General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Does the memory of dead pets still bring a tear to anyone else's eye?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21305 points ) December 2nd, 2008

My aunt had this cat name Nemo several years ago and he was the kind of cat who hated people, other cats and damn near every living thing, except for this one small dog my aunt had and me. I think he was such good friends with Chester (the dog) because Chester was exceptionally small and Nemo was exceptionally big. As I said, besides Chester, I was really the only other living thing Nemo liked. he would lie on his back and let me pick him up and rub his belly and he would never move or fuss, just purr. Sometime during the summer three or four years ago, Nemo ran away. He was my favorite cat of any I’ve known and when I think about him, I still get a little choked up. I miss him terribly.

Has anyone else had a beloved pet or known an animal who was near and dear to your heart? I know people say “Oh they’re just animals,” but I’ve never held to that idea. Please share stories. :)

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52 Answers

martinf's avatar

I am definitely a cat man but I had a tiny black chihuahua named Chikkita when I was young. She fell off my top bunk one night (she actually jumped off it – she was the kind of dog that would jump out the car window at 80km p/h and land on her feet still running) and she started going blind and deaf and having fits from the trauma for the next two days. Eventually I let mum put her down but it still breaks my heart to think about it.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

We have a voice that we do for our dead dog. Every now and then, I’ll say something in the dog’s voice, and my husband will laugh. We have voices for all our pets. Our animals all had good lives with us, and are missed. But we still talk about them all the time.

chyna's avatar

I can think of my dog when she was alive and the things I loved about her and I am okay.
But when I try to think of her last day, I can’t. I cry every time.

mrjadkins's avatar

I grew up with a dog named Daisy. She was a mop-looking dog. Always a mess. We had her for more than 15 years in our family. And that is a long time for any pet! I remember getting the call from our elderly neighbors that they found Daisy floating in their pool. They couldn’t get her out so I had to go over and get her. I think I was more sad for them because they blamed themselves about this for leaving their gate open.

I am sure there is a pet heaven though. And all of our pets are having a blast up there!

autumn43's avatar

Oh yes. Autumn was such a joy in my life. She was my baby! She hopped around her bunroom (the sunroom was hers) and ran around at lightning speed. We had her for seven years. She died 15 months ago and I never miss a chance to talk about her; I think of her often. She was so funny and would give me kisses and she loved her Cheerios. Not a lot of people know that bunnies can be trained and she would hop in her cage with the promise of wildberry yogurt drops, and would only “go” in her litter box. She ate a lot of wires – lamps, fans, video games, buttons of the TV remote, pillows, walls, etc. My kids were always wondering why she didn’t get in trouble! I miss her every day.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes. I don’t even like talking about it because when I do it feels like he died yesterday. His name was Puddy Tat and he was, I think, quite literally the coolest cat in the entire world. He had near-human qualities, beyond what I’ve witnessed in any other animal my entire life. And somehow, I don’t think I’ll witness that kind of personality in any other animal for the remainder of my life. I had pets before him and I have pets now, after him… And none of them, not a single one, is anything close to what Puddy was. Not to say that I didn’t and don’t love the other pets… But words can not describe Puddy. When he died… Oh, god, it was like losing a human I was close to.

I will stop here. Shit.

shadling21's avatar

Yes. It still saddens me to think of the companion I’ve lost.

suse's avatar

loved all my animals but one horse in particular. Bad tempered complicated horse with such a soft side. She had her third foal and got liver failure afterwards, the foal got really thin and the horse, Dee, was fading fast and her milk was drying up. She ended up laying down, couldnt stand she was so weak but would try and call her foal who was annoying the other mares by looking for milk. We wanted to keep Dee going for the foal – but when the foal was 4 weeks old, it was obvious Dee was in her last few days. We took the foal to a wet nurse mare whose own foal was a few months older and could be weaned. Then shot Dee. Humane obviously, she was in so much discomfort and only had a couple of days left – I couldnt bear her pain….. I was with the foal and the new mare in the barn (didnt want the foal to see Dee go,), but shit I know Dee was panicking because she couldnt see her foal even though she was dying. Dee was beyond beauty in herself and the sound of the shot made me physically sick on the spot. Tears in my eyes now.

jessturtle23's avatar

I don’t have any past animals that have died that I am still heartbroken about. I tear up thinking if something were to happen to one of my pets now but I cry at hallmark commercials.

cak's avatar

Of course! She was one of my best friends. The day I found out I had cancer, she never left my side. I was in the hospital when she got sick and it went very fast. My husband had to make the decision to put her to sleep, while I was in surgery. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I miss her dearly.

chelseababyy's avatar

I read everything in this thread and started balling cuz I miss my cat and dog

KatawaGrey's avatar

I know, I didn’t think the question would get such a strong reaction. I’m thinking of all the dogs and cats I lost and it’s making me cry.

Darwin's avatar

Yes, I miss each and everyone of my animal companions who have died. I could tell you stories about every single one, but then my keyboard would get wet and I wouldn’t be able to type.

Just know that all of our animals have had and do have good lives with us, and those that have died are always and forever a part of our lives.

Allie's avatar

Yes, very much so. My schipperke, Binky. Tiny little black dog with the heart of a bear. I miss her a lot.

Tantigirl's avatar

We had a lovely ginger cat called Timothy, although we addressed him as Timmy most of the time. It was Timothy if he was in trouble.

He was 15 years old when we left Australia to live in USA, and so we had to leave him with Nanna and Pa. We would have brought him with us, but he was too old to travel, the flight probably would have killed him. He was such a beautiful boy, definitely the boss of the house. When I’d pick him up, he’d tuck his little head under my chin and purr for all he was worth. Luckily he loved Nanna and Pa very much too, so we knew that he was going to be looked after. On the day we left, I gave him a big cuddle goodbye, and received a tuck under the chin and a headbut. Then he rubbed his head on my 7 year old daughter, and then on my 4 week old son. He was in perfect health, even at the age that he was. Six months later, he started to have kidney problems, and Nanna and Pa found him crying in pain on their next door neighbours lawn. The vet had to put him to sleep, I cried and cried when they told us that our precious boy was gone. I’m starting to tear up now just thinking about it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

My family used to have a dog that was part labrador retriever and part cocker spaniel. My mother and youngest brother taught it to do several tricks and recognize several voice commands. If there was ever a pet who was just like a regular member of the family, he was the perfect example. He developed arthritis in his joints later on in life and we had to have him put down to spare him future suffering. It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do in our family. To this day, we’ve never gotten another dog because we’ve pretty much figured that no other dog could replace or be just as good as the one we had to euthanize.

jtvoar16's avatar

Yes, OMG! YES! I’m not going to tell any stories, cause I don’t want to cry!

loser's avatar

Same here. You’re definately not alone. Pets fill up very special places in our hearts and it’s empty when they’re not there.

suse's avatar

the thing is, every dog i ever owned was so unique and different that I always thought the succeeding dog could not live up to its predessor, but they always do;)

tiggersmom's avatar

I still cry for several cats, Marmaduke, he would walk me to the laundry room and back to my appt. He would lay under the afghan that I was making right there in my lap, and purr up a storm.
Then there was Paws, my husbands cat, big male tabby, his head was large, and he weighed over 13 lbs. He love his owner, and he was a great jumper, he jumped 6 ft in the air to catch birds. Incerdible markings, very affectionate.
Then Squeskers, she was average height, but her length was short and she was round, but not fat, and she had gold/bronze colored eyes, she love to play a game where my hand was between pillows and peeking out, then she would roll up the pillow and get this adorable look in those bronze eyes, and she seemed to smile when playing that game, she strikes me the hardest because she had a butterfly pattern on her back, and that was how gentle she was. I miss her sooooooo much now. Softer than a cotton ball too. Really.

daisy's avatar

When I was in college, I lived with a family who ‘adopted’ me and gave me a home away from home. I went to school with their daughter and she was a close friend. They had a dog that I bonded with in a big way. They had to let him outside to say hello to me whenever I went there because he was so excited to see me that he peed all over. I was in their house more often than their real daughter so he just thought I was one of the family. A few years after I moved out, I was walking in to work with my friend and she asked me if I had gotten a chance to say ‘goodbye’ to Muffin. Her folks gave him to a relative who had suffered a tragedy and was alone. He couldn’t raise a puppy so they gave him their dog. I was crushed… called them crying, begged them to let me have him and I’d find/train another dog for the relative. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I still tear up when I think of that dog and that was many years ago. I never got to say goodbye and they planned it that way knowing how upset I would be.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@daisy, what a touching story; you have me tearing up. sniff sniff

jca's avatar

i have always had cats, and i have a few that i can’t even think about. i have been reading all these stories written by all the Flutherers, and they’re all so touching. i can get into the details of my cats, but if i do, i’ll be thinking about them and it is really painful for me to think about them. i loved them like kids and it kills me to recall them and the details of their deaths. i am at work now and not wanting to cry. i always say the more pets you have, the more heartache you’ll have.

ok, to give quick summaries of two: i had a cat who was like my son, he was orange and his name was Baby. He was really like my baby. he would sleep under the covers with me, on his back. he got toxoplasmosis, and i had taken him to vet, and he was recovering, but was still sick and still affected. one night, he was outside, and i could tell he wasn’t recovered yet, but i fell asleep without getting him in. he didn’t come back, which he always did. i looked for him for two days, putting up signs, calling his name, and then the neighbor told me he had been hit by a car. it had to be he was confused by the toxoplasmosis, because he never went near the road.

i lived in a building that burned in a fire, and i had this feral cat, Penny, who was a tortoiseshell (hence the name). when the fire came, and i had to get out, i knew i would not be able to get her because she was wild and skittish, and so i had to leave her in the apartment. i left the windows open just in case she had to jump out. the apartment was wet with the water from the fire hoses, but not burned. the next day the firemen went in to get her and she saw them coming, got scared and jumped out the window, ran into woods, never to be seen again. it was 3rd floor, firemen said they saw her run into the woods,so she probably survived, traumatized, shy. she was 12 at the time.

suse's avatar

Aww the penny story is sad :(

daisy's avatar

@jca, I am a fairly new cat lover/owner. Your stories really tug at my heart!

bythebay's avatar

I still miss all of the pets I’ve loved & lost as they really do become members of your family. Except for my kids Hermit Crabs; I was secretly thrilled when they croaked and never shead a tear over them…

imhellokitty's avatar

I’ve had several cats in my lifetime, but my best cat ever “Gizmo” still makes me cry when I think about her. She died almost 15 years ago.

Darwin's avatar

I still miss my hermit crabs. They were the kings of England series – all of them were named Henry.

I couldn’t keep them any longer so I had to give them to a friend.

daisy's avatar

@blythebay, LOL, in a moment of weakness I allowed my kids to get 2 guinea pigs. What a mistake! They are nocturnal animals that kept the whole family awake all night wherever we put them in the house. I finally convinced one of my kids teachers that they needed a class pet and agreed to supply the food for them for the year as long as she found another student to take them home for the summer. They were so disruptive to the class that she finally gave them to 2 of the students. I should have learned and said no to the hamster too. I ended up doing having to save the darn things life 3 times, the first time doing CPR, (minus the respirations) but that is a story for a whole other topic!

KatawaGrey's avatar

@daisy: Oh, do tell! My curiosity has been piqued!

bythebay's avatar

@ daisy: (hysterically laughing at the thought of you saving a hamster via CPR!!)You’re a better woman than I.

loser's avatar

Ooo! Yeah, gotta hear this!!!

daisy's avatar

Ok, since you ask, (forgive me KatawaGrey for the topic change) 1st time, we had just moved into a new house and my dtr had just met a new playmate and took Gizmo out on the deck to show him to her new friend. She dropped him on the deck. She came in crying that she killed the hampster. Well, I couldn’t let a sensitive 10 yr old live with that on her conscience. I picked him up and sure enough, he was stiff, not breathing, and looked very dead. So I laid him in my hand and pumped his chest with my thumb and after about 6 or so compressions, he came back to life. My daughter threw her arms around me, with tears streaming down her face, she called me her hero. (I am woman, hear me roar!) Time #2 was when he got out of his cage and I found him in the basement caught in a glue trap. We had mice that got into the house when we moved in so we had a few traps in the basement. All 4 paws were stuck to the trap. So I tried everything to release the glue so I wouldn’t rip his limbs off trying to get him off the trap. Finally, I discovered that vaseline released the glue. I ended up giving him about 10 baths to get all the glue off of him. Life save #3 was when I discovered that the water spout of his bottle had dropped down into the wood shavings. Poor Gizmo had dehydrated and I thought he was dead. The kids were all at school so I decided to give him a quick burial before they saw him. Low and behold, he was still warm when I picked him up, but hardly breathing. So I made a solution of sugar water and started dropping it into his mouth with an eye dropper. After a few hours, he started responding and drank a little. I actually set the clock and fed him sugar water every 2 hours ALL night and by morning he stood up shakily and within a short time he fully recovered. He lived for another year or so and we found him dead one morning of natural causes. We had a proper burial in the back yard and I swore I’d never have another animal in the house. I relented and let them get some fish… another fiasco. Learn to just say NO!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@daisy: I must say… You’re a damn cool mother. I haven’t heard of and don’t know many parents who would have bothered to do so much to save the life of their child’s pet.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@daisy: don’t apologize, that’s a great set of stories! Lurve for saving the hamster not once, but three times!

bythebay's avatar

daisy: change your fluther name to WonderMom!!

loser's avatar

That’s amazing!!!

daisy's avatar

Thanks DrasticDreamer, if you could have seen the look on my little girls face you would have done it too. I have to admit the third time I was questioning my sanity.

WonderMom? You think I should?? Should I get a Tshirt with a big W on the chest too?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Nah, parents should question their sanity if they don’t try a third time! :) The shirt would definitely work.

bythebay's avatar

a t-shirt, a big belt and some knee high boots…you could save the world!

daisy's avatar

Oooohh. I like the knee high boots!

Snoopy's avatar

The first time I went to my now husband’s house…our first date…he warned me he had a large dog. Whoa. Did he ever….this shepherd mix decided I needed to be vetted. She sat next to me all night, assessing me….

Fast forward. Now we are married and the dog is now mine too….during my first pregnancy, when she was still w/ us…she would follow me around. And I mean stuck to my side like glue. I would go get a drink. Dog. I would go to the bathroom. Dog. Very protective of pregnant mama.

Fast forward another year. She quickly became very ill. So ill we had an appointment to euthanize her….the night before she began vomiting blood. Wouldn’t stop. We took her to the emergency vet clinic. They put her down. It was AWFUL. I didn’t expect to mourn her the way I did…

She was a gentle giant and the best dog. Ever.

I have tears in my eyes now….(sniff)

daisy's avatar

I took my folks to the vet a month ago to have their 12 yr old dog put down and it was really tough. I talked to my mom last night and she is still really having a hard time. My coworker just went through it last w/e with her dog. She was telling us about it on Mon. morning, how he once saved their families lives by waking them up in the middle of the night when they had a gas leak. We were passing the kleenex around the room. It’s a hard thing to do.

jca's avatar

a friend of mine had a pug, and her son let it out by accident, and it got hit by a car. the son ran down and saw the pug, head squished in the street, blood all over. someone saw it, and a cop caught the guy who had no license and no registration. the son feels guilty. he’s about 12 and what a thing for a kid to remember.

daisy's avatar

@jca, awwww, that’s the kind of things we hope to shield our kids from. How sad.

maybe_KB's avatar

Oh gosh yeah.
Our family cat died in 90 maybe earlier
and man I’ll tell ya.
We had to put her to sleep @ 6 (which if fairly young)
some one ran over her hind limb.
She crawled around the house for about a week
Mom & I knew it was too much for our dear kitty
We took her in to the vet they said she had to be put down
(Oh, lord I’m tearing up now just thinking ‘bout it again. re-living the moment)
I left the room in hopes of not showing my self to mom and the vet
I came back beet red.
Mom knew I balled my eyes out. (I was always a private crier- still am)
Right when I stepped out the vet gave her the lethal injection.
But right before I walked out mom asked did I want to say goodbye?
I looked @ her & with out a peep….(now the tears are coming down..wow me)
She meowed the deepest, longest, saddest meow I had ever heard her meow…
Damn!
I loved her so

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i absolutely love animals, especially my animals. when i was born my mum had a huge dog that used to sleep right next to my crib and would growl at anyone who came near me, so i’m pretty much a major animal person. so yeah, whenever i think of an animal i was close with that died, i definitely tear up.

pekenoe's avatar

Geeezzzz, years of therapy and hundreds of dollars in drugs down the tubes. I had been able to put it aside and move on (kidding, but easily brings a tear to my eye)

My experience contributed greatly to a mental breakdown and depression. I thnk maybe I get too attached?

kevinhardy's avatar

yes I still miss a few of them

CMaz's avatar

Yes, all the time. He was a good dog.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Occasionally, but more often than not I feel this deep sense of loneliness and sadness when I think about my departed animal companions. I miss them terribly whenever I look at their photos, and the good times we shared together. They were a part of me. And when you lose something as valuable as that, it’s like losing your arm or another part of your body.

I have a cat story similar to yours. When I was a kid, I found a stray white cat that wandered into my yard. It was thin and malnourished, and I nursed it back to health. I called her Lindo. She was pure white and had the most lovely golden, amber eyes. My own cat, Nikki, didn’t like her, but she was very affectionate to me. I had her for about a month, but I couldn’t keep her because my parents disallowed it. I was forced to give Lindo away. I wanted to find a good home for her. The first candidate who wanted to adopt Lindo appeared irresponsible and had an aggressive dog, so fearing for Lindo’s safety and well-being, I turned her down. I finally found a responsible owner for my stray, but letting her go was heart-breaking. Even after all these years, I still look back and wonder whatever became of Lindo, if she had a good life, or if she died tragically. It makes me rueful to think about her, but what can I do? :(

kara's avatar

Charlie….HE died just a few days ago. 5/19/2010 from Cancer. I really wish I got to say good-bye. My aunt and Uncle was his owners. They are taking It much worse I’m sure but I loved that dog so much.

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