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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