Today is Meowmorial Day. On this day we honor the memory of the feline friends that we have loved and lost.
The most difficult part of being a cat Guardian is not the challenge of keeping kitties safe, healthy and happy. Certainly, these things are not always easy, but the motivation for Guardians to take good care of their furry companions comes naturally from the love that they feel for them. But no matter how well we kitties are cared for, the simple truth is our lifespans are much shorter than those of our human Guardians, and odds are good that our Guardians will live on long after our years are spent. Living with this knowledge, and ultimately facing the day when we must finally depart is without question the hardest part of being a cat Guardian.
When you truly let us into your heart, the pain of losing us is unlike any other. This pain flows from the sudden break in a chain of affection, joy, shared challenges and genuine love stretching back in time to the point at which you became our Guardian. It hurts, and badly, but at the same time that pain is a testament to just how highly you valued your relationship with us. For a kitty, the greatest thing we can hope for is to share our lives with a Guardian who truly values us as an individual being, and who loves us so much that they feel a profound sense of loss with our passing.
Now, let us honor the memory of some very special kitties. They have departed from this life, but the love and joy they brought to this world lives on in the hearts of the Guardians who cherished and protected them.
First we honor Henry, whose human soul mate Erin misses him very much. Henry died six months ago after his urethra became blocked by a bladder stone. Erin rushed him to the vet at midnight for an emergency surgery, but the veterinarians were unable to save him. He was just 2 and a half years old.
Erin had this to say about losing Henry:
” That was an awful night, but I prefer to remember Henry as he was. Henry was so attentive and sweet! He always knew when I was having a bad day, and he would crawl into my lap and purr until I felt better. He liked to sit under the sheet on the bed and have his head petted while he kneaded my arm. His little claws were sharp, but I never cared. I just adored him, and I always told people that he was my feline soul mate.
My other two cats, Brandie and Ruthie, missed Henry and called for him all the time, so I adopted a homeless kitten who could play with Ruthie and be friends with Brandie. I miss my Henry, but Bella, our new kitten, has worked out well and has made everyone happy again, including me. She plays nonstop with Ruthie and cleans Brandie’s face for him, just like Henry used to, and Brandie loves her for it. She licks my face clean every night before bed, and I pet her while she kneads me. She’s so different from Henry in so many ways, but she’s just as sweet and loving as he was.
I would be most humbled and honored to see Henry remembered on Your blog, Leader Otis. I know he is in heaven with my grandma, but I still miss him so often.”
Erin shared three photos of Henry.
Next, young sisters Charity and Joy would like us to meet some family members that they miss very much. The first is Peter, a well-loved kitty that was lost to illness. Charity had this to say about Peter:
“The first cat that I want to tell you about is named Peter. When my sister and I were younger we lived in a big basement room in Ohio, and Peter lived with us. He hardly ever went upstairs, and he was our faithful companion. He always caught the little mice that came into the house, and he loved to sleep at the foot of the bed. He was the best cat we have ever had; he was kind, loving, and soft. We loved him very much! Joy and I miss him very much, and we wish we could have spent more time with him. By the way, it was such a long time ago that we actually don’t have any digital pictures of Peter. He was a black and white cat, and his tail was black with little grey stripes on it.”
The Cult of Otis honors Peter, our dearly departed brother!
Charity and Joy have also lost their cat James. He was a young cat that they found while out on a family walk.
Charity and Joy also asked us to honor a non-feline member of their family. While we ordinarily only Meowmorialize our kitty brothers and sisters, but Charity and Joy lost their German Shepherd named King, and they miss him very much. We have decided to make an exception for them and honor a canine for the first time ever.
Next we honor Eyenstein and Belle, two kitties whom the Guardians of Otis had the privilege of knowing. Eyenstein’s and Belle’s Guardian Corrie had this to say about them:
“I lost two wonderful feline friends in the last year: Eyenstein and Belle. Both were the best type of kitties – rescues! Eyenstein was adopted from PAWS, and had only one eye. He was the center of every party, and was so incredibly friendly that people kept trying to take him home with them! And when he purred, you could hear it through the whole house! Belle was rescued from a college campus where she was dumped because the previous caretaker thought she was pregnant. She was every inch the matriarch, and loved nothing more than to sleep near us at night (and to bite our feet if we moved them once she was settled). Eyenstein was 12 when he died; Belle was 18. Both were lost to us because of cancer. I miss them both so very much, and think of them and their sisters who went before often.”
Next we honor Zina, a lovely black and white kitty whose Guardian Deb had this to say about her:
“Zina – my beautiful “cow kitty” with the softest fur I have ever felt. She was one of my favorite kitties ever and I miss her every day. She liked to lie down with her back legs stretched out, so her nickname was “Zina Bunny Butt”. I lost her to FIP when she was only seven years old.”
Deb, Guardian of Zina, would also like to honor the memory of Nena. Here’s how she described this special kitty:
“Nena – All black with beautiful gold eyes. Nena loved to roll around in the dirt in the backyard and would sit in you lap for hours. She died of cancer a few years ago.”
Deb would also like to honor her kitty Anna. She was only in Deb’s care for a short time, but Anna made a big impression. Here’s what Deb had to say:
“I adopted Anna, a senior kitty, but only had her for about a month. But in that short time, she attached herself to my heart and left a cat-shaped hole when she died. I tried to save her but it was soon apparent that it was futile and I had to let her go.”
Fozziemum would like to honor a trio of kitties. The first is the wonderfully named, handsome black kitty Merlin McTavish, who passed away from feline AIDS.
Fozziemum would also like to honor Squash, a ginger kitty with remarkably long hair that passed away at 17 years of age.
Simba is another kitty that Fozziemum would like to honor. Simba’s passing is very hard for me to wrap My feline head around. Someone shot this poor kitty. I do not know why anyone would do such a thing.
Lauren sent in two Meowmorial Day honorees on behalf of her mom. The first is a special kitty named Smoggy. Here is what Lauren had to say about him:
“Smoggy was a very large all gray cat who was with is for almost 13 years before he finally was lost to cancer. He was a extremely large and lovable animal who had a very rapid decline before we finally had to put him down.”
Lauren also would like to honor her mother’s kitty General Longstreet, a kitty with a Confederate name that had a tragically short life. Here’s what Lauren said about him:
“General Longstreet was one of three brother she adopted shortly after smoggy passed (his brothers General Lee and General Pickett are big fans of the Cult and send their best wishes to Leader Otis for his to feel better soon). Just shy of his first birthday, General Longstreet (or “James”) suffered a “kitty aneurysm” early one morning and passed almost instantly. He was an extremely fun loving animal and like his namesake always liked to explore the high ground to optimize his best attack plans. His brothers are both doing wonderfully and loving life and just had their third birthday on April Fools Day.”
Patricia, mom of Teddy, had two kitties to honor on this Meowmorial Day. The first is a petite kitty named Dolly that Patricia described this way:
“Dolly was a great cat, little, never weighed more than 6 pounds. Dolly was found when she was only a couple of weeks old, by a woman taking a walk. There were 4 other kittens, 2 dead, so we think the mama cat died. She was a Diva and a trooper. Had chronic pancreatitis but never let it get her down. She had a stroke(?) and I took her to the vet to help her on her way so she wouldn’t suffer.”
Patricia also wanted to honor Henry, a kitty that she lost in 2010. Here’s what she said about him:
“Brown like a Hershey bar. He had the sweetest temperament, all 16 pounds of him. When he was nine he had emergency surgery to remove kidney stones lodged in his penis. Almost didn’t make it but he pulled through and lived another seven years then died of kidney failure. Henry also had to be helped on his final journey rather than have him linger and suffer.
Henry’s mama was taken in, by the same woman who found Dolly, when the owner threw the cat out when she was pregnant. There is a long story about this involving a court case that I will blog about one day.”
Disciple of Otis Sarah wanted to honor her lovely ginger kitty Pumpkin. Here is what she had to say about him:
“The attached picture is of my old cat Pumpkin, given that name for obvious reasons since kittenhood, he has always been a cute, round, and orange. 🙂 He was generally an inside cat, though we did let him out occasionally to run around in the yard in our quiet suburban neighborhood. He loved playing and of course, sleeping as much as possible. He always seemed to be hungry and could bound up the stairs in a heartbeat when it was time for him to be fed. His favorite spot in our house was my mom’s bed, though a close second would probably be the cat bed right next to the window where he could see the crunchy birds and enjoy the sun streaming in.
Unfortunately, he disappeared one day after being let out of the house, which was unusual since he was normally never gone very long. Definitely listen to the Leader and keep your cats inside, as my family does now with our beautiful tuxedo cat, Murphy. We don’t know if our Pumpkin is still alive or not, but he is definitely missed.”
Disciple of Otis Sukanya has three kitties she wishes to honor. Sukanya said, “There have always been cats in every stage of my life- from the time I was a baby until now. However no two cats are the same and although I love all my cats equally some cats always left a more indelible mark in my heart and that of my family.”
The first two kitties Sukanya would like to honor are Spot and Lulu. Here is how she described them:
“…Spot- the gentleman among cats. Spot was a generous and loyal cat who loved us all back as much as we loved him. He was a happy and energetic kitten who grew up to be a handsome cat. He loved heights and would often sing from our balcony. He also loved to be perched on top of the gate (as he is seen in the photo). He was very protective of his cat family- always playing around with the kittens. He was also sometimes a dog- well almost- even to the point of running to the door when my father came home in the evenings. We loved Spot to the very end.
Lulu was a frail but good hearted cat. Unfortunately she was afflicted by one or another illness all through her life but she went through all that with great strength. She was a very loyal cat- very attached to the entire family. She loved my mum.
Both Spot and Lulu lived in a time when we still didn’t have digital cameras or specialised vets for pets in our town. We wish we could have had more help to help them in life for all the joy they brought us.”
The third kitty Sukanya would like to honor is Nibbles. Here is Nibble’s story:
“Nibbles was my sister’s cat. Nibbles loved my sister so much that she was jealous of Chubby- my sister’s other cat. For 10 long years Nibbles proved to be a wonderful companion to my sister until the time she had to leave us all.”
Sukanya closed by saying:
“This dedication is to Spot, Lulu, Nibbles and all the other cats who have brought happiness to us.”
New Disciple of Otis Whitney wishes to honor her sweet kitty Ella Worm. Here is Ella’s story as told by Whitney”
“When I was 16, I adopted a nameless kitten from a friend of mine whose kitty had kitties. Upon first look, I thought “Her name is Ella because she looks like a little princess.” For whatever reason, when I was 16, I decided princesses should be named Ella. She had ear-mites and fleas so I took her to the vet where they gave me treatment for both. Well, the ear-mites eventually took her hearing. But before that, she and I would talk to each other and she always came running when you called her name. Those were the good days.
I moved 3 times while I had her. Her final move was to my new apartment in 2011. I had her for about a week before tragedy struck.
We were getting cable installed and I wasn’t even out of bed yet. Ella was completely deaf and liked to meow a lot so when I heard her meowing, I just assumed she was being her usual self. But she wasn’t.
The cable guy left the door open and she stepped onto the porch. I didn’t know this at the time, but now that I do, I regret my decision not to check on her. I didn’t get up until the cable guy left. I realized that Ella wasn’t inside the house. I got frantic and checked outside but she wasn’t there. Our landlord asked if we were looking for a black and white cat and then told my husband that the cable guy hit her when he left.
My whole life went topsy turvy that day. And her death haunts me to this day.”
Whitney even got a tattoo to commemorate her special relationship with Ella.
Lastly, we have nine kitties that Disciples of Otis Linda and David would like to honor. The first three were companions of Deb, Linda’s sister. This is what Linda had to say about them:
“Mikey was a Limbo cat that Deb nurtured until he finally trusted her enough to come into the house. He reminds us a little of Thomas. He was about 18. Jackie (the Tortie) was found by Deb on the side of the road as a kitten, abandoned in a box with her brother, Louie. Jackie lived to be 15. They were both beautiful, sweet cats. Jackie passed away this year. Louie left us about two years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of him.”
The Cult of Otis honors Louie, our dearly departed brother!
Linda and David included several photos of their own sweet kitties that they have lost over the years. The first two are Nefer and Merlin. Here is what Linda said about them:
“I adopted Nefer Kitty from the Boston Humane Society in 1991. She was about a year old at the time and very thin. She also had a respiratory infection. I took her home and nursed her. About two months later, I adopted Merlin, my beautiful orange kitty, from a pet store in Boston. He was ten weeks old. He was brought in by a man who found him and his siblings playing on his property. Merlin was my shadow — he followed me everywhere and slept with me at night. It broke my heart when we lost him at nine years old to an aggressive form of stomach cancer. The folks at Angel Memorial Hospital in Boston were absolutely wonderful to him and us during his last days.”
Linda and David would also like to honor Toot. Here is what Linda said about her:
“Toot was David’s cat when I met him. He adopted her as a baby and she was 18 when she traveled with us to Kuwait in 1994, along with Nefer and Merlin. She passed away just a little before her 20th birthday. She was the head of the house and kept the other two cats in line!”
Bomber was another kitty who is missed by Linda and David. Linda said:
“Bomber was our beautiful grey and white cat that we found as a tiny little kitten when we lived in Kuwait. We adopted him and brought him back to the US with us in 1996. He passed away from kidney failure in 2009. He was a huge, sweet boy who loved to talk. The guys at the Bad Place loved him — even though he would literally scream “Noooooooo!!” when we had to take him there. He got his name as a kitten because when we lived in our Kuwaiti villa, we had the litter box at the top of a steep flight of stairs. He would go up there and do his business and then let out a huge howl (we called it his war cry) before he’d bomb down the stairs and bank off the wall of the courtyard.”
Next Linda and David wished to honor Sniglet. Here is how Linda described him:
“Sniglet was also a little Kuwaiti kitty we adopted. He was being teased by a couple of kids when I swooped in and grabbed him (and got bit in return!). He was horribly skittish and we had to take Bomber upstairs to lure him down to the living area with the rest of us. They were about the same age and bonded immediately. It took me three months before he allowed me to pet him. But he turned into a loving and very silly little guy who loved to sit in high places and look down at us. Once he climbed into the refrigerator to try and snag some turkey! He died much to early in 2003 of congestive heart failure, which we think he had from the time he was a baby.”
Last but not least, Linda and David wished to honor their kitty Schmiley. Here is what they had to say about him:
“And last, there’s Schmiley, who we adopted from the Boulder Humane Society shortly after Bomber passed. He was about a year old, and the sweetest big cat you’d ever meet. He was also the most comfortable cat in the world, he could lay anywhere — on anyone — and fall asleep purring loudly. He passed only two years later of what we think may have been a brain tumor. The docs at Lincoln Heights Vet Hospital in San Antonio were so sweet and loving with him in his last days. It was so painful to loose him so early.”
Although I feel sadness for the passing of each and every one of My feline brothers and sisters, the outpouring of love for them from their Guardians tempers that sadness with joy. It is clear that every kitty honored here today was appreciated for the remarkable beings that they were. They found Guardians that could truly see them, and who valued and cherished the relationship they had with them. Every cat should be so lucky.
So today, remember all of the felines that you have loved and lost. Find happiness in their memory, and don’t be afraid to embrace the pain of their loss. Your pain really means that your kitty was well loved, and it should serve as a reminder of the amazing gift that you gave them by becoming their protector and friend. For that, The Brothers and I honor each and every one of you.
So Sayeth Otis