The Pain of Losing Your Soul Cat: Changing Emotions, Lasting Love

Last Wednesday was Cumin’s transition anniversary. July 13, 2016 was the day she got her wings. I remember the day so vividly and what sticks out in my mind was having to go to work that day.


Cumin pencil drawing on bookshelf

I still feel pangs of guilt and regret around that because I should’ve just been home, with her, soaking up and memorizing our last physical moments together.

I remember getting ready, driving to the office and leading a meeting.

Everyone knew what was going on with Cumin, her squamous cell carcinoma, the feedings every 3 hours and subcutaneous fluids twice a day.

But no one knew today was the day and when I was asked, “How’s Cumin doing?” I felt the jabbing pains in my gut and the struggle between keeping the brave face, “She’s hanging in there!” and “I’m saying goodbye to her today.” I even had deep grooves in my inner lower lip from biting to keep the tears at bay.

Today was the day and it was the second time I had rescheduled the in-home transition assistance

I should’ve been home with her.

Cumin painting and plaque

Feelings Never Leave, They Just Change

It’s been 6 years and still all the feelings can well up.

I will say most days I feel her lightness and joy as her photos and artwork of her from friends are all over my office.

I also feel when she’s talking to me. I know when the messages are from her.

But the feelings!

All. The. Feelings.

To feel or not to feel, right?!

Always better to feel. I know that but I don’t always do it.

Trauma and Somatic Practices

Cumin alert

Through all the work healing my childhood trauma, I have learned through various somatic practices that when you stop and actually allow yourself to feel the emotion, to identify where it lives in your body, give it a color/shape/texture then breathe through it and stay with it….it dissipates and goes away.

The emotion goes away.

I have to admit that sometimes I don’t want it to go away.

The pain makes me know I’m alive, the pain is the evidence of how deep the love was/is, the pain promises I will always remember.

So I wrestle with this at times.

The Love Never Leaves You

But what I’m so grateful for, after all these years, is being struck by how much love I still feel for her, for us together, for our 19+ years.

Stephanie Rogers (Grief Counselor and Animal Companion Loss Support Specialist) says the love doesn’t go away.

It really doesn’t and in so many ways it’s more accessible because you can feel it everywhere: swirling around you, in a thought that pops in your head during the day, when the wind blows and kisses your cheek, in the warmth that fills your heart.

Cumin's face, calm

Love is Beyond Emotion

Love, unlike emotions, will never go away. And that’s because love is beyond emotion.

Karla McLaren, author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You, writes beautifully about love:

“Real love is a prayer and a deathless promise: an unwavering dedication to the soul of your loved one. Emotions and desires can come and go as they please, and circumstances can change in startling ways, but real love never wavers. Real love endures all emotions – and it survives trauma, betrayal, divorce, and even death.

The truth about love is this: Love is everywhere. Love is constant; it’s not an emotion.”

Cumin black and white photo next to lit candle

You Don’t Always Need To Be Brave

So put away your brave face.

Feel the heat rise from your heart all the way up to your face.

Let the warmth of your tears fill your eyes, let them overflow and spill down your cheeks.

It’s okay.

It really is because Love lives on….and You Are Loved.


Cumin, love ambassador eternal

* Cumin is the inspiration for Love and Above Cat Club; read more about that here.

* I formulated the HEART-HEAL flower essence and aromatherapy blends to support healing from loss, grief, and heartbreak; you can see HEART-HEAL here.


💌Love Note: We'd be honored if you would share the names of your Angel Animals in the comments. It will help others who read it know they're not alone.



  • Ash

    I had Amber for almost 11 years, she was with me while I was still learning about my emotions, through the hardest times of my life. She was there ready to curl up in my lap everytime I was near her she would not be far from me. She would stay in my lap all day if she could. I loved her so much I can’t even describe it. I lost her a few days ago to kidney failure and I’m just so broken I can’t stop crying and my heart is breaking. I’m just worried my heart will break too much with the pain but I have two boys to look after, I’m not sure either of my boys will have such an immense connection with me but I know they need me. I have always thought of Amber as my soul cat and always dreaded the day I would lose her, I always thought that I would end up going with her from the heart break, I just want to remember her all the time, always looking at the bountiful videos and pictures I have of her. All I want is to hold her, I felt like I couldn’t take my hand away from her coat as I stood over her on that table the last time I would ever see her. This may not be approved as I understand my thinking is not rational with such grief, I have lost animals before but not like this, I lost my soul cat, my baby girl and i feel like I never want to stop grieving such a loss in my life.
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Oh Ash. There are no words. But please know that I hear you. I understand what you’re saying. I wish I was there in person because I’d cry with you. When my soul cat, Cumin, passed I didn’t have other cats to care for at the time so it must be difficult with that too, still wanting to show up for your boys. I’ve been lucky to have two soul cats in my life and the love is just different. There’s a deeper Knowing of each other that doesn’t quite exist in many other relationships. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and please know we’re thinking of you and sending love!

  • Lacey Larkin

    It’s been nearly two years since I lost my soul cat, an anxious 6lb Siamese with a voice that could bring down the rafters. For six years, Solomon was my best friend and truly the king of my heart. I had had cats before but no cat was like Solomon. I think in many ways he was a Guardian Angel sent to me to help me through a difficult time. He was an anxious cat, he was so overbred and he had issues with eating, he was so picky about what he could eat. And in the end, that along with a broken heart is the reason I think he passed away. I went to college and lived in the dorms and he stayed at home with my parents. My mom tried her best but Solomon was really bonded to me. He was my cat through and through and it breaks my heart that maybe me being away in college broke his heart. I recently started writing a script for a class I am taking and I am writing about his passing. It just brought up all the feelings and memories again.
    My mom and I used to sing the theme to Mary Tyler Moore to him and wait for him to meow like the kitten did in the show and he always did. When he passed my mom and I were singing that to him. I absolutely believe animals go to heaven and I hope to meet him at the rainbow bridge when my time comes.
    I understand that a lot of people feel like they can’t have another pet because they’re afraid that they won’t be able to bond as closely with them. I would give anything to have a chance to feel that love and warmth and connection again and hopefully one day I’ll be able to. I will never forget Solomon as long as I live and our memories will stay with me forever.
    After his death I realized that death was easy, it’s the living that’s hard and painful and Solomon made my life just that much happier and better and easier.
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Lacey, I teared up reading what you shared about your relationship with Solomon. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. I’ve had many cats too and although each is special, there are some that rise above the rest in terms of the deep soul connection. I’m so glad you got to experience this with Solomon! Wow, I would love to read the script you’re writing for class. That Mary Tyler Moore song is sweet and what I hear is the part…“Love is all around no need to waste it. You can have the town why don’t you take it!” And this is so true of our cats’ love even after they pass…that love is still all around! Sending love, Lacey!

  • Leah Aubrecht

    My sweet Bengal Boy Radar got his wings last year on July 8th 2023 . He had suffered from lymphoma for the last few months and had IBS like symptoms .

    He was the sweetest most gentle cat I had ever owned and knew that his death would be a great loss to me emotionally

    I miss him terribly . The morning it was time for me to release him from his earthly body on the basis of compassion I woke up to such a peaceful morning
    It was so still and the birds were chirping
    I looked at him looking at me and knew it would be our last day together and my heart broke into a million pieces

    If you have ever had a pet where you feel your souls have met before in this lifetime , or perhaps many lifetimes ago you know the psychic pain of losing a soul pet
    I feel as though I lost someone critical to my growth path and to my life .

    I miss him everyday . There is not a day that goes by where I don’t wake up and think of him

    Wherever he is I hope it is filled with all of his favorite things

    I love you Radar Boy
    Thank you for blessing my life with your presence . I will miss you until the day I die

    Your heartbroken mama

    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Leah, thank you so much for sharing your sweet Radar Boy’s story with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. We were both so lucky to have found our Soulcats or perhaps even reconnected with them during this lifetime. I often look for Cumin hoping she’ll come back as another cat in my physical life. The pain is indeed unbearable at times. This year will make 8 years without Cumin physically with me. Like you, I still miss her every single day. The grief process is complex but I’m glad we can be on it together here. Thinking of you and Radar Boy and sending love!

  • Kalyn

    I just had to put my soul kitty down houdini unexpectedly on March 7th 2024. He was truly my best friend and the best kitty I could’ve ever asked for. He was doing so good then got bad so fast. I thought he just ate bad food and I took him to the emergency vet, turned out he had fip. If you don’t know, it’s a 100% fatal feline disease. He was so spunky, always taking q-tips out the bathroom and throwing them everywhere. I asked him for a sign after we had to sadly put him down and today, I walked up stairs and what did I see? Q-tips scattered all over the floor. I couldn’t believe it. Some may say I’m stupid for thinking it was a sign from him but I know it was. My silly boy always knew how to make me laugh even on my hardest days. He was a sweet boy to everyone but he was truly in love with me. Everyday he’d come on my pillow and PLOP down, not lay, plop. Dropped all his body weight on top of me and he’d snuggle as close as he could. He’d do a big stretch and give me his belly, yes his belly. Belly rubs were his FAVORITE! Most cats hate them but my beanie boy went CRAZY for them. I raised him since he was one second old and I thought I’d have him for the next 20 years. No matter what tho, even tho I didn’t even get two years with him I’d do it all over again to know a unconditional love like his. He truly was and will forever be my best friend. He taught me to not always be so serious and find the good in every small thing. Slow down and laugh. Most of all he taught me love. I won’t ever forget you houdini. I’ll be taking care of your brother and we’ll always be thinking about u until we meet again my sweet houds❤️
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Oh Kalyn, I’m so so sorry for your loss! FIP is a horrible disease. I’m glad you found us though because you’re certainly not alone. And I believe in signs too! Continue asking for them and continue feeling Houdini in your life in this new and different way. I know it’s not the same but they truly are still here with us! Thank you so much for sharing Houdini with us, Kalyn. I loved the Q-tip story so much! Take care now!

  • Harold Anderson

    My first cat as an adult was Mischief 1993-2013 I found her on the side of the road on a rainy afternoon, she was a tiny, skinny, soaking wet kitten with an infected eye. and being that it was 1993 before smartphones, internet or instant information, and not really knowing how to care for cats (Although I had cats as a child this was my first one as an adult) I took her home and fed her warm milk by an eye dropper, and did my best to clean her eye off.
    The first night I fixed a box in the bedroom for her to sleep in and the next thing I knew she was climbing up the side of the bed to sleep next to me, and for the next twenty years with the exception of my being away from home, she curled up next to me every night to sleep.
    she became blind in one eye from the infection, but lived a long life, as she got older I built multiple steps to the bed, couches, recliner, etc so she could move about to cuddle with me.
    When the time came to send her to Heaven on July 30th 2013 it was a very surreal event, almost like a dream or out of body experience.
    luckily I had other cats at the house by then to help comfort me.
    and today she sits proudly on the entertainment center at my current house as a reminder of how lucky I was to find her, and how much joy, happiness, and laughter she brought into my life.
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Harold, your story about Mischief made me well up. It’s those routines we have that sometimes are the hardest to live without: the curling up next to you every night in bed. Cumin used to rub her face on the edge of my eyeglasses. I’d put my face up to her and she’d rub on them. Sometimes I still catch myself putting my face up to Bear, my current love bug, and he gives love-sniffs but no eyeglass rubs. It’s those little things that are the big things.Thank you for sharing your story about Mischief and thank you for all the great good you do for so many cats!

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