Matt the Cat

rest in peace

Our cat, Matt, died yesterday.

He was 11 years old. We’re not sure why he died, but we are totally gutted by it. Losing a pet unexpectedly is about as much fun as you’d expect it to be.

His brother, Ian is still meowing a lot (very unlike him – his nickname is Roberto Silencio) and looking around smelling everything.

I think he’s looking for Matt.

Right now, he’s hanging out by the kitty door. We think he’s waiting to see if he can catch him.

Matt’s never missed a meal.

Until now.

Today when I went to work I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I feared people wouldn’t understand how I was feeling.

I was afraid I’d get the dreaded, “He was just a cat.”

It took about 3 steps into the staff room before I was bawling my eyes out telling everyone who was there what happened. Immediately I was surrounded by friends offering hugs, condolences and sharing their sad pet stories. {I have the best co-workers}

Later I shared my sad news with my class and in their own third grade way, helped me deal with my sadness. They wanted to know all about him and have a chance to then talk about their sad pet stories. {big hugs to my little co-workers too – love them}

So my wonderful friends and readers, this is how my week has been.

And I’ve got a spring cold. Or the worst allergies known to mankind.

Since I’m here, does anyone have any words of wisdom on grief?

Anyone have any experience with animal grief?

Ideas to help Ian?

16 thoughts on “Matt the Cat

  1. Pingback: Saturday Senses « Teachergoesbacktoschool's Blog

  2. I also wanted to add that I loved your story about your co-workers and little co-workers. How special. :-)

  3. Just read this this morning. I’m so sorry.
    I don’t have any words of wisdom about this. I’ve been shedding my own tears as I read this and the comments. Losing a pet plain sucks. They are such beautiful creatures and their lives are so short. I have lost many pets and hate thinking about it. I totally feel for you as you cry, grieve, feel sad, etc.
    I used to volunteer at the city shelter (the one on the way to Old Sac) with the cats. One thing I like to suggest is adopting a cat that needs a home. It really helped my grandmother to get over her grief when she lost her cat and best friend. Just an idea…

  4. Hi Tams,

    The death of my cat Bella many moons ago still features as one of the saddest days of my life so far (maybe I’ve just had a very lucky life)… and still only one of 2 times that I’ve seen my dad cry. Miss you. Please send poor Ian lots of love and extra special kitty treats from the Brits. Can’t wait to see you in the summer. Thinking of you.

  5. Hi Tami,

    I’m so sorry about your kitty Matt. As @Frenzy36 mentioned above I just lost my dear lab Nicki after 14 years a little more than a month ago.

    I was really taken aback at how hard her loss hit me. Her health declined during her last year so I spent a lot of time toward the end wishing her peace and praying for her comfort until “that” day came. Since she was an only dog the emptiness in the house was palpable. There were days my head felt like the fuzzy screen on a tv, my heart hurt, my body was leaden, and my stomach was sick. Tears were plentiful. If I could have hid in a cave I would have.

    But I stuck to my mat and did my yoga. I started drinking Tulsi tea and added maca to my smoothies to help my energy (recommended by my health food store). Also, getting her ashes back really soothed me; we planted some of them with a Peace rosebush right in front of the house.

    Finally last week on her birthday the fog lifted and I felt normal again, she gave me a gift.

    What I learned from my Nicki passing was to just allow myself to feel the pain and cry when I had to cry. I was fortunate I didn’t get the “she was just a dog” because anyone who knows me knew that Nicki was much much more than that to me; she was my angel.

    My heart is with you.

  6. oh tams. i’m so sorry.

    when i put my 23 year old kitty down a several years ago it was the worst pain of my life. i still miss her so much. after the vet left (mobile vet did it at my house) i couldn’t stop sobbing and thought i might die. i asked her for a sign. for some way for me to know i’d made the right decision. i just couldn’t live with not knowing i’d done the right thing. the other kitties had been hiding because of my sobbing but one appeared out of nowhere and rubbed on my leg and then disappeared again. i felt like that was her letting me know she was ok.

    maybe matt has a sign for you.

    no i need to go get some tissue. i feel you, friend.

    • @michelle – not being able to stop sobbing… check. i’m down to spontaneous crying fits today.

      this afternoon i sat outside with ian and petted him with my foot. we both looked around (because that’s when matt would usually come shove him out of the way and hog all the attention) and i started crying. he rested his head on my foot and drooled. just like matt used to do. i think that was my sign matt is ok.

  7. i am so sorry for your loss. it is heartbreaking. please just allow yourself to grieve and cry and comfort poor ian. it’s wonderful you are surrounded by understanding folks. my heart feels for you.
    @sweatydarla

  8. I wasnt sure if my previous post got thru (sometimes these blogs arent mobile friendly) but the post I recommend is
    http://meredithleblanc.blogspot.com/2010/04/good-grief-yoga.html

    excellent writing on the subject of the grief afterwards. Some of the previous posts are almost too intense, this one deals with the aftermath.

    I had another friend on twitter recently lose her pet lizard that she had raised from young. She did face the “its only a lizard” comments – but they didn’t get it… it doesn’t matter. She had some pretty moving accounts as well @roadchickie

    Best wishes for your family, Ian and all

  9. A good friend of mine @meredithleblanc just went through the same with her only pet dog Nicki of 14 yrs. Her story Good Grief is the best writing I have seen on the subject see her blog Pondering Yogini

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