I am so, so sorry! Having survived four cats, I really know how you feel. One was with us for 18 years - same time most children stay at home, the others 11, 12 and 14 yrs. Grief can be overwhelming, but you will come out the other side eventually.
We have a new kitty - he found us! last January. Just walked in the patio door one day with his tail high and his nose twitching, and he has been here ever since. A gift from the Almighty. When hubby took him to have him neutered, vet said he was about a year old. Despite his unique personality, some of his antics remind us of the others, and we tell him how he is like one of his "brothers."
I'm glad you have a new canine friend. Love him 'real hard' ... he'll listen when you tell him about his older predecessor. Talking about your grief helps get you through.
Hi jez, I first wanted to welcome to the forum, we are happy to have you join our community here. I can very much relate to the pain and loss that you are going through. I had a little Shih-Tzu named Babycakes who was with me for almost 11 years. She was as close to me as any child could be (I dont have kids), she was my best friend, and always there no matter what. So to say that I loved her was not even coming close to expressing the amount of emotions that I carried for her. She was always so happy and healthy, but she did end up getting sick and the vets who had hired a new doctor right out of school (I didnt know this at the time) treated her and missed a major problem. She ended up getting a major infection and having to go back into the vets for several days and an operation..long story, but I got a call at 2am telling me that she had passed away. It just about killed me. I cried so much over the next 5 days that my eyes were swollen shut and felt like there was sandpaper in them and even as I write this I can help but cry because I miss her so much. BUt I was eventually able to get to a place where I could talk about her without being too upset and I made a plaque for her with her picture in it and her name ingraved.
I now have a cat that I saved from where my mom stables her horse...he was starving, basically eating frogs and grasshoppers to stay alive. You could never tell it now to look at the fat thing...lol! And I know that one day I will get another Shih-Tzu as they are such good dogs...but that is why I didnt get another dog right after she died as I felt that I would be trying to replace her and I knew that I could never do that. No other dog could ever replace her.
Atedogs: I've seen that poem - makes me cry, too! My cats have been creamated and the poem was included with the ashes for one of them. If you have a copy, please post it. We'll all have a good cleansing, rejoicing cry together.