Caring for parents

i have been looking after both my elderly parents now for 8 years, and its very stressful, they are 95 and 91, the only thing that helped me each day was the love of my ginger cat puss puss, who i had to have put down today cos he had cancer, i buried him in the garden this morning, i am heartbroken, he helped to relieve the every day stresses and strains of my life! dont know how i will cope without him!


Hi Judith, heartfelt condolences for your loss. Sending you some hugs and support. I’m glad you reached out to the Forum.

Hugs Judith. Unfortunately it’s not just our parents getting old, it’s us too. Are you getting any help and time off?

no time off, just keep soldiering on, lucky they are just frail and
dont have any ongoing problems health wise, yet!!
this hot weather doesnt help, makes me feel tired!

I’m wondering if you know about The Pet Bereavement Support Service. It’s run by the animal charity Blue Cross and offers support in various ways ie telephone, e-mail and social media


Judith, loss of a pet is very painful and he sounded wonderful and great comfort to you.

Take heart it was your final gift of love to him.

When I had to have my beautiful, 19 year old grey cat put to sleep, Susieq posted this poem -

It’s beautiful but did make me cry.

Sending you (((hugs)))

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Thank you so much, taking it day by day, pets can be such a comfort when your caring for people, helps to relieve the stress!

Thank you!! will look into it!

Many thanks, losing a pet is losing a member of your family, stroking puss at the end of a stressful day really helped, when we are grieving a little less, will look at rescuing another cat, but not yet.

Hello Judith

I am a great cat lover and used to breed and show cats. I lost my Torri on April 21st - she had had an eye removed due to a ruptured eyeball in May last year when kidney issues were discovered. She was such a fighter and was 15.

I agree that the Blue Cross can provide a safe place to chat about your feelings of loss. I honestly do not think I would still be alive if it were not for my cats as I only got through lockdown for them. (my husband is 84 and difficult).

When the time is right, think about offering a home to another cat? One option is to consider fostering? I realise that you are busy but cats are fairly low maintenance - mine are semi longhaired so need brushing. He/she wont replace your lost baby but you will learn to love them…so many older cats are desperate for loving safe homes. Grieving is personal and it does take time to come to terms with the loss .

Sending hugs

Yes makes me sob every time too.

It is good Judith as a friend of mine from the show bench is a volunteer and the training is pretty intense. Worth a go?

Hi Judith. I was going to recommend the Blue Cross service which has already been mentioned. I was heartbroken when we had to suddenly say goodbye to Roco just before Christmas - as regular on here know!!! - Never get over the loss but after ten weeks we had to fill the gap and are lucky to have Buster in our lives now. I was on the point of contacting Blue Cross as I could not cope and ended up crying everywhere for no ‘apparent’ reason. Until it happens to them, no-one can understand the feeling of loss of a pet. They are your Carer, your Counsellor, your confidante.

As you say a great stress reliever when at the end of a horrible day you can relax and stroke and feel the purrs of gratitude. It is proven that this can reduce blood pressure so there is clearly a medical benefit.

If it helps - some rehoming centres will let people visit to spend time with residents as this provides the animals with company they crave and miss til they find their Forever Home and also can be a help to someone in your situation.

:people_hugging: :people_hugging:

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Hi Judith
Its very heartbreaking to lose a much loved pet. My family and myself adored our spaniel and still to this day after many years I still can get teary
We actually had his picture on the back of order of service when my husband died.
Take your time and greive as you will. Sounds like your beloved pet had a lovely life

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Thankyou! feeling a bit better today, hard bit is going out into the garden and
seeing all those little places he liked to sit in, and hide from the sun,
but life goes marching on, keeping myself busy with my parents, as always!!

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Thanks Chris, life doesn’t stop! caring for my parents means I cant
take a break to grieve, but that may be a good thing, just getting on with it
can sometimes be helpful, sometimes dwelling on things can lead to depression as I know from the past! will rescue an older cat from a shelter at some point in the future, but not too soon, don’t want to be disrespectful to puss!

Judith we felt just the same. Nothing can replace Roco but Buster is having a damn good try. We were ten weeks with a huge hole in our lives before we both agreed we had to try to find another furry friend. We landed on our feet with Buster and he landed on his paws. A perfect fit as they say!

Try to find some time for YOU even though it is very difficult. Easy to say, but hard to do.

Great you are thinking of giving someone a loving home in the future. I am sure whoever it is will be well loved.

I think you will know when the time is right…I was ‘lucky’ in a way as have other cats, and needed to focus on getting through the loss of Torri. You could always look online and see if any cat in a rescue locally grabs your attention? I honestly do NOT think getting another cat is disrespectful as it is a tribute to the love you feel for your beloved late cat and the fact that there is a cat shaped hole in your life. That said, grieving is so personal that only YOU can make the decision when a time is right for a new addition.


Thankyou so much, its nice to know with all the tribulations of caring
that people understand that losing a pet is important and not trivial!
they are so helpful when you are caring for people, helps to take your mind off of your own problems.

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