Death Bereavement ... ok, pet bereavement.

Nyoom

New Here
I feel pretty stupid for feeling this way
You're not stupid at all for feeling the way you do. It is a natural response to a loss, and since you mentioned not losing anyone close to you up until this point, it seems like its the first time your brain has had to deal with anything like this, so the emotions are probably going to be a bit difficult to untangle and work through. It was unexpected too, a shock to your system. You seem to have a good handle on what you're feeling and why, and doing a good thing by looking out for symptoms of other issues that might arise. I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you start to feel better soon.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I can't really add anything to the good stuff that's already been said, other than that I agree. I'm more of a dog person. The cats here live outside & are more employees than family members, but I totally get the attachment. My personal experience supports the idea of getting a next animal. Not in a rush, but when it works out. They are all different but they fit in the same empty spots in your life. And the worrying about going through the loss again part..... I get that too, but I tend to see that as the price we pay for the great good of sharing time with them and I think we help them by giving them the best lives we can while we can. None of us are getting out of here alive. We might as well enjoy the company along the way,

Your grief seems like a normal and good, if painful, thing to me. It means you're capable of caring and getting attached.
 

Huxley

Learning
It has all been said above — she was your family and it’s normal and natural to grieve.

i lost my sweet boy more than two years ago now, after a long and happy life, and I still greet his shadow every morning with open arms. It has gotten easier.

Don’t chastise yourself. Love in any form is a cherished thing.
 
Thank you everybody. Initially I felt like I wouldn't really be able to handle looking for a new cat until after the holidays, but after reading everyone's replies I'm almost certain we'll start the search next month. While no one will ever replace Ferdinand, I do think that I can simultaneously mourn him and love a new cat. Even if the new cat isn't "mine" in the way Ferdinand was, a cat that would love all the members of my family would bring us all closer. One of Ferdinand's only flaws was that he really did not care much for kids, to the chagrin of my 5-year-old.

Anyway, I know he wouldn't want me to be unhappy forever. When I was especially sad or PTSD symptomatic, he was always next to or on top of me, purring, trying to help. I think that helping myself by finding a new cat friend would honor his memory.
 

caroline_13

Confident
I am definitely NOT trying to compare my loss in any way with people who've lost a loved one who is a person. But I considered my cat to be a member of the family, and to be completely honest he was my best friend (which I realize is pretty sad, but it's true). I had to put him to sleep very unexpectedly on Sept. 2 due to congestive heart failure, but even that morning he was still happy and playful even though he was sick. I know I made the right choice for my friend, so I'm not upset about this.

I just miss him so much. I feel like I would give literally anything just to put my face in his fur again. The first week after he died I lacked the motivation to do anything, although after a few days I forced myself to do work and schoolwork and family activities. But even now after a week and a half I don't really feel anything except a crippling sense of loss. I keep waiting for him to walk into whatever room I'm in and rub against me. When I come home, I expect him to be waiting by the door like he always was. But there is nothing. He's just gone.

I don't think the way I feel is necessarily inappropriate, considering he was one of the most important things in my life for nine years. But my lack of being able to feel anything other than grief and my zero motivation to do anything is a major problem. I have a million things going on all the time, but it seems so pointless. Even my schoolwork, which is for something I'm supposedly passionate about, seems trivial and stupid and I'm very worried I'll lose my passion for it forever (it's bad enough that I have Grade A impostor syndrome about it all the time anyway).

I'm monitoring myself for signs of major depression and/or complicated grief, but I don't think I have those. I've actually been extremely fortunate to pretty much never have lost a close loved one, until now. I've been telling a few people who I don't think will judge me for feeling this way about a cat, which has helped a little. But due to my WFH job I'm stuck in the house most of the day, and everything here reminds me of what is no longer here and will never be here again.

I guess I'm just venting. I feel pretty stupid for feeling this way (it was an animal, not one of my kids for christ's sake) and I don't know when, if ever, I'm going to start to feel better.
Why beat up on yourself?

I LOVE both my cats and they are my family.

Honor the loss of your friend and be okay with your feelings.
 
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