Goodbye My Gertie

Gertie

I try to keep things light and fun around here with cheerful content each day, but life isn’t always cheerful and light. And that reality came crashing into my lap just days ago, when my sweet little Gertie passed away at just three and a half years old.

To say it was unexpected feels like such an understatement. She was so young and (seemingly) healthy. Yet, one minute she was cuddled up next to me on the couch, like always, and the next minute, she was gone.

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around it somehow, but all I can come up with are thoughts of how unfair it feels to not have been able to spend more time with her. I’ve lost pets before and it’s never been easy. But this one, this one is different.

The first night we brought Franz and Gertie home with us, Gertie had a runny and nose and would sneeze over and over again very quietly (and cutely). She sat in my lap until she fell asleep and then I moved her next to me on the couch so I could do some work. I brought my laptop up to the armrest and started typing…  and before I knew it, I felt a soft little kitty crawling back onto my lap. She nestled her way underneath my laptop, into my crossed legs and stayed there until it was time for bed. She did this for countless days after that, long after the sniffles went away, until she was too big to fit in her favorite spot anymore.

And as she got older, when Jeff and I would come home from work each day, Gertie would be sitting in the window waiting, then come to greet me as I walked up the stairs, lay next to me on the couch each night until I was ready for bed (without fail), sleep right by my head at night. Sometimes she would purr so loudly, Jeff and I would make fun of her and tell her to ‘turn off her lawn mower’ at night because it would sometimes be hard to go to sleep, with her right next to us purring. And I honestly can’t believe that I’ll never hear that lawn mower purr again. Or stare into her slightly crossed eyes, pet her big mitten paws, rub her soft little belly…

I just don’t know how I’m truly going to be able to say goodbye to a family member who I thought would be with us for so much longer than she was able. If any of you have any recommendations for how to cope with a loss like this, please please let me know. I am so torn up – she was my little buddy and I already miss her more than I could have ever imagined.

Gertie – you were the most uniquely sweet and unusual kitty I have ever known. We were so lucky to have you in our lives and we will love you always.

Gertie

Gertie

Gertie and Franz

Gertie

Gertie

Gertie and Franz

Gertie and Luna

42 comments | Click here to reply

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, it’s so sad to lose a pet/family member but even more so when it’s untimely. You’ll always have the memories.

Sam

Sending you so many hugs b!!

Ashley | Sugar & Cloth

Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ve experienced this with some of my cats and it is the worst feeling.

What was helpful for me was collecting all their photos, creating a little shrine for them and lighting a candle to honor them. To talk to people about them. I never stop missing them, but the hurt dulls and is finally replaced by warm memories, more so than loss. But time takes time.

The ASPCA has a pet loss hotline if you feel like you need someone “anonymous” to talk to:
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There are many forms of grief that are completely normal in the wake of the loss of a beloved pet. For support dealing with the loss of a pet, call our Pet Loss Hotline at (877) GRIEF-10.

jesse.anne.o

I’m so sorry, Brittni. Pets truly are family and I think you need to take time to mourn Gertie as such. It may not be time yet, but I’ve always believed the best way to deal with the loss of a pet is to make room in your heart for another rescue. xo

Kelly

First of all, let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your precious, loving cat. There is nothing like the loss of a pet. We lost our beloved, quirky, cat (who thought he was a dog) two months ago, and it feels like I’ve been living in the Twilight Zone. But I’m getting stronger each day.

I’ve let myself cry whenever I feel like it. I couldn’t listen to music for awhile but found one or two things I could watch that comforted me (for me—episodes of The Office and New Girl–humor has been important). But for each person it’s different. For some people, keeping busy helps, for others reaching out to friends helps. For me it was a combination of time alone (when I felt like it) but staying engaged in my creative projects and friendships without overdoing it.

I’ve cleaned out almost every closet of my house. And most importantly, I’ve tried to take what my kitty taught me (unconditional love, life’s unexpected blessings, being there for the creatures you care about) and pay it forward. I do little things each day to honor him, in the tradition of the love he showed me. I planted a memorial garden for him, and I also ordered some concrete and marble hearts (and I cut out paper hearts) and put them all over the house and yard in places where he loved to be. This helped these areas to feel less empty and helped me to honor him.

Know that I am thinking about you as you grieve and heal.

Kate Simmons

I’m sorry about your loss. Gertie was beautiful! I still miss my first cat April over a decade later, they’re all so special and unique. As for tips for coping, I hope you took a full day off at least to grieve, let it all out. It’ll get easier with time.

Vanessa

I don’t know what to say other than I know this pain that can rip through you. Such a bond with a furry friend is a wonderful, magical thing. I am so sorry you have lost one of your family so soon. All the best xxx

sarie

I’m so sorry for your loss! She was a very beautiful cat. I can understand the devastation of loosing a pet suddenly and know how hard it is. Two months ago my dog (who we had most of my childhood), Blitzen, passed away from cancer. It was aggressive so only 6 days after he was diagnosed he was gone. I wish I knew a way to cope. We have been getting pictures printed and making books on shutterfly. I’m getting a necklace on Etsy they have one where you can get their paw or nose print on a necklace. & another one from Ivybydesign that you send in a picture and can get a silhouette pendant. I’m ordering that one, way he’s always with me. When it’s sudden like that it’s so hard to wrap your head around it.

Serena

Oh, I am so sorry about Gertie’s passing. Losing a furry baby is a horrible loss and takes time. I think it helps to let it out- talk about her, cry if you feel like it. Show extra love to your other furry babies. They will notice her absence and your sadness and will more than likely want to be near you. Sending good thoughts your way. She’s a beautiful little calico – ❤️

Shannon

brittni — i am so so sorry for your horrible loss. i can’t even imagine how you’re feeling. my family has lost some pets unexpectedly but for her to be so young is different. time will help more than anything else. when my mom, brother and husband were devastated over their lost pets, they ended up getting new ones (which sounds so superficial but it really does help fill that void). sending my love to you guys and your tuxedo. xo

molly

Tiny creatures leave the biggest holes when they leave. The love you gave Gertie was appreciated, I’m sure. Sending you best wishes for a healing heart…

movita beaucoup

I’m so sorry for your loss. Something similar happened to me.

I had adopted my sweet Lily , my lovely foster fail. She came to me full grown but she was Teeny tiny, sneezing uncontrollably from an upper respiratory infection, and a limp from the recent surgery she had as the rescue had found her with a broken hip. I only had her one month when she unexpectedly died on the operating table when I brought her to the vet to get the pins in her hip removed. I was devastated. When I came home that day from the vet the couch was still indented with her body shape on her designated fav spot. I cried for days. I still tear when I see her photos. I’m tearing up now! And this was five years ago!!

I think you should allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels right to you. To this day I have Lily’s Pictures framed and her ashes in a special urn with her fav toys. Try to surround yourself with people who understand the depths of your pain bc non pet parents just won’t get it. Talk about her as much as possible.

In the days following Lily’s death I felt her absence deeply and searched and searched for another cat to adopt. In the end I did somethings really “stupid” and made a grief purchase of a cat breed that I had admired for years (she is the only pet child I ever bought. Truly I am all about #adoptdontshop but I wanted full
Disclosure). I regret it bc I know millions of beautiful kitties get euthanized ever year but Im at peace with it bc I now Have Molly and she is my absolute love and when I do get her a companion it will be a kitty from the shelter.

I hope you’ll find comfort and peace in the knowledge that you gave your kitty the absolute best life while she was here on earth and you now have an angel looking over you.

Sending hugs, Yuki

Yuki

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember seeing Gertie on your snapchat and thinking that she was a very sweet cat always huddled up next to Franz. It’s amazing how much pets touch our lives in the short time they are with us and she was so lucky to have a loving owner as yourself. It’s tragic to hear she left us in such a sudden manner. Sending you lots of love and thoughtful prayers your way.

Giselle @ the busy spatula

I don’t know what to say. I too have felt the loss of a deeply loved pet. My heart goes out to you <3

Corin Price

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. 🙁 It’s never easy losing a pet -a family member. It may not seem so at this time but time will heal your heart and until then -share Gertie with everyone. Sharing all her little quirks will help ease your heart too.

Stephannie

I am sorry for your loss. We lost our beautiful Merlin when he was three, and I thought my heart had broken forever. I have no tips for how to get through it, simply that one day the pain starts to fade away. I will always miss him, but two years on the happy memories far outweigh the sadness x

Natalie

What an adorable kitty, and a truly sad story. The hardest part about having a cat is having to say goodbye to it. I don’t know that I have any tips for you that will make it any easier, other than just the knowledge that each day will get a little easier for you. It will always be a sad memory, and there will never be a time when you don’t remember her, but it will hurt a little less and for a little shorter amount of time each day.

Writing about it helps, too. Share your feelings with whoever will listen.

Emily

Oh. No. I am so sorry.
I have no ideas about how to cope with your sudden Gertie loss at all.
Tortys and calicoes are the most adorable cats.
Time is the only thing that will make the pain less.
Much love and big hugs x

Trish

I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine loosing a sweet little friend like that after just a few years. She is beautiful.

Karen

I am really sorry to hear of your loss, lovely Brittni. I have always wanted a pet cat and I can’t imagine how bad it would feel if it were to pass away. I remember seeing Gertie in one of your snapchat, she was adorable. If I were you, I would get a new one to fill the void and maybe that would help lessen the pain for the time being.

Hope you recover from your loss soon, much love! xoxo
Marwa

Marwa | Enthralling Gumption
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