Grieving a Pet – A Tribute to Tabasco

My darling cat Tabasco would have been 16 today. He died 6 months ago.

He hadn’t been too well for a few days and had started having fits. When the vet saw him he said that without further tests they couldn’t diagnose what was wrong. I didn’t want to put him through any invasive tests or any harrowing treatment, and after a day when he was particularly poorly I took the very sad decision of putting him to sleep.

In those last few minutes as I held Tabasco in my arms, I stroked his head and told him how much I loved him and how I knew he was now going to join Jeremy and that together they would be happy, and would wait for me for the time when we would all be reunited.

The vet gently injected Tabasco and within seconds he was lifeless in my arms. “Happy Birthday Jeremy – I am sending our beautiful boy up to be with you now.”  It was the night before what would have been Jeremy’s 62nd birthday.

Tabasco, as a kitten, had been a present to me from Jeremy when I was suffering from depression. I remember us bringing this scruffy, black bundle of joy home and my heart just filling with love and protectiveness. When Jeremy died, Tabasco became my constant companion and comfort during those very dark days of grieving. He was one of the reasons I didn’t kill myself to join Jeremy because I knew he was dependent on me. He always seemed to know when I needed him – and he was always there as a reminder of my life with Jeremy.

Pets become a part of the family. For those people without children – pets can become your children. They are a source of love and laughter, joy and comfort. Losing a cherished pet can lead to intense feelings of sadness and grief. Honour these feelings and try not to ignore or bury them. It is not unusual to feel sad, shocked and lonely as a result of a pet passing away. Take your time to grieve, to remember the happiness that the pet brought to your life, to honour the time you spent together.

Today, on Tabasco’s birthday, I scatter his ashes around our beautiful garden – the one where he spent many, many happy hours chasing birds, dried leaves and sometimes even his own shadow! I miss his miaowing, his waiting for me at the door when I arrived home, his waking me up early in the morning to be fed and let out, and his insistence at being given attention when he wanted it – all on his own terms. He was clever, cute and the most adorable animal companion. I will always remember him as my darling baby boy – and I know that I will see him again one day.

Until then, Jeremy and him will keep each other company!

Love you both forever my boys.