I Will Try For Another Post Later

I will try to write another post later, but it might be very late.

Miranda cat has grown very thin and for the last two weeks has diarrhea and can’t seem to control it at all.  I thought it was hyperthyroidism, which hits every cat who lives long enough, sooner or later.

Marshall is moving out this weekend, so we asked him to take her in to the vet, so he could take medication with him (she’s very attached to him and if he moved out, of course she’d need to go or she’d stop eating) and she could be all right for another year or three.

Well, it cost a lot of money to tell us she didn’t have thyroid issues.  It cost a lot more to find out what she did have.  The bill is close to a thousand, now, and some more expenses are necessarily still involved, and not the kind we wish to pay for.

Miranda cat has stomach cancer which has metastasized to the liver.  I feel like the worst of cat people, as in the moves and all we didn’t notice how bad she’d gotten, until these last two weeks, because it’s impossible not to note running your carpet cleaner three times a day.

Because of her condition — our fault not noticing sooner — chemo would just kill her.  We had two choices: euthanasia or keeping doped out of her tiny head till she goes naturally in a matter of two, three weeks.

We’d take box two, though giving Miranda meds would aggravate both of us.  She’s never taken them well.  But Marsh is moving out.  We’re not going to send her with him in this state, and it would be bad at any rate to make her endure yet another move now.

So it’s box one, which I hate, and which I’m sure she’ll resent as much as our Dejah Toris did.

I’m getting tired of sending inmates to the rainbow bridge.

Miranda was the only cat we ever bought.  She was my “yay, I’m published” gift almost sixteen years ago.  I picked her out of a litter of Cornish Rexes and a litter of Sphynxes because (it was January, in CO) she climbed up my overcoat, got close to my face and said “Meeee.”

Of course she, then, immediately adopted my younger son, and made it her job to bring him up right.

One of the last things we sent Mrs. Heinlein was a library-bag with a picture of Miranda painted by older son.

She’s been boss cat since Pixie died, no matter what the boy cats think, and able to hold her own with them though she never weighed much more than five pounds and the boy cats are in the fifteen to sixteen pounds.  She was a brave hunter of wasps, terrorizer of boy cats, and indefatigable warmer of laps.  And we’re taking her on her final trip.  And until I looked for a picture of her to put on Facebook, I had forgotten how beautiful she used to be, even five years ago.


93 responses to “I Will Try For Another Post Later

  1. The pain is real, but so is the relief from suffering. Sometimes, we need to put our own pain aside and do what is best for our furry loved ones. I’m so sorry. Love you!

  2. We fully understand if there is no other post today.
    And that box is always unwelcome to the caring, but it is also often a required choice of them. I will not repeat or repost the “Horse’s Prayer” here, but the last bit of it applies.

    • Agreed. Sorry for your loss. Sometimes, you get surprises when you go down that route — one of my dogs was trying to lick both me and the vet post-shot. He was always good-natured about shots and other indignities – but several systems in his body were failing, he was partially paralyzed and it was time. In some ways, I’d like to think he understood and was trying to comfort me. Thinking back on it, even several years later, still brings tears to my eyes, however.

  3. I will *not* like this post. I cannot. I have been where you are standing. Too many times. :-..(

    I will offer hugs, soft blankets and a prayer to send Miranda on her way.

    (What is it about Tortishells? The Manx cat that raised me was a Tortishell. _smile_)

  4. This is a real post. ((hugs)) Do what you need to do. Even if that includes sneaking off somewhere for a good cry. We’ll still be here. ((hugs))

  5. Sniff, so sad. We lost a cat to cancer a few years ago because of a family member heart attack and recovery leading to us not paying attention until it was too late so I know how you feel. I still feel guilty, but that event is part of life’s lessons and history now. Think about the Rainbow Bridge for comfort and a better future.

  6. So sorry for your loss. A terrible position to be in, and one in which most pet owners eventually find themselves.

  7. The problem is with kittens is that they eventually become a cat. The problem with cats is that they don’t live as long as we do.

    *hugs* Go, don’t feel obligated to us. Not when you have a cat-shaped hole in your heart.

    • This post and your comment brought home to me how many of those cat shaped holes I have and how they never really go away. Why I no longer have pets, just don’t have any more room for more holes.

  8. I have tears in my eyes. You are doing the right thing by her. She has to be in a lot of pain. I am so very sorry. I work as a vet assistant for a lady who takes in sick and injured animals. I do it because I care, and not for money. (She lives next door). I sit with her when she has to make these choices and I cry with her when it happens. Animals are family. I hope that you give yourself a lot of credit for not letting her suffer. I still grieve for my cat, Casey. I always will. He died about 30 years ago, and I still miss him. Hugs to you and your family.

    • The problem is she has no idea how ill she is, and she thinks she can beat this.

      • I am reminded of my beloved Kaylar who never seemed to know that she was sick even as she lost her fight with ITP.

      • What she thinks and what you know, sadly, do not co-inside.

        We have been there. We have second guessed ourselves. We have regretted not noticing sooner, not acting sooner or more decisively. We have also pushed treatment, the cat’s health improved but the cat rebelled, having had enough. Ifs you cannot know, they haunt you and add to the pain.

        I am so very sorry. The Daughter – who is visiting today – expresses her sorrow. HUGS.

        I think I need to go find a hot beverage, and a box of tissues.

        • “We have also pushed treatment, the cat’s health improved but the cat rebelled, having had enough.”

          That is what Squeaky did. She seemed to be stabilizing with the hydration treatments that I was doing at home, but after her last vet visit, she just stopped eating or drinking. She had had enough. I held her as she passed 3 days later.

          • Yes.

            It was at the regular administration of subcutaneous fluids that Mittens (et.al.) drew the line. The poor distressed and tense cat not only stopped consumption, but also ceased attempting to use the litter box. Every time he would climb up on the bed to rest against me, which was whenever he could, he would relax and his bladder let go.

            • Pixie let us do even that.

              • Some do. People who are fortunate enough to have known cats know that they are as varied in personalities as there are cats. I have a feeling you were helped by the natural care-giving nature of the two legged members in your household.

      • 😦 Poor kitty. Stomach cancer must be just awful. what my neighbor does is see how they act. If they are eating and not in pain, then she tends to them and makes them comfortable, but if they are in pain, and you can tell , then you take the next step. I wish you lots of hugs. My cats are both 13,and my dog is 10. I am not at all solid when it comes to them.

      • First my condolences for your loss. Cats (and dogs) have personalities that intertwine with ours and over long association become friends and companions of a depth rarely expressed with our own species because the animals trust us implicitly. I saw Robert’s following post and she was a truly lovely princess.

        As for their not knowing of their illness I wonder sometimes. I had an orange tom named Spike. At the end of his 18 year life he had failing kidneys for which he got subcutaneous fluids and severe anxiety for which he got a medication specially compounded by a local pharmacy (they do almost totally special veterinary needs) to be applied to his ear flaps. In the final phase of kidney disease the intestines fail and even though the cat eats it loses weight. Spike still enjoyed his sun and tolerated our ministrations including the fluids under the skin with an 18 gauge needle every other day. But he also spent much of his time near myself and my elder daughter purring and rubbiing and sunning himself as if he knew this couldn’t go on. He kept on keeping on as the preachers say. I chose to believe this odd combination of stoic endurance and epicurean abandon is the signature of feline dignity.

        Requiescat in pace Miranda and all our other furry friends.

  9. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Can’t “like” this. 😦

  10. Condolences. No further post needed.

  11. No matter what some people say, they are our children with fur, be they child of Bastet or Fenrir’s gentler scions. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  12. Sorry to hear that. Best wishes to you and your family in dealing with this.

  13. I am so sorry. The only thing wrong with having pets is that they don’t live long enough.

  14. Laura Montgomery

    I’m so sorry. We love our pets, and it hurts very much when they leave us. You have my utmost sympathy.

  15. This really is a rough thing to deal with. I’m sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself and your family and know we’re all out here thinking about you today.

  16. “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle…” — Irving Townshend. (Kinky Friedman has this quote in one of his books, and it’s always stuck with me.)

  17. Condolences for your loss.

  18. Condolences to all of you, and sending good thoughts out to the universe …

  19. Just this Monday, I made the same decision for my beagle of 14.5 years Sirius. The sweetest dog on earth. He had lymphoma, and a week of palliative care to give him a few last pot-roast dinners.
    Like Miranda cat, he sometimes felt and acted normal, and still had some joy in life. But Sunday night, he could either sleep or breathe, and Monday morning he wouldn’t drink water. So at noon, his Vets, the nicest husband and wife team, and I stood with him and at last, all his pain and suffering went away.
    While I have been very sad since then, I believe and feel that box #1 is the best. I considered chemo, but how do you explain the feelings to your pet. My Mother and Aunt have both undergone painful debilitating procedures, but at least they understood why.
    My prayers are with you and your family.

  20. I’m very sorry to hear about your cat.

    And yes, this is a post.

  21. Condolences, but I can’t imagine she could have had a better life than as a member of the Hoyt clan.

  22. It’s been just over two years since I last had that duty with Butch, a tabby who kept me company for 16 of her 17 years. It’s never easy, and you have my condolences.

  23. Like everyone else here, I just want to offer my deepest condolences. Losing a furry family member is devastating, and I understand the grief.

  24. You’re making a hard choice, and the right choice. Lost my cat of 21 years, Potluck, about a year ago, rescue Clara at less than two years to feline leukemia, and rescue Rocky this year to an apparent heart condition. Clara was on comfort meds but passed unexpectedly quickly and Rocky was out of the blue; both basically died in my lap.

  25. When there are no words that can suffice, wordlessness itself must be enough.

  26. I fear my wife’s reaction when we finally lose our current dog. She has been the wife’s boon companion since the wife started her chemotherapy in 2011 (we have had the dog since 2004, though). I think I probably should get another puppy soon, to cushion the loss when she does go.

  27. There are really no words for this kind of loss, but I will extend my sympathies to you anyway, as much for me as for you.

  28. Hugs. And you always wonder if there’s something else you could have done. I did.

  29. I’m so sorry. I need to go hug my cats now.

  30. On a total tangent: Since I know a number of folks who frequent this fine blog live in the general vicinity of southwest Ohio, I thought I’d mention the World War I special event at the Air Force museum in Dayton this weekend. It is going to feature original and reproduction WWI aircraft, vintage automobiles, re-enactors, etc. – plus food trucks! Or at least it will if the weather cooperates.


  31. I wear a black band ’round my heart for every such companion I’ve laid rest, and now know my heart not great enough to bear another such band. You’ve my sympathy and shared loss. When next you post, I hope it will be to invite us to her wake, there to sing praises of those lives are entrusted to us.

  32. I’m sorry. I’ve buried so many pets over the years that it’s so tempting to say “No more.” Then another shows up at your doorstep.

    We once had a dog given to us by her mother, a neighbor’s dog who was tired of strangers getting her pups. So she picked homes for that litter, and made rounds to see them. Then there’s the cat, found abandoned at a week old and brought to us to see if we might could feed him.

    That one is still with us. He’s currently on heart medicine, but have been warned that while he might live a long life, he could also go at any moment. He hates the vet so much he has to be put under to be examined, and we were warned that there was a risk that he might not wake up, so as long as he’s doing well, it’s medication. He cost us over a thousand for the initial examine and tests,and the follow-up wasn’t cheap, either. But he’s part of the family, you know?

  33. After losing two old-timers (20 and 14 years old, two of the best dogs ever) with a month of each other in the summer of 2014, I said “No more,” too. Then less than a year later, on a cold, rainy morning, there was a starving, flea-covered, 8-pound pup in our garage. What are you gonna do? Of course we adopted him. I still say “No more”, but I know that will only last until the universe sends us another one.

    It’s small comfort, but as someone else said, remember that Miranda probably had the best of all possible lives for her. I tell myself that about Dobie and Max fairly often, more than two years later.

  34. I still say “No more”, but I know that will only last until the universe sends us another one.

    After Imp (the bestest cat evah) passed we decided no more.

    Then a cat came to us on my birthday on a very stormy night. The Spouse and The Daughter had gone out, for a reason I no longer remember. I looked out to check the weather and there on the front porch, gums turning white, pressing himself down as flat as he could was one very sorry twice abandoned cat. I opened the door and he came in. He found his way to the laundry basket and curled up to sleep through the night.

    And, the next morning, what could we do? We adopted Mittens, the Gray Cat, Overhead and Underfoot, Purrbucket, Lead Bottom, formerly named Jake. He was a profoundly dumb cat, but very loving, almost dogish in his attachment to us. Once again we have said no more, knowing that the universe doesn’t always listen.

  35. I said “no more” once – which lasted about 3 months, until my wife called me at work to tell me of one that came, needing us. I’d expressed an aesthetic preference for cats with tails, my wife was very worried that a tailless kitty wouldn’t be acceptable. As if…

    I learned to give up saying “no more”, and accept what is meant to happen. They need us; we need them even more.

  36. Sorry for your loss. Sending inmates to the rainbow bridge always sucks.

  37. Sadness for you and for your family. It is always hard to wave anyone we love across that bridge.

  38. Of course she, then, immediately adopted my younger son, and made it her job to bring him up right.

    She’s done right in her life and earned her reward.


  39. Sorry for your loss. It hurts to lose our furry friends.

  40. I am very sorry for your loss.

  41. First Daughter during the past 9 months has lost both Oberon (the big dog that came to her 12 years ago with abandonment anxiety) and DiploCat, who kept peace (or else!) amongst two dogs and three other cats, starting 14 years ago. It’s never easy to let them go.

  42. I’m so sorry. She sounds like a wonderful cat and I’m sure she had a wonderful life with your family. I’ve lost a lot of cats, but never had to make the decision to send one home (not yet, anyway). It must be incredibly hard, but when she wakes up on the other side free of pain and sickness, I’m sure she’ll understand.

  43. Condolences and kind thoughts. This is today’s post. No more is really needed.

  44. Wife and I have been cat people unto the second generation and always with at least two(and as many as 11 – not all inside cats, just the leaders). For years it seemed like whenever we lost one within two or three weeks another would turn up needing a home.
    The last is a white calico who was so small I almost missed her at the bottom of the fence – except for her complaining about her ill treatment. Took about three weeks for her to get comfortable enough to come in. And now she terrorizes The Great and Terrible Bear – a black, 16#, long-haired, domestic male who is on liver-enzyme medication. She doesn’t like anyone except us and when she goes out she is the consummate moving object huntress.
    Animals come and go in their own time, and it always hurts to lose one, but we would be far worse without them.

  45. It is bound to hurt more, because you share a profession.

    I and Pangur Ban the cat,
    Tis a like task we are at:
    I hunt words and you hunt mice….

  46. Heartfelt condolences. ;(

  47. Professor Badness

    It’s always hard to lose family. And our pets are family.
    Condolences and prayers sent your way.

  48. If there is anything to this “light at the end of the tunnel” business, the human family members get to wait while I get reacquainted and play with the cats. Fortunately, most of the humans will understand that…

    I did try the “no more” once – for about five minutes. Then thought about what “no more” meant to that furry little lump, shivering and hungry. Although there is no “bookkeeping” with “profit and loss” for what we have with our pets – I know that I would be far poorer these days if I had turned away.

    Okay, had something more, but have to stop. Memories are leaking out as tears, won’t be able to see the keyboard pretty soon.

    • “Memories are leaking out as tears, won’t be able to see the keyboard pretty soon.”

      I suspect that many of us are suffering something similar – I know I am.

  49. Losing a pet is hard. We get closer to them then we realize.

    And now for something completely off topic- I know there are a bunch of veterans who hang out here. Like me. SECNAV has just perpetrated an idiocy and by decree has dismantled the Navy rating system, a source of mystery to the other non-seagoing services, but a perfectly sane and rational system for the way the Navy and Coast Guard operates. I’ve never signed one of these White House petitions- until today. Could you join me? https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-traditional-navy-rating-specialty-titles-disestablished-9292016
    So far the reaction I’ve seen from Navy veterans to this is a unanimous WTF? The powers that be seem to have taken a perfectly good system that’s working, that is an actual source of pride for many, and broken it.

    I’m going to have to check. To see if the USCG is playing along.

    s/ MMC USN(ret)

    • Someone my husband knows on FaceBook posted this:

      Next announcement over the 1MC, “Petty Officer 2nd Class Smith, Report to the Quarterdeck”. Within 5 min IT2 Smith, DC2 Smith, YN2 Smith, GMG2 Smith and EN2 Smith all arrive on the Quarterdeck and it was GSM2 Smith they were looking (for) who is on leave…”

      My husband was happy that he was due to retire soon enough that they let him keep his radioman flashes, and I was happy that I didn’t have to sew new ET crows on all his uniforms.

  50. Take care of you and yours, Sarah. I’ve had to choose box one three times. You always tell yourself it’s what you gotta do. And you do gotta, when it gets bad.

    Cat number three was poisoned, and she thought she could tough it out, too. Problem being, she didn’t quite have a stomach anymore, and that was killing her slower and more painful. I still hate that she’s gone, and how she went, but at the end there was no pain. That’s the only gift we could send her off with. That and love, of course.

    You love someone, it hurts when they die. That’s one of the ways you know you care. Just remember you’ve got folks near at hand that care about you, and critters that need laps and hands that open the cat food and skritch behind the ears. A grief shared is a burden lightened, even if just the littlest bit. This is a post, and it doesn’t need anything else- your people need you right now.

  51. Condolences. There really isn’t any way to make this easier. Take care of Miranda, then take care of yourself. The den of iniquity isn’t going anywhere.

  52. So sorry for you and Miranda. When we lost one of our dogs to cancer, the vet observed that having a pet meant you had an appointment for heartache. So true, but the cat and dog sized holes fill in in time, and they add so much during their short lives it’s worth it. Sara is going on 12, while Angie is 9. They have several years left (we hope and pray), but we know it’s coming. I doubt we’ll say “no more” until it’s a case of “we can’t”. Not for a long time, I hope.

    [/Remembers cats and dogs past, with a bittersweet smile.]

    • Rudyard Kipling


      I have done mostly what most men do,
      And pushed it out of my mind;
      But I can’t forget, if I wanted to,
      Four-Feet trotting behind.

      Day after day, the whole day through —
      Wherever my road inclined —
      Four-feet said, “I am coming with you!”
      And trotted along behind.

      Now I must go by some other round, —
      Which I shall never find —
      Somewhere that does not carry the sound
      Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

  53. Aw. It’s hard to say goodbye to your pets. I have an old beagle I only get to see when I go home for college breaks. We got her because she tried to chew through my mom’s purse, and we thought it was the cutest thing ever.

  54. Well, fudge.
    Sorry to hear that.

  55. So sorry to hear. I had to say goodbye to my Loki to a nasal cancer last spring after almost 16 years. Saying goodbye sucks.

  56. Sarah, I’m very sorry. Miranda sounds like she was a wonderful cat, and had a huge personality. (Sometimes the smallest cats and dogs seem to have the biggest personalities.) It’s heartbreaking to have to take beloved pets to the vet for their final visit; we never forget them, because we can’t.

    Like many others here, I can’t “like” this post. I’d rather send some *hugs* instead, as they might help (and can’t hurt).

  57. My first cat after I moved back to the States had a clean bill of health at his annual visit in July when he got his shots. The following March our eldest at 5 1/2 months old spent a week in the hospital with rota virus and we were hardly home. Afterwords Diccon was very sad and wan, but we figured it was just because he knew we were worried and we’d been gone so much. When he wasn’t better after a week he had the vet appointment where they palpated two golf balls sized tumors in his belly. We had them removed, and then did palliative care until he died at the end of May.

    Given the size of the tumors they must have been growing for quite some time but he was eating and playing and purring like normal until that week eldest was in the hospital.

    They are so good at hiding/ignoring their illnesses that by the time they show symptoms it’s often too late and we feel guilty for not noticing what they didn’t want us to see.

    • Which is my insanely long winded way of saying you have my deepest sympathy, and please don’t beat yourself up over not noticing earlier. Miranda was probably doing her best to make sure you didn’t.

  58. I’m so sorry.

  59. Couldn’t stand to read all the comments but had to add my condolences while I could still see the keyboard. ((Hugs))

  60. I’m so sorry. Condolences on the loss of your fur-friend. I know it hurts; I also believe that a time comes when trying to keep them alive a little longer is no kindness.

  61. Larry Patterson

    This post was what you could write.
    Your son’s post yesterday was touching.

  62. Many condolences. It’s always heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to a furry family member.

  63. My sympathies, particularly on having to put her down. I don’t think I’d have the strength to do that.

    My first dog (mine, not my parents’, you understand) took off after a fox at 3am, aged sixteen, and never came home. I like to think he went out with his boots on.
    My second stretched out in a flower bed, died in his sleep, and made me dig a grave twice the size I would have if he’d just curled up. (He always was a jerk.)
    The third, Cindy, we took in to have euthanized when she couldn’t even raise her head to drink. Kind soul that she was she didn’t make me be the one to do it. When they put the needle in to set the PICC line she raised her head, looked at me, and passed on her own, without assistance. The relief of not having to do that was immeasurable.
    (She always was sweet, even if it took her three months to realize that we’d added our first cat to the household. It streaked by just in front of her; Cindy gave me a look of, “You got a serious pest problem, boss.” Sweet, but not smart.)