Alex is a beautiful tuxedo cat who has been homeless in our neighborhood for the past 10 years. He has survived freezing cold winters; scorching hot summers where the temperatures often reach into the high 90s and triple-digits; maneuvered and outwitted busy residential traffic daily; fought off countless feral and tom cats; avoided close encounters with raccoons, possums and skunks; and dodged all the other dangers and hazards that lurk outside ready to ensnare him. This is the story of Alex, a homeless cat with life-threatening injuries, who has survived against all odds, and was rescued in the nick of time.
Yesterday we regretfully had to say goodbye to our loving, beautiful boy Simba. This farewell caught us by surprise and was very unexpected. Although Simba had a long history of health issues, I never imagined having to say goodbye to him so soon, or so suddenly. So it is with great sadness that I have to let go of this gentle, beautiful life and soul and say a final farewell to our dear boy.
Simba was born feral and came to live in our backyard permanently in 2004. Because he adopted us, we built a shelter for him against our fence to protect him from the rain and added soft blankets to keep him warm and dry. He ate his food every morning and night on our patio table and when darkness fell he would take himself to his shelter, and go to sleep. He knew that we were now his home and he became increasingly comfortable with us and trusted us. Though at the time, I could not touch him, I would go out and say goodnight to him in his shelter and he would stay and listen. I felt honored that he let me sit so close to him, though he watched me cautiously.
I wish more than anything I could change what happened to you. I wish that I never went away. I wish I could go back and change everything and do things differently so you would still be here with me. I wish that I could have protected you and prevented what happened to you. I wish I was there for you so you never suffered. Oh, how I wish.
But nothing will change what happened. But I miss you. I will always miss you. I will always look for you in all of your special places—lying in the garden, under the trees, on the grass, curled up on your chair, and always sleeping on my pillow. I will never get used to you not being there—those places will never be the same without you. They are empty now.
The decision to give cat hospice care to our cat Pumpkin has prolonged her life significantly. Now a year and half later after almost euthanizing her, she’s still alive and still enjoying life. Today she’s going to our vet for a checkup to see where her general health is and to understand if we need to make any adjustments to her medical regimen.
I wrote about Pumpkin over a year ago when our vet had recommended euthanizing her to relieve her obvious pain and suffering. She had declined quickly, had lost a significant amount of weight, and was diagnosed with possible lymphoma. But I wasn’t ready to make that decision to end her life and wanted to give Pumpkin another chance, so we worked with our vet to create a palliative care plan for her that would make her as comfortable as possible, address her symptoms, and possibly extend her life. Continue reading Cat Hospice Care Has Prolonged Our Cat’s Life
Our sweet, darling Red passed away almost four months ago to this day, the day after Christmas. We cared for him up to his last moments, and honored his death with his cat friends and proper burial in our backyard.
I wanted to honor our beautiful Red by writing about him and sharing his story of survival, challenge, and incredible transformation. Red touched us everyday of his life with his beautiful soul, his profound courage, his hard earned trust, and his huge heart and unending love. I believe we were meant to find each other on that fateful day thirteen years ago, and I’m forever grateful for crossing paths with Red and having the honor of knowing him and sharing every day of his life since. Continue reading Caring For Our Dying Cat in His Last Moments
For the first time, I’m faced with making an end of life decision for one of my cats. Though I knew this time would eventually come, I always felt it was far off in the future and I didn’t need to think about it. But suddenly that time has come with my cat Pumpkin and I’m forced to examine what the best, kindest, and most loving path is for my terminally sick but beautiful 18-year-old cat Pumpkin—to let her die a natural death at home with pain-killers or euthanize her.
Some backstory: About two years ago, my once sprightly, independent “Princess Pumpeedo” (my friend’s nickname for her) started showing signs of slowing down. She was my first rescue cat in 1998. She had been living outside of my apartment in the parking lot for almost a year, living under parked cars where she hid from the constant rain and weather. I fell in love with her the day I set eyes on her. Continue reading Making An End of Life Decision for Your Cat
I’m sensing the time is close now for my elderly cat Red. I instinctively felt it early this morning that Red is close to the end of his life, and could even be in the early stages of the dying process. He is getting weaker, slower, more feeble and fragile, losing weight and appearing more gaunt.
He came to me in bed this morning seeking to be close—very close, nosing to get under the covers for warmth and safety. He gently plows his head into mine messaging me he wants to lie next to me. I cuddle him, hold him, embrace his frail, skeletal body. As he lies stretched out along the length of my body, I cuddle him to comfort him. I gently run my hand over his thin body. He purrs loudly, strongly, breathing and purring. I can’t sleep to his constant machine of a purr, but somehow it comforts me. I will miss this purr, this beautiful soul, this survivor, this brave cat that has endured so much. Continue reading My Elderly Cat – Signs the End is Near