about the same story about their cat. I would have remembered, and gave my cat some extra attention. Trust me, I would feel even more worse if I didn't give her the attention she needed before the day she started dying. I'm glad I let her in my room and spent 2 hours with her. I agree, that there are way too many moments in my past that I had with my cat, giving her lots of attention growing up with her. And living in the same house. And just being around, that way over my guilt.

It's not a what if for me (because of course she is going to die, can't stop that, but maybe prolong it and at least know). It's more like a huge regret, not giving my cat more attention before she dies, or last 3 months or year perhaps. As I could have. I always did give her human food, when she came up to me. Thinking she is old, let her live a little. But I forget the petting and letting her into my room a little more. My life wasn't busy, at the moment, either. I'm glad I did spend time with her in my room the day before she started dying. And if I had to do it all over again. I would spend every moment I could with her. Plus, I would record it.

I don't think I will let the guilt go. It's what makes me human. I will probably just hold onto the guilt, and use it as a life experience. My next cat I have(recently got) (She will never be the same cat, but her personality is very similar and she looks similar to my other cat). I agree, that there are way too many moments in my past that I had with my cat, growing up with her. And living in the same house. And just being around, that way over my guilt. I do have a video of me petting my cat. I wish I would have made more. But I'm glad I have one, and I'm glad I have pictures. I'm trying to do the same thing as you, planning on printing out photos and having some sort of album. And writing what she meant to me, and what I meant to her. I'm also glad, even though I didn't give her much as attention as I did in previous years, I didn't ignore her if she came up to me.

It's sad to say as humans sometimes it takes death to realize how much you forget that we loved our cats. Sorry about Peanut, I saw a picture of her. I don't know what type of a cat she was. Maybe she was more independent because you let her outdoors. Did she like being held? Would she eat out of your hand? Did you grow up with this cat? Did she personally like you? Did she come up to you on your own for attention? My cat was indoor only and she was always around us. She thought of herself as one of us. That's what makes a cat special. Maybe your cat did also.

I know what you mean by human nature, it's in our blood to be selfish. And it's inevitable we will just sin from time to time. So I'm trying to have a level of control against that. It's a thing I do feel guilty about, and I can't drop that. I'm still sort of having a war in my head over it. Thinking about it a lot and spacing out.
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480448 tn?1426948538
I'm still sort of having a war in my head over it. Thinking about it a lot and spacing out.


I agree with that, and that's what I'm trying so hard to encourage you not to do.  We obviously disagree on some of your concerns here, which is fine.  I just hate to see someone torturing themselves so much, as I honestly don't think it's warranted.

We can ALWAYS do better, when it comes to our loved ones, our pets, anyone in our lives...and losing someone/something close to us is a good way for us to learn maybe how we could improve ourselves some.  That's a GOOD thing.  Learning lessons are good.

While I'm doing all the "what iffing" that's normal in these situations, I don't feel a ton of regret or guilt...not to the level you describe, because I'm not overanalyzing to the point you are.  That's the difference.

Peanut was an indoor/outdoor cat.  Spent about 50/50 time inside and out.  He LOVED life...he hunted, proudly brought his "catches" to the patio for praise, and yet he also loved to curl up on his favorite chair in our sunroom.  He was a friendly, playful cat and I was probably his favorite.  He liked to be petted, but also at times kept his distance.  I gave him attention, but not constantly.  When my husband and I realized something might not have been right, he had already vanished, so I couldn't intervene.  Otherwise, I would have more closely watched him, taken him to the vet, whatever it took, but it just wasn't meant to be.  Whatever happened, it was his time, and he went off to die alone.  That was HIS choice.  I spent three straight days calling for him, looking for him, checking the patio and the porch every 15 minutes.  If he had WANTED help, he knew where to go.  Historically, when cats are near the end, they choose to hide, for whatever reason.  Sure, I wish he was here, so I could love him and pet him and kiss him one more time...but I can't change what happened.  I don't for a moment think he ever felt neglected or turned away.  Even on the days I maybe couldn't be bothered as much, he got plenty of love and attention from the whole family at other times.  He was 9 by the way.  Outdoor cats don't live as long apparently.  My Peanut was absolutely special, in his own way...he loved the interaction with us, but also loved his freedom to roam.  He would slink through the fields for hours.  He would lie in the sun...lol.  He was a sweetie.  

I just honestly feel that your thoughts are obsessive, and that worries me.  I also worry that you may project the feelings of loss of your other cat onto this new one, overanalyzing everything that goes on, when you're petting him, wondering if you're doing enough, etc.  Loving a pet shouldn't require so much thought...you easily know what you're doing.  You didn't do a thing wrong with your other cat.  Hopefully some day you'll see that.

I'm sad and I miss my Peanut, but I also have started finding acceptance that what happened happened, and I DID do everything I could at that point to try to find him...but when I did, it was too late.  It was his time, and he went out on his own terms, and I'm perfectly okay with that.  We gave him a nice burial tonight, and will start working on our collage after our vacation.  

We plan to get another cat over the summer, but we're not in a hurry.  I personally don't think a new pet should be obtained quickly after one dies.  I think (especially for kids' sakes) for it to be clear that one isn't a replacement for the other...kids may get that message if there's not a lot of time in between.  Plus, we'd like some time to grieve over Peanut...give him the honor of some time to reflect on what he meant to us, then we'll get a new kitty, which will be so exciting.  I plan on getting a cat that the kids pick out...they've already started naming colors and breeds...none which are like Peanut.  They know we cannot replace him with another cat and I think their thinking is to get a VERY different cat...so he/she can be something totally new and different.  Certainly for us, there will never be another Peanut.

Take care of yourself...
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Avatar universal
So sorry about the death of your cat.  I can relate becoz we had to put our cat to sleep since he just wasn't eating & it was a lung tumor problem.  Many cats that sense they are dying will actually withdraw from us....I did not understand till my daughter looked it up onthe internet.  So I hear how you felt bad that you were not there 100% .  I will confess that as a busy working mom I did not get to enjoy my cat as much as i could have.  I am taking it as a lesson in life...I know we took  good care of our pet and he was truly loved.  But if we get another pet, I can only try to make amends by "taking time to smell the roses"!  Please be kind to yourself and none of us is perfect.  But we all are given another chance to improve.  No good from beating yourself up.   All the best to you..
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Avatar universal
I feel really still depressed about this. I still think about her suffering. Even before she starting dying. I keep thinking about Wednesday. And how I only spent like an hour or two with her on my bed (I should have been with her a lot longer). I think about her being in the bathroom, near the vent before I went to bed. I petted her there. That whole year,  or past 6 months. I keep picturing her howling. And just dying and suffering. I should have spent more time with her the past 6 months. I knew she was old, why didn't I ever think, oh I should love her more. Do more than just petting. I could have kept her in my room more.

I want God, so badly to bring me to heaven, so I can pet and hold her. I know God's taking care of her. Or I want to dream about her, or something God could help me fix this problem of my deep guilt. If I wasn't such a private person. Man, I wanted the thought or someone tell me that I should make sure to give my cat extra attention, she doesn't have much longer to live.

I just want to see her for 5 hours and visit her alive, so I can get rid of this guilt. See her happiness as she sees me, and recognizes me.

You know how they ask you the question do you ever have any regrets in life. Well, this is a huge one? Granted, I still loved my cat, and she loved me. It's just as I gave her attention or when I was petting her. I never thought that my brain didn't produce, hey, she doesn't have much longer to live, love her a little more. Bring her in your room a little more to spend some time.

I really want God to help me with this one. Give me some sort of sign or something.

Why should cats suffer? Why should cats die? I know humans do too, but animals it's are hard too. Saddest thing I ever seen. Because I don't think she knows why she is suffering. Seeing her die, makes me never want to be happy again. I just want my cat to see her happy. And I want to give her attention. I know God understands how much I love her. And I didn't show it 100% all the time. But most of my life, I did. God knows I could have done better, the cat accepted the fact that I was a private person. And she waited to get attention anytime I could. But I don't think she understands I could have done better. It's hard , it hasn't been that long, but I don't have too much memory of being with her in the past year that much. That's what is disturbing. But I remember being around her, and I still do remember petting her. But was it more than 30 mins a day. It didn't seem like it. I did feed her everyday human food when she came up for it.
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480448 tn?1426948538
The fact that you're still really struggling with this, and even having thoughts of "joining" her in heaven indicates that you need to seek some professional help with this.  

I know you were resistant to the idea earlier in the thread, but I really recommend that you seek out a therapist to help you work through this.  A therapist can offer suggestions of ways to help you accept what happened and let the guilt go.  You really need help working on ways to get out of this obsessive type thinking about this.  It's not healthy dear.

Hope you seek some help!
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Avatar universal
Why seek out a therapist? Isn't this therapy right now? They only help out people because you pay them money(I know they also do it because they enjoy their job and like helping out people, rather than just the money, also). But versus people that help out people in their spare time for free. I rather not have see a therapist.

I don't see how a therapist can help me unless a therapist can bring my cat back to life for another month. I just want to spend time with her. Just kind of make up for a failure to have an emotional response to her. The emotional response I thought needed. But I only realized after she died. Even though I did love her. Even though I did let her in my room the day before she started dying and petted her, and even though I did pet her when I was out in the kitchen, and other times.

I just want to visit her in heaven and then come back to earth, or have God bring her to earth for a while, and then teleport her back to heaven. Because I want to love her and talk to her, because I felt even though I still cared for her, gave her some attention. I didn't do enough on my standards of love (near the end or maybe past 6 months), and I failed to have that emotional response I needed before she died. So I really want to see her in happiness. And give her happiness back to her,  by giving her attention. Holding her, chasing her, playing with her, watching tv with her.

There are solutions to this problem.

1. God brings my cat back to life, if I try to ask God. But I don't think God always gives us what we want. And also, bringing the cat back to life wouldn't be fair, because she would suffer again from dying. I know it's kind of selfish for me to ask. Or just not have her die, just teleport her back to heaven.

2. I brain wash myself to believe that God put her soul into my next cat that I have. Which is stupid for me to believe. I choose to believe she is in heaven. God cares about all creatures. God doesn't say at all that he puts other souls into other bodies after they die. I guess I had a theory he could do that. But more bible versus indicate;

(Psalm 145:-9-10,13,15-21)  God loves all His creation and has made plans for all His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom."

So yeah, God has made plans for my cat. And maybe God wants my cat never to suffer again and be eternally forever in heaven.

3. Now, I know God knows I have soft heart. So much so, if I did kill myself, God would know why. God would understand that I did it, because I felt guilty that I didn't give enough attention to my cat. (Not because I couldn't deal with life but I had to show some love to my cat that I forget to realize only after she died) And probably God won't bring me back to life. If God did that, then more people would be coming back to life. Plus, I would have to get my permission from my family to do this, so they would be alright with it. And I doubt they would let me, and they would be very sad, that I would be gone. So it's kind of selfish to do this. And probably I don't have the guts to go through the physical pain, in order to die.


Instead I just kind of fantasize God bringing my cat back to life, and then me being with her. Yeah, so I don't think a therapist going to help me. And I'm sure my cat understands me, and still loved me. It's just I can't stand imagining her suffer, her howling, and just dying. And not being around anymore. I guess I'm hoping for a miracle. If not, I guess I will have to wait until I die to see her. God knows, I want to be with God ultimately in time. I'm not mad at God. I kind of wish pets lived as long as humans, I'm not sure why God made them have a shorter lifespan. It's like very very horrible in my mind to have experienced this. Most horrible thing I have ever experienced. And I had an attachment to my cat. Perhaps I'm too hard on myself, but I'm aware of my emotional responses or lack of one.
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