My little pal Barney, the black and white cat who made me smile.

by Barney's Mom

Barney in the garage...sitting under the heat lamps. One of his favorite spots.

Barney in the garage...sitting under the heat lamps. One of his favorite spots.

I am so sad, so devastated. My beloved "Barn Cat" Barney did not come home last Tuesay and I haven't seen him since. I am heartbroken. It has been almost a week and I am trying to accept that something bad has probably happened.

Barney came to me last September. He walked out of the woods near my home, a skinny and somewhat shy Black and White boy. Just as I was getting ready to go somewhere, I pulled out of my driveway and heard him meow. I got down in my knees and called to him and he came over.

I tried to take him to the local no kill animal shelter to be put up for adoption, but they wouldn't take him because he wasn't found in that county. I didn't feel I needed another cat...I have four indoor cats already. So, the deal was I would get him neutered and try to find him a home. Meanwhile, I would feed him, get his shots, love him, give him a warm and comfortable shelter....I told myself it would be temporary, I wouldn't get too attached. He had a different idea in mind.

I took him to the feral cat association and they told me he had already been neutered...I felt like an idiot for putting him through that trip. I knew he had belonged to someone at some point, but they obviously were not taking care of him because he was emaciated when he came to me. But, he came home with me and over time I fell in love with this wonderful little guy, and he became a part of my life. He spend his nights in my garage with a warm heating pad, sleeping in his comfy bed.

In the mornings, he would follow me down to the chickens and just sit and watch. He followed me everywhere...he was my pal. He loved to run along side me everywhere I would go outside. He loved to roll around on the rug and to be picked up and pet. And he loved to race outside every morning for his first taste of the outside air. I kept him inside every single night..he did not spent a single night outside. He roamed outside only during the day.

I always worried that because he was outdoors and we live up against a forest that something could happen. But, every night when I would get home from work, there he would the garage on his warm bed, stretching and yawning and greeting me. I always left the garage door slightly open during the day so he could come in and out whenever he wanted during the day.

Then last Tuesday.....I left for work and Barn Barn was in the driveway in his usual spot...rolling around, happy and looking forward to going down to the chicken coop and hanging out. I came home that evening and opened the garage door, expecting to see him in his warm bed stretching and yawning and welcoming me home from work. He was not there. I looked everywhere, I called his name, I spent hours looking for him. I hoped he would be back in his bed by the next morning. He wasn't, and he hasn't been since.

Since then, I have posted flyers, called neighbors, looked all around my property...everything I can think of. He had a collar on with all of my contact info. I fear a coyote or raccoon may have gotten him, because all his food was tipped over and completed gone when I went out on Wed morning to see if he was in the garage...something got in there and it wasn't a cat.

One of the worst parts of all this is I feel so alone in my grief. My partner does not have a lot of empathy to begin with, especially as it pertains to animals. She did not bond with Barney like I did. She does not handle my emotions, crying etc very well. It makes her feel overwhelmed. Well, I'm sorry but I have been overwhelmed. And every time I have tried to share my grief, she would just compare it to the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon and tell me that this was "just a cat". She felt like she had given me plenty of attention about this matter,and I needed to let it go.

I was/am still hasn't even been a week, and I was being asked to just move on as though nothing had happened. She also made the heartless comment " I wish you had never found him and you had never taken him in..and I dread the day anything happens to these (our indoor) pets, because you will be inconsolable." There are obviously deeper issues at play here, but this is what I had to lean on.....very superficial, not heartfelt, get-it-over with "support", while she felt she had heard about and talked about it "non-stop". It just isn't true.

I cry every time I go outside, down to the chickens, see Barney's bed, see pieces of his fur on a blanket, etc. I keep expecting to hear the little bell on his collar jingling when I go outside, but I don't. He is gone.

Please someone tell me I wasn't a bad owner for not finding him an indoor home or taking him in to my own home. My other four cats would have not tolerated it, and I've had them for 10 years and have to love and respect them, too. Tell me that I am not being selfish by needing to process this grief with the person who is supposed to love me and support me. Any words of encouragement or advice wold be greatly appreciated.

Wherever he is, or however he left his world, I will not forget my Barn Barn, my sweet boy cat who came in my life silently and left just the same. I miss him so very much and loved him and I pray that he did not suffer. That is my worst fear. I pray whatever happened was fast and painless. I pray he felt loved up until his last breath. Because he was.

Comments for My little pal Barney, the black and white cat who made me smile.

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Jun 06, 2013
I understand your grief
by: Nadine R

I too have lost my beloved cat. Not knowing what happened to them and if they are alive or dead is a terrible weight to carry, maybe because there is no closure. I too believe a wild animal may have caught my Ashley but i can't find any trace of her. Right now i am trying to deal with the thought of what she might have gone through. It is awful and though i try not to think about it i still do. I guess i was much more attached to her than i realized. I know from past bereavements it takes time to get through it, so be as strong as you can be. It is the hardest thing to go through but you come out stronger when the time is right. Take care of yourself.

May 05, 2013
You were a wonderful mom
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain. I am so sorry that Barney has disappeared. I am disappointed in the way your partner has handled this and concerned for you. Thank you for taking in this beautiful baby and loving him.

Apr 23, 2013
To Barneys Mom
by: Anonymous

My only word of advice is -Be brave and don't think about what other people think about our feelings towards our fur babies. They have not realized what kind of a bond exist between the fur babies and the pet parents. Such people should be ignored for their mindless remarks. You truly cared for your Cat boy and took good care of him. He too was lucky to have found a mom like you. My deepest sympathies with you. I have still not gotten over the death of my cat Poochie girl last year on 21st March. Though an year has passed I 'm unable to come to terms with it thought I had her for only 4 months with me. We ourselves do not realiZe how they become the center of our life. If possible after some time try to get another homeless kitty and give the same affection . Take care

Apr 23, 2013
Thank you
by: Barney's Mom

I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to share your loving thoughts. You will never know how meaningful they are to me. I am so sorry for all of your losses as well, and all of your advice and suggestions are so helpful. The idea of the rainbow bridge just overwhelms me with tears of joy. Thank you are special and kind people. Your pet friends were blessed to have you.

Apr 23, 2013
Beautiful Barney
by: Diane

I want you to know everyone at this site has lost their furbaby and feels just like you. You need to grieve, you need to talk to someone about your feelings as part of the healing process. Nothing but time will help you now. Barney was NOT 'just a cat' he was a loved and valued member of your family. He loved you and returned your affections. The Boston incident has nothing to do with YOU, why should you cry for people you don't even know when your heart is broken at home? You feel sorry and have empathy like all of us, but right now you are mourning the loss of a part of your heart. I think our animals love us with a pure and innocent love, they give us their everything, unlike other members of our family. I would really question the love of someone who does not understand or even try to understand our love for our animals. Please know I understand, and I know you did all you could to give Barney a much loved life. The grieving process takes a long time, don't deny yourself by trying to hurry it along. Also, I had a feral cat that lived in our garage with heated bed just like Barney. A raccoon went into the garage to get his food and they got into a horrific fight, there was hair and blood everywhere. By the amt. of blood I thought my cat was dead. Over 10 days later he showed back up, torn and bloody but alive! I pray that your Barney will come home too! Please know how very, very sorry I am for you to go through this, I'll be praying (and crying) for you. If Barney is indeed gone, I pray for him to RIP, wait for your mommy at the Rainbow Bridge, beautiful Barney!

Apr 23, 2013
Barney's Mom
by: Judith in California

I'm so sorry for your loss, having had to put down all four of my most precious kitties within the last 9 month, I feel your pain for his loss.

If my partner had no more sympathy that she showed I'd TELL HER TO HIT THE ROAD. Anyone who will diminish your feelings of sadness as if it is nthing is not a nice person. Imagine what she'd be like if you're in harms wy. GEEZ! You obiously can't trust her with your feelings.

Each Loss , be it a pet or person has it's own time for grief and it should not be poo-pooed away as she did.

That's why I care more for animals than people.
Barney is now in rainbow ridge with all my kitties. I pray for peace for you in your loss.

Apr 23, 2013
You loved him
by: Xanthe

It is not your fault that Barn Barn has gone. I feel your grief very strongly and I cry with you.

You took him in and you gave him all your love, and he was blessed and lucky to be so loved by you.

My kitten was run over in front of my eyes last Thursday, and I too am devastated. He was just a baby and I only had him for 6 weeks.
It's so easy to feel guilty.

I hope you heal over time, my cat loving friend.
I hope I do too.

May all beings have peace.
Xanthe xo

Apr 23, 2013
My little pal Barney, the black and white cat who made me smile.
by: Doreen U.K.

You are not being selfish, and you are not a bad cat owner by not taking in this cat. You have your limitations. You had a responsibility to your other cats you have had for 10yrs, and your first responsibility was to them.
Your partner cannot feel empathy or even sympathy because she may not be a pet lover. Find someone e.g. counsellor friend or other pet owner who could empathise because they would have had the experience of owning and loving a pet. Often if we cannot get the EXPECTED support from those around us who we think should be there for us. Then GO and find someone else. It may not be that your partner cannot enter your world of loving pets or understand. She may be so fed up of listening to you that she is perhaps acting as if she doesn't care. What is really happening here is that your partner may feel she is taking second place to this cat and wished this cat had not entered your life and absorbed all your attention that it may have taken over your life and feel this is all you can think of. Your partner feels neglected. It is just this simple. This cat is causing an irritation in your partner's life and so you have to process this carefully. Your partner may feel your priorities have changed.
You are a very caring person and feel so unbearably grief stricken you can't see this is ruining your life. It is not wrong to grieve over this cat. But you may have to take your grief to a safer place so it doesn't interfere with your relationship.
I grieve over my special bird who visited me before my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 4yrs. later my white fan tailed pigeon is gone for over 3 weeks and I am heartbroken. My husband died almost a year ago of his terminal cancer and this bird was my comfort all those 4yrs. Visiting every day. I would talk lovingly to him and he would listen as if he understood. He never flew away. He was my ANGEL. He watched over me. perhaps God has taken him home. he was here for a short time and his work is done of comforting me. I still have other birds but this one was special. Best wishes.

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