A Year Without Luke

A year ago our boy cat died suddenly. It was, without a doubt, the saddest time of my life so far. Losing a family pet as a child pales in comparison to losing a pet that you have had since it was a few weeks old. One that you have seen grow and seen his personality develop. One that has been with you through wedding planning, house moves, pregnancies and children.

Losing Luke was like losing a family member. It was a huge shock and I was just so upset for such a long time afterwards. I cried at some point every day for months and even now I cry often. 

A year later and I don’t miss Luke any less. I miss him every day but I have got used to him now being there and I have got over the shock of his sudden death. But I still miss him and I think I always will.

In some ways, having Luke’s sister Leia still has really helped – she has doubled up on her affection and will not leave us alone in the evenings. She loves being around us but she is a constant reminder of her brother too. They were just so different in their personalities and Leia is so little and Luke was so big. They were like Fred and Ginger, Will and Grace – Luke and Leia. It’s not right that there’s one without the other. She doesn’t seem to miss him though and that makes it a bit easier too. 

A Year Without Luke

LP talks about Luke often. She tells everyone that we have a cat – Princess-Leia-Babe – and that her brother – Lukey-pooge – has gone to cat heaven. She remembers him, misses him and talks about him all the time. Little Man, on the other hand, doesn’t really remember Luke but recognises him in photos and I think as the years go by he’ll remember Luke from those photos and not really from his own memories at all.

When Luke died I felt like I would never be happy again. It was an all encompassing grief and yet our little family have had such a lovely year. Leia has gone off on cattery holidays by herself – that made me so sad at first but she doesn’t seem to mind at all. We’ve all had a lovely year and it has gone by so fast. It still feels like yesterday we said goodbye to Luke at the vets.

After he died I went to look where he had been found. I hoped I’d find his collar as he didn’t have it on when he was taken to the vets. I didn’t find his collar and I told Dave I’d been to look for it. Unbeknown to me he had done the exact same thing as well – both of us wanting to find Luke’s ‘clothes’ and have something to hold onto.

We didn’t go looking again. We didn’t find the collar and really it wouldn’t change anything would it? We had eight great years with our beautiful boy cat and I know we’ll think about him often. He was a big part of our family and a year on that hasn’t changed.

A Year Without Luke


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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  1. I do know how you feel cos i missed my german shepherd like crazy and for yrs i just wished her back, i cried everytime little things got to me it was horrid. Now 16yrs later still hoping to see her again oneday x

  2. Oh I know how you feel, as you know we lost our cat just before Christmas very unexpectedly. Getting a kitten has helped, but we still stop and say Farley would have liked this or even Farley would have liked the kitten. I still miss him. Hugs to you Donna x

  3. Gorgeous boy. Losing a pet is heartbreaking and I can certainly empathise. We had two black rescue kittens – Luther and Dexter – and they were wonderful. Such sweet, affectionate brothers. Sadly, we also lost Dex very suddenly last year and I was utterly distraught. His brother moped around for weeks, meowing for him. In time, we’ve expanded our furry family however there’s not a day that goes by without me thinking of Dexter. Much love, Lisa x

  4. How sad. We are so attached to our dogs I would not know what to do if one of them went to dog heaven. It must be hard losing a pet. I had a cat my dad bought be at 21 which was run over and killed when still very young so I wasn’t too attached at that point but it was still a sad experience. Angela from Daysinbed

  5. Aw bless him. I feel exactly the same about Jamer. She was just the perfect cat for our family and I don’t know whether we’ll ever find another cat that would fit in quite in the same way. So sad when you lose them, I agree they are part of the family.

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