Rescuing Animals In Need

              Loss & Grief in Our Feline Companions

You are playing with your sister, when suddenly she falls down & does not move.

She just lies there & you try to make her get up, but she has died.

What are your feelings?

Horror, terror, terrible grief, fear, just to name a few of the overwhelming emotions that we, as humans have, & show quite freely.

Cats are by nature quiet & internalize all emotions due to instinct of preservation of their own lives, because survival is the utmost, especially when they see so many of their kind die around them. We as humans do not think of cats as being emotional, nor do we think that they become overwrought with emotional pain & loss. If we did we would not separate siblings that are close to each other, nor rip young ones away from their mother far too soon, not to mention disposing of them like yesterdays garbage, as though they are just like trash that has become rotten & worthless & easily forgotten after disposal.

Cats show their emotional trauma in many different ways & most humans determine this as bad behavior or being mean or just a big pain.

Repeated trauma can result in loss of life for a cat, because they can just give up and die from self-starvation or will themselves to not recover from an illness. They can become very aggressive, especially in circumstances in which they associate an aspect of their trauma, such as a car ride (they may have had a bad experience at the vet), or an encounter with a person of a specific sex (they may have been treated badly by a man or woman or both),a dog(they may have been attacked), a child(they may have been mishandled or abused by one) just to mention a few.

It takes understanding & keen observation of each cats' behavior to come to some conclusion of what may have happened in their life to cause the many reactions to each different situation they encounter. Grief from the loss of a sibling may result in bonding to another cat or person or dog even, but having that loss or one close to it, happen again, may result in aggression at those whom they feel is responsible for their pain & a withdrawal from bonding with anyone or any other cat/dog. The situation is very like some of us humans who learned to stay away after being deserted by a loved one (no matter how it may have happened).

Cats who have suffered trauma can have many reactions from one extreme to another & the cats' personality can determine how they will react, but we as their guardians also have a responsibility to try and understand them and do what we can to intervene & guide the situations that may arise in each cats' lifetime & do our best not to be the cause of these emotional upheavals. Put yourself in the cats' place & try to imagine how it must feel to be them, watch them, learn about them, try to remember that they can feel isolated from us & maybe that with a little love, patience & time the emotional pain will be a memory & not a way of life for them and all who are around them. Seek outside help with a crisis It could make the difference in yet another loss for both guardian & cat.

Hopefully for the cats' sake as well as the guardians' there will be a light at the end of the tunnel & old painful, pasts can be replaced by a loving, understanding lifetime bond.