I know very well what it's like to lose a pet that you love. I had a horse when I was younger named Dazzle that passed away at the tender age of 11 (33 in human years). My beloved cat, Magic, crossed the rainbow bridge exactly two weeks before we had to euthanize another horse named Dakota. Those were some of the worst days of my entire life.
Losing a pet is like losing a part of you. We rely on and trust our pets where humans would fail us. They keep all of our secrets, support us when we struggle, and give us their never-ending, unconditional love. Pets become a part of the family and we need them.
If you have just lost a precious member of your family I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. I promise the pain you feel now will not last nearly as long as you think. In fact, the loss of your dear friend could prove to be a blessing if you're willing to open yourself to the idea. To prove that the loss of a pet doesn't have to be an end, I'm going to tell you about how I lost and found Magic in my life.
Looking back, the weeks leading up Magic's passing were full of omens of her impending death. I was working almost full time at Six Flags as a lifeguard and was unfortunately too distracted to read the signs properly. I knew her health was declining because she stopped eating her dry food and would only eat wet food if I held and pet her. She was an older cat, too - at least 18 in cat years. I knew it was a matter of time, but I didn't realize it would come so soon.
It was the day of my senior year high school orientation. I had the day off for it and had a great day reuniting with friends I hadn't seen over the summer, and I got the material I needed to make my prom dress for the spring. I got home around 8 p.m. and was completely exhausted. I called for Magic who normally came right away to greet me at the door. I considered skipping her meal that night and going straight to bed because I had work early the next day. But I decided that I needed to at least find her.
I looked in her normal spots and eventually found her under my dad's bed. I called her again but she wouldn't come out even when I offered her treats and wet canned food. I finally squeezed under and gently pulled her out and immediately found out why she didn't come out on her own. She had had severe nerve damage throughout the day and couldn't hold her frail, malnourished body up anymore.
I knew it was her time and I was devastated. I screamed and cried and begged for help from my dad and grandparents who said that we could take her somewhere in the morning - no non-emergency vet clinic was open. I couldn't wait though because I knew she wouldn't make it to the morning. The only thing I could picture that was worse than euthanizing her was find her already gone. I called my mom and best friend and they agreed to go to the emergency vet with me.
By 11:30 p.m. Magic had crossed the rainbow bridge. I kept some of her fur, and eventually got her ashes and paw print as keepsakes.
My coworkers and boss were amazingly kind and helped cover my shift for the following day. I will always be extremely grateful to them for letting me have the day off because if they hadn't I may have never found my new baby.
The day after Magic passed, my best friend and I ran to the store. While she was in the store getting her stuff, I walked over to the pet food store a little ways down. I knew I needed a companion to help me with my preexisting loneliness and decided to start that process by looking at the bulletin board that had pets needing to be re-homed.
It just so happened that the pet store I went to was having a pet adoption that day (they do adoptions twice a month for two days). They had cats and kittens lined up at the front of the store (dogs in the back). I looked at the kittens and asked which of all the cats had been there the longest. They pointed to a long-haired cat named Tabasco, saying he'd been with them for four months. I asked to hold him and at first, he was too scared to come out. But when I held him in my arms I knew I couldn't let him stay.
I signed all the paperwork and within two hours he was mine. My first order of business was finding a new name. I asked my friend for a good lion name and she came up with Simba and Mufasa. He seemed too gentle quiet to have such a bold name as Mufasa so I went with Simba.
The day I got SimbaTori Renovitch
For the past almost two and a half years, Simba has gone everywhere with me. He was my emotional support animal in the dorms and lives in my apartment with me now. I love him with all my heart.
You see, if Magic hadn't passed when she did, I may have never found Simba. He has brought me so much joy and love that I can never regret putting Magic down when I did.
So if you're about to lose a pet or have just lost one, please believe me when I say it gets better. The circle of life is coming full throttle your way. You will find peace. Maybe in the paws of another pet, maybe not. But you must hold onto hope though that one day, your heart will heal.