So my pet died today.

he was a cat. 10 years old. he stopped eating last week and after I tried to tempt him with the soft canned food and he ignored it, I got him into the next day. they kept him and did tests and found trouble with his liver and peronitis-something. they kept him to keep treating him and hoped he would be back for the weekend. i called this morning and he wasn’t improving so they wanted to keep him the weekend. they called back a few laters to let me know he just died.

i know they did everything they could to make the right decisions and do what was best for the animal, and i can’t blame them for not being able to be able to predict the future. but i am really unhappy that i didn’t get an opportunity to be with him one last time. if his time had come, i really really wished i could have been there, maybe with the blanket he used to sleep in. for him to have a familiar face and a familiar scent — and for me to be able to say goodbye. i would have preferred putting him to sleep with me there. as it was, he died alone, most likely in pain in an alien environment feeling abandoned by me. i’m sure there are people who will say that pets can’t feel such complex feelings, and that’s fine, but believe me when those theories will have no luck penetrating how i’m feeling right now.

i am a 32 year-old man for christ’s sake. and this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. but i’m not handling this well. i feel really sad.

nobody has to reply. none of you really know me, i don’t even know why i’m writing this. but i am. i think i’m trying anything to try to exorcise this feeling.

I’ve lost a few dogs in my day, so I know how you’re feeling. Non-pet owners usually don’t get it. This may sound cold at first, but it helped me accept the losses myself.

Man is the only animal that knows it will someday die. As your cat drew it’s last breath, it wasn’t aware that that was going to be it. As far as wanting to be there, I completly understand it. However, when I was 17 I had my first Pug put down and stayed to hold her. It was the worst mistake of my life. I can still recall it like it happened yesterday. Sometimes your situation is better. Hope you feel better soon.

I’m so sorry. I’d like to think that he knew how much you loved him, and that he was thinking of you when he went.

You had a long time together. Of course it’s alright to mourn – just don’t forget all the great times, and how you were friends for many years.

Don’t beat yourself up Hey You. Just because you weren’t exactly right there at the very end, doesn’t mean your boy didn’t know you loved him. :slight_smile: He did. I lost a friend lately too. It hurts… but the memories help. Of the good times you had together. As long as you remember him, he will never be gone.

I’m so sorry. I know how tough losing a pet can be. And not being there for his last moment…ouch.

Try this…it usually helps me. There is a theory among animal lovers that if you “send” your animal to heaven, they will be there waiting for you when you pass on. All you have to say is “Go over the rainbow bridge…<insert pets name>.” It helps me to think that my loving kitties will be there waiting for me when I go. And it also helps <in my own head, of course> to ease their pain and know that they know you love them and want to be with them in the future.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss. It will get easier, I promise.

There is nothing wrong with how you are feeling and we all empathize.

An old friend of mine (he was 83 when he died a few years ago) was a WWII veteran, he was there a few days after D-Day, he helped liberate the concentration camps. He wasn’t a wuss or anything.

But about 10 years ago, when my sister and I lost one of our kitties, he cried along with us. What happened was that Squeaky (the kitty) got some sort of kidney tumors or something and he wouldn’t drink and was always dehydrated. The vet said it was hopeless. When we went to be with him for them to put him to sleep, Squeaky (who had just been hydrated so he must have felt really perky) squeaked with delight at seeing us. He thought he was going home. He looked so normal—so healthy. But we knew it was hopeless and he’d not feel very good for much longer, so he was put to sleep as we held him.

My sister and I descended into tears right in the vet’s office. Our friend, the WWII vet, cried too. How could he not? He had a heart. He loved animals, and he loved Squeaky. He was probably 70+ years old, but he wasn’t too old to cry over something so sad.

If you feel up to it or when you feel the time is right, I encourage you to adopt another cat. Give some kitty a good home. Try to find a kitty that would otherwise be euthanized if he or she does not find a home. It may make you feel better about what has happened. You can do it in the memory of this kitty that you lost.

We have a kitty that we adopted right after we lost a beloved cat. We got him from the pound. I think he KNEW what his fate was going to be in that pound. He looks up at us, every day, with gratitude. He knows. I don’t think he’ll ever forget.

I should probably add, Hey you!, that whatever your cat missed by not seeing you there in the end was quickly eliviated. I am with kittenlm on this one—I think our pets are waiting for us on the other side. They are such faithful companions to us, and I think that they always know how much we love them.

I’m sorry, but can I see a cite for this? Because I know that most people are all “humans are the only ones with complex thought and emotion” but last I heard, we weren’t even a fraction of the way into figuring out how our OWN minds work, let alone theorizing how any possible existence of a soul would even fit into the equation. So until we can actually teach our pets human speech and ask them whether they are self aware, what proof do we really have that they aren’t?

Many years ago, when I left home to seek my fortune (that would be by joining the Air Force) I left behind a 10 year old dog and a 12 year old kitty. I was gone 8 weeks, but in that time they both died. My family said neither would eat. The dog was hit by a car, “looking for me,” I was told. The cat just pined away.
I understand how you’re feeling. You can’t change what is, don’t drag the guilt around for too long. You would have been there had you known. Grieve, as you must, then get a kitten to light the dark corner left by your passed pet.
I, for one, am convinced that pets do have emotions. They know who loves them.

Good lord, I never thought something duffer said would evoke emotions with me. This made me think what it would be like to hold my cat while they put him to sleep (he’s 10 so it might not be an awful long time before that happens), and I almost started crying.

This is the saddest thread I’ve seen since Crouton died :(.

I hope you feel better soon and are left with nothing but good memories Hey You!

This makes me sad. I’ve been gone for a year now and my mom and my sister say my cat still sits outside my bedroom door waiting for me, and goes crazy whenever anybody opens it.

I recently got a kitten to help me feel better but that hasn’t been working out too well.

Sorry to hear the news, Hey you!. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a 32-year-old male too, and when I had to put my dog down almost a year ago, I sobbed and sobbed afterward. I started a thread about it at the time; I still go back and read it now and then when I’m missing her worse than usual.

There was a thread in IMHO recently on men and crying, and I thought it was interesting that so many of the men who posted mentioned the death of a pet specifically as a time they’d cried.

There’s no substitute for the relationship between a person and a pet. It’s not a filler for a child, friend, spouse, whatever; it’s in its own category, and nothing can take that place. Go ahead and miss him; that’s how we’re wired up.

I’m so sorry for your loss. My cat Boo died in similar circumstances on Valentine’s Day, 1996. He had gotten sick quickly, and died at the vet’s. It turned out to be lymphoma. I wasn’t there with him at the time, and I feel bad about that.

But I do believe that our animals know what the vet office is, and that it is the best place for them when they are ill. None of my animals hate me when they return from the vet, I think they can accept that the vet is there to make them feel better. So don’t beat yourself up with guilt.

I happen to think compassionate men who love animals are very sexy. I know I am not alone.

Oh no, you are not alone on that one!! :smiley:

I’ 36 and I bawled when our dog died last year. I did the same when we had to put a cat down a couple of years ago. Pets are family. Just because they aren’t human does not mean that you don’t love them, and miss them when they are gone.

Hey You, sorry for your loss, my cat passed a few months ago and it brought this cynical, jaded guy close to emotional release, it was all the worse that since he was a farm cat, lived both inside and out, he simply wandered away and passed on out in our 50 acres of land somewhere, i have no body to bury :frowning: , but he lived a happy and spoiled 18 years and he’s now at peace

i think this is debatable, many animals show signs of sentience, for example, my pufferfish that had a gas pocket infection knew, even as he was being prodded and poked with a surgical scalpel and hypodermic needle, that i was trying to help him, to cure him of his illness, and he never puffed up in defense, whenever a puffer is “attacked” it will inflate itself in defense, Zaphod never did, and i’d think being poked and prodded by surgical tools would qualify as being “attacked”

one of the dogs at work (a Siberian Husky) knows where i hide the doggie treats, and will look at me, then where the treats are hidden, back to me, back to the treats, look at me again and “sing” (make that cool howling noise) in the hopes that she’ll be fed, and dammit, it works most of the time, who’s training who here?

and the most conclusive proof of animal sentience (and a sad story to boot);

my mother’s horse (a rather large Morgan mare) had fallen ill and was dying, she couldn’t walk and was lying down in her stall, somehow, in her last moments, she pulled herself out of her stall (by her forelegs) into the hall in the barn to be with Mom in her last moments, she did this for two reasons, one, for companionship in her last moments on Earth, and secondly, somehow she “knew” that if she died in her stall, we’d have to dismantle the stall to retrieve her, and she wanted to make it easy for them to remove her body from the barn after she passed on, and perhaps third, she was a fighter and didn’t want to give up on life, she went down fighting, hopefully giving Death a good solid kick in the dangling unmentionables in the process :wink:

(yes it was a large stall, but the door was narrow, wide enough for a horse and human to walk side by side, but not wide enough to allow a prone horse thru it)

that behavior, to me, shows higher reasoning, Casey had no need to get out of her stall in her last moments, she was comfortable, and in familiar surroundings, yet she fought on until the very last moments, and when she knew her fate was sealed, she wanted to make her passing easier on her human loved ones, so she left her stall

I also believe that animals can reason out quite a bit.

Tangie, the kitty that was adopted from the pound, and who looks up at us with eternal gratitude, he is terrified of being taken in a car. I’ve never seen a cat so terrified. He drools profusely. Now, when I say “drool,” you’re probably thinking some dribbles or something. Nope, I’m talking sheets and sheets of drool streaming from him, getting his fur and cat carrying box soaked. Soaked. The vet says that some cats do this when they’re very scared. I’ve never seen a cat do this.

I am supposing that perhaps it’s because Tangie’s a pound cat, and associates a car ride with the Ride of Death—like when he was picked up by Animal Control and taken to the pound. When he gets to the pound he behaves well, and I think he drools somewhat less on the way back, and he never seems to be angry with us for taking him to the vet, but he just can’t get over that trauma.

And then there’s Henry, who’s either 20 years old or very close to it, and who is very “sensitive.” You scold him for hogging the food dish, he sulks and pines for days. You don’t give him enough attention, he sulks and hides. He needs lots of tender, special care, because he’s got very delicate feelings.

And the cats know when something is “up” amongst their kitty population. We recently had to trap a semi-feral cat (it was friendly though), with the hope of getting the cat fixed. (We couldn’t keep him, but we could at least prevent him from fighting and getting other kitties pregnant.) Well, our whole kitty population knew something was up with Blackie (the feral cat) and for a day or two afterwards they were skittish and a little freaked out. They didn’t know what to expect next. They started to gobble down their food (maybe being nervous makes cats compulsively eat. It does with ours, anyway). It didn’t help that Blackie never came back. The vets tested him and it turned out he had kitty AIDS, so, since he was an outdoor feral cat (who would fight and bite and spread the disease), they recommended that he be put to sleep. So basically, we caught Blackie and had him put to death. And don’t think our own kitties didn’t somehow know that something was amiss.

They know quite a bit.

I could ramble on with cat stories, but I think this is enough for now!

That should be: “When he gets to the vet he behaves well, and I think he drools somewhat less on the way back, and he never seems to be angry with us for taking him to the vet, but he just can’t get over that trauma.”

I, too, am very, very sorry for your loss. It makes no difference your age (or anything else, for that matter), your cat was your friend and pet and there is no reason for you not to grieve. It hurts moreso as you didn’t get the chance for a goodbye.

I’m forty-three, and I assure you every time I lose (or have lost) an animal, I lose control for a little while, hurting as badly as if they were human friends that have died. My sweethearts, cats as well as dogs, loved me unconditionally, and there aren’t many humans in this world that can or will do that. Of course you will mourn…

My warmest thoughts to you on this terrible day.

I am sorry about your kitty.