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Farewell, Old Friend

When you bring a pet into your home, it's a form of Faustian bargain. Pets bring a lot of joy into a life - but their own lifespans are relatively short. You know the day will come when you have to say goodbye to your much-loved friend, and that day is always much too soon. Today was the day I had to say goodbye to my sweet companion of the last 17+ years, my cat Tina.

Tina came into my life in the summer of 1987 via the North Shore Animal League. This is a not very good scan of her then.

Over the years she lived in Poughkeepsie, New York, and San Francisco, and despite preferring people to other animals she managed to live with 7 different cats and (briefly) one puppy. When Scott came on the scene, she took to him immediately and when I wasn't around was more than happy to hang out with him (or just about anyone else). But through it all, her favorite person was me and her favorite place to be was on or near my lap.

Despite a diagnosis of progressive renal disease 3 years ago, Tina remained an active and happy cat until these last few weeks, when her disease progressed rapidly. This week, her kidneys finally shut down and she stopped eating. Scott and I knew we had one last vet visit to make. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but seeing her in pain was worse.

There's a lot more I could say about Tina - stories from happier times - and perhaps one day I will, but for now I am just too sad. There are three other kitties in our home, and I love each one dearly, but Tina was my first pet and has a special place in my heart. I miss her very much.

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Comments (6)

So sorry to hear of your loss. Not much either of us can say.

Rachel, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Our oldest is 12 years old and we're not looking forward to what you're going through right now. Our hearts go out to you and your husband.

Oh Rachel - I am so sorry.

Dexter:

My condolences and hugs. It has been a little more than a year since our Dr. Jones passed away. The pain lingers. There will come a time when the happy memories wash away the sad.

Melissa:

Sending hugs your way. I know that's not an easy thing to do at all. Tina knew she was loved, even at the last moment. I've been thinking about you lately. Take care.

Chris in TX:

I had a cat who would sleep with me in my crib. It freaked my parents out, but I managed to survive. When I was in 4th grade, we found him run over. I spent all day in school praying and wishing it wasn't real, that he would come back. When I got home he was there. Thinking back on it, we as kids always wanted or hoped for things we knew couldn't happen, kinda like the kid from Willy Wonka. And I am eternally thankful that I got to use my "golden ticket" to get my cat back, rather than on some toy or video game. When he needed to be taken on that last visit several years later, I just couldn't bring myself to go with my Dad on that trip. I haven't really been able to forgive myself for it.

My sister just went away to college in Fla. (We're from TX) Her cat died about 2 months after. It turns out that he had an enlarged heart, and probably had been sick for some time. But he never showed a thing. When she left, he just gave up. It's pretty humbling to think of that, at least for me.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 9, 2004 5:48 PM.

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