For many of us, losing a beloved pet is as difficult as losing any other close loved one. Our pets are not just animals that live with us. They are furry family members who we love, laugh and cry with. They love us unconditionally, whether we get a terrible haircut, go on vacation without them, forget to feed them dinner, fall in and out of love with significant others, or move them across the country. They are not our whole world but they make our world whole. We feel their loss just as deeply.
Last Thursday, I said goodbye to my beloved kitty Chloe. I have lost many loved ones in my life, both through illness and tragedy. I have also lost many childhood pets which will always remain special to me. But this time is different. It's different to grieve over someone I'd been sharing my home with and her memories surround me no matter where I look or what I hear or what I feel. My space was her space and every shared space has meaning. I was responsible for giving her the love and life she deserved, and she depended on me.