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OT: Goodbye to my Cat


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I'm sad to announce that my cat of almost 14 years, Yoko, passed away this morning.

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~jeffannak/images/yokoflt.jpg

 

I know this sounds like a cliche, but Yoko was more like a dog than a cat, which was fine by me. She loved people, would come when called every time, and would even play catch with me when I'd toss her a balled-up piece of paper (which she'd actually return).

 

She was super-intelligent. I've had many cats over the course of my life, and it almost seemed like Yoko was a different species than the others.

 

We got Yoko from an animal shelter when she was 6 weeks old. We were her family for her entire life, and the small costs of maintaining her were paid back a thousandfold in the joy we received from her.

 

She'd spent almost her entire life being healthy. About a month ago, she started slowing down a bit. Then, in this past week, she took a serious turn for the worse. I took her into the vet this morning, and she was in bad shape... trouble breathing, very cold temperature. They said it was either heart failure or FIP, either of which would be fatal soon. Nothing could have been done to save her... it was just her body shutting down in old age. I decided to end her suffering sooner than later... a hard decision. And saying goodbye was not one of the easier things I've had to do in my life, but it's something that we all go through from time to time.

 

Thanks in advance for sparing the "no more cat puke on equipment" comments (although she was indeed the culprit)... this is a real loss for my family, and I appreciate your sensitivity in that regard.

 

And thanks for reading.

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~jeffannak/images/yokoface.jpg

 

Yoko Klopmeyer, 10/31/90 - 8/2/04. Rest in Peace.

 

- Jeff

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Jeff,

 

My sincere condolences go out to you and your family. Your description of Yoko sounds exactly like my 6-toed Tabby cat Hobbes, who is unfortunately getting up there in age as well. Ive had him since I was in high school and hes been a big part of the family ever since. I know that Ill have a really hard time when he goes, but its unfortunately unavoidable. Anyhow, Im not sure what I can say to make you feel better expect that others share the same type of intimate relationship with a special animal like yours and Im sure that we all feel deeply for you.

 

-Dylan

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That's rough.

 

I remember when I had to take my beagle in to be put down. Wow...that was not easy. She wasn't really sick either. But her kidneys were slowly shutting down. I dug a deep hole in my back yard the night before. And then that morning, I took Maggie out for one final walk. And then we got into the car to go the the vet. It was like going to a funeral, because everything was so planned ahead.

 

My wife and I went into the examining room with her, and I held her head and looked into her eyes while the vet administered the shot. I held her till the end, and then we wrapped her up and took her home.

 

My wife and I knew this would be hard, but we weren't prepared for how profound the moment would be. We got into the car, and just started crying together.

 

Animals are like family. Okay, it's not the same as if it were one of my kids...but it's still pretty hard.

 

I buried her, and we planted a lilac bush to sort of commemorate her life.

 

Maggie was the sweetest dog a guy could ever ask for.

 

Take it easy, Jeff. Go have a big hot-fudge sundae to celebrate Yoko's life.

 

A toast to Yoko... May her spirit find great pastures of catnip, bits of yarn, and many mice! :)

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Originally posted by Jeff Da Weasel:

http://home.earthlink.net/~jeffannak/images/yokoface.jpg

 

Yoko Klopmeyer, 10/31/90 - 8/2/04. Rest in Peace.

 

- Jeff

I might have been able to read this with some detachment if not for the photos! What a BEAUTIFUL cat.

 

It's such a blessing to spend even a moment of one's life with a creature like this- I often think that if my cat were a wild animal, I would treasure for a lifetime a single good glimpse- what an incredible thing to be able to live with, care for, and get to know something so beautiful, with the wild spirit that cats manage to keep even as a house pet.

 

My cat is now turning 7, and just beginning to show his age- he just doesn't heal as quick as he did, and his temperament is somewhat subdued. I have lost so many beloved cats at the ages of 1 and 2, including his mother , I feel incredibly blessed to still be with him after 7 years. I can only hope he lives to 14! 21 would be just fine with me too.

 

For a long time I felt that I would be completely lost without my cat, who really is my familiar, but I'm coming to understand that his spirit will always be with me, when his sweet little body is gone.

 

I've come to treasure his presence each moment as an incredible blessing. Knowing that I will outlive him almost certainly makes that quite poignant- if we were all immortal, life would be so cheap- as it is, it is so very very dear...

 

I'm just glad that one cat, pictured above looking very healthy and well cared for, had a sweet loving home for as long as she did. Thank you so much for caring for and valuing your cat! You should feel some consolation that you were able to appreciate her and be good to her while she was alive.

 

I can't really fathom such a loss- be good to yourself!

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Oh man, it tears me up to hear of your loss.

 

Takes me back to when my cat Felix got sick and I had to do what I had to do. In some ways, I think it's even harder with pets - after a life of unconditional love, and knowing that they probably have limited understanding of what is happening.

 

14 years is a good long time. Your cat was lucky to have been cared for so well. Felix was 12, and I still miss him a ton, even though it's been over 2 years now. Sounds like he may have had some things in common with your cat - I remember how people used to say that even though they weren't "cat people," that they liked Felix.

 

Hang in there, Jeff. Thanks for reminding me how my cat still touches my heart.

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Thank you all.

 

I can tell that many of you really understand how difficult this has been. I'm mostly grateful for the fact that she had such a quick demise. Grateful for her sake... not mine. It's quite a shock... as someone said to me today, "But she was jumping around and playing just last month!" He was incredulous that an animal so full of life could be gone that quickly.

 

But life does go on. I had to go directly from the vet to a meeting this morning. That wasn't easy, but in a way, it's good for me to be immersed in other things to take my mind off the cat's passing. At the same time, she was important enough to me to want to memorialize her, which is the reason for this post.

 

Again, thanks for your sentiments. They're very helpful, every one of them.

 

- Jeff

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Very sorry for your loss, Jeff. I know I can't imagine not having our little guy around right now, but I guess it's the one sad inevitability of pet ownership. :( Sounds like you made the right choice in ending her suffering, but it must've been one of the toughest things you've had to do. At least you guys had a long, healthy GOOD time together which is more than can be said for a lot of owner/pet situations. Take care man!
None more black.
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Sorry to hear of your loss...

 

It's kind of spooky -- your Yoko looks almost exactly like our cat (and sounds like her too, in the intelligence / friendliness / playfulness departments). We rescued our (don't laugh) Little Shit because, for reasons I'll never understand, someone dropped her off at one of my wife's gift shops. Their loss is our gain. We've had a few pretty good cats around, but Little Shit is the most amazing animal I've had the privilege to know.

 

And she looks just like Yoko... scary. Jeff, I know how you feel. Keep your chin up, and all that stuff.

 

Peace,

John Bartus

Music From The Fabulous Florida Keys

www.johnbartus.com

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Sorry for your family's loss, Jeff. I've outlived several cats and dogs, both in my immediate and extended families. How's your little guy taking it?

 

As you know, I'm a cat person. (Dog person, too.)

 

We have 6 cats. I have thought quite about the coming end of their lives. Simon is going on 12 years old, Domino is 6 months younger. The sisters, Hobbes and Tigger are 10 1/2. Furclumpt (aka Sparkle) is 8, IIRC and our newest addition, Oliver, is little more than a year old.

 

I keep telling my self that cats can live 20 years or more. (Guiness has conflicting info on their website. The text suggest 25 years as the outer limit while the video states the cat shown is 34 years old and still going strong.) But reality seems to be that a cat of 14 - 17 years has lived a long life, so my time with these precious members of our family is quickly turning.

 

Every one of them has a distinct, interesting personality. I can't say that when one dies, at least we'll have others. Each is a lovable individual.

 

We lost a kitten to a neurological disease in 1996. That was really tough. She was very special in that she slept between us. (None of the others slept regularly on our bed, and when they did it was always at our feet. She suffered for 6 months while we looked for any hope of recovery. (Our vet tried getting her seen by the Auburn veterinary school, in hopes her treatment could be paid for in trade for the learning experience for the students. Unfortunately, they concluded all they might do was tell us what was wrong, so nothing was done.)

 

I know exactly the kind of cat Yoko was, Jeff. Not because of my own cats, though.

 

My brother's cat, Shadow, used to hear us krinkle paper into a ball and would ascend, first onto my desk, then up to the top of my bookcases. We would toss the ball of paper straight up and Shadow would play "Pawball", slapping it around the room. Every once in a while he'd see his chance, put both paws out, and catch the ball, drawing it into his mouth. After a few seconds we'd say, "drop it" and sure enough, down it came. :D

 

Sadly, Shadow died all too soon when he jumped into a cooler with a sliding, auto-latching top. When Steve arrived home Shadow had suffocated. :cry:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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I'm so sorry, Jeff.

 

This was such a wonderful thing to say:

 

Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:

It's such a blessing to spend even a moment of one's life with a creature like this- I often think that if my cat were a wild animal, I would treasure for a lifetime a single good glimpse- what an incredible thing to be able to live with, care for, and get to know something so beautiful, with the wild spirit that cats manage to keep even as a house pet.

The rest of Ted's post was pretty good, too.

 

Jeff, how's your son handling the whole thing? It's so hard to explain these things to small children.

Julie
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Oh man, I'm sorry to hear Jeff. It's a real tough loss. All those little idiosyncrasies they have, even the irksome ones, grow on a person and that's what makes them so special that they become a part of the family and not just a pet.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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Originally posted by JulieCat:

Jeff, how's your son handling the whole thing? It's so hard to explain these things to small children.

Nick is five now. That's just on the border of my comfort level in regard to handling this. If he were a year younger, I'd just stop mentioning the cat's name, and realize he'd likely forget about her. If he were a year older, he'd be more cognizant about what has happened.

 

At this point, he knew that Yoko had ben sick for a few days. He knew I took her to the doctor this morning. But that's as far as we've got with it.

 

I'm torn between proactively talking about it with him versus waiting until he asks about her. She'd ben an outside cat mostly, for the past few years, so it's a normal thing for her not to be around the house. Also, Nick has at least a vague understanding of what death means, so I have a starting point of comprehension.

 

But if he does ask, I intend on being as honest as possible without dwelling on the sad parts. I'd like him to remember the good aspects of her life.

 

- Jeff

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Cat, if you go outdoors, you must walk in the snow.

You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,

little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet.

Stay by the fire, my Cat. Lie still, do not go.

See how the flames are leaping and hissing low,

I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite,

so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet -

stay with me, Cat. Outdoors the wild winds blow.

 

Outdoors the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night,

strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore,

and more than cats move, lit by our eyes green light,

on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar -

Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,

and things that are yet to be done. Open the door!

 

-- Elizabeth Coatsworth

 

My heart weeps for your loss Jeff.

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My thoughts are with you and your family. Sorry this happened to you. Don't know what else to say, but that she was an adorable looking cat.

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

--------------------

Reporter: "Ah, do you think you could destroy the world?" The Tick: "Ehgad I hope not. That's where I keep all my stuff!"

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We had a long talk with Lilly about death a few years ago. (She's also 5.) It was precipitated by the death of a cousin. She was life-flighted to Vanderbilt and Lilly was with us when they pulled her plug, a day after her arrival. She spent the next 6 months contemplating everything that came to mind about death. I'm glad we were up front about most of it, but it's a difficult question for a young mind to contemplate.

 

At 5, and being that our cats are all indoor animals, Lilly would know within a few hours if one were missing.

 

I hope it doesn't become an issue for young weasel-boy, but if it does, take heart that they usually accept closure better than older children, who truly understand from the get-go that the cat won't be coming home and tend to be more affected. Like you said, a year or two back and he might not really notice her absence.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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To be a child and learn about death- what a confusing thing, but that's how we learn how precious life is. Imagining being a 5 year old, is almost as hard for me as imagining being a cat- but imagining being a 5 year old who has lost a beloved cat is somehow just too easy...

 

I'm writing this with my cat curled up at my feet, his paw resting on my foot, and I'm crying. :cry:

 

How bittersweet this life is. To know the value of the water before the well runs dry, is wisdom indeed.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:

How bittersweet this life is. To know the value of the water before the well runs dry, is wisdom indeed.

Well worth repeating.

*************************************

 

Sorry for your loss Jeff. I think what you said here is right on the money.

But if he does ask, I intend on being as honest as possible without dwelling on the sad parts. I'd like him to remember the good aspects of her life.

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Jeff,

 

I'm sorry for the loss of your cat, Yoko.

 

We've got lots of pets. They're like members of the family and we love 'em very much. I lost my first dog not too long ago. She meant a lot to me.

 

Anyway, I wish you and your family the best.

 

Tom :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Jeff, I am too really sorry to see you and your family lost a loved member. I grew up with many animals in and around the house myself and I know how important their presence and unconditional love to us is. There's so much to learn from them for us human beings . I have a parrot for over 30 years now who teaches and reminds me to be humble and thankful for everyday of my life. She'll probably outlives me but if she doesn't, I'm afraid I wouldn't know how to deal with that.

 

I can totally relate to your loss, but hopefully you can find some comfort in the fact that she spent her life with people who really cared and loved her. Losing a loving animal like your cat is very painful indeed but the gift to unconditionally love them back in return is pure bliss.

Take care,

 

steelandre.

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Man, I'm sorry to hear that. I had a cat that looked just like her. It was a he though. Same thing, he was adopted. My X has him if he's still alive.

 

I had to put my cat to sleep last week. She was only 5 years old. When I got divorced we rode up and down the road together as I got a new home. I never could think of a name, so I called her Rider. She was a hell of a cat. By my side every minute. Her favorite toy was a twist tie. I would throw it, she would bring it back.

 

Oh well.. cats are cool.

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