Retired and Losing a pet

by Donna
(Dunbar, WV USA)

Hello! My name is Donna. I'm 64 years old (65 in May). My husband and I are having a VERY difficult week. A beloved pet (her name is Susie, 16 year old kitty cat) will be put to sleep on Friday. She's the last cat we have left. Our other died a year ago. This has been a VERY difficult week.

We had hoped she would die naturally, just pass away in her sleep perhaps. But it looks like we will not be that fortunate. She has cancer. Cannot eat. Drinks a little. We knew we were on borrowed time (16 is old for a kitty cat), but we tried not to think about it.

She is more attached to my husband -- eats with him, sleeps with him, sits on his lap when he works at the computer. But I love her very much also. I'll stop here.

I would be interested in joining the email group for my age bracket. Or the other aged group, if no one wants to participate in the one for people my age.

Thanks so much for listening.
Sincerely, Donna

Comments for Retired and Losing a pet

Click here to add your own comments

Comment from the original writer
by: Anonymous

This is Donna. I am the one who lost my pet cat, Susie. That will be two years ago in February.

I wish no more comments about it. I don't know why I'm still receiving these posts.

To the one lady who asked if I would like to contact her personally -- I would. But I don't know how.

Thank you all so much for your condolences.



checking in with Donna
by: jojo

hi Donna,

i wanted to check-in to see how you’re doing. if you’d like to write to me you can find me in Wendy’s Online Retirement Community.

i hope you are doing well.


by: Pat/Delaware

It's tough losing a beloved pet, especially one that has been a family member for so long.

You have my sympathy.

Perhaps volunteering at a local shelter would help you with the loss, and at the same time you might just find another perfect family pet.

by: Anonymous

Aw, I feel for you. I also feel we speak through our pets to our household people.

Well, an idea: If you don't want another pet for some reason (like maybe you want to be freer to travel without pet arrangements), you could try being a foster pet parent. I have tried this for years.

In the past two years I have done several pregnant small dogs. Once I was lucky enough to be in the same room for the birth. This humane society provides all materials you need (gates, houses, clothes, rugs, food, medical care, etc.). I sure did learn about newborn infancy. I HAPPILY returned all the pups and the mommy after 4 weeks when they were weaned.

I have now moved on to TINY dogs who are recuperating, say, from a broken leg. These tiny's generally need to remain in a fenced off area of the home (fine by me, since then I never have to worry about any destructive tendencies), unless they are out for potty. But, it was also fine to let them out, as long as they did not go running around or leaping up and down on their recuperating little legs. I really like this, and it gives us a chance to talk through the dog.

ALSO, every time we have had pups, young children and their parents we know want to come over. That is so much fun. The young children are so excited to get to atually hold a new born pup.

Just a thought.

Loss of a Pet
by: kate

I lost my cat, Molly, a year ago.

After a few weeks, we went to get another cat from Petsmart. They get their cats from the humane society. Bree is 4 years old & a charming cat - easy to care for & love.

I recommend you get another one.

Stay strong -you will heal
by: Anonymous

Hi: I really understand your grief and have walked in your shoes many, many times. It is so important for you to understand that all of your feelings are completely normal, although absolutely devastating.

For me, I had to find a way to "connect" with my sweet Lila's spirit. So I put a candle in the window. Every night at 6 I would recite a blessing/poem to her. It focused on all the things she brought to my life, and how grateful I was for her life and how deeply she touched it. I am a much better person for having Lila in my life. I would turn off the lights (she passed in winter, so dark at 6) I would focus on the light of the candle. In the blessing I would look up at the sky and thank God for creating such a beautiful, loving presence. I did not know where she was or how her "journey" would be, so I just asked that God Bless it. When I wrote the blessing I just let the tears flow. And for the first month to 6 weeks, they would flow again as I recited it while looking at the sky and focusing on the candle, which was a symbol of the light she brought to me. I repeated this ritual many, many days, and it came to be that, in the weeks following her death, whatever I was doing I would think of her at 6, and I felt that was her spirit "checking in" to remind me it was time for "our time together." This eased the loss of connection to her physical form, while maintaining a connection with spirit. I do feel her spirit "hung around" in my period of deepest grief--not in a spooky sense but just that I could remember her so clearly even though she was gone--it was like she was still there in some way. Gradually, as I got stronger, it was as if she pulled her energy back.

As the weeks passed, I was able to release the evening "blessing/connection" time. She passed a year ago this coming March. Funny, but I think I will do the blessing on the anniversary of her death this year, as an expression of gratitude for her life. I will always be connected to her, for I have a found a place in my heart to hold her forever.

I, too wanted Lila to pass on her own--of all the pets I have loved over the years I have never had one just go gently into the night. They always seem to ask for one final act of love on my part. In helping her to pass and ease her pain, you put her needs ahead of yours. You gave her a beautiful, loving life and you must always remember that. The love we give to other people and animals makes the world a better place and lifts everyone up on some level, I think. That is the blessing within the pain.

I send light and love and healing. It just takes as long as it takes. I googled "pet loss/grief" and found so many really great sites with such great support....this might be an option for you, too.

Loss is hard, but normal
by: June in Deerfield

I have lost my sister, my mother and a beloved sheepdog, Newman, in the last 18 months. In spite do these losses, I have a happy life. My many friends have rallied around me as have my niece and nephew. I have à Labradoodle and recently added a foxhound mix. They keep me busy and loved.

When you are ready I recommend added another fur baby to your home.

Sending courage
by: Pamela S

Oh, Donna, This sounds unbelievably hard. My heart is with you and your husband as you go through this. My heart breaks for you.

I have lost dear pets when I was working and the job glued me together.I retired 8 months ago, 65 yo now,and I can only say that I dread the day when my angelic,funny 8 year old Labrador has to go. I have thought about this a lot and thought how much harder it would be if one were retired.

I know how sad I was then and can't imagine how rough this must be for you now that you have retired.

People in this group have been very kind to me and they will be the same to you.

You had the gift of 16 years with your kitty and you are giving her a loving, brave gift of freedom from pain.

And I hope you find peace very soon.

Losing a Pet
by: Sherry/ NC

I am so sorry for the loss of your kitty. It is devastating. I have lost pets in death during my life time. There is a time for their passing just like humans except animals don't live as long as we do. Your
kitty will not be suffering anymore. She is at peace!!

pet loss
by: jolene/jojo noland

i am so sorry for your loss. it never matters how long a pet is with us, it always hurts when one has to leave us. i hope you have photos to comfort you, maybe a favorite toy, collar, tags - something tangible to hold onto and bring you comfort if/when you’re ready for that and if that would provide you comfort. maybe it wouldn’t; only you know. you may just want to hold the memories that are in your heart. each person is different. if one is available, perhaps a pet loss group - online or in person, or pet loss books an expert librarian could recommend could be of comfort. please know that i am sending prayers.

Losing a Pet
by: Wendy

We lost our Chi last December, and it was heart-breaking. We've lost pets before, but this time, it was different.

I think, in retirement, we are home more with our pets. We talk to them all day. We Do our pets all day!

When we lost ChiChi, the conversation in the house became odd... more limited. I think we often speak THROUGH the dog, about the dog, what's happening with the dog...

One month later, we replaced our beloved ChiChi. We now have Mia, one year old now... and love her. She travelled cross country with us, sitting on a pillow between the two front seats, watching the country as we drove. We love her!

We NEED a pet in this retired home... maybe you do too?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).