Coping with Unexpected Loss
I’ve just lost my cat to a sudden death. She wasn't feeling well, so I took her to the vet. She was diagnosed with asthma and sent home with meds, and the prognosis was good. The next day she suddenly started meowing at me like crazy. I petted her and told her it was OK. She then fell over and was struggling to breath. I tried to do CPR on her. I kept telling her to breathe, that she could do it and that I loved her. She died moments later. I can't get her last moment out of my head. I feel horrible, as if I failed her somehow. I found Chloe when she was just three weeks old. I nursed her back to health and we just fell in love with each other. She cuddled with me every day and slept on my pillow every night. She was only six years old―too young to die so suddenly. Does she know that I tried everything I could to help her and that I loved her? Could she hear me in her final moments? My heart is broken by this loss.
Kelli, you ask all of the same questions that everyone wants answered when they witness the death of a loved one. The answers are clear. Yes, she could hear you in her final moments. Hearing is the last sense to go. She was aware of you and felt comforted by your efforts to help her. Asthma is a terribly difficult disease to predict. Your veterinarian did not give you enough warning that she could have a fatal episode at any time, even though she was given the right treatment. Know that Chloe was an extremely lucky cat to have been rescued by you. Without your intense efforts on her behalf, she would have had no life at all. Give yourself time, Kelli. Your broken heart will be healed as you slowly recollect all of the wonderful moments you spent together.