The last purr

This morning we took our aged cat to the veterinarian to have it put down. Coincidentally, our page-a-day (Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader) calendar for today’s date says,

The average house cat will spend 10,950 hours of its lifetime purring.

Patches with Moses

At rest.

Our cat’s kidneys had been failing for some time (we hadn’t figured it out yet when I published this photo over a year ago) and he took a dramatic turn for the worst yesterday. He was pretty devoted to me, for a cat, and I’ve shed more than a few tears in the past 24 hours. Not merely for my loss, but because he was clearly suffering at the end.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere:

Jamie recently lost a cat to kidney disease, too. She used the experience as a springboard for some theological reflections on death.

Addofio recently posted three compelling dog stories. Here she tells how she ended up adding a fourth(!) dog to her household (complete with photos). Here she describes losing one of the four dogs in the woods while camping. And here — well, you just have to read the post to find out what happens next in Addofio’s crazy, overrun-with-dogs world.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. maryp
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 07:37:43

    We didn’t know about the kidney failure when that picture was taken, but we know now that’s why he was spending so much of his time in that particular pose!

    I found a decent picture of him here.

    It’s the only time I’ve ever had an animal euthanized, and I found the whole thing remarkably peaceful. The vet was wonderful, and Patches’ passage was very quiet.

    Which brings our household down to a mere four pets: two borrowed neighbour’s cats, a guinea pig, and a hamster. Pets are a Good Thing.


  2. Knotwurth Mentioning
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 09:20:44

    Sad to hear it. For all that Patches was very much a “Pissycat” at times, he was still a familiar presence, and for adults he was even somewhat affectionate! I love the post on Bill’s solution — wish we had thought of the latter a while ago 😛 — and I am sorry to hear that the old man has finally lost out in his battle with the disease. There will be a hole in the house… located right in the middle of the dining room table bench, I believe, where he’s still looking for some body warmth. *sigh*


  3. aaron
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 09:22:25

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss.


  4. Carolyn
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 17:09:47

    The Fiance and I put Luna, our 17 year old down a couple months ago. She had kidney disease also (apparently REALLY common for cats). I could have copy and pasted your post onto my blog and said it was mine because I felt the exact same way. It was really hard, but the most loving thing you can do for your pet is to let them go with dignity, which you did.

    By the way, the orange cat in the photo freaked me out when I pulled up your blog. It could BE one of our red tabbies, Jack. I called the Fiance in and he was shocked as well…here’s a link to a photo of him…scroll down a little.

    I’m really sorry for your loss.


  5. Jamie
    Jul 30, 2007 @ 08:54:03

    I’m sorry, Stephen. I know that’s not an easy experience. After losing my cat a month ago, I taped up pictures of him all over my closet door, and invariably, even a month later, when I go into the closet and look at all the pictures, I have to stop and cry awhile. For being only pets, they can sure leave a big hole when they’re suddenly gone.


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