Imaginative Discussions: How To Lose Your Pet

Posted November 6, 2013 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 18 Comments

I am sure that many of you caught the update that on Sunday, October 27th, 2013, I put Clayton to sleep.  Just mere weeks after writing a post about his awesomeness and my dependency on him, he lost his battle with kidney failure. He could not eat, or drink, and he was losing weight and growing weaker and weaker. 

There is nothing that can prepare you to lose those you love (I am sure that many of our readers know this firsthand).  I am still reeling from losing my grandfather, and it was well over three years ago.
This week, I decided to try to prepare a step-by-step guide on how to lose your pet. I want to celebrate his life and my love for him while bringing this chapter to a close. It is time to move forward while remembering the wonderful things about him. I will also have new pictures of his predecessor when he arrives home this week.
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Know that you are facing the end. I mourned for a week before I made the final decision.  The previous diagnosis of kidney failure and the absence of the cat already set up the frame of mind that Clayton would not be much longer for this world.  I was already missing him and the process started weeks before the final decision came. He was sleeping in the bathroom next to his water bowl and never came out to greet me.  I needed time to know that I was facing a hard and painful decision, and coming to terms with the fact that I was losing him every day.
Plan on wearing no mascara on the vet trip.  I never had to put down an animal. I lived in the country, and a majority of animals ran away when it was their time to go.  I took better care of my animals as I grew.  I worked in the vet field before, so euthanasia was nothing new to me.  However, putting down your own pet is hard and traumatizing, but I had people who loved me help me through it. I hope everyone has a loving vet. The staff was very nice and very understanding, and they did discuss options to help.
Share your pain. I usually go through everything alone, but this time, I understood that I could not survive this alone. I reached out on Twitter, on text, and on Facebook.  The pain was HORRIBLE. However, the support and the love was so overwhelming and beautiful.  People sent the sweetest messages.  People cried with me.  Friends and peers checked up on me.  Other bloggers were understanding. I am behind on commenting, but I do not feel the level of guilt that usually accompany the knowledge that I am slacking because everyone is like my rock at the moment.
Know that you are going to be a wreck. I’m still a wreck.  Going to work was a disaster.  Talking to my mother was painful (the same mother that bought the cat a birthday present but never got to give it to the boy, then cried about it over the weekend). Putting together a blog giveaway was depressing.  Trying to act okay killed me. I feel that someone carved something out of my chest, and the wound is still bleeding every day. The pain lessens, but it is still there.
Do what you can to recover.  I put up a memorial on I ordered jewelry to hold the ashes of my best friend. I let others cry and I cried with them.  I tried to get rid of the toys, but I couldn’t.  I threw away the litter box. I laughed at videos of the cat.  I lit a candle.  The most important thing, however, is that I let myself be sad and angry and emotional.  For once, I let go of the worry and I was just THIS.
I couldn’t have made it through without the love and support of everyone.  My Twitter feed was lovely and heartbreaking, but it was touching. It felt like everyone was offering to pour rubbing alcohol on the wound. It hurt hurt hurt, but it was a necessity. I cried when I read that you all were crying, but it made me feel that Clayton mattered, because all of you made him just as important in your heart as he was in mine. 
I never responded back to the Tweets, and I do apologize, but that does not mean I did not appreciate them. Thank you for loving him, even from afar.  Thank you for understanding that I disappeared for a week and fumbled our Halloween Giveaway (that is still happening now). Thank you for letting me type up some depressing updates.  And thank you for your kind words when everything came to a close when I picked up the remains of the best cat I ever owned on Sunday.
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This community is not just a blogsphere.  For better and worse, we’re family.

18 responses to “Imaginative Discussions: How To Lose Your Pet

    • Thank you, Kat. I always thought I was prepared to lose him, but I see that I was never really ready.

      I hope that people going though this will find some comfort in my rambling, crazy words.

  1. <33333333333 Oh, Lyn, I’m so sorry about your baby. So, so sorry, and now I’m crying for you and the pain you’re going through. Your new kitty won’t replace Clayton, but like that quote said, he or she will be a new friend. And nobody can help you deal with pain and hurt like an animal friend. All the hugs in the world. <33

    • *hugs* I’m sorry that you are crying! I cried when I wrote it and when I went back to edit it.

      The new cat is good. We’ll all adjusting, but I’m hoping for the bed.

  2. Oh Lyn 🙁 First of all I am so sorry for your loss and I’m trying not to break down myself while I type this out.Second of all, your new kitty won’t replace Clayton (no new animal ever could) Animal friends are sometimes the best friends to help you with this grief. I was seventeen when I had to make the hardest decision of my life. I had to say goodbye to a kitty I had, had since I was five years old. I was with her until the very end and that’s something that you can never “get over” but you can be happy in the knowledge that Clayton knew he was loved until the very end. Massive hugs and tons of love being sent to you <3

    • Oh no! I’m sorry that I made you cry!!
      He was loved by a lot of people. We all miss him so much.

      I’m sorry to hear about your own loss! If they only lived as long as people. That would be a great dream.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Lyn. Thank you for writing such a generous post while you’re going through so much pain, I’m sure it will be of comfort to many people in the future.

  4. Oh Lyn. What a beautiful post. Had to get some tissues! I’ve lost pets before, and it’s truly a heartbreaking thing to experience. You were a generous & loving Mom to Clayton, and he was lucky to have you – and vice versa. Take care of yourself, hon 🙂 *hugs*

    • I’m so sorry I made you cry!! I know I have cried enough tears for all of the world over the last two weeks.

      I wish I could stop missing the cat so much. 🙁

  5. Big hugs to you Lyn! I think it’s a great idea to share how you are dealing with the loss of your loyal cat, because sometimes, it’s really hard to grieve, and having something to relate to – even if our own reactions might not be the same – is always nice. And I love the idea of having some kind of jewelry with his ashes.

  6. Honestly I am soooo nervous about the day that I lose my kitties. With my cat Pippin there have been a few times already that I have been sad about him… and wondering if it’s time. Both my cats have diabetes and so it’s been a journey with them for a few year. I even have a blog about it if you want to check it out I always just hope I make the right decision when it is time. I am glad you gave your kitty a wonderful home.

    • *hugs* I always feared losing Clayton, and I thought I was prepared, but I was not. I really hope your own Pippin slays healthy and happy for a long, long time.

  7. Amy

    So sorry for your loss Lyn. Losing a pet is always hard. I just went through it this summer and I still get sad thinking about her. Though we knew it was coming (she had bone cancer) it didn’t make it any easier. I am glad she isn’t in pain anymore, but it doesn’t make my pain any less. Sending hugs your way hon!! And I think that wearing the ashes is a wonderful way to keep your kitty close to your heart. 🙂

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