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  1. #1
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    Saying goodbye to a pet

    Our Dying Cat
    Fri, Oct 13 2006
    By John M. Grohol

    People will sometimes make fun of those who treat pets as a part of their family, as closely loved as any child.

    Yet, the loss of a pet is a very real tragedy in most people?s lives, especially if the pet was a constant, faithful companion to them through a difficult period.

    One of our cats, an 11-year-old Calico named Cali, is nearing the end of her life. Struck with chronic renal failure two years ago, we?ve been caring for her everyday with subcutaneous fluids therapy, the most common management of this disease. Unfortunately, in the past week, she took a turn for the worse and lost half her already thinning weight.

    Cali is a part of our family, as much as any child or anyone else ever could be. Although I?ve only known her for 4 years, I know how much she has meant and been there for my wife during all of Cali?s life. Losing her is hard, and yet we?re coming to the time where we need to let her go. Just as you know when it?s time to say goodbye to a family member who?s been hospitalized, but is degrading, it?s the same with Cali.

    Cali is an indoor cat, but we often let her go outside under watchful supervision. She likes to sit in the sun on our front porch, or feel the grass in her whiskers in the front yard. Today we took her outside to sit in the warm fall sun, while the dying fall leaves whirled around her. A gentle breeze ruffled her fur, and a butterfly fluttered through our last moments with her.

    I sit here knowing that any minute, we?ll have to go to the vet to bring her to a peaceful end. My wife is upstairs, with Cali sleeping on her lap.

    I don?t want to tell her it?s time.

    I don?t want to say goodbye to our Cali.

  2. #2
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    My heart goes out to him, shed a few tears reading this, have been there so many times, its never easy letting go of a much loved companion...

  3. #3
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    As you know from my recent post, I understand what you're going through right now. It's not easy to let go of those who have loved us so unconditionally over the years, and whom we've loved with equal passion. They're a part of us that will never really die.

    My heart is with you and your wife during this difficult time. Perhaps, you will enjoy the Rainbow Bridge site. It gives me peace to know my furry loved ones are all out there, waiting, at the Rainbow Bridge. There's a Candle Ceremony every Monday night for those beloved who have passed, and a tribute board where you can place a tribute to your pet, if you feel the need.

    Here's the site:

    http://www.petloss.com/

  4. #4
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    Sorry, TL. I should have put the post in quotes. This isn't my cat. This is a post from the blog of John M. Grohol who owns the PsychCentral website. I just thought it was a poignant reminder that grief is grief, and the loss of a loved pet can sometimes be every bit as intense as the loss of a human loved one.

  5. #5
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    Ish. I didn't even look at the top of the post to see his name! I thought you and your wife-to-be were about to lose your dear pet!

    Nevertheless, I do hope that Mr. & Mrs. Grohol know about the Rainbow Bridge site. It can be a great help to them during a time like this.

    I agree that there's no difference, really, in the intensity of grief. I lost my grandfather several years ago, and had loved him dearly. I grieved, and I still miss him, just as I am going through the process of grieving dear Bugsy, and will always miss him. I like to imagine that all our family pets were there to greet grandaddy when he reached the Rainbow Bridge.

  6. #6
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    This post brought me to tears as well. Well, anything to do with animals does. It is so hard for all of us, especially when our pets *are* our family - they're all we've got. And they're faithful and true, to the last beat of their hearts. It truly is a special and intimate relationship. My heart goes out to anyone who experiences this loss. It's far from easy, and far from "you can get another one; it was just a cat"...it is true grief.

  7. #7
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    Re: Saying goodbye to a pet

    Thanks for the post Dr B. My heart too goes out to the gentleman that wrote it and who's lives this kitty touched. Unfortunately, our pets lifes are so much shorter than ours and their loss can be devistating. While I know at some point I will have to say good bye to my dogs, I can't imagine that at this point. Hopefully they will help me with that as well when the time does come.
    In friendship
    Rosa

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