My Heart is Broken…

I have been fortunate to have known many lovely cats in my life. If I proceed slowly backwards, with each name I recall, I can glimpse a bit of the life I was leading when I had each one, and smile remembering what knowing them brought to me.

Blackitty (Mr. Blaxter Blackington) & Precious (The Yack Star)…Dear, dear Holis and his friend, Miss Mew…Rocky Lou…Yeller, Jasper. Tar Baby. Spark Good Buddy. Sissy Kitty. Tuffy. Big Kitty. Boomer…and so many others.

A few of them have been very special. They had the quiet ability to soothe when the need was there. To calm. To provide warmth and a bit of softness exactly when it was needed. Somehow they just understood that their responsibility was to share themselves unselfishly. I can think of almost nothing else that is as simple, and yet so valuable.

I lost the dearest one today. Blackitty. The loveliest cat I’ve ever had. IMG_0971.JPG

I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t bring myself to deal with it. I didn’t want to imagine how it might be to not see him each morning in the bathroom after I’d dragged myself out of bed. He’d push open the door, slink through it, rub against my legs, and then stretch his velvety body with one paw pushed against the wall.

He didn’t do that today.

I was worried I’d find him somewhere in the house and not okay, but was relieved to see him standing at the top of the stairs. Waiting.

IMG_3665.JPG When I called to him to follow me to breakfast, he scurried down, just as he always does, but he wasn’t interested in his food once it was on his plate. He did the same thing last night even though I tried many different flavors of food. He did lap up some of the juice from the albacore I opened for him, purring the entire time he ate. I knew it wouldn’t be enough.

He’s really been struggling to breathe, pulling in air with great effort. And he’s lost weight even though I’d increased his meals, keeping close watch that Her Fatliness wasn’t sneaking his food. No matter how hard I tried, he just didn’t get better.

Early last evening, I lifted him up to my bed so he could lay in the warm patch left by the setting sun. Although he did get some sleep, the difficulty he’s had breathing makes it uncomfortable for him to lay down. Instead, he sits upright with his eyes closed and tries to rest, his body moving heavily each time he takes a breath. I fell asleep with him at my feet and I knew that this morning I’d have to take him to the vet. IMG_3449.JPG

We’ve had him for 10 years and the only time he’s been anywhere, really, was to move to this house. That was five years ago. He was an abandoned animal and somewhat feral when he was rescued, and we adopted him. He spent the first four months with us hiding in a closet. Although he’s become a very loving cat to our family, he’s never been comfortable with others around, and hides until they leave. He’s never really enjoyed doing more than nap in the sun on the patio, or in the bushes next to our house. He’s too afraid.

The idea of having to get him into a cat carrier first thing this morning was not pleasant. But bless his heart, he went in with a few yowls, some cat nip, and exhausted resignation.

The vet was lovely. And kind. And gently honest.

IMG_3443.JPG He said there wasn’t really much that he could do because Blackitty’s lungs were surrounded by so much fluid, they could barely do their work. And because I’d been through this with another dear cat, I knew what he’d say. That he could drain the fluid, but that would only allow some time for the MoH and the RTR to say goodbye. I couldn’t do that to this cat.

And so the vet gave me a warm hug, and I spent some time alone with Blackitty to tell him I loved him, to thank him for his years of comfort, to marvel at the softness of his glossy black coat, rub his nose, scratch the sides of his face, and say good bye. Such a beautiful cat. Such a dear, dear friend.

His eyes were calm, he’d finally reclined on his side, and I knew it was okay to go.

I already miss that he isn’t at my feet as I write, or softly tapping my leg to let me know that he’d like some pets, purring loudly all the while. IMG_3503.JPG

And tomorrow morning, I will miss his daily visit to my bathroom, and his stretch against the wall. But I will be forever grateful that I was able to spend this past year at home with him never too far from my side.

My heart is completely broken.

White Azalea



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19 responses to “My Heart is Broken…”

  1. Me

    Very Beautiful, now I have to wipe my tears and go to my meeting. See you soon.

  2. It sounds like black kitty had a good life with your family, I’m sorry that he’s gone now.

  3. Earlene

    I am so sorry for our loss of Blackitty and sorry you had to go through that alone. I didn’t know he was ill and thank you for not telling me. No matter how many times we go through this it doesn’t get any easier of less painful. Our pets are such a big part of our lives and I think there is a special part of our hearts that are for them only. There is always room for another pet.

  4. I am crying now – I am so sorry – it is the worse thing in the world to lose the ones who never really ask for anything except to be fed and loved. Take care…

  5. Oh Kelly, I have tears in my eyes reading this. I am so very sorry to hear your sad, sad news. He looks like an amazing cat and I am convinced that black cats are the most special of them all. I have another blog friend who lost her beloved cat this week too. You gave him a wonderful life. Hugs. ๐Ÿ™

  6. oh kelly… i live in fear of this… i have been thru it before,, and i know i will have to go thru it again… but i am forever grateful every day,, that it is not time for me yet… my heart goes out to you and i will be thinking of you… this was a beautiful and moving tribute to a true love and a wonderful companion……

  7. Oh Kelly, I am so very sorry. It is so hard to say goodbye. My dog is getting older….I am so dreading that day. Thinking of you. ๐Ÿ™

    I love the picture of Blackitty on the bookshelf.

  8. We are so sad for you. How many times and memories do we have of the same situation. Blackie, Brandy, Melody, Sprite, Bosie, Snoopy.

    With much love and tears. M&M

  9. I’m sorry for your loss miss kellypea.

    We had a gold retriever we got when I was 2 years old , she traveled around the world with us mandatory quarantines and all. When she died I was a junior n high school and we had actually had her on medicine to keep her alive and it made her better for one more month though she suffered still, and I think her death was uglier for it, this was for our sake only.

    When it’s time, it’s time. Should I ever own my own pet I will face that, as you did.

    Hugs again.

  10. I cried while I was reading your post. I can remember all the cats I have lost during the years and how my heart has been broken every single time. I love my cat, Lucy. Although she can be very annoying, I can’t start to imagine how life would be without her around.

    I am sorry for your loss and, if they’re any help, I am sending you lots of kitty hugs for this time of grief.


  11. I got chills when I read this in my reader and am just so filled with sadness right now. We’ve gone through this ourselves and it is so difficult. Cats are wonderful indeed and it sounds like Blackitty was lucky to have you. Gina and I are both thinking of you.


  12. I’m crying now. Such a sweet cat and though we don’t know each other, I feel your loss. Blackitty will be missed.

  13. loripea

    Kelly, I’m sorry about your lovely kitty. I’m sorry I forgot to ask about him when I kinew you were taking him to the vet on Friday. I know exactly how you feel, I can remember holding Tigger tight to my chest as I sat on the couch crying knowing I was going to take her to the vet and put her down that day. I had already dug the hole in a sunny spot in the backyard, selected a blanket and a box, and had mom drive us to the vet so I could hold her tightly in the back seat of the car. It was terribly hard to do, but I knew she would want to be with me that day. When I layed her on the table at the vet’s office, I held her close, and looked into her eyes and told her it would be ok. I was very proud of haley going with me that day, it was so difficult to do and soon, we will be doing the same with Butter. Now I know why you were so sad when I spoke to you last night on the phone. Give yourself a big hug from me. Sorry for any mispelled words, my eyes are streaming with tears….

  14. All of you have been so lovely about this, and I know that since you have pets you love or have loved as well, you know exactly how we feel. Two days since have only dulled the ache, but it creeps up at unexpected times, and it’s so hard not to let it just do what it is supposed to do — let us grieve. Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words.

    Lori, I’ve thought of you and Tigger quite a bit in the last couple of days. She was such a gentle, lovely cat. When I was at the vet and was beyond reason, I complained to him that your cats live so much longer than ours and it made me even more sad to have so much less time. I also thought of Butter and that you did bring him back home for a while. I’m glad you’re enjoying some time with him, and that he is enjoying a burst of energy at the end. He’s a very sweet cat. Thanks for your hugs. They matter a lot.

  15. Ritzy

    Tears are rolling down my face. I am so sorry for your loss of Blackitty. I remember meeting him last summer and stroking his head as he layed on the hall wall on the way to your office. He is a mirror image cat of my Zeeke.
    Hugs to you, Kelly.
    And think of that sunshine as rays of Kitty Love and thanking you for giving him unconditional love for so many years.

    xoxo Amy

  16. Oh Kelly. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.

  17. Kelly,

    I have finally stopped crying for you and you family on the loss of your Blackitty. So now I can – hopefully – express to you how very saddened I was to read your emotional story…

    As Scott mentioned in his comment, we have experienced the loss of a dear kitty of our own…There is nothing that can take away the ache…it just changes over time. We have found that our Penny left her mark on our lives (and in the lives of her sisters) and because of that, she lives on in all of us.

    I like to think of it like this…there is one universal “Kitty-ness” and each cat that we come to know and love is a part of it. They all have their piece to share and leave with us.

    Know that our thoughts and warmest wishes go out to you and your family as you deal with this sad event.

  18. Hi meleah…and thanks.

    Gina, I know that as a lover of cats, you’d feel this way. It’s amazing how much it hurts. I’ve lost them before, and I know I’ve been quite sad before. But this is different and I’m struggling to understand. I think I just haven’t been busy in the last year, so having a constant companion who suddenly is lost takes quite a toll. But I do remember being quite busy, and Blackitty was a soother then, too — always there, calming the chaotic human that I am.

    I like the way that you explain the concept of “Kitty-ness” and agree. They’re all with me in one way or another — some more than others.

    I do know that you and Scott have had us in your thoughts and I truly appreciate it. You are very lovely people.

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