How I’m Dealing With The Loss Of My Cat.

Saying goodbye and dealing with the loss of a pet isn’t easy. This is how the conversation went today when someone mentioned we were sad and dealing with a death in the family.

Of course that is how the conversation goes when someone who doesn’t own an animal hears someone is grieving over the loss of a pet they owned.  It never fails, and yet still turns me into an anger ball.

The decision to put an animal down is not an easy one by any means. In fact it’s downright awful.

Thomas is gone. We put him down a few days ago and I’ve been miserable, crying, hurting so badly without him.

I don’t care if anyone thinks it is dumb. I don’t care if I get laughed at because my eyes turn into Niagara just thinking of him. I just don’t care!

Thomas and Harley just days before we said goodbye

I got Thomas as a kitten. Just six weeks old, he was. My moms cat Suki got pregnant and had a whole bunch of fluffy balls, and honestly Thomas wasn’t my first choice.

I spent the night at my moms and was allowed to take a kitten home with me. I was super excited. See at the time I was single, no kids, living in a bachelor apartment in New West and I had a problem. I had mice.  They didn’t bother me but I also wasn’t keen on waking up and finding the cute little kittens staring at me while at the foot of my bed. Kinda creepy. So I figured there was no better way to get rid of the little buggers than to get a mouse chaser.

All the kittens were on my bed before I turned in at my moms. I told them all I was going to be taking one of them home. I said whichever one of you is cuddling me by morning, that’s the one I’m taking. Then I closed my eyes.

When I woke up there was Thomas staring at me.

I got up from bed and went to the kitchen. That damn cat followed me everywhere. He wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept hopping up on my leg to be pet and meowing at me.

He picked me!

For the next 21 years Thomas “Sir Thomas” or Tommy Boy as I called him, remained my loyal friend, my confidant, my buddy and snuggle partner.  He was there all through my twenties and thirties. Through the good and bad, he was always there.

When JJ was born, Thomas used to sit below his crib and meow whenever JJ woke up in the morning or cried for a bottle to let me know. He was very protective, despite the fact that JJ colored on him, tried to flush him down the toilet and basically tortured my poor furry friend.  Thomas still loved him.

When I got married, Thomas instantly took to Corey (Forgetful Dad) and they became soul friends. He used to lay on Corey’s bad leg, licking his jeans as though he knew hubs was in pain.

And finally when Monkey was born, Thomas did the same thing. Used to sit below his crib for the first several months, warning me when baby needed something. And although he didn’t like it when Monkey grabbed his tail or tried squeezing his whiskers. Thomas was always good — never scratching or biting.

He Knew All My Secrets… I will miss him so much!

I know it seems stupid to many people, being upset over the loss of a pet, but my cat was one of my best friends. He knew all my secrets.

He licked my face whenever I shed tears of heartache.

He went through my divorce and the abuse I suffered.

He was there before my kids were born, before I met and married my hubby.

He kept me company through my loneliness nights.  

And he had a way of making you love him, even for those who disliked cats.  It was no use. You HAD to love Thomas. He just didn’t give you a choice.

The decision to put Thomas down wasn’t one I made lightly. But over the past year he’s been suffering. He lost the function of his legs. He got infections. He stopped eating properly and had issues with the bathroom.

Still, each night he would come to us and rub his head into my palm, wanting love. “Love Sponge” hubs called him because Thomas when he wanted love he wanted it and got it.

Goodbye my Friend…

I am going to miss you terribly Tommy Boy. I still wait for you to come and get me in the morning. I still think I hear you meowing, stuck in the closet again. I check to see if you have water – seeing nothing but an empty dish instead and my heart weeps.

Thank you for giving me all the love you did.

Thank you for being there for me through all these years.

Thank you for closing your eyes when it was time and giving me the okay, to put you out of your pain and suffering.

I didn’t want to let you go but you made it alright, kissing me and rubbing your head into my palm one last time…

And for those of you who don’t own a pet or have never dealt with the loss of a pet, and have no understanding what it’s like to say goodbye to one. It’s like saying goodbye to a family member, someone you’ve grown to love (like your child) who has always given unconditional love to you no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve been through.  

I miss my cat and that’s okay.


  1. Erika E April 4, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your wonderful memories offer you some comfort. I had to put one of my cats down many years ago due to cancer and I still cry when I think about him. You've done right by him and I'm sure he knew it.

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author April 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Thank you so much Erika for your comments on my blog about my kitty. I miss him every day. I'm sorry you had to go through the same thing. It's not nice but yes a fact of life, just one I could do without 🙂

  2. Alyssa March 27, 2013 at 5:39 am

    (Hugs) as a current pet owner I can totally relate. We lost our 6 year old Doberman right before Christmas. Broke my heart the fact he was so young. It's still hard, even though we have another big dog, sometimes we end up calling her Zeus (her name is Daisy). The kids still talk about him. Pets tend to dig in deep to a special part of your heart and become more than just the family animal, they become a friend. Prayers your way my friend xox

  3. Tasha W March 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

    (Warning: Long ass comment ahead) 😛

    Hugs Jodi! I'm working on a blog post right now for my moms kitty Spazz whom we had to put down last summer as his health was too starting to deteriorate. I know I should have had it up alot sooner. But it was too hard to write about. It's not easy! You've shown true courage and strength in writing this beautiful tribute to Thomas!

    Spazz was around for half my life! Having him around was all I ever knew at one point, like having a child. Too the people who say "Oh, it was just a cat!" They have obviously never been touched by an animal the way me, you and many other have. Cats are like mini people to me too! They have feelings like we do, they go through what we go through. Just in a different way. They don't have a voice. But just because they can't speak to us in a language we understand, doesn't mean they don't know love and compassion.

    Cats and dogs are the most selfless beings in my opinion. About as selfless as one can get. They grow to be family just as much as any other animal does when you have them as a part of your life for as long as you did. Screw what they think. You don't have to explain it to anyone. True animal lovers and anyone with half a heart knows exactly how you are feeling and agree with you 100%.

    Two days after we put Spazz down a sweet friend of mine on Facebook shared a well known poem with me. One that I had never heard of until then. It helped immensely and put alot of my worries aside and also put my mind at ease. Even with it still being very fresh. I hope it will do the same for you.

    RAINBOW BRIDGE: Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together. . . . never to be parted again.


    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author March 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

      omg Tash you made me cry! Good tears though, great tears in fact. Such a beautiful poem. I'm going to put that on Thomas's plaque. I'm making one for him with his pic on it to put in my garden outside. Thank you so much for your support.

  4. Sandy March 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Awww Jodi! Big hugs to you. I know all too well what it's like to say goodbye to a wonderful pet, and to have to make that dreaded decision to put them to sleep when you know it's the right thing to do. I had to stop reading your blog half way through to go grab a kleenex 🙁 Twenty one years is a huge chunk of your life. Thomas was with you a long time. What a wonderful tribute you wrote for him here 🙂

    1. Jodi Shaw - Site Author March 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you Sandy I appreciate it very much. Yes it was but you are right it was the right thing 🙂 Big hugs back to you.

  5. Deborah / Mom2Michae March 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

    So sorry for your loss Jodi. I know how hard it is. Hold on to the great memories!


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