Animals grieve too…something we all know, but many people (idiots) scoff at. This is a story about Annie, the same one I wrote another post on. To try to make a long story short, my friend adopted Annie and she was also to become my brother’s girlfriend eventually, so they had two cats, Andy and Annie. My brother passed away about nine months ago and my friend about four months ago, both very unexpectedly. I, of course, took in Andy and Annie. They lost their “parents” and home and I did my best to make them comfortable and secure.
Andy had always had sinus problems and they continued to get worse. I tried everything under the sun to get him well…antibiotics, special immune building medicine, nose drops, even an herbal concoction, but his health continued to fail, he lost weight and couldn’t breathe properly. Nothing was working and I finally had to let him go. It was devastating.
Now, here was Annie…not only having lost her (I still think of her as a she, even though she’s a he…you have to read the other post!) original family and home, but now her best buddy. It was heartbreaking and I knew she was grieving too. She has five other cats in the house to play with, but I was taking time to introduce her to all of them so she wouldn’t be under any more stress. I’ve found it’s best to do this slowly.
I gave her lots of attention, special treats and love. I talked to her about how I knew how much she missed Andy and that he had gone to be with Dusty and Lesa (my brother and my friend) and that he was ok. They understand when we talk to them. She would look at me with sad eyes and nuzzle my hand. I told her I missed him too and I think she was trying to comfort me too. They are miraculous in that way. They know when you’re upset and try to help.
With lots of extra care she is finally happy and getting to know the other cats. She and Chloe have become close and she is doing fine. We’ve all helped each other through this horrendous time. We must always recognize that animals grieve as much as we do. We’ve heard the stories of them laying for days at someones grave. And it doesn’t take much to recognize the signs when they are sad. It is really no different than having young children when something like this happens. They know what’s going on and they need extra care. So, pour on that extra love and attention, talk to them about it and it will help.
We miss you Andy.