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Pets Feel Loss Too

I know I’ve been posting a lot about my divorce and I hope that these will begin to spread out a little as I make my way through the stages of grief. And with one book with the editor as we speak (the last Portals of Destiny novel) and another in the works (the last Alexis Davenport novel), I will have lots more to post about in the future. But I am writing about my process of going through divorce NOT so that people will hate my ex (although I am in that anger stage right now so hatred/bitterness is a part of my daily life right now) but so that my experience may help someone else.I remember at the beginning of this ordeal that I was ashamed, like people would be judging me because I couldn’t keep a husband. I found myself hiding my right hand or constantly touching the spot where my wedding ring sat for 10 years. The naked feeling got so bad that I bought a ring (for my middle finger of my left hand) just so I would have something on it. I wonder if therapists would consider that abnormal.

Anyway, on to the reason for this post.

So often when we speak of divorce there’s talk of making sure that the kids (thank God I never had any) are taken care of during the process. But there are other kids of a sort that also need extra love and attention during a divorce. The ex and I had two cats, Buddy and Princess. I got Buddy when he was a kitten before we started dating. When we moved in together and were busy with jobs and school, we decided to get another cat as a friend for Buddy. After a trip to the no-kill shelter, we came home with Princess. Buddy was two at the time and Princess was already a year old when we adopted her. As of today, Buddy is thirteen and Princess is twelve. They have spent a greater portion of their lived together AND with the two of us. I can’t imagine what the divorce must have done to the cats 😦 Β  As anyone with cats knows, they don’t like even just a little change let alone their entire lives becoming upheaved. From the packing to the process of moving itself to the adjustment to being alone and with only one pet parent…that has to be tough.

While Buddy has always been a Mama’s boy and has always snuggled with me, since being in the new house he’s become down-right needy. He follows me everywhere, even into the bathroom. He wants me to pet him when he eats and if I leave before he’s done, he’ll come find me and just cry and cry until I go back in. He sleeps in bed with me for the entire night, usually snuggled against my back or my legs. Many days he wanders through the house and caterwauls at the top of his lungs. I wonder if he’s calling for Princess?

I have considered taking on another cat but I am leery of doing that for several reasons. First is the cost. Buddy had bladder stones years ago and as a result, he has to be on a prescription diet and have annual visits that include urine checks, which makes his visits a little more expensive. I am one of those pet parents that doesn’t skimp when it comes to my furry kids. They get all their shots, teeth cleaned, the works. It’s a serious undertaking to have a pet and I am afraid to take on another one right now, especially since I am paying mortgage on my own. I don’t want to get in over my head.

The other reason is I am leery of getting another cat is worrying about how Buddy will handle it. Will he flip out, start spraying everywhere, be angry with Β me for bringing in another animal? My first priority is to Buddy and if I bring another cat into the home and it is a disaster, I would feel awful, for putting Buddy through hell and for having to choose whether or not to keep the new cat or give them up. And I would hate to do that.

For any of you going through a divorce, make sure you take some time for your furry kids to help them make the transition. Consider what’s best for them (keep them together, separate them) rather than what is best for you and don’t ever use them as a weapon against your spouse.

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4 Comments on “Pets Feel Loss Too”

  1. Inion N. Mathair July 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear about the divorce Shay. And your absolutely right. Divorce leaks onto everyone the couple loves and is friends with and pets most certainly feel the loss and change as much as kids do. I’m a cat person, have always been. The orange tabby we have now, (Peachy) is the most temperamental, unique creature I have ever seen. And I love him so much and couldn’t imagine what he would be like if that kind of change occurred. You are right. Cat’s do not like change. They like routine, normalcy, and the faces that their used to seeing. My mom’s dog, (Peppy) has never gotten over the death of my father, who used to walk him for eight years twice a day. And like clock work, he goes to my dads chair then to the door and waits to see if he’ll come in one day and take him. As for your kitty, I would recommend holding off on getting another cat for now. Like you said, cat’s don’t like change. And with the big one that’s just happened, another might be one too many. You will be in our prayers and I promise you Shay you will come out stronger when all is said and done and you and kitty will be closer, and better!

    • drshaywest July 30, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks girls! *HUGS* And I will heed your advice about getting another kitty. I owe it to Buddy to give him my undivided and loving attention πŸ™‚

  2. alberta July 30, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    def. pets feel any loss – dogs and cats – during the years I have seen mourning/depression/ bewilderment/sense of abandonment in various pets as we have traveled through the ups and downs – the worst of it passes in time, they adjust as we do, but I suspect they keep memories as we do. All the best to the pair of you:0

    • drshaywest July 30, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks Alberta πŸ™‚ With this pet mommy being so doting, Buddy will be fine in no time πŸ˜€

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