In other words how long is the grieving process on the passing of your cat companion? It’s like asking how long is a piece of string? There is no fixed answer despite what the experts might say on the Internet. The Psychology Today website suggests that for “one individual, it may take four months to start feeling ‘normal’ again and consider adopting another furry friend. For another, it may take six months, nine, or a year.”
That’s correct, in that it is a very flexible timeframe but I would suggest that it can last a lot longer than a year but it depends on how you define “grieving”. We know that it means to mourn the loss of someone dear and we know that the sorrow fades in time but, depending on the person, I don’t think it ever goes away completely. And if it never goes away completely you never stop grieving.
And that is the case with me and the first cat that I adopted. She died prematurely in a car accident about 26 years ago and I still grieve her passing. The feeling of loss, now, is obviously far less intense but it is still there and I still think of her. I know that I will grieve for her for the remainder of my life.
So the answer to the question in the title is that there is no answer. It depends upon the relationship and the person. I’m sure that some people are pleased to see the back of their cat. I’m sure that there are some people who do nothing when their cat disappears.
In between these extremes there is a spectrum of people types and personalities with varying degrees of connection and bonding with their cat who will in turn show varying degrees of grieving on the passing of their cat companion. It is highly elastic.
Announcing the death of your cat
There is a slightly disturbing story on the Reddit.com website. A guy announced the death of the family cat on Reddit.com. This cat was not even two years old and he was hit by a car. His son had formed a close relationship with Mellow, a grey cat who they had adopted at seven-weeks-of-age.
It would seem that Mellow was killed on the road because she liked to escort his son to a friend’s house and would wait outside while his son played with his friend inside the home.
The man was criticised for being responsible for Mellow’s death. He was looking for some sympathy in comments but he said that he “got mostly indifferent and even hateful replies. Some people accuse me of killing my own cat because I let it go outside from time to time.”
He told his sister that he was going to bury Mellow and she asked “why?”
This guy believes that cats don’t get nearly as much love as dogs. He is suggesting that if he had announced the death of his dog he would have got sympathetic responses. This annoys him. Is this correct? Perhaps he just suffered the usual fate of people who write honestly about their experiences and receive unpleasant comments. There is a section of society who like to troll and annoy others. It’s a feature of the Internet and it exposes a nasty side to humankind.
I don’t believe that the potential bond between dog and human is any stronger than that of cat and human. But I do believe that there are more poor human-to-cat relationships that human-to-dog relationships. This is because of humane ignorance and the nature of the feline personality.