Goodbye, little buddy

The vet’s office called this morning to tell me Leonard didn’t make it through the night.

I’ve been bawling randomly since. Uncontrollably1. I haven’t cried like this since I was a kid. I suppose it’s the shock. I always expected Dolly to be the one to go first, and not for many years at that. I know I’ll be alright, I just need time. It was such a big decision to adopt another cat, and I jumped on it cause I wanted one so badly, and I made all the preparations, and nursed him back to health so many times, and now he’s gone so suddenly.

____’s been talking some sense into me. I blamed myself for not going to the vet sooner; maybe there’s something he could have done, maybe being on an IV earlier would given him the strength to recover. But I did what I thought was best at the time, and there are countless maybes in life, and there’s no way of knowing why he died because the tests weren’t finished. It could have been something congenital, which seems likely considering he was sick most of the time.

I wish he could have died with me though, instead of alone in an animal hospital. I wonder if he died because he was stressed from being away from home. On his last night here, he crawled up from under the bed to sleep on me as soon as I got under the covers, and I’m glad I appreciated it when it happened.

The vet’s office asked what I wanted to do with the remains. I’ve been given the option for cremation, or I can take the body home to bury. I never considered any of this until now; I’ll definitely be going with cremation, but I won’t be taking the ashes because they aren’t warm and cuddly.

I know this is better than some long, drawn out suffering, through pain or medical procedures, but it still doesn’t make it easier. I take comfort in the fact that I was able to give him a happy life, as short as it was.

Before I settled on Leonard, I was calling him “little buddy”, and that kind of stuck. I’d always say, “Hey little buddy”, when I saw him. His head would perk up, and he’d chirp and get up to nuzzle me.

So goodbye, little buddy. I wish I could have held you one last time if I knew it was the last time I was going to see you. I wish I could have known you when you were older. I wish you were around longer, cause I still had so much more love for you.

  1. I’m so glad I work from home. []


  1. I was trying to do some editing of the wordpress blog that you designed and stumbled onto your blog entry.

    I am so sorry to read about the death of your cat. I am a cat owner and I know how much love a cat gives and how special their way of showing affection is.

    • Thank you, I never knew how attached I could get to something I only had for three months, but I guess cats can do that.

  2. Jeff, I am so sad to hear about little Leonard. Mark told me as soon as I got home and having lost a few pets in my lifetime I know how hard it can be.

    Even though he had a short life it was obviously rich in love and happiness. So snuggle up with Dolly cause I’m sure she’ll miss him in her own way too.

    Big hug!!!

    • I’ve definitely been snuggling with Dolly and squeezing her more tightly. I think she’s getting grumpy because of it. :)

  3. Your life will forever be richer for having him in it.

    • I think you’re right. I’m glad I was able to get some good photos and videos of him to keep as a memory. I’ll never see the footage the same way again.

  4. I am so sorry about you losing your little kitty. :-( He was absolutely adorable and I wish you could have seen him all grown up. I am sure he appreciated all you did for him in your short time and I am sure there is another kitty out there waiting for you to bring into your world and home and lavish it with your love. :-)

    • I meant in your short time with him.

    • Yep, I want another kitty already. :) But probably not for a little while.

  5. That video is so precious, what a cool way to shoot it (I, too, need to think up a new adjective for stuff I like). Those ears, those eyes, that pink paw, that soft fuzzy fur, the way he keeps falling off the desk into nod; now that is heaven for both of you.

    • He was about seven weeks old in this video. It must have been one of his brief periods of health, where his nose wasn’t runny or clogged.

      He loved to jump on my desk and sleep on my lap, or put a paw on my strings if I was playing guitar. And often enough, he’d sit on my keyboard by mistake to watch me, and I’d get all these beeps from the computer. I miss him so much already.

  6. I wish I’d known you had a respiratory situation with him sooner or I would have pushed you for a doctor visit — I’ve had several rats who had long hard times with respiratory problems, even with amoxicillin…. they are just hard to break. They’re even hard to challenge once you have the animal taking the meds, because the meds tend to quash appetite.

    So very sorry you had to part. He was dear, and this vid so beautifully shows it.

    Perhaps not right away, but soon, you must think what other little life you can make happy. There are SO MANY that need us – and right away.

    • The tricky thing about respiratory infections in cats is that vets say it’s best to just let them run their course. Leonard pretty much had back-to-back respiratory infections since I had him, and it turns out the last was one secondary to other infections.

  7. Oh Jeff I’m so sorry to read this news. You gave him a happy life in the time he was with you. My sympathies.

  8. Aw, that’s hard. No two deaths are ever the same. I was surprised at how much of a wreck I was when our last cat died. Can’t second guess what’s done to any benefit. Too many unknowns in cat illness. They are often totally strong and then totally gone.

    • I’ve also heard stories about sudden illness in cats. In one case, the cat was healthy when he jumped from a piece of furniture, and dead by the time he landed. I think it’s partially due to the fact that they tend to be such little troopers that they often don’t show pain.

      • yeah, it could be that. they suck it up. they choose to live with messy, smelly, funny looking hairless cats like us.

  9. I came here looking for info on your WordPress theme and now I’m bawling, too. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know what it’s like to get attached to cats and the thought of losing either of my kitties is too much to think about. My thoughts are with you.

  10. I understand the feeling. It doesn’t get easier, just get buried deeper. Be greatful you are still human.

    • The hardest part was the first day (the entire first day), and from there it’s gotten easier. I think all the initial crying helped get it out of my system.

      • I realized that everyone says it will get easier. I was serious about it NOT doing that and now believe that it is probably part of my nature. That once in a while, the ghost comes back to haunt me and I’d re-live the moment of the loss fully.

  11. I’m sorry to hear about this Jeff! It’s been awhile since I’ve been to your blog. I can’t imagine what you must be going through, hope you’ve come to terms with it and that it’s not your fault. Treasure the time you had with him. Even though it was a short time, at least he was loved during those precious months.

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