Goodbye, Cat

Today we put down our cat, Cat.

She was seventeen, and her kidneys failed. For the last few days, she nested in a towel on a table on the porch, leaving it only to eat a few bites and pee on the floor. She didn’t appear to be acutely miserable, but she clearly wasn’t well. As hard as it is to put down an animal who doesn’t seem to be in pain, we preferred to do it before she got to that stage. There’s no recovery from renal failure.

She was an excellent cat, the right combination of affectionate and self-sufficient, and she had a good run. She spent her days chasing varmints, basking in the sun, and studiously ignoring the chickens. She wasn’t particularly food-oriented, but she loved popcorn and toast, and would put her dignity on the shelf to beg for them. She liked to hide behind the couch and pounce on us as we walked by. She talked a lot.

We were fond of her. She was our cat. We will miss her.

Here’s to you, cat.


19 people are having a conversation about “Goodbye, Cat

  1. I’m so sorry, its a year since we had our tom cat Trotsky put down and I still miss him.

    I thought I wouldn’t have another cat but the children won and we have two kittens who I am finding surprisingly easy to love. They look rather like Cat.

  2. Aw… sorry to hear about Cat, she was a sweetie. Dianne’s right– you gave her a great life, the past few years in particular. All cats should be so lucky.

  3. Wow- seventeen- that’s a good long time for a cat. It’s also a good long time to be used to having something in your life, especially something that brought you joy. I’m sorry about the hole she left, but glad you had each other, even if it was only for a little while.

  4. If I was a cat I would have been glad to spend my golden years in the country with chickens and a lake too, with popcorn and toast on tap, and sharing in my owner/fishermens’ bounty. A happy cat indeed.

  5. So sorry to hear this, Tamar. I know the sorrow of putting down an ailing cat, and for what it’s worth, I think you made the better call in putting her down early rather than later. We waited too long with our two older cats, and I wish I hadn’t. I’m sure Cat had a great life, one that none of us would be sorry to live through in one of our alternate lives. So here’s to Cat, indeed.

  6. never easy losing a family member..but it sounded like the best thing for everyone..I actually had a conversation with a friend about this over the weekend ( losing pets )..I cried like a baby when we put our dog to sleep a year and a half ago.

  7. I very much appreciate the good wishes — I know a lot of you have had to do it, too, and it’s just a painful, difficult thing. I wept like a schoolgirl.

    But we enjoyed her company while we had her, and the balance on the Pet-O-Meter was hugely positive. It’s kind of strange adjusting to not having her; I keep expecting to hear her come through the cat door.

    The cat door, though, is boarded up, so we will have no more varmints in the house. There is no longer a litter box in the bathtub, there are no little clumps of fur in the corners. As much as I miss her, I’m not blind to the upside of being catless (at least for a while).

  8. Sounds like you gave her a splendid life — especially in her retirement years!

    Two of my catfolk adore popcorn, too. One of them also enjoys rice and corn Chex, which I usually eat dry, as a snack. Tenzing appears to enjoy making them go “crunch!” Funny little people, cats. 🙂

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about Cat. She looked as though she enjoyed life in the photos.

    One of our cats loves sweetcorn, squash, cucumber, melon, courgette…She’ll demolish a whole cucumber or courgette, given half a chance. I must try her with popcorn.

    And after our old dog was put down, I really enjoyed not having to do the clearing up. For about 6 months and we now have 2 dogs again! Enjoy your raccoon free house while you have it.

  10. Tamar,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. If you need it, Jon Katz has an excellent book out. Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die. I use it for a lot of my patients.

  11. Thank you for sharing your photos and memories of Cat. She looked like a fine feline having a fine life in those pictures.

    I’m a little overwhelmed to find this post right now as I have a 17 year old cat, Simon, also a tuxedo, who I’ve been struggling to keep weight onfor the last year. He just went to the vet and had bloodwork. It came back perfect. While I still feeling rather delighted with those results I was informed that the weight loss may be cancer since it isn’t kidneys or liver. Sigh. If it is cancer I know I will be giving him end of life care at his age, not aggressive cancer treatment.

    We sure are attached to our furry little carnivores. Jeannie: I think I’ll look for the book you recommend. Thank you for your posting.

  12. Aw, Cat. I’ve spent many nights with you on my lap as I eat too many after-dinner chocolates with Tamar and Kevin. You were very sweet. A wonderful companion who saw a whole lot in her 17 years. And I believe you turned Tamar around on pets. In fact, you may have led to the current lifestyle, with several dozen animals in and around the home at any given moment. But you were different; you were a friend. Thank you for spending your days with us, Cat.

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