December 2, 2011 - submitted by Rens, Netherlands

A few days ago I heard that my cat wouldn't make it 'til Christmas because of her critic illness (she doesn't suffer right now by the way). That's horrible to hear and I already miss her!
I hate losing pets, I find it so hard to accept that you can never hug them again when they're gone.
Do you, or the band ever lost a pet? And what did you do to ease your pain?
Regards, Rens.

The Oracle replies:

I have only really ever had two pets but it's so very different from your story. I had 2 cats and they were brothers. An ex had custody when we split up and a few years later one died. I was devastated. I hadn't seen him for a long time but it still made me so desperately sad. I honestly don't know ten years on whether the other brother is alive or not. I'd rather not know because I know in my heart, I would be equally upset. I still have a photo of them in my home and I admit, I talk to them every so often. I love cats, I miss mine. At every opportunity chat & stroke neighbour's cats. Ah, one day I shall have another! It's tough because they become so close as they're pretty dependable unlike a lot of people I know...
Anyway, I have seen may different reactions to pet deaths. One guy I know broke down in tears, another was quite accepting. I guess there's no difference for many; it's still a loss and with that comes grief. All I can say is if your cat is suffering, think of her being pain free. It won't make it easier when she's gone but it may bring some comfort knowing she's no longer suffering. My only practical advice is not to replace her too soon. Unfortunately it comes with the territory of having a pet, many don't live the long lives of humans but she will live on in your heart and memories will be around forever.
Over to you.

I have lost several pets over the years and it is a serious loss. It makes me really upset if people make light of it. One couple I know had a dog for 20 yrs and they were devastated with her loss. She was like a child to them. Rens last year we had to say good bye to my fiance's very sweet and old Bouvier Wolfhound cross. Sable had a special place in our hearts and will be missed especially this Christmas as it's our first with out her. Some things we did: had the vet imprint her paw for us, we were with her as she was euthanized, we held, petted, kissed and loved her as we said good bye through tears. We talked about her what she loved and hated and how she was always under foot. 109lbs of dog is hard to step over. We laughed as we remember her even now. She used to cut in on us when we danced, how she used to run and jump in the snow. One day it will not hurt so much and it's ok to cry about it. Pets are here to teach us all about love, and if we are wise we will learn the lesson. Will be thinking of you as we hang the woof ornament on the tree this weekend, take care, have a good Christmas too! With love, Laurie.

I am sorry about what you are going through. My dog passed on this August and I truly miss her. Christmas was even her favorite holiday! I'm not sure if there is a way to completely ease the pain, but after a while, you may not have the shock as strong as the day of the passing. Nothing can replace a pet, but maybe if you received another cat, your feelings will strengthen the love of cats and your pet before (My plan this Christmas to ask for a puppy). I may have not been too much of a help, but I hope it's a start. Have a good, happy holidays! Danny S.

Being a pet owner myself, it has been hard losing pets since they have been in your life for that amount of time. When they go the only way to get past it is just accepting their loss. As long as you know that you did an outstanding job in taking care of your pet and giving it the perfect life it deserves. Nothing is a better feeling than that. Pets make you stronger through time. It gives you a chance to understand what life is and how you manage it. Take your pet's passing as a thanks in that you have learned something from it. It will benefit you in the long run and always remember, time is the healer of everything. Frankie B.

Firstly, I'd like to say sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is losing a pet. I was brought up with two cats, Emma and Lucy. Lucy died, and so we had to get another cat to keep Emma's mind off the loss. We wanted a kitten, but ended up with an unloved stray, and after trying to find a kitten, again, we came back with two! Though I'm a believer that you can never have too many cats (my granddad always had four at a time), perhaps going and raiding your local animal shelter is a bit drastic. But if you do get another cat, don't look at it as replacing, try and let the cat choose you. They know if they want to come and live with you; maybe don't go for a cat that reminds you of your current cat, give a different cat a chance. As for how to deal with the loss, just remember that you gave your cat the best home possible. There are so many animals out there who don't get love and affection; when you take one on, all you can really do is love it, and if you have, you've fulfilled your duty as a pet owner. Mark.

As to losing one's pet, in my life, I have had each and every animal of mine pass on, when it was the power greater than I, choice. If your dearly loved animal is suffering, find the most honorable way to allow them no more suffering. Our love for our animals is so great and in return theirs is unconditional throughout their whole life. Suffering is not a fair choice since they cannot speak for themselves but only show you thru their eyes and emotions.
Once your loved pet has passed, remember there are shelters filled with beautiful loving animals waiting for a warm lap to sit on, waiting for you, to walk in from a long day at work with a big sloppy kiss and a wagging tail and a no 'list' for you to finish in return. These animals need the love from all of us. May your heart heal and your soul find peace. S.H.

Well to be honest I'm sixteen and I've never lost a pet. But I lost my father a few months ago, and it relates pretty well. When you suffer a loss and the shock goes away to where everything starts to hurt, the first thing you want to do is mask it and seal it up deep inside you for good. Don't do that. Feel the pain, as horrible as that may sound. You've got to hurt at some point. It's impossible to run away from tragedy because it will find you, and when it does it will beat you down harder and harder the longer you've run. You have to accept the truth and learn to live life differently now that your pet or my father is gone. And for future advice: Coldplay will get you through just about anything, trust me. Zach.

It is indeed heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet and very difficult to find comfort after such an experience. Allow yourself to grieve. People may say "It was just a cat" but the truth is that you lost a dear little friend and you must go through the process of sadness. Know that this is OK. It's acceptable to cry and feel bad, and to miss your pet. Some people like to hold on to a keepsake, such as a favorite toy, while others prefer to put away the lost pet's belongings. Your heart will tell you the right thing to do. Share your feelings with understanding friends and family; it doesn't work to hold your feelings inside. Give yourself time, don't expect to bounce back quickly. Gradually you will work through the pain and start to remember the happy times when your pet's quality of life was better. And, as time goes on, you may find yourself wanting to get another kitty to hug - not to replace the little friend who was lost, but to start new memories with. Know that I am thinking about you here in the U.S. and sharing your feelings. I have been there. Love, Jill.

I lost my favorite dog, Millie, a few months ago. Immediately after her death, my family and I sat around looking at pictures of her and laughing about our best memories of her. Later on we got some great pictures and put them up, so we look at them and remember her every day. It is still sad for me to think about, but after all of the "firsts", it gets a little bit easier to remember your pet with a smile, rather than a tear. Hang in there J Delia.

Well, I would look over photos that you have of your pet and think of good memories that you had, then when it's time to move on get another pet maybe something different from the last time or different breed but don't call it your last pet's name, try something a wee bit different, helped me once, I got over losing my pet. Conor.

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