Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

This is my first blog post so thought I'd give a little intro. I was hoping my first wouldn't be so personal but this is the first reason Ive had for blogging. This may seem horribly out of place but Giantbomb really is my home on the internet at this point so I thought this would be the best place to post it. I know it's video game forum but please bare with me here. You don't HAVE to read it. But for those who do I truly appreciate it.

We got our second cat shortly after we had to give up a dog that we had saved off the streets because our neighbours complained about all the barking (The dog was abused by it’s previous owners, so it thought when we left we were abandoning it. It would bark for hours until we got home). It was kind of weird actually. We got this cat for free from a guy that was giving away several kittens, I initially chose another cat but it was already reserved for someone else. So we took “Whiskers” home with us that day (I know, not a particularly creative name for a cat, but hey I was like 9 years old at the time.) He was scared of us for quite a while, choosing to hide behind any piece of furniture he could, but eventually he warmed up to us and began to love us as much as we loved him. When he was really small he would sleep in my dads slippers like a sleeping bag. When he started to grow he moved on and slept in our bathroom sink for some reason.

Unlike our other cat Whiskers was extremely playful, he loved to fight us, sometimes even attacking when we least expected it. He would even follow us into the bathroom and get us when we were most vulnerable. That got him quite a lot of kicks. My parents always wondered why I let him bite me so much (In truth I didn’t really let him, it just happened because that’s how cats play) so I would often go into school with cuts all over my hands. I’ve certainly been asked why I had them by my peers. I thought it was amusing to explain it to them.

Although many won’t understand the feelings I shared with my furry pal, I considered him to be one of my closest friends. My family was forced to move to a new province when a company bought out my dads place of work and relocated us. I never really made a lot of close friends after the move, but Whiskers stayed close to me. The bond only grew as time passed. I began to develop bouts of depression and anxiety from not being able to fit in with the people at my new school, even to this day I still have problems connecting with people. Even then my cat was with me through all those long nights of wondering why no one liked me and why I was bullied. Through good times and bad, I always had my friend to comfort me.

I’m Eighteen years old now. I’ve graduated high school and still have not found my purpose, or what I want to do with my life. I know many people my age struggle with this but it almost feels like I’m alone when I see all the people my age going off to college or university, still I had Whiskers to comfort me when I was feeling lost. Unfortunately, just two days ago I found out my friend of nine years was having problems with his heart and would have to be put down. I’m still having trouble coping with it but I knew the day would come eventually, I just hoped that it wouldn’t be so soon. Our last cat lived to be Twenty-one, this one lasted until he was fourteen. For nine years he was there for me in times of need. For nine years he was my best friend and cuddle buddy, and now he is gone. I’m still not sure how I will be able to get past it. Again, many of you aren’t going to understand why this is such a big deal, and that’s fine, but when you’ve had a pet for so long that he/she is considered a family member, it’s extremely hard when it’s time to say goodbye.

I thank anybody for reading this all the way through to the end. This isn’t so much for discussion, it’s for me to let loose and reflect on this whole experience. That said if anyone has ever had to deal with this and wants to share that would be fine.

Thanks again.

Just a few weeks before the diagnosis
#1 Edited by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

This is my first blog post so thought I'd give a little intro. I was hoping my first wouldn't be so personal but this is the first reason Ive had for blogging. This may seem horribly out of place but Giantbomb really is my home on the internet at this point so I thought this would be the best place to post it. I know it's video game forum but please bare with me here. You don't HAVE to read it. But for those who do I truly appreciate it.

We got our second cat shortly after we had to give up a dog that we had saved off the streets because our neighbours complained about all the barking (The dog was abused by it’s previous owners, so it thought when we left we were abandoning it. It would bark for hours until we got home). It was kind of weird actually. We got this cat for free from a guy that was giving away several kittens, I initially chose another cat but it was already reserved for someone else. So we took “Whiskers” home with us that day (I know, not a particularly creative name for a cat, but hey I was like 9 years old at the time.) He was scared of us for quite a while, choosing to hide behind any piece of furniture he could, but eventually he warmed up to us and began to love us as much as we loved him. When he was really small he would sleep in my dads slippers like a sleeping bag. When he started to grow he moved on and slept in our bathroom sink for some reason.

Unlike our other cat Whiskers was extremely playful, he loved to fight us, sometimes even attacking when we least expected it. He would even follow us into the bathroom and get us when we were most vulnerable. That got him quite a lot of kicks. My parents always wondered why I let him bite me so much (In truth I didn’t really let him, it just happened because that’s how cats play) so I would often go into school with cuts all over my hands. I’ve certainly been asked why I had them by my peers. I thought it was amusing to explain it to them.

Although many won’t understand the feelings I shared with my furry pal, I considered him to be one of my closest friends. My family was forced to move to a new province when a company bought out my dads place of work and relocated us. I never really made a lot of close friends after the move, but Whiskers stayed close to me. The bond only grew as time passed. I began to develop bouts of depression and anxiety from not being able to fit in with the people at my new school, even to this day I still have problems connecting with people. Even then my cat was with me through all those long nights of wondering why no one liked me and why I was bullied. Through good times and bad, I always had my friend to comfort me.

I’m Eighteen years old now. I’ve graduated high school and still have not found my purpose, or what I want to do with my life. I know many people my age struggle with this but it almost feels like I’m alone when I see all the people my age going off to college or university, still I had Whiskers to comfort me when I was feeling lost. Unfortunately, just two days ago I found out my friend of nine years was having problems with his heart and would have to be put down. I’m still having trouble coping with it but I knew the day would come eventually, I just hoped that it wouldn’t be so soon. Our last cat lived to be Twenty-one, this one lasted until he was fourteen. For nine years he was there for me in times of need. For nine years he was my best friend and cuddle buddy, and now he is gone. I’m still not sure how I will be able to get past it. Again, many of you aren’t going to understand why this is such a big deal, and that’s fine, but when you’ve had a pet for so long that he/she is considered a family member, it’s extremely hard when it’s time to say goodbye.

I thank anybody for reading this all the way through to the end. This isn’t so much for discussion, it’s for me to let loose and reflect on this whole experience. That said if anyone has ever had to deal with this and wants to share that would be fine.

Thanks again.

Just a few weeks before the diagnosis
#2 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4469 posts) -

Yeah it definitely sucks to lose a pet that you've had for so long. My dog is 12 now but luckily he's still extremely healthy (vet mistook him for a young dog) because he's taken out on walks every day since he was a puppy. I know that I'm dreading the eventuality of his death which will be coming sooner rather than later. It happens.

#3 Posted by sungahymn (1034 posts) -

My dog's 8. She's the cutest, and is really part of the family. I'll be real bummed out when she dies.

#4 Posted by kre8havoc (174 posts) -

Had to put down my 18 year old dog on the 4the of November. It's never easy when they're your friend like that.

#5 Posted by eskimo (481 posts) -

Thanks for sharing. Sorry for your loss. Life is hard sometimes, we have to make tough choices and be strong about it. I hope that someone or something out there can bring you as much comfort as Whiskers.

#6 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: Indeed it does. It's kind of surreal for me right now. It almost feels like a dream. The house seems abnormally quiet and seeing the places he would always sleep empty is heartbreaking.

#7 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

@sungahymn said:

My dog's 8. She's the cutest, and is really part of the family. I'll be real bummed out when she dies.

She might never die though, anything can happen.

#8 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

My condolences, i'm sorry for your loss. I wish you luck in overcoming your social issues as well, I've been there and it isn't easy but if you attempt to be more outgoing, eventually you'll make some good friends.

#9 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Mrsignerman44: Thanks a lot. I am definitely trying to work on that now. I do have a couple good friends so I'm not completely lost in that aspect.

#10 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

@Ezakael: Ah, that's good to hear then. Goodluck out there, man :D

#11 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

You and I are going to get along well! I can tell.

As for dealing with a loss, I've been there... and still there. I lost my childhood pet bird of 13 years 2 summers ago, an uncle last summer, and the most disappointing shocker... my own dad this year on March 31. I had a major meltdown shortly after my dad passed afterwards, and it wasn't pretty. I don't miss my uncle, which may be bad to say, but I still think about my pet bird from time to time because he was my first pet... and I think about my dad every single day because I have lost my role model. He should have never died at 53, because I know that something could have been done to save him if those doctors, or bastards, weren't so damn greedy for the money and suck and fuck up our damn insurance for all it's fucking worth. It's all a big fucking money game with all these heartless and cruel hospitals, and it's all part of a sinister plot to control the damn population. It's surely been proven that it is all about survival of the FUCKING fittest. FUCK THEM ALL! I... I better calm down and stop before I go all ape shit and crazy... I'm still not over it, and trying to control it.

Anyways, the love you have for people and animals can never be replaced, but there is always another animal that is in need of love. Keep that in mind, and you might not feel as alone as you feel right now. People are just impossible to love anymore these days though, so good luck with that... It's not impossible though. Anyways, I rescued a chi-weenie from the animal shelter about two months ago, and he is really lovable. He keeps my other dog active.

I can tell you now that you'll never forget the ones you lose, but don't let that be an excuse for you to stop from moving on. I've moved 7 times, and I'm 23. I'm tired of moving and being uprooted, and I want to stay put and settle down in a nice town that doesn't have a ton of crime and drugs. I foresee a move in the future for me to move closer to town as I don't live in a safe area, and I hate that. That's what guns in every room and ADT is for though, so I can live like this for 5 or 10 years... maybe forever! No one has bothered us (mom and I with 2 dogs) thankfully, and hopefully they never will. I don't have any friends here at my new residence at all, and I can honestly tell you I'm alone all the time with my mom and 2 dogs! I have no one to play a game with, no one to talk to, no one that I can really can call friend... which is no different from my VA home that I lived in for 6 years, because everyone just came and went. My moms friends were the only friends that actually treated me good... but they aren't exactly my friends that were my age. So her friends are mine, and I think that is really pathetic! It's better than nothing even though they are far away now...

Initially, I was scared of college when I first started. I felt exiled, new, vulnerable, overwhelmed among many other feelings, which is what I'm going through now with being in a new area. Thing is, college is a more grown-up environment in the classroom. The 5 years I've been to college, I can say that I'm going to actually miss it when I go out to go to work, because the college years have been the best years of my life... because I know that what I've learned (some)... I'll apply! So go in to college with a good attitude, and you'll do fine! Be yourself, and you might see your world open up a little.

Well, I'm sending you a friend request. If you want to talk, I'll listen to you. Some of my good internet pals here can tell you! I do have a genuine and very different love toward people, and all it takes is for you to earn my respect. Good luck to you. =-)

#12 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Tireyo643: It sounds like you're going through a lot more than me friend. I appreciate you sharing, and I have read some of your blogs as well. I've been lucky enough so far to not lose any family member myself so I couldn't possibly relate to how you feel right now and I hope things continue to get better for you. I'll definitely take you up on your offer if I ever need it, and I'm also extending the offer back to you as well.

#13 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

@Ezakael: Thank you =-)

#14 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1702 posts) -

@eskimo said:

Thanks for sharing. Sorry for your loss. Life is hard sometimes, we have to make tough choices and be strong about it. I hope that someone or something out there can bring you as much comfort as Whiskers.

#15 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Tireyo643: No problem :)

I think the biggest kick in the teeth in this whole experience was the vet charging us over 2000$ but not really being able to do anything other than offer sympathies. In the end though he didn't suffer for very long. Our last cat suffered for a good year before finally passing away.

#16 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

@Ezakael: Talking about a kick in the teeth... don't ever get a bird, because I can tell you that no one really knows how to take care of them!! You got to know someone that really knows how to, and it's that's a hard task to find someone.

My bird died because of old age, and a broke beak. His beak was splitting, and nothing could be done for him. He went quick.

#17 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

I'm really sorry, duder. I have five animals now (including three cats) but I've never really had to deal with any deaths of family animals. My last animals died when I was still too young to really understand what happened. I've got a dog who is 12 now, though, so I'll probably know your pain soon enough... but hopefully he's still got a couple of years left in him.

#18 Edited by Chrjz (335 posts) -

My cat is only 4 years old and I can't help but hope she has another good 15 years left... but I lost a cat when I was 15 who had to be put down; he was 16 years old and had been with me my entire life. So I know how that goes.

Just know that having a strong relationship with an animal is one of the greatest things in the world and you were lucky to be a part of it.

#19 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Tireyo643: Never really thought of getting a bird actually. If I ever got one it would be an owl(So never :/), because they're one of my favourite animals (If that wasn't obvious haha). It really sucks to lose a pet, but it's definitely nice to know they didn't suffer long.

@Jrinswand: That's a lot of pets you have. Whats the average life expectancy of a dog? Because cats are around 12 to 14, but our last one lived to be in her 20s. So you never know, your dog could live for a long time.

@Chrjz: Thanks a lot. Having a strong bond with an animal really is amazing. They offer unconditional love, which is a hard thing to come by in humans.

#20 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

@Ezakael: I can clearly see that you love owls! I'm guessing it's because they are all natural hooters. XD LOL.

#21 Posted by crusader8463 (14427 posts) -

I just went through and deleted a bunch of old blog posts I had, but one of them was basically the same thing you just wrote so I know where you are coming from. My first and only pet was a cat that I named Flower. She was very old, around 17-18 in human years, when she started having seizures One day after pulling an all nighter playing some stupid game I can't remember I was getting ready to go to bed when I felt something poking the side of my leg. When I looked down beside me my cat Flower had curled up beside me at some point in the night to get my attention when I noticed she was having convulsions. It was heart breaking and terrifying at the same time looking down into her eyes and seeing nothing but pain, confusion, and fear at what was happening to her as her body was twisting and contorting in unnatural ways. It was as if she was begging me to make the pain stop and she couldn't understand why I was just sitting there letting her suffer and not doing anything to make it stop. I felt so helpless not being able to do anything but sit there and watch her suffer as her body tortured her as it bent and contorted until finally she just stopped and she had gone brain dead.

A couple hours later I had her put down. She was technically still alive, but that spark of life had died in her and she was just an empty husk of a cat after the convulsions had stopped. It was easily the most heart breaking moment of my life and I will never forget that day for as long as I live as I felt that a part of myself had died and was buried with her.

I'm not going to lie. It's going to be rough. She was my first and only pet I have ever had and I'm sure you will run into the same things I did where everywhere you look you will see, hear, or smell something that reminds you of them and every time you do the pain will come back. As time goes by the pain will soften a little at a time. Just don't do what I did and shut down emotionally. I had other factors that contributed to that, but her death was the final act to push me over. When you think of your cat just try to think of the good times you had and do your best to block out the bad ones. That's all you can really do.

#22 Edited by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

@Ezakael said:

@Jrinswand: That's a lot of pets you have. Whats the average life expectancy of a dog? Because cats are around 12 to 14, but our last one lived to be in her 20s. So you never know, your dog could live for a long time.

Yeah, the wife and I are animal people. She's in vet school right now. And the life span of a dog really depends on a number of factors, but one of the main ones is the size of the dog. Smaller dogs tend to have much longer lifespans than larger dogs. Shetland sheepdogs, the breed of the elderly dog that I have, generally live to between 12 and 14 years as well, and we celebrated his twelfth birthday earlier this year. I've had him since I was 13. :(

Hopefully my poodle will live to be close to 20, though. I've heard that's not uncommon for toy poodles.

#23 Posted by Demoskinos (15103 posts) -

@Ezakael: We had to have a cat put down I think last year? (I dunno fuck I can't keep track of time) and I couldn't fucking go with my mother when she took the cat to the vets. I just couldn't watch. Some part of me feels really shitty about that but I felt depressed for days and even the days leading up to that. I'd stay up at 3am when everyone else was asleep just sitting with her and talking to her. It is absolutely ridiculous how emotionally attached I got to that stupid ball of fur. So I completely understand. Its absolutely as rough as having a family member die. You spend years loving something and then its just ripped away. A void is a void no matter if it is a human or a little ball of fur. Chin up you'll find better days ahead.

Online
#24 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@crusader8463: Oh man that's really rough. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. I'm not really sure what else to say, that was a hard read and I hope you've managed to move on from that event. The places my cat frequented definitely feel sad and empty, like I said earlier I still haven't even picked up his food dishes off the floor yet. I don't think I could handle it. I've also had moments where I thought I seen him. My cat would usually jump up onto my bed at night before I went to sleep, the day he passed away I actually saw a shadow jumping up on my bed (mind playing tricks on me, it was really heartbreaking)

@Jrinswand: I admire her for being able to go into that career path. I've thought about it several times but you really need to have a strong heart and mind to be able to do that kind of job.

@Demoskinos: I know how that feels as well. Only my cat was put down without any family being there. Not even my mom or dad went. I really wanted to go because I didn't want him to die without someone there to comfort him. Just thinking about that makes me want to turn back time and redo it, no matter how painful it would have been I think it would have been the best choice for him, and me to because the last time I ever saw him was when he was in his cage getting ready for his checkup.

#25 Posted by Demoskinos (15103 posts) -

@crusader8463: Jesus Christ. Not lying when I say Im getting a bit misty just reading that. Thats fucking horrible. =( I need a enema of happiness now fuck me.....

Online
#26 Posted by Patman99 (1619 posts) -

@kre8havoc said:

Had to put down my 18 year old dog on the 4the of November. It's never easy when they're your friend like that.

You had an 18 year old dog? What breed did you have? I am sure he/she lived a good life.

#27 Posted by TheHT (11676 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

I need a enema of happiness now fuck me.....

Erm.

#28 Posted by ConfusedOwl (961 posts) -

@Tireyo643: Oh yeah for sure ;)

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (15103 posts) -

@TheHT: GIMME ALL THE HAPPINESS GODDAMN IT.

Online
#30 Posted by Slag (4734 posts) -

@crusader8463: damn man that's horrible.

I had a dog go out in a similar fashion although she didn't last long enough for us to get her to to the vet.

I know it must have felt for you. The anguish my dog went through before passing was just awful. It just is something that never completely leaves you, when you something like that to happen to somebody you love.

#31 Posted by kre8havoc (174 posts) -

@Patman99 said:

@kre8havoc said:

Had to put down my 18 year old dog on the 4the of November. It's never easy when they're your friend like that.

You had an 18 year old dog? What breed did you have? I am sure he/she lived a good life.

She was a pug. I took her from a friend because his sister was too allergic to her.

#32 Posted by Sursh (243 posts) -

great read, i'm sorry for your loss. losing a pet is the hardest.

i remember building a bond with my dog; i had him since he was a year old pup, he died last year at the age of 14.

#33 Posted by commonoutlier (136 posts) -

My family had to put down both of our cats due to unrecoverable illness, so I know how you feel. My parents would call them my brothers (even would sometimes call me and my sister by their names)...they lived to 20 and 15 years of age respectively. Even though its been several years since our last cat was gone, I still tear up thinking about it...most devastating moments in my life.