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11 Jun 2007
In the midst of all the excitement of graduation, unfortunately one of my in-laws accidentally left a door open and our Shadow cat got out. It's odd, because she's usually not the door bolter, that would be Bear, and he's easy to find, he hangs around. The only way I even know Shadow isn't in the house is that my neighbor saw her - we've recently had her (the cat,not the neighbor) shaved except for her tail, face and legs.

That was 6 days ago, and nothing yet, although we've searched, filed reports, visited shelters, asked neighbors. I'm calling the Post Office tomorrow to see if it's legal to put a flyer in all our neighbors' mailboxes, and maybe get some tips that way.

Is it always like this? I've lost pets before to death, and received incredible support here, but this is different somehow. The not knowing, the constant ache in my heart, the non-stop distraction - how do I do it? Does anyone have any words of advice? I'm not sleeping, not eating real well, I'm nauseaus and irritable and always feeling like I'm passing a chance by (maybe we should have gone down that street instead of this one). I know my family and friends are concerned and praying for me that Shadow comes home, and I know I have to have faith. I'm trying, I really am. If anyone can share any wisdom on how they persevered through this I would really appreciate it. Sometimes I feel like a glass that's about to shatter, and that's scary. Thanks - Barb
4 Oct 2006
I may just be grasping at straws here, and I can find no info and won't find out anything till I can talk to my vet ASAP tomorrow, but I'm really concerned about my adopted neutered male cat Bear. He was feral till I trapped him and had him fixed a few years ago, and have fed him for several years now. When it got cold last winter and one of my other adoptees Magic died I had him vet-checked and brought him inside and he's only been outside twice now when he's escaped briefly (less than an hour each time.) A couple of days ago he must have gotten in a squabble with another of my adoptees while I was in the shower, cause I came out and found black fur scattered around the room (Bear is a tuxedo-colored cat). Soon after that I noticed that one of his rear nipples was reddened, and tonight I discovered that it has a hardened mass around it, roughly 2 inches by 2 inches. Maybe it's only an abcess from the quarrel with Mitts, which I believe can be dealt with by draining and treating with antibiotics, but I'm absolutely terrified, after all I've read and responded to on this site, that this is some kind of cancer. I've found a few sites on the web where it says that the older males can sometimes get mammary cancers, but Bear is only about 2 - 3 years old, and there's always the exception.

I suppose I can't do anything till tomorrow, when I'll beg the vet to be able to bring him in (I have to find a ride, but I'd crawl on my hands and knees with the carrier in my mouth if necessary) but I'm just worried sick and can't rest at all. Bear seems very comfortable, and the mass seems as though it's not painful at all - he purred while I palpated it - and there's no other signs of illness, but I just don't know.

I guess I just needed to share my worries, since I can't think of anywhere else to bring this up. If anybody knows anything, I'm more than thankful for any advice, words of wisdom, anything. It's just that after the losses I've had this past year, I'm just almost frantic with worry. I'd appreciate your prayers, if anyone is so inclined - I've spent a large part of my evening on my knees praying. I hope this is much ado about little, but I just wish I knew.

Anyway, thanks for listening. There are so few outlets at this time of night, and it's just me and Bear here in bed now. Thanks again - Barbara
13 Dec 2005
I came in from the grocery tonight and saw my little cat lying so still on the couch, went over, and she was gone already. It had to be within the past hour, and I feel unspeakably bad that I didn't know, and wasn't there at the end. She'd been eating and playing earlier so I don't know what happened. I guess I'm still in shock about it, and it just hurts so bad. I've lost a cat before, but she was 17 and in kidney failure, while Magic was fairly young. I don't know exactly how old she was - I took her in 3 years ago because she was living in a sewer near our house, and the vet could only guess 3 or 4 years old. Silly cat - until the past few months she'd always try to escape, and when she did, we always knew where to look, in her sewer. Lately she'd been more of a homebody, and played hide-and-seek with me, and even played a little with the others 5 cats. (She'd always hated them before.)

And I guess that's part of it, that she'd been so happy and calm lately, why it hurts so bad now. I just can't believe she's not here anymore. The other cats seem very subdued also - maybe that's just my imagination. It's been 4 years since I lost my older cat, and I'd forgotten how much it hurts, literally physically. I know I have other cats, and I love them dearly, but Magic grew on the whole family and was really coming into her own around here. She was such a funny-looking little cat, so feisty - I can't imagine her being gone.

I'm a religious person, and I have no doubt that all my pets who leave are with God now, and safe in His love and care. It just hurts, and feels like it will hurt forever - but that's not possible, is it? All pain is blunted and blurred in the end, and we will mostly remember the good times, right?

I guess I just needed to reach out and try to rationalize all the pain I'm feeling, since I don't want to burden my kids and other cats - my husband is TDY now so he doesn't even know. I know there are so many other people out there who have gone through what I'm going through now. I guess I just cry myself out, and pray, and know that at least Magic's last years were warm and happy. It just hurts, more than I can say, like it will overwhelm me, and I can't let that happen. Please, God, help us heal.
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