Lost our Beloved 20 yo Kitty Tonight

jan_in_wisconsinJanuary 7, 2014

Our 20 yo kitty, Boo, has been dealing with cancer, and she fought it like a trooper, but finally was getting so tired. It was time to take her in and say goodbye.

It was SO unbelievably hard. We will miss her terribly. She's been with us through thick and thin. We had her from kittenhood, and such a sweetie, she had the most gentle, loving spirit. She loved to be held and carried around. Her coat was solid white, and her eyes were a pretty yellow-green. While completely deaf her whole life, she was extra perceptive and observant. Her loud meows were completely endearing to us.

Our 12yo son is heartbroken. He has an autism spectrum disorder and was particularly attached to Boo.

I guess it hurts in direct proportion to how much she was loved. I truly feel depressed right now. I'm sure any pet owners out there can really
relate to this loss.

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I am so sorry your kitty has passed. I've had four kitties die after wonderful long lives with us. It is so sad but the price we must pay in exchange for all the joy and happiness they bring to our lives. When my first cat died, also at age 20, I felt like I'd never get over it. But in time the pain subsides and you move on. In our case we always take in another homeless feline soul and kind of think that's what our departed cat would have wanted.

I remember reading that you ordered some kittens that will be available in a few months. I'm sure you will experience a deep void in the meantime when you don't have a little furry friend around to keep you company.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:03PM
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I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved kitty :( Prayers for quick healing to you and your son. Boo was very lucky to have lived such a long and loved life with your family.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Thank you, Homebody. She did have a long life, and we feel lucky to have enjoyed her so long.

Gibby, I sure hope time helps. Right now, it's rough. We are on a waiting list for some kittens and looking forward to a pair joining us in April or May, hopefully.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:09PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm so sorry. It's very hard to lose such a loved and living member of the family. But know that with time it gets easier to bear the loss. Sending you comfort and sympathies.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:13PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Just lots of thoughts and understanding here. I deeply know the bond we form with our furry family and she had an amazing family. All cats should be so loved.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Oh, so very sorry. It's never easy to say good-by to a family member, but even more difficult after 20 years of having her by your side. I think about it every day as our boy is 17 y.o; I try and prepare myself but know it really isn't possible. Thinking of you!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:27PM
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(((Jan))) I so sorry to read this. It's never easy to say good bye to our fur friends. Our one kitty is creeping up there in age and I can see he's starting to have a harder time getting around. I'm hoping there are many years left.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:34PM
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I am so sorry. I know you were expecting it and worried about your son as he was so attached.

Wait a few days and get a new kitty to brighten things up. (((Hugs to your family))) I think you have a special situation and should move rather quickly.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:59PM
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My thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Jan, so very sorry for you, your son and everyone else who loved her. There's no doubt that the depth of grief is tied to the depth of love. I'm a huge animal lover, and have never been without an animal companion or two or three or four. But there is no doubt that I have loved some more deeply than others, and I still reel from the loss of those special few. I'm thinking in particular of a big, beautiful male cat who we lost 4-5 years ago. One of the most profound losses of my life. I encourage you to frame a photo of her, or somehow otherwise create a reminder to keep forever. To me, that brings comfort and fond memories over time....

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:16PM
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I am so touched by all of your thoughtful responses. How nice that you took the time to post. I appreciate it. Sometimes people are dismissive of the grief in losing a pet. Clearly I have found understanding here. To be honest, I am surprised at the intensity of my sadness right now. Kitty was in decline for some time, and we knew it was time. But her last meal and last gaze out the window and last snuggle . . . Oh so hard.

She was definitely special. We do look forward to having new furry friends in the future. I hope our son can get on the schoolbus tomorrow without too much anxiety. He hasn't been back to school yet due to the holidays and cold weather closings.

I will frame a picture for sure.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:36PM
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I am so sorry and know how much it hurts. We lost our old girl (17 yr. old pup) a few months ago and it helps to realize that we gave her a happy and well loved life, just as you did for your Boo. It is so incredibly painful to make the decision to let a beloved pet go, but it is also a selfless and loving decision. As hard as it is right now, it does get easier with time.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:46PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. :(

Even though your kitty had a long, and happy life at 20 years old, it's always too soon to say goodbye. I wish you and your family peace during this sad, sad time.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:11PM
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You can't really be prepared even when you know it's coming - the heart hopes when the minds knows. I'm sorry for your loss and hope the right kitty comes into your life at the right time.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 11:32PM
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So very sorry for your families loss. I hope you don't feel bad about grieving for your dear pet-the loss is just as great as it is for the loss of a human being. Our pets ARE part of our family.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:14AM
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Oh Jan, I know only too well the sadness you're feeling. I had my 18 year old Siamese put down last year, and I could hardly drive the car home I was so beside myself. God bless (((you)))for your years of love and being the caretaker to one of God's creatures.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:00AM
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How sad and unfortunate for you and your family, I know too well how much their passing leaves a void, good luck in this trying time.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:18AM
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Here is a picture of Boo:

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:50AM
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What a sweet face. I am so sorry.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Hugs to you and especially to your son, jan. I'm so sorry you lost your precious little friend.

My oldest, now 30 and living far away, is on the spectrum too. Funny, but when he came home for Christmas, our cat immediately reattached herself to him: slept in his room, jumped in his lap, would nag him to feed her. Those two always had a special bond.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:03AM
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What a beautiful kitty. Sorry for your loss, losing a pet is so hard. ((hugs))

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:10AM
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So sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. We lost our kitty at her age of 21. It's hard to lose your pet.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:27AM
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What a beautiful wee soul!! Look at the love in those pretty eyes!

So sorry for your loss -- we grieve with you and your family .....

We send along heartfelt hugs to all!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:40AM
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This morning was hard, but I am glad to report that our DS boarded the school bus without much trouble. I know it will be good for him to be distracted at school all day. I have work to do today for my job, and I am having a hard time concentrating.

Thanks again, everyone. I appreciate each and every one of your responses, and I have read them more than once.

Boo was a tiny one, just around 6 - 7 pounds or so. She had very expressive eyes and seemed very sensitive to "her people".

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Your Boo (love her name!) was a beauty. Heaven has a new beautiful angel kitty.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Jan, my condolences on the loss of your beloved pet. I hope you will remember the good times and feel comfort in that you gave Boo a very good life. A year ago I had to say goodbye to my red point Siamese who resembled your Boo quite a bit in the shape of their faces and was also about 7 pounds. Her final resting place is in my garden and I still get teary when I garden in that area. She had the typical Siamese personality and knew that she was The-Queen-Of-The-Universe which I found so endearing.

I got my first kitten 65 years ago when I was 7 years old so have been through this heartbreak many times. Unfortunately our pets don't live as long as we do so it's part of life for pet lovers to allow them to go when they need to. My last few cats have been rescues so are older when they come to live with us so we enjoy less time with them. However I am so happy to give them the best possible life after what some have been thru previously.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:03PM
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I'm so sorry Jan. We have a Boo too. (Boo boo came to our door on Halloween years ago.)

Sending hugs your way.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:04PM
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I am so sorry for the loss of Boo. She was such a beautiful kitty.

It is so hard. We lost one of our kitties in March, and it has been hard to get over losing his incredible personality. Luckily, we still have another cat who has really stepped up his affection and loves being king of the house.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Luckygal, it's interesting that you mentioned your Siamese because Boo had a lot of the Siamese personality traits. We hope to adopt a pair of traditional Balinese kittens in a few months. Hope my heart heals by then so we can enjoy them totally.

Deedee, how fitting a name for your little trick-or-treater!

Catmom, your screen name is adorable.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:30PM
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I am so very sorry. Your Boo was beautiful. Every pet we have lost to death has taken a piece of our heart, but every pet we adopt makes our heart grow. When I lost my best friend Louie, I immediately adopted another cat. I believed it was a tribute to him that he enhanced my life so much, I wanted to love another. I never think of it as replacing the one gone, since every cat has such a unique personality.

Hugs to your DS.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:57PM
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Thoughts coming your way. Hoping your son continues to deal with the loss well. I too know how hard it is. We lost our Kitty this past summer at 16 yr. We had gotten him as a kitten as well. He was totally an indoor cat and a trip to the vet was always traumatic. At the end our vet volunteered to come to our house so that it would be much more peaceful for him. Afterwards we spoke about burying him in our garden and, later that afternoon, the local greenhouse delivered a beautiful daylily plant to place near him in our garden.

We have decided not to get another cat. At our ages we do not want a pet to outlive us or for our family to have to find a new home for a loved pet.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:50PM
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Thank you, Jan. :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:56PM
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I always HATE to hear the pain people feel when a fuzzy-pal goes to Heaven! I hate it because I know how much it hurts, & I hate my friends here have to go thru that pain...

(who the **ll is cutting onions?!?!)

Sending love from Fargo...


    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:21PM
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What a sweet face she had! I am so sorry for your loss. I know all too well what the pain of that loss is like. She lived a good, long life, well-loved and well cared for.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:39AM
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I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss. She sounds like such a sweetie and was a real cutie too.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Jan - I am so sorry to learn of your loss of Boo. The grief can be terrible when we lose a furry family member, and even more so when a sensitive child experiences this. We had to say good-bye to a beloved, cuddly kitty a few weeks ago, from inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease, just ten years old. He was perhaps the sweetest animal I've ever had, and I am certainly not "over it" yet. Our other cat also wonders where he is, and she and I sort of comfort each other.

Great books and stories have been written about the effect of losing an animal on a child. It's wonderful that your son has such a comforting mom and that you are there for him. Do let us know when the new kitties arrive. I'd love to see his face on that day!

My condolences to your family,

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:03PM
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I feel so uplifted by all the well wishes here. It's been a difficult couple of days. There are reminders everywhere, it seems - her favorite chair, her special spot where she was always waiting when we came home, and the basement door that we left open a crack so she could wander up and down as she pleased.

Our son made it to school both days alright, but he is having a hard time when he gets home because Boo used to be curled up in a ball waiting for him in her special spot on the carpet, where she had a clear line of sight to the door.

Last night was particularly difficult, as DS went to take a shower and suddenly remembered that Boo was gone again, as she used to like to wait for water to splash out of the shower so she could lick some up. My poor little boy was just wailing, realizing he won't see her again. Talk about heartbreaking! He was SO attached to that cat. Of course, so was I.

sable, I'm sorry for your loss. I know you understand.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:15PM
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It has been 6 and 10 yrs respectively since we had to make the dreaded
decisions to have our "boys" (golden & yellow lab) taken on their final
ride and it still brings me to tears. Please take great comfort in all the years
of love you and your family gave that beautiful Boo.

I'm sorry for your loss ....(((hugs)))

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:28PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Jan, I am always so sad to hear when someone loses a fur baby. 20 years-how lucky you were! Boo was a beauty. Sending hugs your way.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:52PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about your Boo. I had a Boo many years ago that was a sweetie, too.

I just found out this morning that my 18 year old Jack died while being boarded at the vet as we were on vacation. He had been ill for a long time, so it wasn't a surprise, but we were really hoping that he would be here when we got back. I'm only glad I didn't have to make "the decision". It's so hard, isn't it?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 5:30PM
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Faron, lyfia, and graywings, thank you so much for your well wishes.

Sable, you bet I'll let everyone know when the kittens arrive. While I'm not emotionally ready just yet, I know I will be, especially in a few months when they will be ready.

Irish, that final ride trip to the vet was so hard. I would rather have had the vet make a house call but DS wanted to stsy home because it was too hard for him to go.

Cyn, I think the fact that she was with us over 20 years made this really tough. We have a lot of history together and it is such a loss now without her.

jshore, I am sorry to hear about Jack. He surely had a wonderful long life with you. It is very hard ti make the decision. I have a lot of guilt and what ifs and if onlys. I think it is all part of the grief process.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Jan, please try to banish the guilt even though it is natural. In fact about a month before we lost Phoenix, one of her colorado vets who had herself just lost a pet, warned us that guilt was natural, but don't go there. Notwithstanding that advice, felt guilty too, but when I really looked at it, it was guilt caused by the fact that I couldn't make Phoenix better. We tried everything we could think of, acupuncture and cold lazer therapy (which worked well early on) rugs over every wood or tile surface she could slip on ramps made to go up the steps from the bedrooms to the den and down the back porch steps, and a great harness that last month that we could use to comfortably use to pick her up and get her on her feet. To be honest, rationally I know that we probably should have done it earlier, but we thought we could keep her comfortable and there were some things (especially treats) that made her happy. I really think that last day, she told us it was time, because my husband and I reached the decision separately and when we called our housekeeper (a/k/a the dogs' Aunt Mary) she told us that she knew it was time the afternoon before and urged us to go ahead and do it that day. The vet could do it late that afternoon, so Mary came over and gave her some treats and a lot of love, then I left work early to spurn some time with her and pretty some DH came home. Phoenix was already in heaven with all her people around her feeding her her favorite food, but she still had a body that was worn out. At the appointed time we get in to the car. To make the trip to the vetss we got in the car (Phoenix loved to ride in the car especially when I was feeding her ham and cheese the whole way. She even got a lots of compliments on how pretty she was at the vests and she liked that too. So she did have a great final trip we even took her bed so she could be comfortable. The vet explained the process, that she would first get a shot that would just put her into a deep comfortable sleep and then he would come back to administer the fatal shot. It was the first shot that did it for me. She continued eating ham and cheese as her eyes grew heavier and heavier until she was in a deep and comfortable sleep. It was then when I looked at her sleeping so much more comfortably than she had in months, with all the tension in her muscles melted away, I knew we were doing the right thing. I didn't want for her to have to wake up from that peace. Letting her go was the only humane thing we could do.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 3:53AM
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Very sorry to hear about your Boo. It's always very hard to lose a beloved pet, and I understand as we had to say goodbye to our Bessie a couple of months ago. Very hard to let go, I know. I'm glad you could have her for such a good long time. I'm sure she had a very happy, long life. Your Boo was Beautiful! A pic of our Bessie, who was 14 and eventually lost her fight with kidney disease.

Don B.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 4:23AM
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Jan, so sorry for the loss of Boo. She was lovely. Having just gone through this as well, I can feel your son's shower meltdown, poor kid.

I think the worst part is when you've had them that long, you keep looking for them in their favorite spots.

Beth P.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:46AM
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Mojomom, thanks. It's hard to know if it was the right thing to do and the right time when guilt shrouds judgment. You truly took great care of your dear cat. I brought my fluffy bathrobe, Boo's favorite thing, to that final vet trip, and upon putting it on the table, she wanted to lay right on it immediately. Just like always.

Dob, Bessie was sure beautiful. I love her markings and beautiful eyes. She lived a long life too. So very sorry for your loss, as only another cat's person could know.

Beth, thank you. While it is so very hard to see my son struggling with this grief, I know it represents his love and attachment to Boo, which I am so glad he had. Reminders are everywhere every day. I can't wear that bathrobe any more. I know time is very healing.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:38PM
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Jan I am so sorry for your families great loss. Our fur babies are so much a part of our lives. My first kitty was a tiny little calico that lived 12 years, passing in 1978. Six years later I had a baby girl I named after my precious kitty. I have never regretting doing so. Everyone of my pets, no matter how long we had them or how long they've been gone still holds a place in my heart as I'm sure Boo will forever be in yours.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 8:42PM
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When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Just, thank you. You're right that our fur babies each hold a special place in our hearts. Your sweet calico's memory is close to you still, and I know Boo's memory will bring me comfort too.

Zep, that rainbow bridge writing is so beautiful. My grandmother had been caring for a pregnant stray, white cat before my grandmother passed away. We found Boo in that cat's litter the day of my grandmother's funeral over 20 years ago. So I imagine my grandmother smiling with Boo in her arms now, with the angels in heaven. I find comfort in the hope that life is eternal. Thank you for sharing that.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:36PM
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You're welcome Jan. What a lovely story about your Grandmother. I'm sure you're right that Boo is with her now.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 7:38PM
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