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Well, i need to vent a little and would also like some opinions. You can skip the first bits to get to the questions if you dont want to read my likely depressing story.
Last night i had to have my 9 year old calico Sandy put to sleep. She developed a skin rash and later fever, and within two weeks of it first showing up, she degraded from my satisfied baby to a shell that hurt me to look at. Dispite medication she was getting worse and i had to make the hard decision. I've been a nervous wreck for the last two weeks and the last few days have been even worse because i felt like i knew what i was going to have to do when i brought her to the vet. At first we thought the problem was a treatable one, that she had an infection from an unseen cut, but the antibiotics did not stop it, and the vet said that the problem had to be a liver disease or otherwise internal issue that had done too much permanent internal damage and that she would never be her normal self again. Watching her these last two weeks and knowing how much misery she had to be in to stop purring when i pet her or barely eating her favorite foods, i dont feel like i did her a disservice in my final decision, but its still hard.
Okay so to the questions. I live by myself across country from my family. (moved to take a job instead of being unemployed) I have made some friends of course but they are hardly around a lot. I care very much for my pets, and I am not the kind of person that would believe for a moment that they are easily replaced. Before last night i could be watching tv or reading a book, or playing a game, and Sandy would come wanting food or attention and when i went to bed, and all was silent and dark, i could hear her walking on the carpet, jumping on her sleeping perch. Last night, my apartment felt so empty. i caught myself several times upon hearing a noise turning and expecting to see Sandy walking tward me. I realize that this is all part of grief and acceptance but I also know that my cat has helped greatly in making me feel like my apartment is a home and less just a place im staying because having a job away from home is better than being unemployed. I feel like I owe her so much for helping me keep from feeling really alone or getting depressed at being by myself.
This boils down to the fact that dispite im still grieving, and will be for some time, that I am also uncontrollably thinking about and wanting my next pet already. That there will be a new kitten or two in my apartment over the next month or two is very likely a given fact no matter how i feel right now or how long it lasts. Should i be feeling bad about this fact? Is this an unexpected reaction? Should i expect my married/couple friends to understand that this is not me just swapping out one animal for another? I've never really felt crushingly lonely in my current position, and ive always had hope that it wouldnt be a permanent thing anyway, but right now i think me going for a period of time without a pet is likely to make me feel worse about the situation then usual. Should i let my own mental health surpass my grief and just go ahead and start looking or am i just still in the stage where its worse before it gets better.