Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Heather & Montana'

About Montana

Montana aka Orange Angel my orange Tabby cat. Born 12/1998. Rescued 12/1999. Lost 3/5/2011

When did you lose Montana?


At which stage of pet loss grief do you feel you are currently at?

Been cycling through all of them for a few weeks. Mostly depression at this time.

Heather and Montana's Story so far

I adopted Orange from the Humane Society. She is the sweetest cat...good natured, shy, loving, quiet.

She had lost some teeth and we started her on soft food. She started drooling and as we had a similar situation with another cat I took her to the vet for some help. He said she wasn't going to get better and she needed to be put to sleep, but I could go home and talk about it. The first few days after hearing that I was sad and crying. I struggled with my personal beliefs and then I decided that until she couldn't eat or move or was unable to care for herself I was not going to euthanize. She was thinner than in her younger days - about 6 pounds or so.

For a few weeks she did better (she received a shot for infection and swelling at the vet). As long as she was eating I was content. I didn't spend as much time with her as I should of but spent a lot of time cleaning up after her. Sometimes I even got frustrated but I loved her always.

Over the past few days she couldn't seem to eat. I tried broth and milk. The milk worked some a feeding but she didn't take much. Whipped cream worked well a couple of times but then that stopped. She couldn't even seem to drink water. She tried desperately to get my help and I tried what I could think of. Looking at her swollen mouth I decided that I didn't want her to starve to death. She lost even more weight and was roughly about 4 pounds. I convinced myself it would be the right thing to do.

Since her vet was on vacation and I didn't want to wait the weekend I took her to a different vet. That vet said it might be possible to take her toa college and spend a couple of thousand to have her jaw partially removed. She said she could give her a shot and send her home but that wouldn't necessarily help her eat. She said that the best thing for her probably would be to put her to sleep. Since I had my mind made up I didn't really consider the other option and I definitely couldn't afford the surgery. If I thought she had a chance I might have considered it.

She had become weaker in a few days. She had been able to jump on the chair one day and needed a little help the last day. She acted so hungry and I couldn't help her. She gave up on the cat food for the most part rather than running in and trying and failing. She did come around and even tried to climb in the fridge or get something that spilled. She didn't put up a fight when I took her to the vet and I was able to hold her instead of putting her in a crate. It was quick and supposedly painless. In an instant she was gone. My pain continued.

Her last few days I tried to take time to sit and pet her - something I hadn't really done since my son was born 6 years ago she liked to hide after that. She would climb on my lap and purred a bit. She seemed content when I gave her all my attention. She even slept a little on my lap which I hadn't seen her do the past few days except for a short time when she hid somewhere in the house.

I stayed with her the entire time. I couldn't believe it. I had grieved so much before she was gone and then on the ride home I felt empty and numb. I just couldn't believe she was gone. When I got home I couldn't bear it. It became too painful. I would cry or sob on and off. We couldn't bury her right away as the ground was wet and I kept checking on her. I would talk to her and try to wake her as if she could come back. In a way I hoped she would and I could give her more time that I feel I cheated her out of. She could have had a few more minutes, hours, maybe days...maybe they would be hard, maybe not.

I love her and miss her and am sorry I couldn't help her feel better because I know she didn't want to die - I know she wanted to get better. If it weren't for the tumors she would still be healthy and with us. The first vet said there was no chance of surgery or making her better yet I hung on to false hope that she could improve. I feel guilty and sad - she will have no more days to be pet or enjoy life. I feel worse that she is gone for her rather than me. I question whether it is better to be alive and suffer or to have no life.

I feel I cheated her since she couldn't die naturally. It doesn't feel real. It feels like she was taken from me. She is not my only pet or my only cat but she was so special... that is why I called her my orange angel. I feel she has done so much more for my life than I ever could have done for hers. I wanted her to go peacefully in her sleep - naturally. That didn't happen. I was so afraid that I would not be there when she died - that she would go painfully and alone and I tried to spare her from that.

I knew it was inevitable. I don't know how much time she really had left. My only comfort is that for a few hours in her last couple of days I showed her more love than she had gotten in a long time. I spent hours holding and petting her. Also, Iknow when she left this world we were together and I pet her the whole time and kissed her and told her I loved her. I can only hope that her last moment was full of love and comfort because of her love for me and my efforts for her. I thought a planned death with love was better than a lonely one and I didn't want to take that risk because that would be a horrible way to go...alone.

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'Heather & Montana'

It Gets Better

April 17, 2011

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Tuesday Mar 8, 2011

Today was a little better. I found some support and got a phone call from a vet counseling center. What really helped was hearing about the options for …

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Mar 6, 2011

Today we buried my beloved cat. Yesterday it rained which felt appropriate - like tears from heaven. Today it was cold and there was an occasional snowflake. …

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Anger at Self

Mar 5, 2011

I was glad to see this was normal but I almost feel like punishing myself. She was starving why should I eat? Why should I enjoy life? Why should I go …

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