Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Hope They Have Catnip in Heaven



I know I usually write about the absolute stupidest things my brain can conjure, but I'm a little off my game right now. I had to put my best friend to sleep this past weekend. My eleven year-old cat Shakespeare became very suddenly and very seriously ill. He was actually probably sick for a while, but he was such a tough cat that he never showed any symptoms. He was my first baby and he will be very deeply missed.

Those of you with animals know they are more than just pets; they are part of the family. I've never lost anyone close to me before and I don't understand why his brush and toys are still here but he's not. I miss the strangest things about him. He loved water so I haven't taken a solo shower in over a decade. He loved the holidays. He would run to the door every time a trick-or-treater rang our doorbell. He loved the Christmas tree and was constantly covered in glitter from using the low hanging ornaments to brush his back. He would wait patiently while we opened presents on Christmas morning because he knew his turn was coming and it was going to be awesome. He had to wash his paws in his water bowl after every time he ate. Then he would move the bowl into the middle of the walkway because he not so secretly enjoyed watching me kick it over every freaking morning (and slip in the spilled water) and yell "Gawddamnmotherfuckingsonofabitch!" Almost twelve years and I never learned. He was smarter than us all.

I haven't been able to process the loss yet to form any kind of coherent sentences, so I'll just share some pictures.


Shakespeare was a better parent to my son than I'll ever be. They've been inseparable pretty much since we brought The Boy home from the hospital. 


 This is the nest he made in the middle of the living room floor from the tissue paper he dug out of my baby shower gifts. Shakespeare was the only one who ever got a pass on my OCD madness. I let him keep this chaos for a month. Anytime I even talked of cleaning it up he would throw himself of top of it protectively and give me a look that said, "I will shit somewhere you will only be able to smell but never find. You know I will."


 This is him just days before he passed, laying on BabyTK's blanket and using her doll as a pillow. He's pretending to be asleep in hopes he won't get evicted from this forbidden zone.


 I liked this cat better than just about any person I've ever met. He was a better person than most people. My spot on the couch won't ever be the same without him.

47 comments:

  1. As a pet mom myself, I'm not ashamed to admit I bawled reading most of this. I have a 4 yrold slandered Dachshund. He was bought for my son when we found out he had a panic disorder, and an animal is good relaxation therapy.

    However, this little dog has no becomes more than just for my son. He's another one of my kids...a member of the family. *wipes tears*

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  2. I am so, so sorry, TK! I have lost 2 amazing cats, and I giggled when you mentioned the "shit somewhere you will only smell"...that's my current liege lady's fave payback.

    I hurt for you too....he was beautiful!

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  3. aww, TK...
    I'm breaking my nonsensical protest (I'm in a twitter strike against the oppression of this drought -don't ask) for a bittersweet cause.
    I totally understand when you say your fellow cat was a better person than most people and it's amazing how we can connect to sweet furry creatures like that. I had a dog once I'll never forget. And I really believe our friends are in heaven, sweetie.
    Thanks for sharing your love. It brings me good memories.
    <3 BraGirl2.

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  4. So sorry TK. I've had pets that were that important to me, too. Hugs go out to you while you cope.

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  5. I am so sorry, TK! Pets are such a big part of our lives and it so hard to lose one. Hang in there - I am sending hugs your way.

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  6. So sorry for your loss, TK. It's absolutely horrible to lose a pet. Great big giant hugs and kisses to you and your family.

    And kudos to Shakespeare for watching your trip over his water bowl for 12 years. Smart kitty.

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  7. Hugs. Losing a cat is painful.

    Not to be morbid, but it's a Christmas tradition in our family to give gifts from dead pets. It gave me a smile this year to get a B&N giftcard from the cat I had as a child.

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  8. TK - Sorry for your loss. I hope your new baby keeps you busy enough to move on without Shakespeare.

    @Kintail - Really? You seemed really normal when I met you in Forks!

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  9. That was heartbreaking. I feel so sad for you and send all my love. XOXO

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  10. I'm so sorry TK. It's so hard to lose a pet, and I found that the decision to let a pet go is the really hard and draining.

    We just put down our kitty Freckles before Christmas, 2 days before in fact. I'd had her and her son for 7 years. Mr CC and I both bawled for days. It gets easier to deal with - but I still miss her. The house is quiet without the littest loudmouth around, but I swear I catch her out of the corner of my eye jumping onto the counter or darting around the corner.

    Hugs

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  11. The thought of losing one of my dogs sends me into a fit of snot sobbing... so I can only imagine what you're going through. So sorry for your loss my friend. Our furry friends don't stick around long enough! :(

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  12. So sorry to hear about your loss. I had to put my dog Buddy down 8 months ago. He was almost 15 years old. There's nothing that will help you move on except the love of friends and family. Just hold on to the happy memories.

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  13. That is the sweetest face, the best friend of The Boy, and clearly most well-loved cat out there... I know how hard it is but also know you will keep the good memories alive. Big hugs coming your your way - you've been warned. xo

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  14. So sorry for your loss. That last pic is priceless. Savor your memories.

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  15. Sad face. I say I'm not a pet person, even though we have a cat, but this made me all misty eyed. Dammit I think I love my cat. Hang in there, TK fam.

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  16. I have 4 cats, and they are very much each my own children. I cried when reading your post. I just wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss.

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  17. Oh no TK, I feel for you. I adore my cat, even though he's nuts. And I have gone through a loss of a cat before...my beloved Calico "Annie"...I had her for years and she too became very suddenly ill and we had to put her down when she was 10 :( You did the right thing though, and I think there is catnip in heaven!

    xo J

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  18. (hugs) I don't have any pets (technically) but my roommates dog is the closest thing I have to a child. We picked her out together at the SPCA and I even named her. If anything would happen to Juno I would be inconsolable. I love her more than anything in this world. I'm sorry for your loss

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  19. My condolences to you TK. As a cat-parent myself, I will be devastated when my cat Jack dies (he kind of looks like your kitty). Jack may be the biggest, fattest, and stupidest cat to ever live, but he is my big, fat, stupid cat and no one else (except my parents, who actually take care of him, and their calico Misty, who has designated him as her "bitch", but in all honesty, he likes me the best.)

    If there's any consolation, if all dogs to to heaven, then all cats barge their way in, mark their territory, park themselves on any heavenly sofa, table top, counter, and/or bed, and refuse to budge until everyone gives up and lets the cats stay.

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  20. So so sorry for your loss. Our pets reside in such a special place in our hearts. Losing them is beyond devastating. I'm so glad you have so many fabulous memories to hold on to.

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  21. Sorry for your loss, TK.

    I know what that is like, I have had to put down a long-lived feline BFF and it was terrible.

    *big cuddles*

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  22. I'm sorry you lost your friend, TK. I can't imagine life without the fur babies, and knowing that I will someday miss Thunder Cat's random puking fits is a bittersweet thought.

    Much love to Shakespeare for sharing his quirky cat love with you and your family. Pets make every heart happier.

    I shall drink to thee, oh Bard of Tissue Paper and Glitter! Fare thee well to the land of milk and catnip!

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  23. So sorry for your loss ~ not that it will help ya feel any better ~ you are so right! Our pets become our children! I was tearing up looking at your pics of him! and of course laughing through the tears at a few of your captions (I'll shit some where you'll only smell and never find) Even when your hurting you make us laugh! XOXO

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  24. Pure heartbreak, TK. My 11-year-old Bouvier pup died in July, and this has been the longest half- year in memory. Still call to him that I'm home when I come up the drive, invite ( his spirit) to continue our daily rambles and talk to him as if he's beside me as always, say goodnight to his empty bed, where his favorite toy ( the one that didn't accompany him to doggie heaven) still waits, and tell him how much I love him. Every day, every night... only sometimes I go through a whole day now and realize I haven't spoken to him. I guess that's what they mean by " it gets better with time." Hugs to you and your sweet memories.

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  25. This was sent to me after I put Pat down. Pat used to go outside to smoke with my dad in the mornings, and slapped Taco Bell out of my hands late at night when I was drunk. He was a badass cat, and I totally understand what you're going through.
    Alcohol also helps a bit, too.

    The Rainbow Bridge

    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....

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  26. The pain will dull, but the sweet love spot you have in your heart will always remain with you. Our pets are indeed our family members and they live far too short lives to our too long lives. I wish you peace and honor your grief- give yourself time and space to mark Shakespear's passing... lots of love during this difficult time, TK- MWAH!

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  27. Tk...my thoughts are with you! Pets are truly just like children to us! I have 3 dogs (all old) and a turtle and can't imagine your pain! Big hugs coming at you as well as some shared tears!!!

    Christysmom97

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  28. MyHeartGoesPitterPattinsonJanuary 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Awww, TK, I feel for you. My cats, Chloe & Clyde, are going on 9 & 8 and I'm starting to freak out a little even though they are healthy (as far as I know...knock on Rob's wood). I guess I thought pet cloning (not to mention flying cars) would be a sure thing by the time they hit this age.

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  29. my heart goes out to you. i have 2 children and 4 cats! sometimes i think my love of my feline babies goes deeper than my own flesh and blood. is that awful to admit? once you have earned their trust and loyalty, their affection is endless! snuggling and cuddling and comforting you when you seem to need it the most. it is such an incredible bond that never needs words. thank you for sharing your story and photos with us. although now my makeup is destroyed for the day :) you are not alone. we grieve with you my friend. Goodnight sweet Shakespeare

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  30. Oh TK, there are no words. My two cats are my family (ages 11 & 12) so I know what you must be feeling, and I don't ever want to go thru it myself. The thought of losing either of my babies makes me cry. And I'm sitting here crying now thinking about you and your loss. You have to go thru it just like any other loss. You never really get over it, it just becomes a part of your past... Think about the good times girl. He was beautiful.

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  31. Bummer, so sorry. I can totally relate. Have an almost 18 kitty and trying to work up the nerve since her time is really here. What a horrible decision to have to make. Hang in there; like the stains their urine leaves behind, the memories of them last forever :) :)

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  32. I had a cat like Shakespeare (only he was completely psychotic and would sink his teeth into my neck every so often, without warning). But I adored him like he was my own son. His name was Dobie and when he died (also sort of suddenly) I was stunned at how destroyed I felt. Mr. Myg too. We feel for you, TK. Go gentle on your heart these days. Much love.

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  33. Oh, TK, I'm so sorry. I had to have my beloved Harley put down almost 3 years ago, and I still miss him. I ugly cried for days. It took weeks before I could bring myself to wash the blanket we'd taken him to the vet in (it had some of his fur on it from where they shaved him).

    Thank you for sharing the pictures & stories with us.

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  34. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Shakespeare, TK. And I understand the loss you're feeling completely. 11 years with my dog India, she was special, such a weirdo she was! Perhaps that's why we got along so well :) I have my Maddie now, she's weird too (I must attract them) but India will always hold a special place in my heart, as I'm sure your Shakespeare will for you.
    Ear rubs and belly scratches! xox

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  35. I'm so sorry for your loss. I had to put my first baby (a cat named Baby) down a year ago, so your post really hit home for me. Baby was only 10, but her poor little body had had enough. I joke that she's on the other side with my dad, rubbing up against him and getting her hair all over him (which he hated). Know that Shakespeare loves you and appreciates that you had the strength to do what needed to be done. And when you're ready, adopt another kitty. Seriously. Both you and a cat who needs a loving home will benefit tremendously. I don't think there's any better way to honor the memory of our beloved pets than by sharing our love with other animals who need us.

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  36. TK, so sorry for your loss. My cat, Magic, had to be put down over a year ago. We still have a few of his things around the house. Thank you for sharing Shakespeare with us here.

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  37. I'm so sorry TK. We had to put our 13 yr old mutt down 6 years ago and it still hurts. He was such a sweet dog but was in so much pain at the end it was the only thing to do although I probably dragged it out months longer than I should have because it was so hard to come to terms with. My kids were 5 and 7 and they still cry for Bear all this time later.

    We ended up getting a puppy about 6 weeks later because my house felt so lonely. He's a shelter dog and he's completely insane and makes me rethink my decision on a daily basis. My vet thinks he's a savant or autistic or something. He's the strangest dog I've ever seen.

    I do hope you keep the happy memories in your heart and someday it will be less painful to think of him. So sorry.

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  38. Shakespeare looks and sounds like an amazing cat. I'm sorry for your loss. It's true that pets are family. Unfortunately, I've lost too many over the years -- but all were very old and had good, long lives. Five ago, we had to put down our very sick 17-year-old Pomeranian. We waited to tell our son until the morning it was going to happen, and then my husband took Killer to the vet. He came back with him in a box. My then-10-year-old grabbed a Sharpie and scrawled "I love you Killer" on the box before we buried Killer in the back yard. Broke my heart.

    --Lisa

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  39. Aw, TK, I'm sorry. He was adorable. It does get easier, but the pain of their absence never really goes away. I still miss my old cat. He was 18 but still in pretty good shape except for arthritis in his back leg from when he got run over when he was 8. It also split his nose open which made him snore like a little pig after it healed. So how does my 18yo cat die? Gets himself run over. Again. Little bastard. Sometimes I swear I hear his loud-ass meow, or his Bugatti purr, or see his disembodied eyes glowing in the window. James was completely black and when he'd sit on the window ledge at night looking to come in, all you could see was a pair of glowing green eyes. Scared the fuck out of me every. Fucking. Time. The only thing I don't miss is the 'presents' of dead birds, mice, rats, rabbits, and one time a stoat. Not that I wouldn't be grateful for them if it meant he was still around.

    In short, a pet that has been a part of your life for so long will always leave a hole in your heart when they're gone. But it does get easier with time. Mostly.

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  40. *hugs* TK. I'm so sorry you lost your friend and fur-baby. I still cry when I think of my cat I had to put to sleep 12 years ago. I think we all have that one special beastie that a part of us dies with them.

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  41. Your pets are a part of the family, and the loss will never be replaced. And the funny thing is after every heartbreak we open ourselves up to more heartache. But the one thing that I always remind myself, is how much better my life is for having had those souls in it.

    Sorry for your loss TK. I am sending sandpaper licks your way.

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  42. So sorry for your loss. What a great cat Shakespeare was. ((hugs))

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  43. I am so sorry to hear about Shakespeare. That last picture speaks volumes though. The human pet connection. It is the most incredible bond. I am glad you had as long as you did with your fur baby and I wish you peace. Hugs to you and your family.

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  44. Thank you for blogging. . .
    We learned tips for how to write on people's blogs, like a compliment.
    We also learned that if you know something about the topic, you can put it on there if nobody else has written it. We liked the suggestion to only use one punctuation instead of a bunch if you liked it Vimax.

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