Monday, April 21, 2014

4/21/201

Thank you for the gifts from our Amazon wish list!!

Amazon often does not give us your name,  they
never give us your contact information.
Please know how grateful we are to you for
your gifts!!



Thank you Amanda Crane for the toys!
Thank you Melanie White for the goods!
Thank you Monica for all the foods!
Thank you Judith Robinson for over food, scratch and rest, and batteries!



Thank you Gayle Blackham for the food and tunnel chute!
Thank you Rick Holscher for the food!
Thank you James Grimsley for the toys!
Thank you Tina for the foods!
Thank you Jessie Hieatt for the food and toys!



Thank you Roger Lee Dowdy for the food!
Thank you Suzanne Coholic for the catnip!
Thank you unnamed for the food, blankets, towels,  toys and lysol cleaner!






Pet Loss
Helping Your Pet with the Loss of Their Companion Animal

You’re grieving the loss of your beloved pet. Cognitively and emotionally, you understand the loss. But have you thought about your other pets? They have lost their companion animals too.
If a pet’s grief can be described as the sense of loss and the anxiety of trying to come to terms with the loss, then yes, pets do grieve. You may not have thought about your pet experiencing grief when they lose their companion pet. If you have ever been a pet parent of more than one pet, you may have witnessed pet grief. They do not need to be siblings or inseparable to grieve the loss of another pet in the home – they did share a bond and it may have been stronger than you realize. Their loss is no less traumatic for them as it is for you.

You may see signs of grieving in your pet that will be similar to your own. Just like there are actions you can take to ease your grief, there are specific actions you can take to help your pet ease their grief. It may help you ease some your pain to focus on supporting your other pets through their loss. You and your pet share a common bond and loss. You can support each other. Don’t we owe our pets support and love when they need it, just as they have done for us?
We cannot ask our cats what they think or feel, but we can infer certain emotional states by observing their behaviors. We know when our pets are happy, but do we know when they are sad or feeling lonely?

What are the signs that your pet may be grieving the loss of their companion animal?
Lack of energy, withdrawing and spending more time alone, sadness or depression
Changes in appetite, lack of interest in food or over-eating
Restlessness at home, pacing as if looking for the deceased pet
Increased vocalizations that may sound like cries or attempts to call to their deceased friend
Increased need to be with you, increased clinginess
Unusual behaviors which may include sitting at the window for extensive periods waiting for the other pet’s return – separation anxiety

What can we do to help our pets through their time of grieving?
Many of the same activities that help ease your sense of loss and help you stay focused on the present will be similar to the activities that will help your pet.
Pets sense our moods. Do not hide your grieving process, it is healing. Continue to talk to your pet, be as cheerful as possible for you and them. The simple act of hearing your voice can be comforting to your pet.
When you engage in a quiet activity, such as reading, find your cat and grab a blanket. Curl up together and read to your pet. They will not understand what you are reading, but a calm, pleasant voice will be welcoming to them. This may be very important if they were very interactive or vocal with their companion pet. As they relax, you feel their muscle tension relax and they may begin to purr softly. This may have been comforting to you in the past. Cats also purr to self soothe.
Do not alter the overall daily routine. If you had regular playtime with your pet, engage in additional playtime with your cat. Bring home new toys to enjoy together.
Do not forget the activities your cat enjoyed before the loss. Spend time grooming and brushing their fur. Give extra affection through gentle massage or petting.
If your cat went for walks on a harness outdoors with you, continue to take walks together. You may not feel like taking walks, but just like going to the gym, you must schedule them. It’s too easy to say “I’ll do it later when I feel like it…” but you must remember, it’s not just for you! It’s for the well-being of your pet.
If you notice your cat is restless or crying, or displaying any unusual behaviors in looking for the deceased pet, give them attention and love. It will reassure them that you will not abandon them. Do not use treats to quiet them.
Do not adjust feeding patterns or amounts to prevent over-eating and weight gain. If your pet has lost their appetite, give them their favorite foods and the occasional treat. Do not use treats to replace love and affection from you.
Your pet may have the occasional accident outside the litter box. This can be from anxiety or stress related to their pet loss. It is not spiteful behavior toward you. Do not punish, yell or hit your pet, no matter how upset or saddened you may feel. You comprehend the loss, they do not. They do not understand anxiety or stress and how to constructively relieve them.

If your cat begins to show signs of UTI (Urinary Tract Infections), prolonged depression or anxiety, lack of appetite for more than two days, or signs of stress, i.e. excessive grooming, schedule a veterinarian appointment ASAP. Do not delay getting emergent treatment and fluids if the cat has not eaten in two days. Be sure to tell your vet about the recent companion pet loss.

What about letting your cat see the deceased companion cat’s body? Does it help them understand their friend will not be coming home?
Your vet may not allow you to take your cat home after euthanasia. Some studies suggest for cats, letting them see, sniff and nuzzle their deceased friend allows their grieving process begin. The cat instinctively knows their friend will not be returning home. It may be too difficult for you to do this.
Others believe that letting your cat sniff at some of their deceased friend’s fur can accomplish the same recognition that their friend will not be coming home.

What about getting another pet? When is the “right time”?
First, the “right time” is when you and your cat have adjusted to the pet loss. Remember: while you are still grieving, it is not a good time make major decisions. Adopting another cat will not ease your grief and will never be a replacement cat. It is not the best choice for your pet either, as they need to grieve their loss too. You may find your cat will be happy being the only cat for a while.
If you decide to adopt another pet, choose one that will be a good fit for you, your pet and your lifestyle. The new pet should be a joyous addition; not because they reminded you of your other cat or your friends and family make you feel pressured to “get over it.”
Adopting another pet should be a lifetime commitment to the new pet. If you do adopt, be sure to spend equal quality time with both pets. Help your pet interact positively with the newly adopted pet.
It would not be fair for the new pet to be treated as the replacement pet or for your pet to feel competition for your affections.

Give you and your pet time…time to heal and enjoy life together. Caring for each other in your mutual times of grief will strengthen your love and relationship with your cat.