As you begin to come to terms with the loss of your dear friend, you are probably thinking you don't ever want to go through those feelings again. I don't blame you; I've been there. How could another cat ever duplicate the joy and camaraderie that you shared with your departed cat?
Not a replacement
The answer is, it can't. No other cat could ever come close to replacing the deceased pet. To assume it could, would be disrespectful, in my opinion. Instead, a new cat will relate to you in new, unique ways. It will have its own personality, mannerisms, and habits. In time, it will find profoundly different ways to endear itself to you.
Wait a bit
My advice is to wait awhile, to allow the grieving process to take its course among all family members. If you don't wait, you may take home a cat on impulse and end up with the wrong pet for you. You might be looking for a carbon copy of your deceased cat, and that just doesn't exist. The new cat would sense your disappointment and would not be comfortable or happy.
You will know when the time is right. When it is, take your time in selecting a new friend, and be sure to involve the whole family in the decision. Then, when you get the new cat home, allow it to be its own cat. Let it develop its own personality, and, for heaven's sake don't name it after the departed cat! You will find that, rather than being a replacement, the new cat will instead be a new book in a series: Just as entertaining, but with a different main character and plenty of new adventures to entertain and amaze you.
Excerpted from The K.I.S.S. Guide to Cat Care by Steve Duno
Copyright 2001 by Steve Duno.
Excerpted by permission of Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.