Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mourning for My Puppy



Saturday was the end of the line for my sweet Puppy cat. As I mentioned before, he'd was diagnosed with large-cell gastrointestinal lymphoma back in October, and that's a pretty grim diagnosis. When he stopped eating, stopped drinking, and retreated to a hiding spot, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

Over the past two days, I've noticed I've reacted to his death the same way many people react to deaths of loved ones, both people and pets: We want the reminders of their illnesses gone, right away.

* I gave the unused medicines back to the vet, to give away to someone else in need.

* I had a number of special foods I'd bought to tempt Puppy to eat. Some went back to the store where I bought them. The ones I couldn't return, including open packages, went to a friend with a cat who would enjoy them. (My other cats would, too, but I'd rather keep them on their normal diet.)

* I gave the baby food — another tempt-Puppy-to-eat item — to my neighbors, who will in turn give it to people they know who have babies.

But the other things, that remind me of good times, I'm not ready to decide about, and there's no rush to make any decisions. That box he's curled up in, that he loved so much for many years — no, I'm not ready to do anything with that.

Again, this mirrors how many people deal with items after any loss; we wait a bit, and make decisions as we're ready.

27 comments:

Ms.Trinh said...

Im so sorry for your loss. Pets truly do bring such joy and love to a person's life, cherish all the wonderful love and memories.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Jeri. Anyone who's loved a pet understands how hard it is to deal with the loss. I know you'll make the right decisions at the right time.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your Puppy. I lost my 15 year-old kitty earlier this year. I also returned his unopened medical supplies (he was diabetic) to the vet and gave his food to a local cat shelter. This is the first Christmas that he's been gone, but I still hung up his stocking. If you haven't already done so, read the "Rainbow Bridge" poem - I found comfort in its message and I'm sure you will too.

Farmwife said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. The pain you feel is as real as pain you'd feel losing any other loved one. Don't let anyone tell you you're being silly mourning your pet. They are the ones losing out on all the love that pets bring.

pollinator said...

I feel your pain. I'm sorry, Jeri.

Chris Mitchell said...

You have indeed lost a best friend, Jeri. My thoughts and prayers are with you. The passage of time and the replaying of great memories will comfort and heal your grief. Keep that box--no decisions are needed yet.

Louise said...

Thank you for taking the time to write about decluttering, even in the depth of your sorrow.

I'd like to add that opened and partially used pet medicines can often be donated to local animal shelters. They don't all accept items like that, but ones on really tight budgets are often thrilled to get even a few pills as long as they can be identified.

My deepest condolences on your loss. May Puppy rest in peace.

mary said...

sending you out comforting thoughts and fond memories during this time

Deb said...

So sorry for your loss. Have been through this with a couple of dogs who have been part of our family.

An idea for the items you discussed...consider donating them to a local animal shelter or nature center that does wild animal rehab. They are always in need of meds which are very expensive and will always take opened food and supply items.

Anonymous said...

Like the reflection in a mirror or glass, death is the reflection of life. The greater the love you felt, the greater the grief. The sorrow you feel is a mere reflection of the joy you shared.
I wish you peace.

MarySees said...

Jeri, I'm sorry! I feel your pain. I have many cats, and I suffer for each one of them. Puppy's sweet little spirit will come around you to give you reassurance that he is okay. Watch for signs. Sending love to you at this difficult time!

Jeri Dansky said...

Thank you all for the kind messages; it means a LOT to me.

And thanks to Anonymous, Louise and Deb for more suggestions on where to donate unused medicines and pet foods.

Claire Josefine said...

Of course you deal with the loss of Puppy as you would a human. Love is love, Jeri, whether it's for our four-legged or two-legged (or two-winged) friends. Puppy was a special cat, and he holds a special place in your life and heart. He was lucky to have you as his special person. My love is with you.

JustGail said...

((((hugs))))

MaryLou said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss. I still grieve for my Missy who died two years ago this week. She definitely left paw prints on my heart and I hope to see her at the Rainbow Bridge. Your message brought back memories and you will always have your own to keep Puppy with you in spirit.

jls said...

So sorry...as I read this I felt that terrible feeling of pain of loss...but loss of pets is like nothing else - very, very hard. Do things in your own time. Take care of yourself and cuddle with your other kitties as much as possible

cathy said...

Jeri, so sorry for you loss. May warm memories bring you some joy.

Anonymous said...

The knowledge that a cat can be one's companion and friend is a precious gift from life.

May the ache in your heart become less, and that instead of tears you will have a a lot of smiles in your face whenever you remember your puppy's antics.

I hope soon you will open up your heart for another four legged companion. It is always a good thing to be in the company of friends, the four legged kind.

Sorry for your loss, and may your heart soon feel the warmth of a new love, a pet companion. Your puppy would like that.

THE ZOO said...

I am so sorry to hear of Puppys passing.

Geralin Thomas said...

Jeri, I'm sending you comforting thoughts and am sorry for your loss. You've been on my mind a lot lately - I know thing will be difficult for a while. ((Big Hugs ))

Jeri Dansky said...

Again, thanks so very much to everyone — for the hugs and for the kind, supportive (and often eloquent) words. It means the world to me.

Anonymous, I have two other wonderful cats that I love dearly — but I still really miss my Puppy.

And MaryLou, I'm sorry for the loss of your Missy. Anniversaries of a loved one's death — be it a person or a pet — can be really hard.

Rick leavy said...

Jeri,
I love cats and have one who looks similar to your May puppy.
The picture you posted will always bring you comfort and wonderful memories of this lovely,precious animal.
Merry Christmas and I know you will have a prosperous new year!

decembercat said...

I am so sorry for you loss. I have been following you and Puppy for a long while. I know your love has helped him move on to his next adventure.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeri, I feel so sad for you. I lost my two poodles this year during a particularly bad tick season in South East Queensland. They had many toys, some ratty ones I tossed and washed the rest and packed them away.

Seven weeks ago another little poodle joined my home and watching her playing with the toys that brought my other poodles so much fun has been very healing as the joy she gets from the toys is a living link to the others that I loved.

Jeri Dansky said...

I continue to feel incredibly supported by everyone's sweet comments. Thank you all so very very much.

Anonymous, I'm so sorry for the loss of your poodles - and so glad you're been able to welcome another one into your home, and have that be a healing experience.

hkpowerstudio said...

Jeri, I'm so sorry for your loss of Puppy. Like you I lost my beloved kitties (3!!!) at the end of last year (all exactly 2 weeks apart). As a fellow organizer I also donated all the unused items to a pet shelter and fellow kitty owner friends. For now I am without a kitty but I kept a few special items (one mouse toy, a cat book, a bed and grooming tools and a small piece of fur/wiskers from each) because I know I will have another cat someday. Wishing you the most fond memories of Puppy.

Jeri Dansky said...

Heather, I'm so very sorry to hear about your losses. Losing my Puppy was hard enough; your situation sounds so very much harder.