Saturday, April 19, 2014


It is crazy kitty day Live today on ustream

Tours at noon,  3 pm, & 10 pm EST
Chat at 6 pm and boxes at 6:30 pm EST

Thank you so much for all the wonderful gifts from our Amazon wish list!!

Thank you Alison Belknap for the Amazon Gift Card!
Thank you Donna Bailey for the Amazon Gift Card
Thank you Hand Made by My Monkey for the vaccines!
Thank you Diana Frankel for the dry cat food and freshstep!

Thank you unnamed for the toys, foods, giant egg, water filters, play cubes!
Sadly they did not tell us your name and they NEVER give us your contact information!
Thank you Angelica for the foods and tunnels!
Thank you Emille Keizer for the catnip toys!

                                              Thank you Melissa Franklin for the toy!
Thank you Emily ONeill for the foods!
Thank you Helen Halliday for the toys and food!
Thank you kathryn Colemen for the toys!
Thank you Alicia Richmond for the scratch and rest!

Thank you Anne Hyatt for the foods!
Thank you Michelle Smith for the food and toys!
Thank you Corey McAninch for the food and trash bags!
Thank you Ericka Villanueva for the toys and food!

Thank you Susannah Held for the foods!
Thank you Christina Scanlon for the foods, basket, bird feeder and goodies!
Thank you Renee Backstrom for the food!
Thank you Marilyn Rumschlag for the cleaner and magic erasers!
Thank you Diane Moser for the beds and autographed book!
Thank you Mariana Cajaiba for the litter and toys!
Thank you Dora Pingel for the foods and catnip!

Pet Loss and Grieving
By Jill Anne Sparapany

Many of us have experienced the loss of a beloved pet. The loss may have been a natural death (i.e. pet passes away in its sleep), from traumatic injuries and/or euthanasia. If you are a current pet owner and have not lived through pet loss, that day will come for you too. Why does it hurt so much? Because these furry family members give us unconditional love! Unlike those family holiday get-togethers that we look forward to with anxiety and knotted stomachs, our pets don’t critique our cooking, our housekeeping skills or how we raise our children. They are so happy to see us when we come home, brush their fur, pet and talk to them. There is nothing as comforting as having our cats curled up on our lap, gently purring.

Our pets enrich our lives in ways no one else can and our bond with them is felt in our hearts and souls. I say the bond is within our souls because deep down, we believe we will see our beloved pets again. “The Rainbow Bridge” is about that reunion, when our pets are anxiously waiting to see us as much as we are to see them.

There are two important things to remember:
1.     You are not alone. You will feel many things in grieving the loss of your pet.
2.     You will survive. Repeat, you will survive! There are days when you may doubt this, but remember, tomorrow the sun will rise again and you will get out of bed and go about your day.

Does this mean you have forgotten your beloved pet? Certainly Not! You will never forget your beloved pet. But as each day passes, gradually, your grief softens and will be replaced with fond memories. Your heartbreak will not hurt as much and you will remember the love you shared with your pet.
You are surviving and going through the grieving process. It is a process every one of us experiences with loss – loss of health, loss of our spouse, child or parent, loss of our job and income, loss of our pets.

I will be writing a series of articles about pet loss and the process of grieving and what you can do to get through those difficult times until you remember the unconditional love and smile. Many people may believe in a Supreme Being or not, but there seems to be an “Order to our Universe” and, therefore, our lives. In that Order of the Universe, we come in contact with many people, through family relationships or by chance, and pets that we choose or pets that choose us. Every experience in life reminds us we are alive and provides life lessons.

What is grief? There are many definitions, but this is the best one I found:
Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which an intimate bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss. Grief is a natural response to loss – any loss

Everyone responds to loss and grieves in unique ways – there are common behavioral, emotional and physical signs and symptoms that grieving people experience.

Behavioral/Mental experiences may be:
Confusion – memory, concentration, judgment, comprehension difficulties.
Intrusion – of unwanted thoughts, arousal and nightmares.
Dissociation – feelings of detachment, disorientation, unreality, denial.

Emotional experiences include:
Fear, anxiety or apprehension
Anger, irritability or agitation
Helplessness, hopelessness
Numbness, depression

Physical experiences that may be observed or felt:
Fatigue and exhaustion – may be alternating with times of high energy and alertness
Difficulty sleeping
Disturbances in appetite – more or less than normal
Nausea with or without dizziness
Stomach and/or intestinal problems
Muscle tremors
Chills and/or sweating
Difficulty breathing, rapid respiratory rate (hyperventilation)
Increased blood pressure or heart rate
Temporary hearing loss or vision impairment – may be associated with dissociation

There are the five stages of grief – outlining our passage from initially learning about the loss to final integration of that loss into our present and moving forward in the planning our lives. First described by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, these stages were listed in order of our movement through them. Some people may not experience all of these stages and may not go through them in this particular order.
1.     Denial. Being unable or unwilling to accept that the loss has occurred or is about to occur. Feelings of being in a bad dream and unable to escape or ‘wake up’. Feeling life is unreal, expectations of things being normal.
2.     Anger. After accepting the loss has occurred or about to occur, feeling angry at the loss and the unfairness of it. Anger may be directed at the person who has been lost or dying. Abandonment feelings occur with the anger stage.
3.     Bargaining and begging with their “Order of the Universe” Supreme Being in an attempt to reverse the loss. Typical thoughts are, “I’ll change…I’ll do (promising)…if you bring (my pet) back to me.”
4.     Depression. When anger and bargaining fail, depression is common at this time. Realization that the loss is real and nothing will change the inevitability of the loss. Physical manifestations are withdrawing from activities and relationships during mental processing of the loss; alterations in sleeping and/or eating habits and crying. Mentally, blaming themselves for causing or contributing to the loss, justified or not.
5.     Acceptance. The grief emotions – anxiety, helplessness, hopelessness, fear, anger, guilt, depression – have been resolved; acknowledgment the loss is real and cannot be reversed. Focus is now on living daily life again, finding meaningful paths toward their future.

When we lose our beloved pets, we feel our pain will crush us. It feels unbearable and we can’t imagine how we will ever survive this loss. In the beginning, you are filled with pain and deep sorrow. Your pet is not with you physically and your only thought is: I want him back!
Give yourself time and be patient with yourself. You may feel you have moved through one stage of grief, then go back through it. That’s normal!

Future articles will focus on how to cope with your own grief, what’s “normal”, euthanasia decisions, memorializing your pet, and are thoughts of adopting another pet being disloyal. There are many ways of coping with your grief and everyone can develop their own strategy for integrating these into their life.

Please Note: If you experience severe depression, feelings of hopelessness or have suicidal thoughts, seek out professional help immediately! Avoid self-medicating your depression and hopelessness with alcohol and substance abuse – seek professional help immediately!