Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or none of the above, you know how painful loss can be. Even when a living thing comes to the end of its life, the inevitable is difficult. There they are, with you. And then they aren’t anymore. Ever. And no matter how old or how sick, you just miss them. They entertain you, cheer you, greet you and provide companionship. You care for them, feed them, talk to them and teach them a trick or two.
First there was Eloise, a cat someone dumped in the park across the street where we live. 1992. We took her in. Laura was in second grade.
In the Spring of 1993, Eloise gave birth to Fred, Tommie and Lucy.
Lucy- the last of the litter- the only one with long hair, big green eyes- a pretty cat and sweet.
She was the loudest purrer and a docile cat. She was the most vocal and would talk back as your called her name.
My one friend thinks Steve needs a kitten. NOT! We’re not getting any more cats.
Steve said maybe a hypoallergenic dog? Down the road a bit. A little terrier? No! We just can’t have any more pets. It’s too hard to lose them. The last couple months seemed to be a cat hospice situation around here with Steve so vigilant and trying everything to make her life nice. She really was confined to one room and didn’t climb the stairs anymore.
Her being in the one room allowed the family to come this summer and sleep overnight as they suffer from cat allergies. Oh how the grandkids loved seeing Lucy. Steve would take them in and they were so happy seeing her, asking about her. I know they’ll be sad to hear she’s gone.
Earlier in the summer, Michael gave me his pet rock he’d made in day camp “for when Lucy dies”.
I think about how Mark, Erika and both of her parents and now even Laura all suffer from cat allergies. So do a couple of my good friends and it has impacted their ability to come and enjoy being in my home. Oh dear. But when Laura was growing up, she used to have cute Lucy crawl under the covers. Now she can’t be near cats without an allergic reaction.
Nineteen and a half years is a full life for a cat. Or as Mark says, she had nine wonderful lives thanks to Steve. Steve has been caring for her so tenderly. Sips of Cat Milk, special food for the thyroid. You name it. Steve was practically chewing up shrimp like a penguin mother. Now it’s hard to handle and dispose of her bowl and her drinking fountain, her pan, all the things she used.
Three weeks ago at the vet they said she was doing well for her age.
Hmmm, I thought. She didn’t look too good to me but her eyes had life and she was still using the litter pan and eating a little.
I knew she was coming down the home stretch. We talked about knowing it was time to put her down. But we hadn’t.
And so the night before the first day of school, Steve came in around 1:30 AM and said that he was petting her and she didn’t wake up. That she was gone. Friday he took her to be cremated while I started my new job. I was sorry he had to go alone. It still doesn’t seem real that she passed and isn’t coming back.
We’ll miss you Lucy.
I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are family members. We love them so as they love us. You gave Lucy so much love and care. How
lucky she was to be your cat and how lucky you were to have Lucy in your life. I said the same thing about no more pets after we lost our Tuffy. Here I am with another special guy, who is now almost 16. …..So I know what you are going through. Just remember, better to have loved and experienced the joy of Lucy than never having her in your lives. My deepest sympathy…Judy
(I obviously need sleep…disregard ^). What I *really* wanted to say is that you are so very sweet, Ruth. I’m sorry and sad for your loss. Please pass my condolences on to Steve…
Thank you and I will share with Steve
this made me cry like a baby. My Chyna is almost 13 and has some healthy issues. I was united with him as a lost eighteen year old girl…shortly after, I met the man who would become my husband, and together, we made Chyna a loving home with two kitty siblings. Knowing other families fear the day that their feline companions go on to that kitty paradise in the sky softens my own anxieties. But Chyna is may baby…Lucy had the same shinning, full of love eyes that Chyna has. The passing must weigh so heavy on your hearts.
Thank you for posting this. I am so sorry for loss. Steve sounds like a knight in shinning armor.
Thinking of you and wishing you and Chyna well. Thank you for your kind words. Steve is definitely that knight- or maybe St. Francis.
She was a beautiful cat. I am not a pet person but reading this, here in Rapid City, South Dakota, I started to cry. I think that’s why I never wanted a pet. The sadness over losing them is just too great. I am thinking of you and Steve.
Thanks for your good thoughts Sue. (I have never been to South Dakota.)
Ruth E – it is a beautiful state – the badlands, mt rushmore, custer state park – you must come see
I’m so sorry, Ruth. Those of us who’ve adopted fur — and feathered — kids have a pretty good idea of your loss and pain. It is, by far, the worst part of pet ownership. Still, I doubt if Lucy would have thrived any better or lived any longer under any other family’s care. You provided her a good home and happy life. If such things were possible, I’m sure she would have thanked you all. My sympathies to you, Steve, and to all who knew and loved Lucy.
What kind words. I am sharing with Steve. Fellow pet lovers do understand the loss and pain and that helps a great deal. It is a sad transition and I know Lucy was grateful for her being part of the family. I added a photo of the three little kittens asleep in Laura’s dollhouse. Oh those happy times. Thanks John. xxooRuth
Dear Ruth, I am so sorry for your loss. One that is not a pet lover will never understand the pain one feels at the loss of them…but on the other hand, they will never realize the enjoyment and love that only a cat or dog can bring into our lives. It has been 12 years since our Misha left us and we think of him often. They play such an important part of our lives and leave us with such wonderful memories. Please pass my sympathy on to Steve. I feel your loss.
Thanks Rob. I will share with Steve. It helps to know others understand. We found a photo of the three little kittens asleep in Laura’s Barbie house. I know you miss Misha. Is she the one who ate the golden canary? xxoo
RUth and Steve,
Lucy is a very pretty cat. I am sorry to hear of your loss.
Thanks for the condolences Lara.
Oh my, I am so sorry for your loss. Your story flooded back memories of the last few days with our precious Dustie Bunny. I feel the same way: NO MORE PETS. It’s so hard to lose them after they’ve burrowed into the inner most recesses if your heart. It’s been seven years since we’re pet free, now we feed the squirrels, but at least I don’t need to pay someone to bunny-sit when we go away or feel the heart strings being pulled as we leave to catch our flight somewhere. The house seems empty and lifeless a bit but we still cling to Dust’s memory and that helps. We have Dust’s ashes in our home office in a simple handmade wooden box with a wooden button knob.
What a challenging way to start a new job; I’m sure your students will help ease the sadness. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Aww thanks Eva. Sorry you lost your sweet Dustie Bunny. The wooden box holding the ashes sounds so touching.
School will be good in that once I get there I can’t really think of anything else. But the students don’t start until Wednesday.
Goodbye Lucy. I will always remember dressing you up in baby doll clothes. I’m really sorry about that because I know you didn’t enjoy it.
Added the three kittens sleeping in Laura’s Barbie house. Lucy on the right
The deepest pain, there is nothing like the unconditional love of our best friends. I am so sad for you and Steve. I know you both have a heart full of Lucy memories that will always make you smile and be thankful that Lucy was such an important part of your lives. I love you
You never really lose a pet because you still “see” them in their usual hang out. Understanding your sorrow, I send along my thoughts to you and Steve.
PS Kerry died the night before one of my grad fiinals at Clarion. Bob & Don buried her.
I remember your dear dog in Clarion. Matthew snd i just drive through there the other day. Thanks Joyce.
So sorry to hear of Lucy’s passing. Her pictures remind me so much of my Maine Coon cat Harmony. She is very vocal, too. I lost two much-loved cats in one year and sobbed my eyes out at the vet’s office both times. I have their ashes in little containers on my fireplace and they will be buried with me when I go, as will the ashes of the 3 cats I have now. You loved Lucy when you had her and will always have fond memories to hold in your heart. Even though I don’t know Steve, please hug him for me.
Awww you are sweet Sally. Thanks for sharing your stories of your kitties.
So sorry for your loss. Beautiful photos of Lucy. You are right, it is sad.
Ruth & Steve, So sorry about your loss. I know it is difficult losing a pet, just like losing a family member. Take care. Donna
All the photos are precious, but the middle one says it all — like the portrait of a member of the family, which Lucy was!!! Love to you and Steve – Lucy knows you did everything “humanly” possible to be with her!!! XOXOXO
Thanks for sharing your memories and photos of Lucy and all your other wonderful pets. Saying goodbye is so difficult.
Thank you for your kind condolences.
I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty-cat. Lucy was a spectacular-looking cat. So REGAL. What a beauty. I loved your portraits. Gosh, I’ve felt the feline void. After my cat Boo passed away, I kept seeing her everywhere. Hearing her, too. Sending Big Hugs, Theadora
Thank you Theadora for your empathetic words. You know what it is like losing a special cat friend. They are so dear to us. Xxoo
Ruth and Steve,
The most touching sympathy card I ever saw simply said, “sometimes we just have to go home.” My thoughts are with you.
I’m sooooo sorry 🙁 ….. our pets leave such a void when they go…remember all the joy Lucy brought…
My condolences to you… Lucy is now an angel watching over you…
Life is precious Ruth. Losing a creature that is part of your everyday life is especially tough. Gd bless.
Ruth, I am so sorry for the lost of your beautiful cat. She has had such a wonderful, kind and loving home. Steve could not have giving her better care that only a true pet lover can give. I think she may have lived so long because she didn’t want to leave your family. I hope you and Steve will be comforted knowing you gave her so much love.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Oh, so sorry. That is just so horribly hard. Pets are such a huge part of our lives. I do LOVE that picture of the kitties in the doll house, though. That is awesome!!!
Thanks Gretchen. Sweet times, those dollhouse years. I appreciate your condolences.
Ruth, I have a lot of empathy for you and Steve. My husband and I have only traveled this road once (http://smilekiddo.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/goodbye-sweet-girl/)), and it was painful. I’m thinking of you both. *hug*
I just reread your post
Brings a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat.
Every time I re-read that post, I have that same experience.
Sorry for your loss Ruth. I really enjoyed the photos and from what I can see, Lucy had a great life. We have lost two older cats this year. My condolences to you and your family.
Thanks for the condolences and I am sorry you lost your two cats, too. I appreciate all your “likes” on the blog today.
So sorry for your loss. The picture of all the kittens in the dollhouse is really sweet.
This is wonderful!