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Old 06-30-2004, 08:03 AM   #1
Silent
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
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Unhappy Looking for advise

There are a lot of you out there with different experiences and perspectives than I and I'm hoping one of you may be able to offer some advise. I'll try and do this in a short form.

I my partner and I adopted a little grey and white stray kitty (or rather, she adopted us) that was living under the cabin I was renting 3 years ago. She was calling out from under the place late one night in Febuary and we could hear her as we lay talking in the bedroom. My partner imitated her cry and "meowed" back to her. The two of them had a little conversation back and forth for a few minutes before Laura (my partner) took some scaps out and managed to coax the dirtest little cat with the thickest fur coat and biggest eyes you've ever seen out from under the cabin.

Fast forward a few years and I buy a house and we move a few miles down the road to a new place away from roads and other houses surrounded by farms. Princess (silly name, I know, but it fit) had become Laura's baby and she really was truly unique. She had adopted the two of us as her kittens and would come to bed every night and lick us all clean. The only thing she demanded in return is that she had the right to come and go as she pleased so we always left a window open for her despite her incessant to bring home every mouse she caught for us to see.

Sunday night she didn't come home at the usual time. I went out to have a look for her.

While we had been out that afternoon they had mowed the hay field behind our house. She didn't know what a hay mower was. She probably couldn't even see it coming in the tall grass.
It took me a minute to tell what it was that had been hit and few more before I could find enough to make sure it was her. I managed to keep Laura away fro the site (thank god) and bury what I could find with her favorite blanket and stuffed mouse under the apple tree in the back yard.

Sorry if this is running on.

My problem is this: Everytime I look at a picture of her it is over laid with the image of what was left in the field. Everytime I try to close my eyes and try and remember what she felt like I remember what the too few pieces of her felt like insde the blanket. I am trying to celebrate her short life with Laura but I keep getting overwhelmed with anger at the violence of her death.

Will these images fade in time? Will the bad diminish and the good remain? Is there some sort of mental exorcise I can repeatedly perform to help? Does anyone have any similar experience?

Any and all advice people can offer is appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:25 AM   #2
Beestie
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Princess died on the first impact and didn't feel a thing. What happened after that didn't happen to the Princess you knew - it was over in an instant. So in a way, her death wasn't really as violent as it looked like. The photo was Princess alive the image was long after she was gone - they don't really belong together.

I'm sorry to hear about that. I've lost a few pets and it hurts a lot more than one might imagine.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:29 AM   #3
Catwoman
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I don't know if this will help but I would like to tell you about my experience of death, and although it relates to a human, I think we all get inextricably emotionally attached to our pets, sometimes as much as we would to a friend or family member.

It's about a boy, aged around 9. He went to my school. I didn't really know him but my mum was friends with his. One day on a school trip he fell into a river, was carried along by the current and he drowned. Just like that he was gone. He had been at the back of the group of children and disappeared. They tried to help but it was too late.

I went to his funeral. His mother wanted it to be a celebration. There was music and laughter and an open coffin. She said that for weeks before his death he had been talking about dying, not in a morbid, unpleasant way, rather like he was looking forward to it, like it was the right time, and he wanted to go.

I saw him in his coffin and was profoundly moved. I touched his head, he was so cold, but seemed so pure, and overwhelmingly at peace. There was such a calm atmosphere, an incredible feeling. Suddenly I realised there was nothing to be afraid of.

His death was a tremendous shock for everyone involved. The grief, for his parents, and friends, teachers, must have been intolerable.

But how this relates to your tragedy is that I believe there is peace after life, whether it is a human or an animal, and you can rest assured that Princess is happy somewhere enjoying this peace. Her body was just a carrier, and if you believe in a soul, you know that despite her body's trauma, this is untarnished, because it transcends earth and body.

Maybe you can replace the image of her death with one of her completely at peace, looking down on you with her big eyes and miaowing playfully to say hello, and that everything's ok.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:36 AM   #4
marichiko
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If you are an "animal" person like me, you can form a very strong bond with your pet, and loosing one is like loosing a good friend. I'm sorry to hear of your kitty's demise, and I'm sure Beestie is right, she was gone the moment the thing hit her and probably felt nothing - it would have been that quick.

Some years back I lost a cat I'd had for almost 20 years (Ms. Obie Wan Kenobie) to a combination of kidney failure and a badly infected scratch from another cat. It was not a pretty end, and unlike your pet, mine lingered on for a month. After she died, I buried her in the garden and I found an old picture I had of her in happier times. I put that picture on my desk and wrote a little poem for her. That helped a lot. Then, as it just so happened, a little stray orange cat wandered into my life, and although he willl never be Obie Wan, he has become just as good a friend as she was. I think all cats and dogs go to heaven, myself. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-30-2004, 11:16 AM   #5
BrianR
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I am sorry to hear that you lost your pet. I, too, am a pet person (dogs heavily favored) and I've lost a few in my time. Your heart breaks, you mourn for as long as it takes and then you go to the animal shelter and pick out another animal to replace the lost one.

The newcomer will never totally replace the lost cat, but will instead find it's own place in your heart. In time, the pain of loss will fade and you will come to love the new pet just as much. I recommend you go get another cat that "speaks" to you. I guarantee one will.

I believe you were right in not letting your SO view the remains. It's better that she remember her beloved pet the way it was, not the way it wound up. You will have to be strong and deal with that image which will never quite go away. I once lost a dog to a car and saw the remains. I'll never forget that, and sometimes when things are quiet I will flash back to that horrible day. That's when I reach down and stroke the soft hair on the current dog, who will sigh and roll over with pleasure and the image goes away again.

I heartily recommend taking her to the shelter and rescuing another kitty. You will thank me later.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2004, 11:24 AM   #6
OnyxCougar
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I'm really sorry about Princess. All you can do is try to remember the many many more good times than the horrifc bad things. If you're an artist, draw/paint a picture of those big eyes and by focussing on the good images, perhaps the bad ones will fade. If you're a poet, write poetry. What ever your creative output is, use it to focus, really focus on the good things, and once you've practiced that, the bad things will fade.
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Old 06-30-2004, 03:44 PM   #7
Katkeeper
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The longest time I have ever been without a cat in my adult life is 3 weeks. That was too long, but I was trying to get back a cat who had disappeared but who had become wild. Each loss has been mended by a newcomer who quickly becomes part of my life. Each cat has been wonderful in his/her own way, and I cherish the memories of those who have are gone as well as nurture the two who are still with me. I have adopted all but one from the Humane Society, saving them from an almost sure early demise. They are truly wonderful friends. Adopt a new one.
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:55 PM   #8
Sun_Sparkz
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Warning: some gory detail.

Silent I'm so sorry for you loss.

A few months ago my bird Harry flew away and I was so distraught! I cried for days! (Though, I did get him back again).

I agree with Onyx in that you should use any creative expression you might possess to help you prioritise the memories of Princess. I recently (14 months ago) lost my brother. In our Family living room one night he took a sawn off 22' shotgun, put it in his mouth, and took his own life. I don't think anyone needs any explanation as to how his remains may have been visually. I have had nightmares of this image more times than I could ever count.

The pain and hurt of the loss was most definitely angered by the violent end that was brought upon his body. In the beginning, when I used to think about him, all I could see was horrific images, and then, this made me angry and pissed off.

Over the months I have written every detail down. the bad times. the happiest times. the fun, laughs, even sitting at the diner table. everything.

I've written songs, poetry, short stories, and taken long, long trips down memory lane.

Now every time I think of him, the tragic end moves farther to the back of my mind, the anger is slowly fading and I can start to thank him for making me happy so many more times than he made me sad.

The images of something like what you and I have seen, I dont believe they will ever go away. How could they? but i believe we can gear our emotions into focusing on the happy, positive things you remember about someone, or something that you dearly loved.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:13 PM   #9
Beestie
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Dear Lord, Sun_Sparkz... You and OC have been through things I can't even imagine.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:40 AM   #10
Crimson Ghost
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Silent, sometimes pets pass away quietly in the night, sometimes not. The death of your cat was a dreadful accident, and I am sorry for your loss.

When I was about 8 years old, I found a Black Lab. My father took the dog and me to the police station to find out if she had been reported missing. Eventually, the owner was found, but he decided that he no longer wanted her. So, I got a faithful dog for 15 years. She had a litter of 12, we kept one and gave the others to relatives, and he lived for about 13 years. Sadly, both dogs died while I was overseas. My father didn't have the heart to tell me until I was state-side.

I hope that someday you can look at the pictures of Princess without the images of that day. Yes, the memories will fade with time. It will take a while. But it will happen.

My condolences.
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