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Contacting an ex regarding the death of a shared pet


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My ex and I broke up 5 years ago, on terms that weren't terrible but she seemed very upset and a bit angry. We had a shared cat which shared our lives for 4 years. I had to put the cat down 2 days ago (and I am shattered about it, he was 18 years old :upset:). I was wondering if it would be a good idea to reach out to her in a gentle way (we haven't been in touch at all since we broke up) just to say hello and inform her of the cat's passing? Or should I just let it be since we have been out of touch for so long? I know this is in part due to my rollercoaster emotions and I may be desperate to reach out to everyone since that helps me cope. But I thought she deserves to know. Should I reach out or let sleeping dogs lie? Thanks for any advice.

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I'm so sorry about your cat :( This is a tough one...Did you know the cat was dying or was it sudden? I'm just thinking that if you actually knew the cat was dying, if you were going to reach out at all then you should have done it before the cat was put down. That way maybe your ex could have visited and said goodbye to the cat. I'm just thinking that she may be upset that you didn't actually contact her prior to the cat's death.

 

Are you planning on cremating the cat or doing any kind of send off service for it? If so then maybe you could reach out to your ex and ask her to participate?

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Well it's my cat, but we both took care of him. She had her cat, I had mine. We just fell out of touch after breaking up. I don't think she would be angry about not visiting before he died, but she may resent me reaching out to her out of nowhere to inform her about Beast. Perhaps if both parties didn't reach out to each other at all it should be left alone. But, part of it is that I wanted to apologize about certain things that happened when we were together, make amends etc. I thought she would appreciate that. Maybe not.

Oh and Tiny, he was ok up until about 2 weeks ago. Then he couldn't eat much, had trouble walking, was throwing up constantly and didn't move around much. He went downhill fast. It's the only cat I ever had and didn't know it would be so hard.

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I know this is in part due to my rollercoaster emotions and I may be desperate to reach out to everyone since that helps me cope

 

I'm very sorry you've lost your beloved companion. If your ex had done any cat-sitting for you in the last 5 years, or asked to visit the cat, I would've let her know of the cat's passing.

 

That didn't happen, so I wouldn't contact her. What I listed in bold? It's all about your needs and not about what's in her best interest. Rely on friends and family to help you through your grieving process.

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It's going to look like you're using the cat's sad death as an excuse. You even admit that you plan to talk about the relationship.

 

If that's what you're aiming for, I wouldn't.

 

I'm sorry for the loss of your beloved cat.

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Sorry to hear this. After this long, no need to contact her. No one wants bad news. Talk to your current friends, family, gf but do not reach out after this long. It won't do you or her any good.

My ex and I broke up 5 years ago. I had to put the cat down 2 days ago
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I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. Losing a pet can be pretty awful.

 

That said, there is really no need to contact her about this. You've been out of touch for 5 years; contacting her now about the cat would be strange. She has evidently long moved on from both you and the feline friend if you've heard nothing for the past 5 years. I am sure she'd express her sympathy but also (rightly, evidently) see it as a cloaked attempt to re-establish something between you two.

 

Best to leave this one alone, OP.

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Speaking for myself, I've never wanted an ex to say he was sorry after a breakup. In my mind, it's too little, too late, and I don't want that intrusion after I've moved on in my life.

 

It's enough that you realize the mistakes you made so you can be a better partner to a different woman in your future. Take care.

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So sorry for your loss. My cat died in April—there are some posts about it in the Pets section if you're looking for comfort—so I very much know how hard it is. Here you go: https://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=558714

 

As the others said, I don't think there is any reason to reach out, that it's best to ride these emotional waves on your own, and with the trusted support system in your present, not your past. It's been 5 years. If she somehow hears about it and expressed sympathy, great; but to reach out to elicit sympathy, or give her an injection of melancholy to then bond over—well, odds are that'll just get pretty strange pretty quickly.

 

When my cat died I wondered if I'd hear from my ex. She loves cats; it was a quality of hers I liked. She loved mine. Our breakup, two years earlier, was pretty awful and we hadn't spoken since then, save for a few unfortunate exchange in the early months that, I suspect, didn't sit well with either of us. For me, part of moving on was learning to sit with that icky feeling, to accept it as part of the path forward.

 

Anyhow, I did hear from her. A cordial note that was appreciated. But she followed up my "thanks for the kind words" with some poking at the embers, which I just had no interest in. A year earlier, sure. But I'd moved on, was falling in love with someone else, so I just cut it off, delicately but firmly. For me it was not a negative exchange, nor a positive one, but just an exchange I had no interest in engaging with. Maybe that disappointed her, as she may have hoped, as you hope, that my cat's death could be an opening for some amends. But I'd already made those amends in a way that was final for me, forgiven her, forgiven myself, and genuinely wish her only the best in life—her life, not mine.

 

Feel what you have to feel right now. It's the best way to honor yourself, and to honor Beast. No need to add emotional turbulence to a turbulent moment. Hugs.

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Oh my goodness I am sorry for your loss OP :(

 

I have a different perspective... my ex and I shared two cats when we were together, then when we split he kept one and I kept the other. I absolutely adored that cat and still miss her from time to time. We've been split for 3 years.

 

About a year ago, I had a dream that the cat we shared was sick and in distress. The next day, my daughter told me he had to take her to the vet because she was struggling to breathe. It turned out okay in the end, but I was upset that he didn't tell me, knowing how much I loved that cat.

 

My point is... if your ex is an animal lover and really loved your cat, then an update would be a nice thing... if it were me I would appreciate it.

 

ETA: If you do update her, don't stir the fire as blue says with any talk of your past relationship... just keep it to the cat and let the rest go.

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Well it's my cat, but we both took care of him. She had her cat, I had mine. We just fell out of touch after breaking up. I don't think she would be angry about not visiting before he died, but she may resent me reaching out to her out of nowhere to inform her about Beast. Perhaps if both parties didn't reach out to each other at all it should be left alone. But, part of it is that I wanted to apologize about certain things that happened when we were together, make amends etc. I thought she would appreciate that. Maybe not.

Oh and Tiny, he was ok up until about 2 weeks ago. Then he couldn't eat much, had trouble walking, was throwing up constantly and didn't move around much. He went downhill fast. It's the only cat I ever had and didn't know it would be so hard.

 

Beast! That's what we named my husband's Jeep. Great name. I'm sorry for the loss of your cat and having to see him suffer like that. I love cats so much but sadly it is not in the cards for me. I tried to foster two cats and ended up in emergency after two weeks due to allergies. The poor cats. They did go to good homes (thank goodness).

 

I'm neutral on whether to reach out to her or not (your ex). I don't see anything wrong with it but I don't see how it may help you either. What might help is taking a few days to decompress and celebrate Beast in your own way, remember his habits and antics, his wild personality and give thanks to your time together.

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My heart goes out to you, and I'm so sorry about your loss of your kitty. It can be shocking how hard the grief can come over a beloved pet. I'd reconsider contacting the ex. If she doesn't respond or gives a hardened one, that would only compound your grief with an insult. Skip that. Consider contacting a local shelter to see if they'd allow you to play with some of the cats or walk some of the dogs. Shelters often welcome people to exercise the animals while their cages are being cleaned.

 

If that's not possible for you, consider joining a pet bereavement group on the internet to share your stories and commiserate with other grievers.

 

I've done pet grief two ways: rescuing another cat right away and not. The not was much harder, but it was right for me at the time. The fast rescue did take some time for me to focus new feelings for a completely different cat, but it also distracted me as I kept in mind that Butch needed a loving home, and it wasn't his fault that he couldn't replace my Layla. I fell in love with Butch in his own right over time, and I knew that Layla only and always wanted me to be happy. I'm sure that your cat would want the same for you.

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