Friday, August 26, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 26

 We're doubling down today! I'm posting these in chrono-order and these kitties arrived almost together! I love the synchronicity of the stories!


I've attached a pic of Layla. We had to euthanize her on June 27th--only a month ago. She was 12 years old and had only been sick for a few weeks, but she wasn't going to get better, so... I'm finally at the point where I don't cry every time I think about her--I'm at every other time now. :-(

I don't think we're going to get another pet for the foreseeable future. Maybe a Rental Cat!


See attached for a picture of my cat Lucy, inside a bag with her name on it. We got her three days after my other Maine Coon cat, Amazon, a former stray, passed from kidney failure. We went to Pet Smart (not smart) and when I saw little kitten Lucy, I had to take her home, even though we swore we would wait, get an adult cat, etc.


french sojourn said...

Adorable, like a loaded double barrel right in the feels. Kool Kats.

Kitty said...

Every year when I get a new calendar, I go through it and mark down birthdays and RIPs of family members, including our dogs and cats, because they are our family, too.

So sorry you had to say good-bye to Layla and Amazon, but you'll never regret adopting Lucy.

MA Hudson said...

Both fantastic photo's in very different ways. Layla looks like she was on a movie set and Lucy looks like she's in a tv ad.

I'm sorry both of you lost your beloved cats recently. Best wishes adjusting to the large holes they've left in your lives.

Joyce Tremel said...

Layla was my writing assistant and the prototype for Hops, the kitten in my series. Every once in awhile I think I hear her tapping across the hardwood floor sometimes. That actually makes me smile!

Joyce Tremel said...

I should really edit my sentences before I push publish. Every once in awhile and sometimes in the same sentence? Really Tremel?

RachelErin said...

So sorry for you both, on losing your beloved animals.

I have a friend who is finishing her vet training, and she said vets have even higher rates of depression, etc, than physicians. I was completely confused - they get to take care of furry cuties all day! - until she reminded me that a large part of the vet's job is euthanized said beloved cuties.

On a more cheerful note, I"m trying to make friends with our neighbor's Maine Coon, but ever since we improved our mouse problem, she doesn't come around often.

Colin Smith said...

Joyce: Awww! Layla was a lovely cat. You must have been heartbroken to let her go. :( And I agree--I wish Blogger had an "edit" feature for comments!

Lucy's Owner: What a cute bag of fluff 'n stuff!! I'm referring to the cat, of course. You might well be a cute bag of fluff 'n stuff, but it would hardly be appropriate of me to say. :)

JulieWeathers said...

Sorry for the owners on Layla and Amazon. It's always so hard because you grow to love them so much. I said I'd never get another pet after Badger died, my last Aussie. Now I have Gage the Wonder Dog. I certainly didn't plan to get him. I got him for my son, but working bulls with a deaf dog would be a bit dangerous, so I have Gage and he wonders which foot he wants to lie one today.

Owner of Layla, she was such a beautiful lady. I hope you decide to open your heart to another pet one day, not only for yourself, but the animal.

Lucy is such a pretty thing and she's a real bag lady. You don't see the real thing that often.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Beautiful, majestic cats both of these. So sad about losses for both pet owners. Layla and Amazon now hunt in plentiful fields with all sorts of warm and cozy places to nap and adoring companions to see to their every kitty need.

DLM said...

The thing where people can't get a new pet after one dies seems all but universal, and yet my response to my pets' deaths has always been the opposite. It may be because I am alone, and the heartbeat in the house is necessary to my life - but then, I've known others on their own who cannot replace their lost loved ones.

Gossamer came into my life on a July 14, less than two weeks after my Sweet Siddy La departed. It took me longer to find Penelope (October), but I could not have waited much more than I did. I adopted her exactly ten years after Sid had first come home. Everything I didn't want: and she could not be a more wonderful successor.

Lucy's eyes are THE eyes, aren't they? And Layla's white nose. I am transfixed by these beauties.

I look forward to the Queen's return. But this sojourn with beloved pets here and gone has been a delight.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...


A mini wieners expression of sorrow.


He says he wants one of those bags with HIS name on it.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Layla looks so lovely and dignified. I am so sorry for your loss and it's so fresh yet. I still cry about the death of my last cat. And it's been a year already. Pets are so beloved.

And Lucy! What a different kettle of fish (and wouldn't she love that!) I'm sorry for your loss of Amazon but you have a whole new light in your life with this beautiful fur full of energy!

Joyce Tremel said...

Colin, yes it was very hard to let her go. It was the right thing to do though.

DLM, we'll probably get another cat at some point. We're just extremely busy right now and anticipate a move in a couple of years, so we're trying to wait until then. To get my kitty fix, I go to our local animal shelter's website and scroll through all the cats up for adoption. Not quite the same, but it will have to do for now!

Donnaeve said...

Much has been written about the love between pets and their human companions, and why it hits us so hard when we have to let them go, or when they pass on their own.

Layla was beautiful, and you did the right thing. When you know her quality of life wasn't going to be the same, it's the greatest love to have the strength to let them go.

And then there's Amazon, who too has gone on, but with an adorable new pet like Lucy, I'm sure the healing will be swift and entertaining.

The lost pets are a hard hard topic for me. I'll likely never get over Bella and Kiwi. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the how and the why. Like Layla's owner, it was too hard to think about another dog. I said my heart was too broken. I only wanted Bella and Kiwi back. Another dog wouldn't fill the hole.

Someone sent me this when I was considering another dog after Bella and Kiwi:

Before humans die, they write their last will and testament, giving their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask…

To a poor and lonely stray, I’d give my happy home; my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillow and all my toys; the lap, which I loved so much; the hand that stroked my fur; and the sweet voice that spoke my name.

I’d will to the sad, scared, shelter dog the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and the pain is more than I can stand.”

Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope, and give my place to him.

This is the only thing I can give…

The love I left behind.


This applies to all pets of course...and it was the words here that got me over my indecision about adopting Little Dog.

Donnaeve said...

And now after I'd stepped away, then came back to hit Publish, I realize Layla's owner is...Joyce! So sorry for your loss, Joyce...

E.M. Goldsmith said...


That made me cry. I keep the ashes of my dogs, Lady and Seymour on the mantle of my fireplace to be buried with me when I am laid to rest. It took me a long time after Seymour passed to get another dog. He died 4 years after Lady, my Australian Shepherd. She still visits me in my dreams. I not sure she approves of the pug.

My daughter pressed me for years to get another dog. It was a little miracle when Frankie was found by the rescue down the road from us. Kate had been sending me pictures of pugs for years, convinced that a small dog would be perfect for me. She was right. Life is better with our furry friends. But it is hard thing that they stay only a short while.

Colin Smith said...

Our SecondBorn gets very emotionally attached to pets. She says she still hasn't really got over our last cat that died. Elfin was a big white and black fluffy Himalayan cat we rescued from a dumpster. We had him at least two years, but then he contracted some kind of sickness. He must have been too far along for the meds from the vet. I can still remember that evening, he was so lethargic. Then, sometime after midnight, while my wife was holding him, his labored breathing finally ceased.

SecondBorn has expressed reservations about ever getting another cat after Fleur de la Purr passes (a day she dreads). While she loves the cats, she doesn't know how many more cat deaths she can handle. Donna, I think I'll share that pet's will with her. Maybe it'll help. :)

*sniff*... happy Friday everyone! *sniff*

Joseph Snoe said...

My first cat, Poinciana, died from liver or kidney complications. I did not have her euthanized. I held out hope the Vets could save her. I spent over $2000 on vet expenses her last six weeks. For her last two or three weeks I had to hand feed her. She hated the food.

The day before she died I was feeding her in the bath tub (feeding her was a messy experience). At one point she jumped on my chest and laid her head on my heart. It was her BIG I-love-you embrace. It was one of life’s memorable moments. I took her to bed. She chatted away most of the night. I wish I knew what she was saying.

I’ve not had many paranormal experiences – maybe none. But . . . .

I was lying in bed a month after Poinciana died. I heard a cat outside that sounded just like Poinciana. It was spooky but I rung it up as my imagination after hearing some other outdoor cat. The next morning when I woke I found two clumps of grey fur in the hallway outside my bedroom door. (I’d say they were an inch or two in diameter). Freaked me out. (Poinciana was grey) I looked for a practical reason why they were there and couldn’t figure it out).

About a year later I found another clump of grey fur by the side of my bed. I can’t explain it properly, but I had the feeling this was Poinciana saying she would be leaving me now. I had this calm acceptance. I’ve had no more experiences about Poinciana since.

Karen McCoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen McCoy said...

Joyce: So sorry for your loss! If you get a Rental Cat, I hope he or she can help fill the void, even though, I know, that Layla will always have that special place in your heart.

DLM said...


Karen McCoy said...

Colin: I confess to being Lucy's owner, and yes, the correlation you made suffices. I'm often told I look younger than I am, so I'll run with that until I can't any longer.

Donna: Beautiful words. I'm near tears. Thanks so much for sharing!

All: Thank you so much for your kind words about Miss Lucy and my beloved Amazon! I found Amazon after her former owners abandoned her in the apartment complex I was living in at the time, and I couldn't stand leaving her on her lonesome. She chose me as much as I chose her, and I still miss her every day.

And Lucy is an endless source of joy and inspiration. I wrote a tiny short story from her point-of-view, which got an honorable mention in a local humor contest. I love my baby girl, and the feeling I had when I saw her is probably akin to what some agents feel when they find a manuscript they can't live without.

CynthiaMc said...

I still cry when I think of Xena, our warrior kitty and it's been way longer than June. Layla looks like a beautiful soul.

I can see why Lucy found great home - too cute to resist!

We blame St. Francis. We think he's in cahoots with our heavenly pets. They find likely candidates for us and lead them to our door.

Karen McCoy said...

Joseph: What a beautiful story! Poinciana was very lucky to have you, and I think she knew it.

I love my beloved Amazon. She was a survivor--she loved people, but could also hold her own when needed, especially when a neighbor dog chased her under the U-Haul (poor dog). The day before we took her in to the vet for the last time (sooo hard) she, despite staying away from us due to her sickness, curled up on my lap one last time, and I hugged her tight. It was as if she knew.

I told the vet how terrible I felt about bringing her in for what needed to be done (the poor girl was suffering), but the vet told me that she could tell that my husband and I gave Amazon lots of love, and a home she could feel comfortable in for a few years. The vet said that it was the owners that didn't seem to care that always broke her heart.

Karen McCoy said...

Cynthia: Xena the Warrior Kitty! What a beautiful soul.

Colin Smith said...

Karen: In future, any references to cute bags of fluff 'n stuff might be about you or Lucy. I'll leave it for you to determine which. ;)

I can't imagine being a vet and having to relieve beloved pets of their suffering like that. I know it's merciful, and the best thing for them, but still... This is why I went vegetarian 26 years ago--I couldn't justify eating animals I know I wouldn't have the heart to kill. And I'm not guilt-tripping y'all. It's a personal thing between me and my conscience. I really don't judge anyone else about it.

Susan said...

Joyce and Karen: I'm so sorry for your losses. What beautiful cats. Karen, I'm glad you opened your heart back up to Lucy.

Diane: "It may be because I am alone, and the heartbeat in the house is necessary to my life..." This is gorgeous and exactly what I feel. When I lost my cat unexpectedly two years ago, even though I still have my dog, Riley, the house felt emptier, like it was missing that heartbeat. I adopted Moxie about a month later. Nothing fills the void of losing an animal, but another animal sure helps you heal.

Donna: Well that just did me in!

Two weeks ago, I had a cancer scare with my Riley. I was mentally preparing myself for the worst, especially since my cat's unexpected passing was pretty traumatic for me. I wasn't ready to let him go, even though someday I know I'll have to. Just not today. The test came back negative, thank goodness, but we won't know for sure unless they do a biopsy of the lymph node. I'm struggling with whether or not to put him through that, especially since he's a senior dog. His quality of life is more important time than anything. I really don't want to put him through that kind of pain. These animals, man. They just cement themselves on your heart.

Craig F said...

Joyce: I am sorry for your loss but I must ask you to not close yourself off. Don't say that you won't get another cat. You don't have to go looking for another, just keep an open mind. You don't want to miss the chance you enrich yourself.

You never replace a pet. They all have their own quirks and foibles so they can never fit into the mold left by another. There is something else out there looking for one such as you. Let it in.

Karen: Have fun with Lucy. Every Maine Coon Cat I have met had personality by the bagful.

Karen McCoy said...

Thank you, Susan! I'll be thinking about your Riley, and hoping for the best.

"Cement themselves on your heart." A beautiful phrase, and so true.

Barbara Etlin said...

Oh, what beautiful kitty photos and stories! (And I'm a dog person...)

Joyce, our friends' son and daughter-in-law recently had a baby named Layla, and the doctors and nurses in the delivery room serenaded her with Eric Clapton's song! I'm sure your kitty Layla is dancing to the tune over the Rainbow Bridge.

I'm so very sorry for your losses, Joyce and Karen. Unfortunately, I know exactly how you feel. Donna, you made me cry. Hugs to everyone here who has lost a pet. It's very hard. They are members of the family.

I have a hunch my pet will be featured last because the best is always saved for the last, isn't it?

DLM said...

Susan, thank you.

The death of every animal I have ever loved is always with me, but I don't mean that like a bad thing, or even a sad one. Because I was with THEM. My dad put our dog to sleep himself when I was ten, it was the first time I can remember him weeping. But he was kind to do it at home, to do it with his hands. My own first pet only lived two years; he was a breeding mill baby and had FHIV or Leukemia. Tests were mixed up, he lost the use of his legs, he was just a baby; I had to let him go. After that was Byshe, organ failure. I held him, and his body was so heavy. Smike, who was diabetic, and who died long and hard and cruelly, and tried and tried to live. Sidney-la. She was fourteen and had a good life. I hope.

Being alone, and tangentially attached to someone who recently died alone and her pets died after her, I have to think about the time that may come, when I can't indulge that heartbeat in the house any more. For me to die alone is one thing, but for animals to die of starvation or thirst: I hope I will not leave that legacy.

Claire Bobrow said...

Joyce and Karen, thank you for sharing your photos and stories with us. Layla and Amazon sound like they were wonderful companions, and I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to them. The photo of Layla and her snowy white bib is beautiful, and although we didn't get to see Amazon, I'm sure she was equally gorgeous.

Karen, I hope you have lots of fun with Lucy. She has a mischievous twinkle in her eyes!

Sherry Howard said...

So much sadness today about lost pets. It's a reminder how dependent our animals are on our love and care, and how dependent we become on their loyalty. Today's babies are beautiful! The stories are sad. Enough said.

Peggy Rothschild said...

I'm so sorry to hear about both Layla and Amazon's passings. And though the animals we invite into our lives don't live nearly long enough, when you've loved and been loved by an animal, you are a lucky person.

Over the years, we've lost cats to diabetes, kidney disease and -- the luckiest ones -- to old age. Each passing left a hole in our lives. We try to fill them by celebrating the cat who's left us; laughing about funny things he or she did, the amazing feats of athleticism, their quirks and habits. Eventually we wind up adopting another rescue cat -- not because the cat who's passed can be replaced, but because having cats in our lives brings us joy.

Again, so sorry about your losses!

Beth said...

Beautiful cats. My condolences to Karen and Joyce and all of you who have shared your stories of losing your feline friends. I'm shedding a few tears for you.

I'm also smiling at Lucy-in-the-bag, and the visitor in the night leaving behind clumps of fur, and all your lovely stories of the way cats have touched your lives.

"Freedom -- that's just some people talking -- your prison is walking through this world all alone."

BJ Muntain said...

Joyce, Layla was such a beautiful cat, and obviously a big inspiration in your life. I'm so sorry about her loss. It's okay to decide not to get another pet, but don't be closed to a pet that comes along. Sometimes fostering can fill the void (though beware - sometimes fosters come to stay) (((hugs)))

Karen, Lucy is gorgeous! I'm so glad your hearts were open to adopt - and I'm sure you are, too. Amazon must have been a wonderful cat. (((hugs)))

Our pets are part of our hearts. It can hurt so much to lose one, but there's a terrible hole without one.

I was lucky. I got Little Girl Dog a few years before we lost Koko. She was 2, he was 12, at the time. He was nearly 16 when he left us. I would have been too heartbroken after losing Koko to get another dog, and she's been an immense comfort and companion in the three years since he's been gone.

Regarding vets and the worst part of their job: When I took Koko in his last day- and I knew it would be his last day, because he'd had 4 minor seizures in 28 hours - I was so happy that his favourite vet and vet tech were there. We'd spent a lot of time at the vets the years prior, while he got subcutaneous fluids and whatever other care he needed. The vets and techs at that clinic were so wonderful, and he loved going there, even 3 times a week. Both the vet and the tech were crying with me as Koko slipped away - they were so wonderful about it all, and I'm so grateful. And now I'm crying, too.

Donnaeve said...

Well y'all, I sure didn't mean to make folks cry, but every time I read that Last Will & Testament of a Dog, boy oh boy.

Although Bella was put to sleep at the vet she'd been going to for 12 years, she hated that place. So, when I think about her last moments there, it just sort of sends me off the edge. But I was with her, and maybe that's all that matters. With Kiwi, (three weeks later) I'd had her at the Specialty hospital the day before (for a 2nd opinion)and that's where she was put to sleep. So different than little Bella Boo Boo. It was dimly lit, there was a couch, rug, chair. Soft music.

They sent me a card. Now, I'm not trying to be the the Donna Downer here today, but honestly? The words truly mean so much to me; the ones I shared above, and the ones in the card:

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,

but laugh and talk of me as if I were there beside you

Do not let the thought of me be sad

For I am loving you just as I always have,

You were so good to me! I loved you so…,

Twas heaven here with you.

~Isla Paschel Richardson~

Okay. Must go tend to the leaking eyes.

BJ Muntain said...

A bit off topic, but still on topic of pets: 10 MUTTS Comic Strips that remind us why we love dogs

This little dog is SO much Little Girl Dog.

Panda in Chief said...

Such sweet kitties and sad stories. I know how you feel, Joyce. When I lost my previous cat, Sedro Woolly, I thought I would have to wait a while before re-enlisting. But then an acquaintence told me about this kitten from a litter she knew, and when I met Mehitabel (8 weeks old, calico and incredibly fluffy) I could not resist.

She is now 20 + and while I am not saying never again, I need to wait awhile before I add another furchild to my home. I don't know how long she has left. She probably has some medical issues, but she seems happy, eating, drinking, sleeping and all the rest, so no extreme measures are planned for her. I'm hoping she tells me when her time is up so I can do the right thing. Making her suffer through pain or treatments will not serve her well at 20.

Lucy is absolutely adorable! I thought no cat could take the place of Woolly, but Mehitabel just was so relentlessly cute, she took over in no time flat.

The love we get from animals seems so pure and untainted. It's kind of hard to get that from people, so that must be why we turn to our animal friends.
Cheers to cats and dogs.

Joyce Tremel said...

Thanks, everyone. I do plan on getting a cat sometime in the future, just not quite yet. Of course, if one showed up on our doorstep, I wouldn't turn it away!

Susan said...

Thanks, Karen!

Diane: I was with all the pets I've lost growing up, and that's the only thing that brought me comfort in their passing--that I could provide them passing in theirs. When the time comes, that's my greatest wish for me and Riley.

Aaannd I can't talk about this anymore. <3

Lennon Faris said...

Ah, these stories! Layla and Lucy are lovely, I'm so sorry to hear of Layla's and Amazon's passing.

Joseph stories like those give me the chills, in a good way. I'm glad you have peace.

Donna -I love that.

Catherine Vignolini said...

Sympathy hugs to Layla’s and Amazon’s humans.

(So I calls this number, 1-800-GOOD-CRY, and Donna answers!)

Colin Smith said...

Catherine: This bodes well for Donna's upcoming novel. Be sure to pre-order Kleenex too! ;)

Donnaeve said...

Catherine That was PURRRFECT!

It made me laugh, and I'm sure it made everyone else laugh too - and that's just what we needed! Phew. *Wipes tears* (not the sad kind)

Colin (((hug)))

Everyone ((((hug))))

AJ Blythe said...

Have to confess, I couldn't read many of the comments today - not a day for sad stories. Big (((hugs))) to everyone who has lost a pet, the loss never goes but the pain does ease.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Yes, excessive eye moisture here as well. Get a bunch of writers to talk about love and loss, that's going to happen.

Joyce and Karen, I'm so sorry for your losses. Been there more than a couple times. Give yourselves the time you need to heal and mourn, whatever that means for you. Karen, I can't help but think it must have been easier to find a bag (or a box) to match the name of your dearly departed cat than it was for Lucy. :)

Karen McCoy said...

KDJames: How right you are. My husband fashioned one from an old dresser drawer, painted it white, and used a router to engrave Amazon's name on the top. We walked her to the top of a mountain and sent her off with a bagpipe rendition of "Day is Done."

"Lucy" is a chain fitness store, and when our Lucy put herself in this bag, it was too cute not to capture on camera.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Absolutely nothing wrong with getting a rental cat. I know many shelters have a foster program that puts up cats temporarily until they can be adopted, especially if it looks like it's gonna be a while until they get adopted.

Courageous Orange went into a foster home after her surgery because she needed inside care. (We couldn't give it to her, alas.) She was in there for a few weeks while she healed. No way she would have healed as well or as quickly in the shelter.

If it wasn't for unsociable Inside Cat, we would have taken in Courageous Orange (Outside Cat) and given her the care she needed.

If it wasn't for unsociable Inside Cat, we'd also foster other pets. But she's a skittish thing that DOES NOT tolerate other creatures (unless they're edible or give her edibles).