Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mourning Your Beloved Cat

In the past month, three of my friends beloved cats have died. Just like the passing of a person, everyone will mourn differently. Some cats are sick for a long time and go back and forth with illness, some cats get sick and pass overnight, and some are just elderly and know their time is near. Often people feel guilty they didn't see how sick their cat was, or they feel guilty they had to euthanize their cat. It's ok, as long as you did the best you could. You and your cat had meaningful years together, NEVER forget that!

It's important to honor your kitty's memory because they ARE your family and it will help the healing process.
Unlike the Ancient Egyptians, that would mourn their cat by shaving off their eyebrows, there are other ways to cope...

1. Cry. It's ok to cry. No one can judge you for your feelings, they are yours and yours alone.

2. Take time to mourn and be alone. I know that when Vicktor Frankenstein or Miss Ginger Rogers pass, I may have to close my store for a few days. They are both about 13, so it really makes me nervous when they act out of the ordinary.

3. Make an album of your kitty, or write down special memories, personality traits or what you will miss the most. The memories are yours to treasure and an album is a reminder of their spirit.

4. Talk to an empathetic friend that has experienced pet loss, or someone that loved your pets as much as you, or even just an animal lover. There are also pet loss groups to work through your grief. (Here's a couple resources: rainbowbridge.com or  pet-loss.net)

5. Remember the day that your cat died and make it a ritual. It can be as simple as lighting a candle in their memory.

6. Plant a tree or garden as a living memorial.

7. Donate to a shelter in their name. (Our local SPCA Serving Erie County has a Honor & Memorial Giving page on their website.)

8. Adopt. This won't work for everyone because some people need time to grieve before they can adopt again, others have multiple cats and can cope by spending time with the cats they still have, and sometimes you can fill the hole in your heart by replacing your kitty. Consider a shelter pet, or an older cat that needs the love you can give them at the end of their life.

9. I'm not much for poems, but the Rainbow Bridge poem may help you. Think about being reunited with your cat.

Remember all the good times you had with your cat, and take comfort in knowing that you made their last days the best you could ~ Because just like people, everyday is a gift.

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