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Grieving a Pet When Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

October 3, 2019 Elizabeth Caudy

Our cat George recently passed away. George was such a comfort to me as I struggled with schizoaffective disorder. I miss him a lot. Find out about grieving a pet when you have schizoaffective disorder.

George Helped with My Schizoaffective Disorder

George was born on our back porch in 2001. His mother was a stray who trusted my mom enough to let her take her in to give birth to George and his siblings. I was at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the time, only a train ride away from where my parents lived, so I came home a lot to visit them and George, and when I went to graduate school at Columbia College Chicago I lived at home with my parents.

Later, when my husband Tom and I married, we still lived close by. We visited a lot and George became very close to Tom. I feel that George “picked out” Tom for me because one of the ways I knew Tom was a good guy was that George jumped up on his shoulders when he came over to meet my parents shortly after one of our first dates.

When people in the family weren’t feeling well, George would come and take care of us by snuggling or just sitting nearby. When I had bouts of schizoaffective depression and would sleep for days, George would come and cuddle in bed with me.

I sometimes wonder if George could tell when I was hearing schizoaffective voices. When I was hearing them, he would come up to me in a hesitant way and meow at me questioningly. It seemed that he, just like the human members of my family, wished he could help with the voices but didn’t know quite how.

Also, he made me laugh with his funny, quirky kitty antics.

He made me laugh when he would beg at the table for food or sit in a chair with his paws on the table, as though he thought he was a person about to be served tea. My mom has always said he thought we were all cats. His big eyes coupled with his earnest meowing were so adorable.

Schizoaffective Disorder and Grieving My Pet's Death

It’s not a good thing that George’s passing happened while I’m going through a psychiatric medication change for my schizoaffective disorder. My anxiety was already very high with the change, and since George passed, it’s even higher.

Still, I feel that I’m coping reasonably well. I keep reminding myself that George lived a long, full life and was loved so much. And I truly believe he knew how loved he was.

I will never forget his big eyes, his long tail, or his funny and fierce personality. He jumped to the tops of our doors just for fun. It was fun to watch him, too. And, of course, I will never forget what a comfort he was when I was going through dark times with my schizoaffective disorder.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2019, October 3). Grieving a Pet When Living with Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2019/10/grieving-a-pet-when-living-with-schizoaffective-disorder



Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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