questionsone of our cats is going to pass away soon, what…

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Once again, thank you. Swayzie passed away peacefully earlier this evening in our arms.

He will be missed.

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You are already doing the most important thing, which is to recognize that her grief is legitimate, and to share it. One of the most difficult elements in the loss of a beloved pet is having to deal with people who have the attitude, "It was just an animal, get over it." People who don't have enough empathy to at least recognize that your pain is genuine and to care that you are hurting, even if they don't understand the depth of the human-animal bond some of us experience. It's terribly isolating to be suffering deeply for the loss of something that those around you felt had no real value. Be patient, some people grieve for a long time. You are being a good friend to her in this time of loss.

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Thanks again every one.

I think I have a plan to help the lady with this episode.

And here's Swayzie, thanking you for all the kindness (even those who were not so kind, at least you took your time to write, and glad that you are the minority, by far).

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@wilfbrim: I don't keep ashes either. With furry ones that enjoy the sound of glass breaking and mommy freaking out, I don't like to keep anything that may end up on the floor. It was why I decided against keeping my dogs ashes, I wouldn't be able to vacuum up her ashes without a total breakdown if my little darlings were to knock them over and make a huge mess out of them. I kept her license and her name tag, and plenty of pictures. That's fine by me! Her memory lives on, the house isn't the same without her, but to this day (just over 3 years) I'm unearthing toys and treats she had (she was very spoiled, her toys are literally everywhere!).

But, I know they sell paw print kits for stepping stones in craft stores, and I never thought I'd want anything like that, but after a pet passes, you kind of do. I'[m hoping to find an ornament kit, or even better just be able to find some kitty safe clay to make their prints.

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@baybei: I got a paw print from Toysha (her pic was up here a while back). She had a stroke and when I was at the emergency vet they asked if I wanted her paw print. They took it, and I've just got to do something with it.

I don't keep their ashes or anything: just their collars and memories.

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@tooter1952: It's your kind of thin-skinned-ness that leads to excess PCness and repressive, nanny-state regimes. I thought from previous posts that @lll0228 might be the type that'd appreciate that, so I took the risk of linking it. I also couched it firmly in warnings so anyone who wanted to avoid it could do so.

I did not mean to be hurtful, but I am also completely unapologetic for my post. If you can't read the clear and simple warning, that's your own problem.

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I love the paw-print idea! Wish I had one from my dog now :(

And, after the surprise death of one of my kitties (only 8!) in October, I'm going to get paw prints from all the living monsters now, so I'll have them later!

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If it helps, my full theory is that there are only about eight different cats, and they all keep moving forward and backward in time as they please, inhabiting different bodies. It explains how cats can wander into your life at just the right time or vanish mysteriously to never be seen again. Own enough cats, you'll have met them all throughout eternity.

I am also sorry about your pet.

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I fostered a pair of orphaned kittens a year-ish ago and one of them passed away from, I eventually came to terms with, no fault of my own. The untimely death of a kitten is a thing very unlike the death of a well-lived older cat- each different levels of tragic. I always like to pass on @slydon's Limited Cat Theory he told me when I lost the teeny one.

The Limited Cat Theory is basically self-explanatory, it gives context to how cats leave us (sometimes traumatically or suddenly) and yet we'll years later see glimmers of that feline personality in another cat. Your cat may not make it the night, but his cat-soul will live on in another cat-body to mouse and purr again another day! Or, at least it's nice to think so.

When a pet passes away, I like to create a token for them. Plants/trees, stuffed animals that resemble them, just something that I can look at to be reminded of them. I'm very sorry for your impending loss.

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@brandie346: Yes, I have a paw print of my cat that lived to be 17, it looks nice in a little shadowbox frame with a picture and her favorite mouse toy. What a great reminder and excellent suggestion.

So sorry for your the kitty loss, by the way.

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When my cat passed away, the crematory service people asked if I wanted (to buy) a keepsake, which is his paw print in clay, with his name in block letters. I didn't realize at the time how cool it would be, but I'm so happy that I said yes to that. It's really great.

So that's something to think about after your kitty passes. Sorry for your loss.

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Thank you every one, for the comments and well wishes.

I held the cat all night last night while he was gasping for air. He is still alive, and not in pain. But the end is approaching, almost all of the organs are failing (especially the kidneys and heart), and he has still been behaving very considerately, heading straight to the litter box when he needed to go, even with wobbly legs.

He is in good hands. And most likely we will have the vet come to the house this evening to help him end his suffering. We will see.

Once again, thank you for all the kind wishes.

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@tooter1952: It's ok. @psaux means no harm, he just meant to bring some smiles to my face in a non-conventional manner. It's ok.

I am a scientist and understand full well the circle of life. Death is inevitable, but it doesn't make the lady feel better to know that a good buddy is gone.

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@kamikazeken: If being a man means one must be devoid of emotions or loving care of other beings; I would rather not be identified as such. By trivializing the death of a being, you have just trivialized the value of human beings' emotions.

I see being a man as a responsibility. A responsibility to take care of all beings around me, including people, animals and plants. That is not "girlie", it is responsible. The strange societal "macho" image does not sit with me well, since most of those actions are just nothing but manifestations of internal weakness and insecurity. I don't need a gun or pretend to act in these ill-conceived and ancient standards to feel macho, or manly.

I do so by taking care of others.

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@psaux: I apologize on your behalf to the rest of the caring, feeling human beings on planet earth. On this planet, people try to make others feel BETTER, not worse. Just a heads up.

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@kamikazeken: Well, the "cats are slightly above rodents" creep is back. In case you didn't see my previous post - "you must be feeling inadequate, being a rat"

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So sorry to hear about your cat :(

What I did after my dog passed was make a slide show movie of a bunch of picture of her from puppy to old dog. I mixed them up some, but it started with puppy and finished with some pro shots of her taken about six months before she passed. But I had it divided up into sections like lovable dog, water dog, loving the snow, etc and there were both puppy, adult and old girl pics of her in each section (that I had pictures for at least!). I also bought a collage frame to put various pics of her in. It's eventually going on my wall (when I'm no longer living in an attic and the cats can't knock it off the walls) with her tags. I also have pics of her and my kitties who have passed on, on my screen saver, so they will pop up from time to time. It's nice to see them as they once were, lounging and playing! Hugs for everyone! Kitty included.

I agree with waiting for a new kitty, and adopting from a shelter or rescue group.

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remind her it's just a cat. keep her away from people who act like it's a human, they'll only make it worse. Then remind yourself that you're a MAN, and quit being so girlie.

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My vote is for a scrapbook or collage of your special little critter. If I know cat owners (I am one) your SO probably has taken hundreds of images of their furry friend.

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You can help by not letting others trivialize the loss. You will hear - so, it's just a cat - one too many times. Keep those people away.
The loss is going to hurt. Remembering the funny things that kitty did, or even the bad times that he bounced back from, will help. Talking about him. Not ending the memories just because he has died.
@goatcrapp did a beautiful thing. That would be a nice thing to do.

Gentle hugs to mr. kitty & to you both. Give extra love to the remaining cats. They'll be suffering, too.

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Just be there.

This may not be the answer you're looking for, but you don't need to say anything or do anything special. Nothing can erase or prevent the oncoming pain of a death of any loved one. Don't pressure yourself with coming up with the magic action or the magic words that remove the pain of losing someone, because it has never been done.

Be there when it happens and afterward. I mean really be present. Don't let your mind wander, just be there in body and mind. Good luck.

I would also suggest on not immediately getting a new pet to help her get over the loss. This might delay the pain or help her suppress it, which I don't think is healthy. She needs to deal with the loss, embrace the pain and accept it.

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Sorry about what you are going through.

Everyone grieves in their own way so it is difficult to give a good answer to your question.

However, if you ever decide to get another cat please get one from a shelter or rescue group. This way you are saving 2 lives, the cat you are adopting plus you are making room for another cat to be rescued by the shelter.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. My husband and I were just talking about this last night. My first cat passed away earlier this year and he was my baby. 14 yrs old and he was awesome. He has been sick a couple times and we almost lost him, but this time he didn't recover. He actually waited for me to get home from work and died in my arms while I was petting him. That somehow made it a lot easier for me to deal with.

My husband just listened and took the lead from me. We talked about Barky when I wanted to. I had another cat at home that also helped me get through it. About a month and a half later I was ready for a kitten. So was my other cat. But I just woke up that day and said "ok, now I'm ready". Don't surprise her with one if she's not ready.

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When my mom had to put down her cat, I suggested to her that she clip a little bit of its fur. She put it in a tiny envelope in a pretty frame with its picture. Nothing can take away the initial sting of losing a beloved pet, but I can honestly tell you that this really helped my mom. So sorry about your sad news.

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That's sad. I think being patient and a good listener while she grieves will help. Also, hugs. How thoughtful of you to ask the question. Sorry for your loss.

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WARNING:
This post should only be read if she, you, and/or anyone reading this thread have a truly sick sense of humor. I am posting this item ONLY because it was a relevant memory jarred loose by this thread.

That said, the impending death of a pet is a terrible thing, and I'm sorry for the forthcoming loss.

So, what warranted the warning? This:
http://www.amazon.com/101-Uses-Dead-Simon-Bond/dp/0517545160

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I was in a similar situation with my wife... you're not going to take away the pain, but you can definitely do little things to make it easier. I made my wife a slide show set to music with some pics of her cat... it's corny, i know, but she feels it helped.. she must have watched it 10+ times over the next week, smiling and crying, and will still play it every now and then whenever she finds it while going through her data.

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Sorry to hear about your cat.

Be there. Not much else to do. Find a way to talk about the good memories. When our first cat died, after a hard fight and fifteen years she might not have had (had to feed her sugar water in an eyedropper the first week, weaned from her mother too early), we took time to remember her and just drove around and sat around talking about Hildy and everything else that cam up for most of the day. It was better not to be home for awhile. We had another cat, who was a bit lonely, but she terrorized him and so he enjoyed alone time for awhile until he started letting us know he was bored.

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@lll0228: Oh, I'm so sorry. Not sure anything you can do or say will make it easier. Eight cats owned me at one time. When each of them died they took a piece of me. I think of them often. So very sad for you and your lady.