You can love again-Coping with the Lost of a Pet

Last year my beloved cat was diagnosed with cancer. He was 13. I have had many cats over the years and I have loved them all but this one was was special to me. He was devoted to me. When I found I out he had cancer I was devastated.  We made the decision to do chemo in pill form as the right treatment. Chemo for cats is different than for people as it’s goal is to extend life not save it. My guy lived 9 good months and had no side effects from the chemo. When we lost him I was numb. As a therapist I told myself that grief looks different for everyone but I wondered why I didn’t cry when I lost him.

I worried that I would never again have a cat as special as my Sammy. Fast forward a few months and one day I came home and said ” I need a kitten now!”  We had talked about the timing of adding a new cat. There were some good reasons to wait for a bit. But I just hit the point where I knew I couldn’t wait anymore. The laws of the universe cooperated. We looked online and saw a little girl cat in San Francisco. We got up early the next day and went to SFSPCA with all the paperwork ready. As soon as I saw her I knew. I fell deeply in love with her instantly.

She has been with us for 2 weeks now and we are working on integrating her with the other cats. She has a bold little personality and is a super-duper lap cat. I didn’t think I could love a cat as much as Sammy but I do. It’s different and it doesn’t take away from the love I had from him-in fact I think it is because of him that I love her so much. She is filling a hole I had in my heart. It is hard to be sad when there is a kitten in the house.

Everyone experiences grief differently. Not everyone will get another pet. But for me having a new little girl has helped me heal from the loss of my boy.