In Remembrance of Your Cat or Dog

Updated: Nov 12

It has taken four to five years for my heart to finally heal, and for me to stop hearing the guilty voices saying, ‘It’s your fault Molly isn’t here anymore.’ I spent ten amazing years with my Molly, and she adored my children. She was my soul-dog from heaven.

She came from a dog rescue centre. I had no idea how to care for my first dog, but together we taught each other: we learned to love each other, we learned to play together, we learned to travel together in the most unforgivable woods.  We did everything together. Because of her I learned how to be the best mother I can be. She was practically my first child.

What I regret is not that Molly has gone, but that I gave her to another loving family. At the time I could not afford the cost of the vet’s bills for the pets we had at home and the cost of the food. Being single, after several exchanges with many dog rescue centres, I felt that finding a family who would love and cherish her, and most importantly afford the vet’s bills for her, would be preferable.

At first, I was going to stay in touch with the new owners. But I started getting angry with myself, and imagined my kids hated me.  At Blue Cross Pets bereavement service supported me emotionally, but what hurts me the most is not being there when she closed her eyes for the final time.

I was scared to watch her die. I now realise that was part of the reason I gave her up. I cowardly gave her up because of fear. You see, I was on my own from the age of fifteen. I was homeless and lived in a hostel. And I hadn’t witnessed the death of someone special to me before.

But through losing my Molly like that I was emotionally prepared for when it was time for my cat to close her eyes for the final time. I thought through and researched the burial options. My cat had reached an incredible twenty-three plus years. When it was time that night, she laid across my legs while we watched television together. My kids were in their bedrooms getting ready to go to sleep when my Sonia, my cheeky Sonia, looked at me and I looked at her and said ‘It’s okay, you will be okay. We have a vet’s appointment tomorrow. Everything will be fine.’ But for some reason I felt she wanted to go to sleep and not continue living.

Sonia had survived longer than anybody could have predicted.  So, I called my kids downstairs and said, ‘Sonia wants say goodbye.’ My ex-husband was on his way but missed the chance to say goodbye to her.

When she gave me that final look, I felt she was saying ‘It’s alright. You can let me go now’. So, I said a prayer and my mind just zoomed out. I went back to watching television with one hand on Sonia’s stomach. Not long after that I felt her shudder as she took her last breath and then found I was sitting in my cat’s last pee.

Sonia is buried in my back garden. Every time I am in the garden I feel as if she is watching me. Surprisingly there is a cat that comes regularly into my garden that looks exactly like Sonia. This cat fights with another cat, just like my Sonia would do. I rush out and break up the fights like I would do if it was my Sonia.

I feel as though I am still watching over her, and she is watching over me. But with my dog Molly I don’t have that beautiful (or any sort of) closure.

I do occasionally come across old photos or videos of Molly walking with my kids and me and they put a smile on my face. And writing occasional blogs like this helps me to remember both of them.

You might have gone through the loss of your cat or dog and wondering what is happening to you. Remember, healing takes time. It may help to let your feelings out.

You are welcome to share your story in the comments below in remembrance of your cat or dog.

Here some books that are a good read for bereaved pets owners:

The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet: 3 (The Invisible String)

Only Gone From Your Sight: Jack McAfghan's Little Guide to Pet Loss and Grief

Losing My Best Friend: Thoughtful support for those affected by dog bereavement or pet loss

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All