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  1. #1
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Default Emotional over aging pets.

    Wasn't sure where else to post this, hope I picked the relevant forum.

    I'm living with my mother at the moment, and I have a young cat who is strictly mine. We have two family cats that turned 10 years old this past February. They're still very much 'alive', but the signs of aging are starting to show. Their fur is getting grayer now, they're slower than they used to be, they're much more finicky about their food, etc.

    I don't know why, but I'm constantly feeling very aware of their age these days. They've gotten 'mouthier' in their old age too, we joke that they're at that age where they just don't give a crap about what anyone thinks and they're going to speak their mind. Sometimes they meow and meow seemingly just to do it (meaning, they have food, they have water, they've been played with and given lots of petting, etc). This can be annoying at times but I feel guilty if I even THINK of saying 'Shhh!". I always think "They might not be here much longer" and I'm basically just constantly thinking of making them happy.

    There was a third sister to these two cats, she was always sickly and small from the time they were kittens. She was 'my' cat. She started getting constant seizures, and I had to finally have her put down in March 2009. It was the first time I'd ever had to do anything like that, and at the time my ex-husband had pretty much just left a few months before so it was hard to deal with emotionally. I think maybe all the grief I didn't let myself feel last year is sort of manifesting in how I think of her sisters?

    I try to be logic and tell myself "If all you do is think about how they're not going to be here one day, you'll ruin the time you have left with them", but emotionally this sadness keeps coming over me pretty regularly. I'll hold them a little while longer, I'll give them more treats than usual, I'll get them the best catnip. Sometimes I break down and just cry.

    On the one hand, I've always had a tendency for this sort of thing, even when I was a young child. Even when I was nine years old I'd be having a great time with a friend and I'd be like "I wish this moment would be forever, don't you ever wish it could?". I was so painfully aware that so much in life is fleeting, I am not 100% sure why.

    On the other hand, I really have learned to become much better at letting those thoughts go and start enjoying the moment while I have it rather than ruining it by thinking about how it is fleeting. I'm still good about most other things, but the cats getting older is this one thing that is constantly getting to me. I wonder if it's some kind emotional thing connected to the death of my marriage AND the death of their sister cat in such close proximity or something?

    Just wondering if any of you had ever experienced anything like this? Anything that helped you out? Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks in advance
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  2. #2
    Senior Member man's Avatar
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    I know my Chihuahua I got in 6th grades fur is getting grayer I'm so sad
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Ime, these things tend to take care of themselves if you just let them be and indulge in them. I tend to enjoy these kinda bittersweet emotions and moments, as they make me dig deeper into what life's about and what I truly appreciate in life, what's really precious.

    Being gloomy and sad, nostalgic and melancholic has its perks. It's beautiful in its own way..more importantly, it exists because it has a purpose, which is making you deal with the past and present so you can prepare and deal better with the future when it arrives.
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

  4. #4
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Gloriana, I hear what you are saying and I think it's quite normal to feel as you do. It does inhibit the enjoyment of the present, but sometimes these thoughts are difficult to keep out of your mind moment to moment.

    Our cat turned 19 this year. (She is similarly mouthy and at 5 am and it can be less than charming! ) Indoor cats can have a long life span, so think - do you want to worry for the next 9 years this exact same thought? That they haven't much "time" left?

    It does sound to me like you have had to process a lot of emotional situations in the last year, and naturally you would feel more poignant about loss in that context. Don't worry, just let yourself be there, and use your Se to notice life in all its abundance around you.

    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  5. #5
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    It's tough. Pets are part of the family. I love my dog to pieces, and he's only 3 so he's got a lot of time ahead of him (God willing!!) but sometimes I get to thinking what I will feel like when he dies, and it can literally bring me to tears, even though it's years away.

    The dog I grew up with had to be put to sleep after I'd graduated high school. I loved him to pieces too, and it was really sad, but he had a tumor and his quality of life had become very poor, so we felt that the humane thing to do was to put him down and release him from his pain.

    My parents and brother didn't want to be present when he was actually put down, but I stayed with him and held him in my arms while he died. I wanted him to die in my arms instead of alone. It was really sad and difficult to watch, of course, but the vet was very compassionate and explained everything that would happen. And it helped me to know that his pain had come to an end. If there's a Heaven, I do believe that all dogs go there (terrible movie, though ).

    Anyway, I don't have much advice except to love them, and when the time comes for their lives to end (whether it is of natural causes or whether the choice is made to put them down), that they had good lives, were loved, and that their pain is over. Hang in there!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Oh honey... If those cats are anything like mine they've got a long time ahead of them. Mine turned 22 this year and even with a tumor in her jaw (that's leaving her with 6 months) she acts like a kitten! I'm crazy emotional over the thought of her dying. She's been with me since I was 11 and I'm turning 29 in August! She's been my best friend since middle school. I've been preparing myself for her death...at least I thought I was...for over six years now. I never dreamed a cat would live beyond 10 years...let alone 20 years... And yet, when I heard the news about her tumor and having six months, I still bawled my eyes out. And as I sit here and type this out, I am still teary eyed! I'm not sure I'll ever be prepared for it!

  7. #7
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Thanks all of you for sharing! Just hearing you guys have cats so much older makes me feel better.

    @Kymbirleigh, I totally understand! *hugs*
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Thanks! It's so rough... I mean... I had been telling myself for YEARS that this day was coming.... And yet, I still cried all day when I was given an estimated time line! My current hope is that she passes in her sleep. I don't want to have to make the decision to put her down.

    I'm sure your kitties have many good years ahead of them!

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I love my animals as my friends. I've had two die over the past two years, and currently we have two dogs who are aging. I worry about the dogs getting sick and passing because we are so connected to them.

    My siamese cat that died originally belonged to my mother. When my mother got cancer, i took her two siamese cats because scratches and litterboxes can be problematic when you are on chemo and have times when your immune system disintegrates.

    I was able to be with my mom during her surgeries, but not helping on a daily basis, so it meant lot to me to care for her cats. The smaller one had internal growths and died soon after I took him, but Koko lived for a number of years. I loved her greatly and she saw me through a lot of difficult things in my life from my mother's cancer to my divorce. Her kidneys started shutting down about the time I got a divorce, so I had her on saline injections so she could get enough fluids to keep her system clean. I gave her those treatments for about a year. We traveled alone across the US together to our new home with my now fiance' whom she loved quickly. I had a meeting one night and didn't get home until 9:00pm on her last day. She had stopped eating, and I held her for two hours while her body shut down. I wanted to help her. It was loving, but also painful because I couldn't help her. She was a unique cat, and she saw me through all my worst pain in my life, but she was there until I was okay. I miss her.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    ^^ I pray that's how it is with me and my Bengal. I was so afraid to go on vacation for a week for fear that her condition would worsen and I wouldn't be there for her passing.

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