Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Tribute

I thought I'd write this now even though things haven't happened yet. I doubt it'll be any easier later, and maybe it will help me process things now. When I post this we will have said good-bye to my cat.

I've had my cat for nearly a third of my life so making the decision to have her put to sleep is very hard even though I know it's her time. The vet confirmed her kidneys have all but failed and she probably isn't very comfortable. She's so thin she's just skin and bones now, it seems. She hadn't been eating very much before we took her to the vet although gourmet cat food seems to have helped with that somewhat, at least temporarily.

I got her from the pound when I was a graduate student in Oregon. I was on my own for the first time and wanted a pet. For the first year I lived in an apartment that didn't allow pets, but then I moved to one that did. I remember going to the pound that day in January, 1994: When I said I was looking for a kitten they said they didn't have any. I asked if I could still look around, though, and there she was. They said she was about 9-months-old so that's why they said they didn't have any kittens, but she was young enough for me. Apparently, an older woman had taken her and returned her because she was too active; the woman wanted an older cat that would be calmer. A young, active cat was perfect for me.

I went home to California for vacations and brought her with me. Friends had told me horror stories about cats getting carsick so I did a trial run first, taking her on about a 30-minute round-trip drive. She did fine and took several 950-mile (one-way) trips with me back and forth between California and Oregon. One time she flew with me as my carry-on luggage. The first time I drove to California with her I set up the back of the car with her food, water, litter box, and towels to curl up on; she spent the majority of the trip on the passenger seat next to me instead. (Making me find a different home for my snacks so she'd have a place to sit.) She'd eat and use her box during the drives, and at night she would look out the windows at the cars and trucks going by.

Before hubby came along (and even sometimes after) we'd have breakfast together: She'd sit on the kitchen table while I ate my cereal, then when I finished she'd lick the small amount of milk left in the bowl. Here in North Carolina she liked to sit on the back of the couch sometimes; we bought a blanket to put up there just for her. Often she would nuzzle up to hubby's head when he sat on the couch. She didn't do it to me as much; I guess she thought hubby's hair smelled nicer than mine.

I'll also never forget the time the basement apartment I rented in Oregon flooded due to heavy rains. I woke up one morning and saw my poor kitty going "squish, squish, squish" across the carpet. Then there was the time I tried to give her a bath... It was a bloody experience (for me) and I decided from then on she did a perfectly fine job bathing herself.

When I got my dog it took time to adjust to twice as many feet in the house. Now it will feel empty with half of them gone.

She stayed with my parents when I spent two months in Africa, then moved with me through two rentals and to the first home I owned in California. She learned to tolerate a dog and then a husband, then made the 2,600-mile journey with us from California to North Carolina. I know she's had a good life but it's still so hard to say good-bye.

I'll miss you.
1993 - 2010


  1. this made me teary! :( it's NEVER easy to say goodbye to a great friend and furry family member. i am sure the great memories will last a lifetime.

  2. I'm so sorry. It sounds like she was an awesome companion and friend through some big, important parts of your life. I hope you find peace and joy in your memories.

  3. Thanks for posting this tribute, Peggy. My thoughts & prayers are with you as you say goodbye to your dear Coho.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your tribute to Coho was very touching and I love her picture. So glad you had such a sweet companion in her for all those years. May the wonderful memories be of comfort to you now.

    Love, Kay

  5. Thanks, everyone, for your sentiments regarding Coho. It helps to be able to share her with you.

  6. aw, I am so sorry to hear about Coho :( I know from personal experience how hard your decision was to make. I pray that you will have peace in the coming weeks and months as you heal from this loss.

  7. I'm so very sorry to hear this about Coho. Your post made me want to cry. You gave her a loving home and she returned that love to you. Pets aren't just animals, they are family. My prayers go to you.

  8. Sorry to hear about your cat. I had to make that decision a few years ago for similar reasons with my cat, Tyler. He was a giant terror of a cat, didn't get along with other animals or other people - he actually chased children!!! But he loved me and was a great companion when I was single. I still miss him.


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