We Need a Different kind of Pet Death Book

Yesterday afternoon I finished reading Wallace Sife’s, The Loss of a Pet. Actually, I mostly skimmed it, and while it was very well done and there was some good information in there it wasn’t for me. I need a more straightforward presentation. Something along the lines of:

For the first week you can barely breath. If you’re like me and agnostic you almost wish God existed so you can find him and rip his throat out for inventing this whole death thing. Assuming God has a throat. Because wouldn’t it be just like God to not have a throat, to have nothing for you to rip out? I mean, this is the person who made death possible. Jerk. (Unless there really is this incredible place called Heaven, in which case I apologize for the whole “jerk” thing.)

You don’t want to tell people, even pet people, just how deeply bad you feel because then they’d know you are insane. And you are insane. I mean, come on. It’s the only natural response to losing something so wonderful in your life. How on earth are you supposed to be able to breath again in a world without your pet in it. It’s unthinkable that they’re no longer here. This can’t have happened.

Yes it will pass. No, you’ll never quite recover, but life will be happy again. Also, get a new pet.

Actually, I think I wrote something very much like that in Waiting For My Cats to Die. But I still think there needs to be a more blunt book that is only about coping with the death of a pet. My Waiting book is about many other things in addition to losing a pet.

I get so sad when Bleeck inserts himself into the spots that were formerly occupied by Buddy. Buddy was always the one to lay on my work. There’s a lot of evidence of this in my Buddy tribute movie, which is almost done. But I need to let Bleeck be Bleeck, to claim his spots in the world and in my heart.

So, there’s more to be said about this transition phase, when you start to feel okay again, but still are capable of crushing, choking sadness. Also …

… what on earth is more precious than tiny kitten tongue?

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “We Need a Different kind of Pet Death Book

  1. Stacy, When my first cat I had as an adult was coming up on the end, we got a kitten, Augie. Despite the fact that we also had another elderly and a middle- aged cat. Muse had been a canterkerous and adventurous cat, and as Augie was always trying to get close to Muse, we were pretty sure Muse was streaming info on how to amuse and annoy into her to carry on once she was gone. Maybe Bleeck has picked up on Buddy’s coaching from the spirit world.

  2. Love that picture of Bleeck with his little tongue sticking out. Any progress on rapprochement with Finney?

  3. Bleeck and Finney are the same, Finney tolerates him, won’t play, and when Bleeck tries Finney bats him away.

    Bleeck and I are getting closer, and I have to make sure to give Finney tons of affection to make up for it. But Bleeck is very very very sweet, and even though I made an effort to get a cat that wasn’t Buddy, he has some of my favorite qualities from Buddy. Which is a little bittersweet.

  4. What a gorgeous animal, that Bleek. He’s got all the moves. I love seeing pictures of him settling in because he looks like he knows that he is where he belongs, and you have to love that about him.

    Yes, I agree. There isn’t a good Pet Death book out there. Isn’t that the first hint that somebody (you) should write one?

  5. Maybe I should. And thanks about Bleeck. I feel very lucky. On the one hand, I feel terrible about how miserable Finney is about it, but he is making me feel better, and he really is a wonderful kitten.

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