My Last Cat A hunter? No, not you. A purrer? Yes, a lap cat Contented to live inside, Wanting only to be petted, Fed and loved. Love you gave back Unstintingly for 15 years. Now my turn to give The peaceful end you’ve earned. To do that, I must send you off too soon, While you still purr and feel the petting, not the pain. So to my last cat, A last gift, my pain, not yours.
Dedicated July 14, 2023 to Booker, my last and very beloved cat.
Remember when I got lost in the mountains? How you sat down in the snow and wouldn’t budge? You were always so willing to go anywhere with me; so, trusting, but not at that panicky moment, dusk coming on.
Did I shout at you? Bark commands? If so, I apologize. Thank the Mountain God, you finally won out, leading me through gathering shadows to the trailhead parking lot.
I hope you didn’t suffer. The vet gave you two hours to live, tops, with that tumor. I’m sorry. 14 years, man. I’ll be keeping you with me; no worries about that.
Here you are with Snowpea. What love. Mochi (2008-2022)
I began this letter when I knew we were in the final ten days of your life. Now, as I work to complete it, we have mere hours left, and as I read it aloud – minutes.
Your entry into this world should have cued us to the journey you would take us on. You were born January 1, 2020, ushering in a transformative year that has drastically altered life as we know it. You came home March 2020. As we drove to pick you up less than 2 years ago, Maggie told me: “you have to love her even if she’s not cute,” and I promised that I would, although I did not yet know what it would entail. Luckily for me, you were beyond adorable, although I am not sure it would have mattered. Once you ran towards us (and then away from us and into the cow pasture), everything changed for me completely. You introduced me to a love I had never experienced and helped me unlock a gentle tenderness within myself that I did not know existed. You challenged my patience and tested my commitment and resolve for two years, but you rewarded me with incredible love and an unbreakable bond. I have scarcely ever felt more connected to another being, identifying your needs and desires without words, and understanding and anticipating your reactions to the world. I have always felt like our souls are inextricably connected. You have kept me laughing, kept me guessing, and even on my worst days, you have kept me going.
You have not been an easy dog by any means. You passed unexpected milestones, learning tricks like waking up all your roommates by rattling the doorknob at 6 in the morning, honking the actual car horn because we left you in there (with the heat on and car running), performing a high lateral jump onto the kitchen counters (from the ground!) to get involved in the breakfast sandwich situation, chewing through an actual wire crate to make a hole in the drywall at your school (hello, you were ahead of your time on the expansion project!) and conning your moms into roasting you a whole ass chicken for broth because supply chain shortages left the shelves bare of the kinds without garlic and onion. But your persistent behavioral challenges introduced us to an amazing community of people who gave us the tools and support to communicate better with you and reminded us to loosen up and have fun with you too. Your attendance at school introduced us to a neighborhood that we loved and prompted us to buy our first home together in the same place.
Bow, you have been a catalyst for us. While Maggie and I have loved each other for years, you turned us into a family, two adults dedicated to the care of one (complicated) being – prompting the additions of a car, house, and sweet little Cubby. You helped our little family find a community. While some dogs give that love back in an obvious, tail wagging, licking your face manner, your reciprocation was more subtle (except any time when we came back from leaving you at home). Your gentle resting of your head on our legs while snuggled up on the couch, your bouncy steps on our walks and adventures, and your ability to just be still and completely relaxed with us at home when you struggled to exist in so many places out in the world were the bountiful rewards that accompanied loving you.
Bow, we have always said that you would leave people wanting more. This was part of your charm – you scarcely accepted pets from people outside of a small circle, and your signature greeting to houseguests was to jump up, tap them on the behind, and run away. You gave us snuggles and so much love, but always on your own terms. It took a long time for you to warm up to anyone. Somehow you still made *many* friends – or at least you helped us initiate most of the friendships we have cultivated in the past
two years. Your very colorful personality always kept people guessing. It fits in in some ways, that we are losing you after such a brief life – we always imagined that you would stay with us for the next decade, and yet here we are, mourning the time we wanted and did not have with you. But maybe you lived so much, you loved so hard, your flair for the dramatic burned so bright, and you transformed our lives so dramatically in your two short years that your work here in the earthly realm was done – and you had to choose a tragic, novel way to go, befitting of the life you led. Or maybe life is just cruel and unfair, and this is a bout of terrible luck. Either way, although your time in your body is ending, we will love you tremendously for rest of our lives. We will be forever grateful to you for upending our lives and teaching us how to love when love is difficult, painful, and challenging. Love grows where our Bowbina goes, and thank you for changing everything, sweet girl.
The gifted Dr. Becky helped us say goodbye to this incredibly sweet 16-year-old girl, putting her to sleep in the most peaceful way imaginable here at home.As my partner Joaquim always said, Madi was so respectful and polite. She checked all the cat boxes – she was a fierce huntress, a carnivore who came running at the sound of Jo sharpening his Chef’s knives in hopes that he’d share some meat, which he always did. She was a lap cat when it suited her, a foot-warmer and extra floofy pillow on our bed in the fall, winter and spring. She took over our new apartment as fully her territory, finally putting her rival Toby (our blind cat) in his place, and had probably the most contented year of her life this year until illness started to rob her of her spirit. She was the loudest cat I can remember having, always speaking to us with her “prowrs,” a raspy mix of purr and meow that resounded through the house. She liked to meow at every single pat and rub, and we were constantly petting her, so that was a lot of “prowrs”! She was only with us for the last 5 years of her life but I know with every fiber of my being that she was transformed by that time, and so, so happy with us. She thanked us every day for our love by reflecting it back to us a hundred times over. We will miss her forever. Goodbye Miss Madi, Madi Girl, Madi Love, Miss Madi from Cincinnati (our 4 year old and my mom’s recent nickname for her).
We lost our sweet, silly, crazy, dearly beloved Jack Russell terrier, Maggie, on August 15, 2018. She was 19 years old. Although our hearts are broken, we are grateful for so many things: We had been working with Becky to manage Maggie’s arthritis and other age-related issues for nearly a year before she died, so we had a plan in place for what we wanted when the time came to say goodbye to her. She had a good last day at home, with treats, yard walks, and visits from friends. We had the whole day to say goodbye to her. It was beyond comforting to have Becky there to help our little girl pass peacefully, with us by her side.
We got Maggie when she was 3 months old. She was a typical Jack Russell terrier in her puppyhood: smart, willful, and overflowing with energy. Although she wasn’t always a fan of other dogs, she made many canine friends in the neighborhood over the years (and even a feline one), and had TONS of human admirers. She was beloved by her dog walkers, her vets, our family and friends, and most especially by us. It seems impossible that she’s gone. Her joie de vivre, even in her senior years when her sight, hearing, and mobility declined, seemed to imply (as Becky said) that she’d outlive us all. It’s hard to be without her. I know she’ll never leave my heart, but I miss her physical presence every day. There will never be another quite like her. Run over the bridge like the crazy 3-month-old puppy you were when we first got you, Maggie. We love you so much, always.
Today AC&C remembers and celebrates Gizmo, a sweet and handsome little man who graced his family with his loving presence for many years. He will be remembered with love and joy, and he will be greatly missed.
Garp was a character. He enjoyed being around people, even running to meet them at the front door, but he was also very particular about the way people should do things. This included everything from how exactly to pet him, when to feed him, when to let him in/out of the house, please never to pick him up, and so on. He would let you know in no uncertain terms if you were not living up to his standards!
We enjoyed walking down the street together in the early morning to visit the community garden. Garp loved showing off, and would turn around to be sure you’d been watching after he’d done something particularly awesome (scampering up trees was one of his favorites).
He was fiercely proud and yet a sweet and affectionate love-bug too. I will always be grateful for the many years I shared with this sweet boy