finding the good after loss

the blog

August 19, 2018

Grieving our Cat

Posted in: My Grief Story

I never had a pet growing up. It honestly never came up in conversation.  Now that I think about it, its kinda strange we didn’t have one. What kid doesn’t want to have a cute little kitten or puppy running around.  My youngest daughters birthday isn’t until January and she is already asking for a cat.

My wife grew up with several pets. She actually rescued one at the time we started dating, His name is Gato (spanish for cat). As the years went on (Gato) grew on me.  When it was time for my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I to move into our own place together Gato came along. My wife also had two other dogs and a cat that lived in the house with her. We felt bad for Gato, he looked lonely.  He would just sit under the bed for days. A few weeks later we decided to get another cat for Gato to play with. We named the cute little kitten Sophie. They became best friends, yea there were fights here and there but they both were happy.

We lived in that apartment for three years until we decided to make our first cross-country move. Finally after 5 days of driving with all our stuff and 2 cats we arrived in Arizona. 2 years into living in our house we were getting ready to have our oldest daughter.  Gato became very territorial. He went from sleeping in the bassinet we had ready for the baby, to just being very jealous I guess. We didn’t want to take any chances with Gato and the baby being in the house together. Not that we didn’t trust Gato, so we decided to have Gato stay with my mother and father in law. Now, Sophie on the other hand was a super chill cat. I mean we did adopt her from my home town so she had to be chill right? Sophie was super protective of the baby. She would sleep on the corner of the bed, right by the bassinet. It was like she was protecting her.

pet lossAlmost a year and a half later I was awoken by Sophie crying, like yelping in pain. My wife and I were like WTF.  It was about Midnight and Sophie was down the hall just crying as if she broke a leg. I ran back to the bedroom and told my wife. By the time I got back down the hallway Sophie had jumped into the tub in the front bathroom.  I took her out of the tub and brought her down to our room and placed her on the bed with my wife. Not knowing what was going on, we googled the closet animal hospital, which was 30 mins away. It’s now about 1230 and I’m getting Sophie in the carrier to bring her to the vet.

They took her back and I waited which seemed like forever. While I was waiting I was talking to the receptionist. This girl reminded me so much of my sister it wasn’t funny. It was just the way see presented herself.  I actually told her that she looked liked my sister.  Anyway, I finally got called back and it turns out that Sophie had a “saddle thrombus,” (blood clot that affects the hind legs) I had no clue WTH it was. I asked the doctor if she would make it, and if we were going to have to put her down.  I felt so bad, they were gonna keep her over night and I was to come back in the morning. Before I left I went back to see her in the cage and told her I would be back for her tomorrow.

We did our research on the symptoms of Thrombus. We went back to the hospital around noon the next day. The doctor told us that Sophie wasn’t able to fully use her back leg. They say pets know when their time is up. Some animals crawl into dark spaces when it’s their time. Others like Sophie showed no emotion. She sat there with my wife and I just staring at us. No purring like she usually did when we petted her. Just a blank stare, all three of us knew it was her time. The doctor came into the room and we told him our decision. He asked if we wanted to be there for her last moments, and of course I said yes. My wife stayed behind.

The Doctor explained what would happen and that it would be quick and painless.  I stood there over Sophie watching her blink ever so still. I was petting her trying to hold back the tears.

The Doctor says “its done” I gave her a kiss and walked away, and started crying like a baby.  Who knew losing a pet would be this painful.

To this day I still say that was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  Sophie now stays with us all the time. Her ashes are inside a little tie die box. On the front of the box it has her little paw print which is a  symbolic way to remember that super chill cat.

It has been 4 years since Sophie left us and we still bring up stories about her.  My oldest daughter will just randomly say  “I miss Sophie”, and we will say “yea we do to Bri”

Till next time Let your Grief Heal You.



  1. Matthew says:

    Well written.
    It never gets any easier to put down a Pet. If you love them with feeling, they become a true member of the family. The important thing to focus on is all the joy and great memories you will have moving on.

  2. Grieving pets is such a biggie because for many of us, our pets are like family members. Writing about the experience is so cathartic. Sophie and all your cats were gems. Well done cuz. Tweeting and Sharing on Facebook.


    PS…Loving your new theme! So clean, and loads lightning fast.

  3. Hi Tom, I’m a long time friend and follower of Ryan’s, so I thought I would visit your site and get to know you too.

    It is so very hard to make that decision. Sometimes you don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or not. A friend of mine and I were watching her husband’s dog (he had him about 13 years) while he was out of town. The dog couldn’t walk without help and we all decided it was time to put him down.

    I don’t remember exactly what happened but we didn’t make it to the vet’s office and about a week later her husband came home and we realized the dog just missed his human buddy.

    He lived about another year but eventually they did have to put him down. He is having a hard time dealing with the loss.

    Although it’s a hard subject to cope with, I admire you for your stepping up and writing about what you are passionate about.

    Also, you couldn’t have any better mentor than Ryan to learn all about blogging.

    • Thank you so much Monna, I appreciate you visiting my blog. I am very passionate about spreading the positive side of grieving. I ll be sure to check out your website.

  4. Gine Oquendo says:

    Initially, I felt anger at the sudden deterioration of Anya. She had been running and playing catch just days before her back legs began to buckle under her body. Following an MRI and spinal taps, she was placed on a steroid treatment that quickly led to weight loss and gastric-intestinal discomfort. I was angry at the doctor. I was angry at the disease. I was angry at God. Please refer to this link: roads/

    • Thank you for sharing your story, I never thought that losing a cat would be as hard as it was. I ll forever remember that sad day. We still have not be able to get another pet.

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