losing pets sucks

First of all, if you aren’t an animal lover you probably won’t understand. Also, if you are expecting a rant, move along, nothing to see here. I’m just going to vent a bit

It is almost one in the morning and I am preparing to put my cat to sleep in the morning, in just about 6 hours when the Vet opens. My cat, CJ, is 17 years old and he has cancer. I lost my granfather to cancer, my mother to cancer, and now her beloved pet to cancer and I am really fucking tired of cancer being a recurring theme in my life. (Ok, maybe I will rant a little in this post).

My mom raised this cat, a purebred himalayan, from the time that he was 12 weeks old. 6 years ago, she passed away and I took the cat, vowing to give him the best home that I could. He led a happy and long life and that should give me some solace right now but it does not.

I came home from work tonight and found him in a horrible condition. He can’t walk, he won’t eat, and he looks miserable. I expected this day for months now, since he was diagnosed, but I thought I was better prepared. I’ve already decided to stay up and be next to him all night, to pet him and say my goodbyes.

Why did I let myself get so damned attached to this animal? I knew this was inevitable. I question whether or not I will ever get another pet for entirely that reason. This will be a very fucked-up weekend. Mother’s day is bad enough without having to hear fucking commercials for it all day tomorrow. Thanks for the memories, Hallmark.

Thanks to you to for reading this far and allowing me this opportunity to just get out the frustration and sadness that I am overwhemed with right now. It seems kind of theraputic.

Hi musicguy,

I’m so sorry that you have to say goodbye to your companion tonight. He is a link to your Mom, and that is making a difficult time even more unbearable for you.

CJ has spent a long life with people who love him and who have cared for him. It is his time to go.

I think that it is wonderful that you are right there with him as he passes. Please be strong at the vet’s office. You are doing the right thing.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…

Author unknown…


I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve been through that before, yet still get another cat, etc.

You did give him a second home, and another person to love, and who loved him back.


A pet is a very personal thing.

This pet was a thread to living memories.
The thread is about to be broken.

Rest well, CJ.

It’s always so hard to let go of anyone we love, and unfortunately there’s really not much anybody can say or do to make you feel better right now. But later I think you should try to take some comfort in the fact that you are doing what’s best for CJ. Easing his pain and letting him drift off to sleep surrounded by people who have been helping take care of him is the last gift of love and respect you can give him. And in a way, doing this for someone she loved, this is one last gift you can give your mother.

Take care, musicguy.

First of all, thanks to everyone who has responded. Your words of kindness mean so much to me.

I was able to stay awake for a while but sometime around 3am, I fell asleep. At about 4:30am, I woke up and checked on him and unfortunately, maybe somewhat fortunately, CJ had passed away. He went quietly in his sleep and looks quite peaceful now.

I was pretty numb until I read your posts but now the tears are flowing. All in all, that is a good thing. It means that the healing process is beginning. Thanks again everyone for your kind support.


Godspeed, CJ.

Thanks ** Spooky**

We had to put our 5 year old German Shepherd to sleep last Sept due to prostate cancer. (This two weeks after Sept 11 just made me think we should cancel Sept altogether.)

CJ had a good long life, you loved him dearly, and sometimes the best thing we can do for our pets is help them leave this plane painlessly.

You will cry, scream, hit walls in anger…it’s all normal.

I’ve read Rainbow Bridge before…it always makes me cry.


Eric, may I tell you my story? I’ve been up all night (lifelong insomniac!), and your difficult time last night really touched me, and conjured up some feelings.

When my husband was only 21 he lost his beloved father. At this same time, Mike’s Mom was slowly dying of cancer. Mike is an only child. On a whim one day, perhaps to try to fill an empty place left in their household, Mike brought home a kitten someone was giving away at a swapmeet, and it happened to be Mother’s Day. Well, I don’t think that that was the best gift he could have given a woman who was as sick as his Mom was at the time. But, Anna was a wonderful woman, and she adored the new kitty, whom they named Gingy.

Anna died later that year, and Gingy became Mike’s best buddy, and his only living link to his family.

I met Mike shortly after that, and let me tell you, there was quite an adjustment period for Gingy and me! He hated me! But soon we grew to love each other.

Thirteen years have passed, Mike and I are an old married couple, and Gingy is our only “child”.

We moved across country to New Mexico last autumn, and since Gingy is getting on in years we had to leave him behind with my parents in NY. We miss him terribly! Your sad story last night, concerning your beloved mother, beloved cat, and the Mother’s Day Weekend really got to me.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.


Thanks ivyclass

And Spooky, thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine the bad memories that my post may have caused you to revisit.

I too, am an only child. My father is well although he lives 2000 miles away so we don’t see each other enough. We cried together in the phone this morning though. It’s hard for him too.

Knowing that you are not alone when something like this happens makes all the difference. Your posts have provided a great deal of comfort as have the posts of everyone else here. Thanks again.


(((((musicguy)))))- I’m so sorry to hear about CJ. I know you loved him so very much. I’m here if you wanna talk and I look forward to seeing you tonite. My thoughts are with you and if there is anything I can do at all please call.

On a side note - that story “Rainbow Bridge” reminds me of a place I’ve heard about that all beloved pets go. It’s a place they call “Heaven” :).


Thanks, my friend. I’m very sad but I’ll be ok. I may call later but right now, I’m going to try to sleep a little. I didn’t get much more than an hour last night. Hopefully, I won’t be a zombie at rehearsal tonight. I know you are always there for me and I can’t convey how much that means to me.

You have my sympathy. I had to put down a cat who had been a companion for about 12 years about a year ago, I know how hard it is.

Thanks Wierddave,

Take care musicguy.

I’m taking off for the weekend so I just wanted to drop back in and see how you were doing. :slight_smile:

Do you think you will eventually get another companion? It does help. It helped me. Each cat is different, yet sometimes you see some of the old in the new. I don’t know how else to explain it.

I’m ok :slight_smile: I still haven’t slept really but at some point I will.

I think so but not soon. A pet is a big responsibility. The last few months especially have been pretty hard. I would like a break from that until I am ready again. Maybe a year or two.

It’s funny. I put some thought into having some tissue samples saved in the event that cloning became a possibility in the future. I then came to the conclusion that it was probably selfish and also that a new cat would only look like CJ, his upbringing made him who he was. Still, it was tempting.

Thanks for the kind thoughts!

I think it was very sweet that you stayed with him through the night. You probably gave him immense comfort & love as he passed on. Hang in there.


Musicguy, it was only one month ago that I went through the very same thing with my old girl Lou baby. While I was mentally preparing for the task I posted that thread. I felt it helped me move through stages of grieving. Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining and finally acceptance. I can understand it, I can accept it but I just was never fully prepared for the pain.

It may sound crazy to a non-doper, but it is during times of turmoil and emotional upheaval when we turn to other dopers for emotional support. I’ve told things about myself here that I have never told another human.

When my beloved Shih Tzu was actively dying, my hubby was working an odd shift and would be home about 3 am.

I lay on the floor with Bobo on his favorite blanket and tried as much as I could to comfort him. I had to work at 7 am and I couldn’t stay awake any longer so I went to bed at 2:15. At 2:45 I heard my hubby come in the door and walk over to the dining room where bobo was laying. When he came to the bottom of the steps and said “uhm you better come down here” I knew immediately. I guess he wanted to wait until he was alone just as it seems your CJ wanted to do.

We wrapped his remains in a blanket and hid it in the yard so the kids wouldn’t see him that way. The next morning we buried him on our farm where we now live. Lou baby’s remains now lie there right next to him.

I think nothing helps you get over the loss of a beloved pet than getting another one. I don’t believe it when people say it is disrespectul to the pet’s memory. As if that is possible. I think someone can fall in love with another pet just like it is possible for a Mother to love all her children