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My cat died on Friday

They say it helps, to write it down.

By Hannah MoorePublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2024

My cat died on Friday. One of my cats. I have two. Had.

It was sudden, quick, horrible, and in my arms, and now I feel funny about my arms. Like they betrayed me somehow, these strong, capable limbs I use to love and to care, vessels, instead, of dying.

It’s impossible not to consider that I may have killed her, but the reasoning part of my brain tells me that she surely had an underlying condition, that she has weathered worse, that I lifted her only to return her to safety, and that I did so with gentle care, aware that she did not like being carried, that she was frightened. But not aware that she was at risk. Not at all.

It was sudden, quick, merciful. The dying I would wish for her. No long drawn out suffering, no painful decisions or trips to the vet. No fading vigour.

She was only 8, she, and her sister. Rescued at four or five months, unsocialised, scared of their shadows. Her sister was clearly the runt, strange shaped tiny cat that she is. Now she hides under the bed and I tempt her out for meat, which they almost never have. Had. She has a delicate stomach. She has a delicate constitution. She always looked to her sister for confidence.

It was sudden, catastrophic, horrible. I cannot describe the scream she made. A scream is a thing beyond words, and words can never make the world arrest itself like a scream does. Comes back in the dark and stops you from sleeping, a scream does.

She probably had ten or fifteen seconds of awareness of pain. She was dead within a minute or two. Her sister saw me place her dying body on a cushion, unsure at that point what was happening. Disbelieving. Now she looks to the spot, when she comes out from under the bed.

It was unfair, quick, horrible. I am unsentimental about what happens after death. Our cat deserved longer, but she doesn’t know that she was cheated. Will never know she was cheated. Will never know anything anymore.

But her sister, who hides under the bed is left behind. I always thought she would go first, anxious, highly strung little snippet of timidity that she is. And my daughter, who framed her school day with strokes and “head boofs”, regulating herself through the mutual pleasure of a love expressed in touch rather than words. My son, who shows so little, but stayed by my side like he was two years old again all weekend. Me. I am left behind. No one waiting for me outside the shower, or shadowing me in the garden. No one to "birrup" at me as I arrive home, or to lean against my thigh when I take my rest. I am left behind.

It was sudden, quick, horrible, and in my arms. And now I feel funny about my arms. I left the body at the vet. I don’t know why I went to the vet, I knew she was dead as I lifted her into the carrier, but she had been well just three minutes before. My arms moved more quickly than my brain.

I took the children to see her body the next day. My partner cried. I think it helps, to see. Demystifies. Seals off those “perhaps it’s a trick, a sick joke, a fake, a mistake. Not true” thoughts. I questioned myself, am I right? To take them? Am I wrong? These arms, you see, these capable arms have failed. But it was the right thing. Underling condition, said the vet. Okay to feel sad, she said. Angry. All at sea. Ok to cry. Here are some tissues. Take as long as you need.

And we touched her and we told her goodbye, the cat that died on Friday.


About the Creator

Hannah Moore

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Comments (44)

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  • Erzsébet27 days ago

    I am so sorry for your loss. It's strange for my to think sometimes that a ball of furr can feel as hard as loosing a human. I'm mystified that these little bundles can make such a big impact on our lives, but they do. I hope that her beautiful memory lives on in our families hearts. Your writing made me feel it breaking with you. Only love x

  • Madhu Goteti about a month ago

    Pets who come to sit next to us in solitude and then one day leave us with thoughts —all alone ! Sorry for your loss…I know one day I shall be facing that harsh reality too.. it’s creators incessant mystery… where did they come from and where did they go… I know one thing for sure …it’s a bond and a solemn joy that shall surely continue — beyond — into those mystic realms … believe! 💜

  • So sorry to hear about this, but glad you are trying to deal with it Hannah

  • Sav Map2 months ago

    Sorry for your loss. Thank you for this story

  • angela hepworth3 months ago

    i’m so sorry for your loss. this type of trauma is so real and heartbreaking, time will mend your wounds as you take it day by day. your cat loved you so much and i know she knows she was a lucky girl and that the life and love you gave her was a beautiful one

  • Kimberly J Egan3 months ago

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your cat! I lost a small dog under similar circumstances--one moment, I put her down in the yard, the next moment, she was collapsing at my feet, having been fine just seconds before. The loss of a pet is so hard. People don't understand what it is like to lose a cat or a dog that spends much of your day with you, every day. I really am so sorry for your loss and I hope that you can find peace with it someday.

  • Bonnie Bowerman3 months ago

    So hard to lose someone you love. This is an article I found helped when I lost a dog I was deeply attached to. It helps because it gives you something constructive to do. I am sorry for your loss! I hope the hardest part is over soon.

  • I'm incredibly sorry for your loss. So sudden and the way it happened I can't imagine the trauma. I know this story is more about grieving, but I still have to mention it's amazing writing. I hope you and yours are healing.

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    Can I take the place of the cat. So much love there, I could be eternally happy. I hope I get this much, loving arms and a caring band to cheer me on. Bye bye Kitty cat. You are remembered with love from family, and those of us on the sidelines.

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago


  • Lindsey Altom3 months ago

    So sorry for your loss!

  • Gerald Holmes3 months ago

    So sorry for your loss. I lost my Golden over a year ago and still miss her every day. Like you I wrote a story about her last day and it did help. I hope telling this story has released your pain a little, I know it did for me.

  • Phil Flannery3 months ago

    That's so sad. I think it is so important that everyone says goodbye. We've lost a few pets over the years, it's one of the downsides to them having a shorter lifespan than us, but it's great to have them around regardless. Little bastard sends his best wishes, as do I.

  • Anna 3 months ago

    I'm sorry for you cat! We hope that she's already in heaven!❤️

  • Call Me Les3 months ago

    Oh wow Hannah, that's profoundly sad. I'm so sorry you experienced this. We become such soulmates of our furry friends. I can't even imagine the pain of losing one of mine that way. Sudden loss... I know this pain too well. Keep on keeping on, friend. May writing this help you heal. Sending hugs <3

  • Ariel Joseph3 months ago

    I'm so sorry for your loss ❤️

  • Spencer Goldade3 months ago

    So, so horrible. I'm so sorry.

  • Kay Husnick3 months ago

    It's so hard losing a cat. I couldn't handle writing about it for months when my cat died a few years ago. Take care of yourself and keep giving the other one extra love 💙

  • Leslie Writes3 months ago

    Oh that’s horrible. I’m so sorry.

  • Caroline Jane3 months ago

    Oh, Hannah. This is really sad. I and yours are coping OK now. ❤️

  • Suze Kay3 months ago

    Aw, Hannah, I'm so very sorry. I am glad you offered her love and kindness and (infrequent) meat during the time you had with her. It's very hard to be the one with empty arms, but I hope in time you can recall more frequently the good times you had with her without the shroud of grief over them. Sending you and your family love, and the sister under the bed, too.

  • Ours died last Halloween, one of our son's favorite holidays. He died all but eleven years ago. She was the last remaining of his pets. She'd been having brief seizures where she would scream & flop over. But the one late that night was bad. She managed to make it out to the carpet. I sat with her awhile, stroking behind her ear & talking to her. By 6 a.m. she was gone. My wife screamed.

  • Ruth Stewart3 months ago

    I'm sorry for your loss. It's a terrible thing to lose a friend. Your arms didn't fail though. Your arms have given them years of love and safety. You know that. 🤗 My thoughts are with you and your little ones.

  • Teresa Renton3 months ago

    Oh I’m so sorry Hannah. Losing a four legged friend is heartbreaking. I hope it helped to pour this out onto the page. Your cat’s last moments were spent wrapped in loving arms, and without prolonged pain. I hope you find comfort in that and in the fond memories you described here so beautifully 🥰

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