Dear Carol: I really miss my cat
Whenever I came home from school or anything, my pet Siamese cat would always be there waiting for me. No matter what sort of mood I was in, or how bad a day I had, I could count on the fact that she would be there. Then she got sick. She couldn't move or eat and she lost weight; I could feel all of the bones in her spine.
I was trying to nurse her back to health, but I knew she probably wasn't going to make it. I checked on her constantly just to make sure she was still breathing.
One day I came home from school, and my dad told me that the vet said it would be best to put her to sleep because she wasn't going to get better. I was devastated. It's been over a month since then. Sometimes in the morning I wake up and start to cry because I remember she isn't there anymore. Sometimes I feel like I should move on, but a part of me says I should still be sad. Sometimes I feel like I'm ready to get a new cat, but a part of me says that it would feel too much like a replacement. Can you relate at all?
—Missing My Cat
Dear Missing My Cat,
Definitely. I'm a cat lover too. I also had a Siamese cat, a beautiful chocolate point named Chanda, who loved to purr and often wanted to be on the other side of the door. Chanda lived to be 18 and actually met all my serious boyfriends and even my husband. I was crushed when she died. Please know how sorry I am that you are going through this hard time. It sounds like you did a very good job taking care of your cat, and your mixed feelings now are very natural.
On the one hand, you have mourned for your pet and you never will forget her anymore than I have forgotten Chanda. On the other hand, it is okay to give yourself permission to move on—and perhaps get a new cat. Can you get a kitten or cat from the pound? Last year my daughters and I went to PetCo to buy hamster food and there was a woman giving away stray kittens. One of them was grey and stripey and fast asleep and he had the cutest shortest little tail and when he woke up, he sneezed and shook his head and he was so adorable that . . . we adopted him. His name is Mike. You know what? I still have memories and photos of Chanda, but I'm glad I have Mike, and Mike is glad he has a home!
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