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Getting Another Pet

by Karin Baltzell, Ph.d

Dear Karin,

I was just searching the web for grievance websites (my grandmother just passed away) when i found your column. My pet cat, Kitty actually was her name, died more than 2 years ago. I was away at the time, I had started a new job 1000 miles away and had left Kitty at home with my parents where she had lived all her life instead of taking her to an empty apartment with me. She passed away about 6 moths after I left apparently due to multiple organ failure. The thought of this still brings tears to my eyes.

This death still affects me today as much as it did the day I found out and I sometimes wonder if that's normal. I'm also afraid to get another cat. Part of me feels that there's no point because I will again get attached and it will most likely end in sadness for me. I did get a pet bird when I moved, and he's great, but its just not the same as a cat. Do you think it would be healthy to get another cat? Do you think that I will change? I really do love cats and I loved my cat so much and treasured her companionship, I'm just afraid of another attachment. Any advice would be appreciated.

Dear Reader:

It would seem that you have a desire to get another cat after two years, or else you would not be asking the question. Even though you have pain over your kitty’s death after these long months, you will never forget her. She will always remain special. However, getting another animal might make your life feel more warm, loving, and secure. Yes, when your new kitty dies, you will feel loss and pain, however, it would seem you are feeling that right now, without a cat. Perhaps if you got a new kitten, it would give you many years of happiness and comfort, without the pain. When it is his or her time to die it will hurt, but it will also give you a feeling of having been better for having loved, and been loved, by another creature.

Once we experience a loss, we are quite sensitive to not wanting to feel that way ever again. However, it is my experience with many people that we cannot "save" ourselves from pain. We can only go bravely forth and enjoy all the good times. Then, when the bad times come, we have a little cushion to fall on, or, if you like, you have some emotional money in the bank to draw on because of the nice times. And, with that thought, you can change/will change, and you will probably surprise yourself!

Do let me know what you decide. Thanks for writing us at Beyond Indigo. And blessings on you now that you have lost both your cat and your grandmother.


Karin is a staff writer and editor for Beyond Indigo. She holds her Ph.D in Psychology.

"Everyone is very friendly when we arrive with our dogs. We have had a few emergencies with our dogs and I always feel very confident that my dogs' health is the highest priority. The follow up from the office when my dog was in the emergency room overnight was extremely appreciated. I felt that the practice cared just as much for my pets as I did. This type of attentiveness is exactly why I would never go to another practice."

"Everything is great. The staff (both drs & reception) are amazing which is why we keep coming back. Miriam is extremely knowledgable and helpful for whatever we need. Our pups love going to the vet!"

"Everyone is always so great towards me and Bella. I'm so happy I have such a great vet office, keep up the good work :)"

"The staff is always so friendly and you can tell that they love their jobs. Every pet is greeted with enthusiasm and compassion."

""Value" is a tough thing - veterinary care is expensive. The line-item receipt really helps me understand all of the components of a visit and a checkup. There's never getting around the 'gulp factor' when it's time to pay...but I feel that my pets are getting excellent, and not excessive, care."

"Your "front of the house" people are great. Miriam and the rest are efficient and courteous, and clearly know and love our dogs. Can't buy that."

"Dr. Schnoor has treated our dogs since weaning, 9 years ago. She is professional, knowledgeable and compassionate. She helped save my female dog's life a few years ago, for which I will always be grateful. Dr. Ross has been a great addition. He is also conscientious and well informed. Human hospitals could learn a lesson."

"Dr. Ross is very thorough and professional. He takes time with clients to review pet status and healthcare planning. The support staff is great with the animals."

"I really appreciated the follow up email I received from the doctor asking if I had any additional questions"

"Something I really appreciated about this office is that the woman who made my reservation for Dylan actually remembered him (and loved him) from his stay while with Feline Friends. It's nice to know that the staff are not just veterinary professionals, but also animal lovers."

"Vets and staff are superb! Never have a moment's hesitation in bringing my pets into Mid North for all their needs."

"I love the doctors and the staff... always friendly and happy to talk with you"

"We have been going to Mid North Animals hospital for over 15 years. They have cared our kitties with skill, love and TLC. Love them!"

"Honestly, I don't have a recommendation for what Mid North Animal Hospital could have done better during my dog's last wellness checkup. I love Mid North Animal Hospital. I've been bringing my dogs to Mid North for the last 20 years because Dr. Ross & Dr. Schnoor are excellent vets, the front office is terrific and now they have a beautiful new office."