When Your Cat Dies
It's unfortunate, but pets have a much shorter life span than humans. Learning to deal with the grief of their loss can be insurmountable for some people, and others bounce back quickly, often bringing a new pet into the home quickly.
True animal lovers usually keep pets their entire lives and may keep many through the years. For some, one at a time is enough, and for others, housing multiple pets is most satisfying.
Occasionally someone "needs more time" between pets, and others never take the plunge again. The heartache can be too much for some, and for others, that kind of heartache can best be healed by caring for another pet right away.
I'm in the latter category, finding a new cat as quickly as possible when one dies. I have found that my sorrow heals faster when I immerse myself in the care of another needy soul that otherwise might die, despite being young and healthy.
I guess it's the rescuer in me. I can't stand the idea that another cat could die simply because she's an "extra mouth to feed" at a shelter or pound and will have to relinquish her life for no good reason.
A good book on the subject, Recover From the Grief of Pet Loss, can help a lot of us to understand the dynamics of our loss and to move on.
Whenever someone calls me at the shelter, looking to "replace" a lost pet, I always recommend they first find closure with the one they've just lost. This may be especially important to the children in your home. Here are some ways to do this:
Now that I have come to terms with the certainty of death, I feel I am better equipped to deal with each cat's departure and then quickly integrate another cat into my home. They always seem grateful, and that's reward enough.
If you'd like to read my story about my Miss Kitty, who died on Christmas morning, 2005, I put it HERE.
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Copyright © 2013 - RJ Peters