Goodbye, sweet Marilyn.
We put our porch kitty Marilyn, to sleep.
She was gentle and timid… a wobbly hobbly, old lady floof, who was hanging in there… but in the last month, her decline was pronounced.
She has lived on our porch, nearly since the day we got here. And over the last few years, we’ve watched her start to struggle with the stairs, then forgo them altogether.
Sweet girl was OLD OLD.
Walking was hard.
Last summer, I realized that the time she was able to live outside on her own, was coming to an end.
In previous winters, I have only brought her in when it was too cold— she has a heated box on the porch, and she LOVES being outside… but this year I brought her in as soon as the weather turned cool.
For the first time, she did not ask to go outside.
In January I thought I noticed a change in her eating— but I also thought maybe I was being paranoid… she was still so HAPPY.
She loved to have a conversation with you.
When you walked up to her, she would do this outraged squawk-greeting; like she hadn’t seen you in YEARS… and she had this head bobbing up and down that she did along with it.
But then she began having episodes of vomiting— violent and alarming, and unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever seen in a cat.
She got the tests.
We ruled out everything simple.
Her eating reduced more every day.
So then we were at the point where the next step would be determining what kind of cancer she had.
Instead, we let her be.
On her last day, if you didn’t know that she wasn’t eating, you would think she was the happiest cat in the world.
She got lots of love… especially from The Man, who was her favorite… The Man put her fuzzy blanket on his lap and held her. We had the same hospice vet for Elvis come to the house.
It was sad.
But I was grateful.
I wish this is the death I had given Elvis.
In retrospect, it seems so obvious.
At the time, it was not.
I am wiser now.
A good death is the best ending.
Minya’s kitten crew is here.
Elvis’s departure to the big concert in the sky is here.
ps– I just went to my Minya link and am reposting this video because kittens are the cure for sadness.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:00 am
Condolences Victoria, you are a good cat mom…..it takes time to learn how to deal with furbabies dying..and what’s best for them
March 3, 2019 @ 12:59 pm
Where are you? If it involves dancing I am very sad-kittens jealous. Come back,say howdy show us some huge ear rings,anything but please come back. Thank you. I feel much better and hopeful???
February 7, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Much love to you. You’ve had a difficult run recently. I’m so sorry for your loss(es). But yes, a peaceful and pain-free death is indeed the best kindness. Marilyn was a very lucky floof. Hugs and kitten kisses to you!
February 7, 2019 @ 11:05 am
Looks like you gave Marilyn the last couple of her 9 lives with love and luxury.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:08 am
thoughts & prayers to you & your family. My favorite poem to share with those going thru a loss.
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads,
there lived a little water beetle in a community of water
beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond
with few disturbances and interruptions.
Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of
their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and
would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their
friend was dead, gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge
to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would
not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what
he had found at the top.
When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the
surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so
warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body
changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful
blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body
designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole
new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never
Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking
by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and
explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been
before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended.
But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could
not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he
understood that their time would come, when they, too, would
know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off
into his joyous new life!
February 7, 2019 @ 12:38 pm
You did right by Marilyn, now you grieve them and time will work it’s balm. That was lovely, Neely M. I saved it to share and remind myself when I eventually have to say goodbye to more of my aging fur family.
February 7, 2019 @ 3:23 pm
This is so wonderful, thank you.
March 25, 2019 @ 1:16 pm
What a beautiful poem, loved it
I will keep it.
God bless you.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:10 am
That is all we should hope for, a happy home, where you are fed , kept warm and loved. Then a peaceful end, having had to do this many times it never gets easier. You are right, kittens playing is the answer to all sadness.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:15 am
I am sorry for your loss. I had to euthanize my 18 year old permanent foster about 2 weeks ago. The vet sedated her to check her throat for an infection thinking the lump on her neck was a lymph node. She wouldn’t let the vet open her mouth so sedation was the only option. The vet realized it was cancer when he couldn’t get a tube down her throat for an airway. I did not have him revive her. So she seemed happy and comfortable till the end. It is hard when our fur babies cross the Rainbow Bridge.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:17 am
A lovely tribute to your sweet fur friend… I shared her to my Animal Friends board, of which Elvis is on there somewhere. Lol! We had Pippin and Merry who were porch cats who came with a house and five acres my parents bought in 1976 in Northern California. Pippin ended up with feline leukemia at a time when there was no known cure, maybe there still isn’t. Merry lived there and was probably very old when my parents moved. I am still angry with my mother for leaving Merry with the house as the new people may or may not have taken care of her. The other cats moved with my parents to Connecticut, but Mom thought Merry wouldn’t make the move well. A double-edged sword…
I am glad your sweet Marilyn enjoyed her home and I am glad she had the good sense to come inside and stay at her end, knowing you wouldn’t kick her out. Crying now as I still miss our old cats… <3
Hugs and blessings to you,
February 7, 2019 @ 11:19 am
Sweet, beautiful Marilyn. You gave her the BEST life. Don’t beat yourself up about Elvis. You did the best you knew how at the time. I let my childhood cat live to be 18. Popcorn (big white and yellow part-Persian floof who looked like buttered popcorn) was utterly miserable the last year. I learned from that and now know better.
It’s hard no matter when, though. Big hugs to you!
February 7, 2019 @ 11:31 am
i’m so sorry for your loss 🙁
February 7, 2019 @ 11:31 am
Knowing when to say enough is never easy. Condolences on your loss.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:39 am
God bless you. Thank you for loving her and caring for her!!!!
February 7, 2019 @ 11:41 am
I am so sorry to hear of Marilyn’s passing. It’s the sacred duty of every animal guardian to give them the best life possible, and then the best death possible when the time comes. You did both. So glad that Marilyn had people who loved and treasured her and made sure she was not an anonymous outdoor cat who lived and died alone.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:45 am
My sympathies to both of you.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:45 am
So sorry. She was a beauty.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:46 am
Sorry to hear about your baby. I don’t know why it hurts so much but she looks like she had a happy life and peaceful end.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:49 am
Thank you for taking care of Marilyn and giving her a good life all these years.
You also gave her a loving send off when she was ready, rest in peace sweet Marilyn.
It is so sad to say good-bye…..
February 7, 2019 @ 11:54 am
Aww, what a sweet beautiful girl kitty. You and your husband gave her love and shelter. A wonderful tribute post.
michele wagner adams
February 7, 2019 @ 11:56 am
When I had to let my Big Sam go to the Rainbow Bridge, the Vet told me that this was the kindest thing I could do for him. Somehow that statement gave me permission to let go of my guilt so that I could grieve. I think about my big guy frequently, sometimes with a smile and other times with tears. May you find comfort in the memory of her wonderful life with you and because of you.
February 7, 2019 @ 11:57 am
You gave Marilyn just what she wanted … the best life a cat who adopts YOU could have. Few would do what you did to care for her, fill her needs, Victoria. You are the best fur mommy.
I feel your pain … lost a 23-yo (yes, actually 23!) rescue years ago, and still miss him, along with his “pewter Persian” rescued buddy who was very old too … Our mistake was thinking we could wait till we were “over them” to bring more babies home. That never happens: time won’t erase your fond memories of all your babies, but you always have room to love others … so don’t wait, people! Those “floofy” kittens need us!
February 7, 2019 @ 12:02 pm
I am so sad for you, but you have given the older one a dignified gift. She is no longer in any discomfort. She will be fondly remembered by her people. Still, it is so hard. Praying for peace and comfort for you.