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Grief support service Paws to Listen helps cat owner Lianne with the loss of her feline companion.

Skittles stuck by her owner Lianne Loveridge through the toughest of times, so when she passed away at 11 years old, a big hole was left in her home and heart.

blonde woman in christmas jumper holding white cat

“Skittles had helped me through so much, from suffering with severe depression in my early to mid-20s to getting back on my feet and settling down to get married,” said Lianne from Warwick. “She was there for the good times and the bad, and we had a very close bond.”

Sadly Skittles was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2019, and just eight weeks later she passed away.

white cat lying on purple checked blanket

“Losing her really knocked me – suddenly my constant companion was gone,” said Lianne. “Friends and family tried to say comforting things, but it didn’t help me get over the feelings of loss. I also felt guilty, as it was up to me to take that final decision for her to be put to sleep.”

Struggling with the loss of Skittles, Lianne decided to call Cats Protection’s grief support service, Paws to Listen, to speak to one of our volunteer listeners.

“Speaking to someone at Paws to Listen helped me enormously – the volunteer helped me understand that I had done the right thing and that my feelings were perfectly normal.

close up of white cat looking at camera

“I still have ups and downs, but the support has helped me to focus on the good memories and to deal with my feelings of loss.”

Lianne recently got married and, while the thought of going through such an important life change without Skittles around was upsetting, she found that the emotional support she received really helped her to cope so she could enjoy her big day.

Although the Paws to Listen service is confidential, Lianne said she wanted to speak publicly to help other people in need of support following the loss of a cat.

blonde woman hugging white cat

“Skittles loved to be the centre of attention so what better way to honour her memory than for people to know about the happiness she brought me.”

“Skittles was more than just a cat. She was my constant companion and supportive best friend.”

Let us know what your marvellous moggy means to you with #MoreThanJustACat.

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