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Re: Lost a friend . . . gained a friend

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by firefighterjake, Oct 24, 2011.

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  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I know it's probably stupid to say in a forum like this where folks have lost their spouse, children, grandchildren and what have you . . . but I recently lost a cat that meant a lot to me.

    I know in my heart it's just a cat, but this cat was really a part of my life . . . and while I realized it at the time, I never realized just how important he was to me after having lost him as it's all the little things and routines that you get into with a pet that you notice the most when they're gone.

    To give you the back story . . . on the Columbus Day Weekend I went down to the Woodstock Open House and did some geocaching with some friends. However, before I left I realized that I had let out my buddy Theodore Roosevelt early one morning and he had not come home that night. This in itself is not unusual in the Summer as he tended to sometimes stay out for a night or two . . . but for some reason I was a bit uneasy.

    The whole weekend I kept calling my wife and she just said that he was nowhere to be found. She made calls to the local shelters and checked in with the neighbors to no avail. To make a long story short . . . while I know miracles can happen, I honestly believe Teddy met up with either a coyote, fisher or bobcat and will not be coming home.

    It may sound so lame compared to folks with real problems and dealing with real loss, but I actually wasn't eating very well and was not sleeping well either. As I said you get used to the same routine and I would be at my computer and keep looking up expecting to see Teddy sitting on the hot tub . . . I would come home from work to get the mail and expect to see him running up to me . . . it just hasn't been the same without him . . . I now shower alone (well he didn't actually get in the shower, he just would come into the bathroom for a drink from the sink) . . . I look at my camp chair which is empty . . . left-overs sit uneaten . . .

    I'm feeling a bit better these days . . . I didn't want a replacement for Teddy and know that one cannot just replace a pet like him . . . but I did go out and do two things I have never done in my life. A) I drove 4 hours round-trip for a cat. B) I paid for a cat . . . kitten actually . . . a Manx/Maine coon cat mix. I will admit that I still miss Teddy, but seeing this new kitten and playing with him (Harry Truman in case you were wondering) has actually been a big help.

    OK, enough of the moping . . . just thought I would share a bit . . . it's been a tough two weeks for me personally (honestly I don't think I felt like this even when my grandparents or sister died . . . which probably says something not so flattering about me I imagine) . . . but it's hard to not laugh once in a while when you have a kitten to watch.

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  2. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Not stupid at all. The loss of a companion animal can be devastating-when you think about it humans have been living alongside domesticated dogs and cats for something like 15,000 years. We have a bond with these animals that we don't share with any other living things on earth. I can't even bear to think about losing my lab Hank. He's only two, but we have such a short time with them...
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't even bear the thought of losing my dog.......which is likely to happen sooner than later.....

    From Procol Harem...

    My old dog's a good old dog
    My old man's a silly old sod
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear of your loss Jake. We are very close to our pets having raised them from babies. Their passing can be very sad.

    I'm glad you found a new kitten. Harry has some big shoes to fill, but he looks pretty sweet.
  5. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    I am so sorry Jake...I am very attached to my parrot so I know what you are saying....
    (Freeway will be a part of our family 13 years on Oct 28)
    I think some of us get more attached to our pets than others.....I do not have children and my husband works long hours and Freeway is company for me. I talk to him and he talks back sometimes. ...and laughs at me too.... >:-(
    Thanks for sharing your story....
    FWIW, I like animals more than I like some people.....I do work with the public so you know what I am sayin....
    Enjoy the new kitten.... :)
  6. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    Looks like Harry's adapting happily.
    He'll get you in line quickly- funny how they can train us.
  7. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Sorry for your loss, Jake. I agree with Gamma, MOST animals are a lot more likeable than MOST people.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I understand, Jake, and you have my sympathy. So far in my life, I've lost 5 dogs and 4 cats...and one of the 2 cats I have now is very soon to even up the score. Every one of those pets was very special to me. It's always very sad, like a dagger to the heart. Of course you miss Teddy...it is a real loss, don't discount it just because he was "only a cat". You have some grieving to do. Sharing your loss with folks you trust, as you have just done with us here takes courage, but can be an important step in your journey through that forest of grief you've found yourself in. You've also paid us all a compliment in that you brought your sadness here to share with us. That's trust. Take care, and tell Harry all the Teddy stories. Rick
  9. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I am also quite close to my cat and can imagine what you are going through. My wife and daughter tease me because of my relationship with my cat. He will follow me on my walks into the woods ( I have to sneak out to cut wood). I work second shift and when I get home he gets in the recliner with me.

    We did have a cat (that couldn't get along with her daughter) that left home for 2 years and actually came back. Her personality changed while she was gone, it was like she was a different cat when she came back.

    Good luck with the kitten!
  10. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Nothing wrong at all.Pets are like family. My oldest cat Sylvester will be 18 next month,has had kidney failure since April 2010,he gets an IV every other day,dont mind it all,he lays there for 5 minutes & purrs.Doing pretty good considering,still has good appetite kept his weight the same,is energetic for his age,runs through the house & dont stray far from the other 2 cats.Fuzzball will be 16 next month,has had diabetes since Feb 2009.Went to vet 2 weeks ago for bi-monthly check,its stabilized & he hasnt needed his once a day insulin since September.Thomas (half brother to Fuzzball) will be 16 next April,is in perfect health,the largest of the three at 15 pounds.

    Its gonna be rough when one of them goes,they've been together since December 1996.
  11. mikeyd

    mikeyd Member

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    Jake, keep hope alive. We recently "lost" our indoor (never been outside before) cat to the great outdoors for 2-weeks. She was recently found living underneath a BBQ. Got her to a vet and for the most part a clean bill of health. I hope Teddy returns to you and keep Harry company.
  12. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    FFJ, I am so sorry Teddy has not returned. Cats are treasured in this house (we have 5), they are esteemed companions, so I know the loss and the suffering. I am so glad, tho, that you have gotten another cat. It's a fitting tribute to Teddy and the greatest way I know to honor his memory. And to have gotten a MC/Manx mix, woohoo, great breeds!!! I have a feeling this is going to be one super cat, he sure looks it already judging by the pic. Is he a rumpy or a stumpy?
  13. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Jake, I was wondering if the cat came home. Sorry for your loss. It's not lame. That other people have what seem to be bigger loss has nothing to do with how you feel about the loss you are dealing with. Good luck with the kitten.
  14. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Jake, my deepest condolences on your loss. It is a loss, and should be treated as such. Grief is a part of the healing process ,which looks like you've jump started quite cutely !! :)


    We put Erin's old gelding down (my original handle here was Shogun Jack) 1 week before Christmas, 2 years ago. It took us each about a year to come to terms with it, and be OK. However long it takes, it takes. Huggs to you and yours.
  15. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Sorry for your loss. Long happy life for the new kitten. Looks like a winner.
  16. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Very sorry to hear about your cat. Dont let anyone make you feel that your
    pain is any different than anyone elses. I wish you the best of luck with your
    new friend and hope the old one makes it back home.

    I haven been able to bring myself to get another pet...as I posted before "I lost all
    three of my buddies in the span of three years.
    Cat 06 11yrs/ Shepard 07 12yrs/ Collie 08 15yrs… Huge part of my family gone."
    That was tough to loose all of them together like that...
  17. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Jake, just looked close at that kitten. Are there 6 toes?


    S & F, they taught you, to prepare you for the next one. It's an on going cycle with these critters we let into our hearts. My 2 cents ... let 'em in ;-)
  18. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle- At some point I will be adopted by a little lost soul, but
    I am not going to go looking for it. Solitude has been a new thing for me, when it gets
    old I may start looking.
  19. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    They find you.
  20. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Jake, I was looking at your cat pictures earlier today, and enjoying them, including `Dirty Teddy', and thinking that your redhead sprawled on the arm of the sofa required a caption.

    I spoke to a woman once who had lost five (5) children, and she told me, "Grief is grief. You can't quantify pain." If we try to tuck it away and deny it, it just waits until you're ready to give it its due. I say, "Let it roll."

    We were found by a cat this summer. She held back and checked us out for quite awhile, and then one day we passed, I guess--she came in, ate, decided the small sofa in the sunroom would do, lay on her back and flopped all four paws out to the side like she was boneless, and racked in the sun like she hadn't slept for weeks. Her history is a mystery--she's a little survivor, and smart as a whip. At first I tried to find her former home, and avoided naming her (she's still `the cat') because I thought if I held back, I'd protect myself from the pain of losing her. We all succumbed to her charms--even the dog, who's been hating on cats for a dozen years--cat's got her pretty well trained. She lived a duel life, kept one paw out the door and her motor running for awhile. She held on to her outdoor cat ways until it cooled off, and then she figured out that if she were outside and didn't come in before we left for work, she was stuck. Now I walk out the door in the morning and a tortiseshell tornado blasts past knee-high.

    I know the time is coming when we'll lose the old dog, and that thought used to undo me. But I've come to see that I don't have to cross that bridge until I come to it. We've got to take the bitter with the sweet. And somehow, this cat has taught me that.

    What a mix--Manx and Maine Coon Cat. That's going to be one fine cat.
  21. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    I expect your new kitten will be quite a handfull. Many Maine coon cats havent figured out that they arent half dog, expect a very active cat that loves the outdoors.
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Stumpy . . . just a bit of a stump . . . almost a rumpy.
  23. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Teddy was polydactyl . . . but Truman has just the normal toes.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the kind words folks . . . it's honestly getting easier day by day . . . I don't find myself thinking about Teddy quite as much or looking outside wistfully thinking he will appear at any moment. I will say the hardest part for me truly is not knowing what happened to him and not having a body to bury -- in some ways just knowing he was gone would be easier than wondering if he is out there somewhere. I know my wife still has some hope.
  25. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    So sorry Jake.
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