Seems we all have to deal with this very bitter stage once in a while. I thought about collecting some pointers to make the passage less heavy on the heart than it already is.
[quote]It hurts. You feel real physical pain-- a black hole in the center of you that once was filled with love and laughter and joy. Now it is a void, only filled with emptiness. You sob for days, and just when you think you’ve shed your last tear, you chance upon a memento: a worn-out sock in the corner of the room, a dish you had customized with your beloved’s name, and the tears flood again. Finally, one day, you accept your emptiness and your eyes become as dry and barren as your heart. “I’ll never, NEVER replace him (her)”, you state vehemently, when friends timidly approach the subject.
Frequent visitors to this site will know immediately that I am not talking about the loss of a spouse, or even a child, although the emotions are just as real. I’m talking about the loss of your cat, who perhaps was the only creature on Earth who loved you unconditionally. “What’s the big deal? It was only a cat. Get over it.” Most friends will not be crass enough to voice this opinion, but you can still sense the unspoken words in some.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for helping to ease the pain of the loss of a cat:
Do: Allow yourself to cry. Holding back the tears will only stuff all that emotion inside, where it will fester until it surfaces again at unforeseen times.
Don’t: Try to tough it out alone. If you have children, don’t feel that you have to be “strong” for them. Sit with your child and say, “I’m sad because Tuffy died, aren’t you?” and let the conversation go where it will. You’ll not only help yourself, but also you will help your child develop coping skills
Do: If you are of a creative bent, create a memorial album for your departed cat, or make a 3-dimensional shadow box with memorabilia of your cat. If your talent lies in web design, create a memorial site for your cat. Some free servers have user-friendly tools that “walk you through” creating a page.
Do: Talk to an empathetic friend, preferably one who loves cats as much as you. If you don’t have any close friends or family members that you feel would understand, visit the About Cats Forum. We have a special folder for Support and Encouragement, and everyone, old or new members alike, draw an enormous amount of comfort from this supportive community.
Don’t: Write off the thought of ever sharing your life with another cat. We’ll talk more about that on the next page.
Do: Focus on things that make you happy. Sometimes we forget to fully appreciate the beauty around us, until we are forced to think about what we’ve lost.
Take time to share an intimate minute with someone you love. If you have other cats or dogs, spend additional time with them. They may be suffering the same kind of lost feelings you have, and will appreciate knowing that you are not also going to leave.
However, according to Keeping peace when you have more than one cat, if you have other cats, you must be strong sometimes, as they are “emotional sponges” and will feel “as if it was the end of their world, too”. they need stability and sticking to their routine, plus plenty of assurance. According to the pet psychologist, they need to mourn, too.