I had to put my dear cat Elvis to sleep yesterday.
Since I started this blog I always felt a responsibility to write about what’s happening in my life but this morning when I was walking Raymond around the block with tears streaming down my face I thought that today’s blog would simply say; “I have no words”.
Now I’m home in front of my computer and of course I have words.
I had never owned a cat before and there was really something missing in my life. I didn’t want the responsibility of a dog but I wanted something.
Everyone told me cats are easy. They are not demanding but they do add warmth to your home.
I spoke to my niece Randy who is a cat rescuer.
She assured me that she would find the perfect cat for me. She finally decided on this little grey and white guy who loved being held and wouldn’t stop purring.
It was love at first sight. I named him Elvis after my first love.
He was wonderful. The not demanding thing didn’t seem to play out but I didn’t mind that. If I was there he was rubbing against me or sitting on me.
There are a lot of things they tell you about life after divorce but one of the things I didn’t think about was that there is no one who needs you and no one you have to go home to.
At first there’s freedom in that but after awhile…
I was used to going out to dinner with couples and feeling okay with that.
One thing that never got old was when I was with my girlfriends and they had to call home or pick up something for the person in their lives and I only had me.
But Elvis changed all that. He filled the hole in my heart that I didn’t even know I had. Now I was the one who had to go home because there was someone waiting for me.
But I’m a worrier. One of the things that Randy told me when she gave me Elvis was that she didn’t usually give kittens to anyone over 65 for obvious reasons.
Because of that I constantly looked for someone to take Elvis when he, as he no doubt would, outlived me.
I didn’t want him to go back to Randy because there were too many cats there (at last count, 30).
Liz was a real cat person but she has bears near her house.
My niece Laura would be perfect because she loves cats but her husband is allergic.
I finally decided on Laura’s son, Scott. When he met Elvis they actually melted into each other. I was very comfortable with that decision.
That settled I wondered if Elvis needed company. Someone other than me. So I got him a dog.
Julie found me Raymond who was an 11 year old boston terrier who had one foot on a banana peel and the other on death row.
Raymond wasn’t crazy about Elvis. As I’ve said often, he couldn’t pick him out of a line up because every time E walked by Ray would turn his head.
But Elvis was in love. He followed Ray from room to room and had his eyes on him constantly.
My little family was finally perfect.
Since the two of them were so great I bored everyone to tears with their antics. Photos galore on Facebook and Twitter were greeted with the ooos and ahhs they deserved.
It seems that kittens, especially kittens who lived in groups are susceptible to a virus called FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Corona Virus.
It’s only catching to other cats. In many cats it stays just as a virus but it can mutate and there is no cure.
I won’t go onto this any further except to say when I saw that he wasn’t feeling well after much discussion with my sister and my niece, Julie, I took him to the Animal Medical Center.
She wanted to come with me but I said I was sure it was nothing and I didn’t need her.
I was only at the AMC for a few minutes when I turned around and Julie was standing beside me.
The Vet seemed as broken hearted as we were when he told me that nothing could be done.
But not in my house.
So sad, too…. : ( xoxoxo
Love you Lizzie
I lost my husband of 48 years eight years ago on Christmas Day. But I wasn’t alone I had my little 14 yr old shih tzu. Then I lost my Wes. I was heart broken and didn’t even want to walk into my house. 3 days later I adopted my first sheltie, Roscoe. He was a victim of abuse and terrified. He needed me so badly and his need helped me heal. He became ill after four years and passed away. I tried very hard not to get another pet, but I only lasted 2 weeks and I got another rescue sheltie Dancer. She never replaced Roscoe, but she brought her gifts to the table. You can’t replace a pet but you can find room in your heart to love again. You have my deepest sympathy on your loss.
That’s such a lovely thing to say, Carolyn. I agree 100%.
I was sure I didn’t want another cat. I even told someone in my building that they can have my left over cat food. But maybe…..
Thank you for your kind words.
I am so, so sorry for your loss. The loss of a fur baby is so heart breaking. I understand and my heart hurts for you. Thank you for loving Elvis. Take care.
Thank you so much.
I love Carolyn Oddo’s response and assurances to you. Oh Mattie, Elvis had your love and protection in his life with you. Big hugs!
I did too. Maybe I will get another cat. In awhile.
Dear Mattie, I discovered your blog this summer & have become a devoted follower. I love your humanity. Elvis was another in what seems to be a long string of folks who had better lives for the simple reason that you were in it. He was one lucky fella. So sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Susan
That is so nice. Thank you.
I’m shedding tears with you Mattie. We lost one of our Airedales at a young age…it was so unexpected and so sudden that I still come home thinking she’ll be here to greet me. I still can’t accept that she’s gone. Elvis was lucky to have you as his mom and I’m sure that he was happy that you were there with him right up until the end. You were lucky to have found each other! Xoxoxo
You’re so right Grace. He was wonderful.
My heart breaks reading this. I found your blog about 2 years ago via Lisa Boncheck Adams. I’ve followed along but never commented. I saw your tweet about Elvis this weekend and so sorry to hear of this. What a well loved kitten he was. Take good care.
Ryan the Girl
How sweet of you to say. Thank you.
All your readers knew how dearly you loved your boys. And it is devastating. I have six little cedar boxes on my fireplace with dogs I have loved and lost, all rescues. Know that there is some big fireplace in the sky where they can put my cedar box, on their mantel, when the time comes, maybe an interspecies “pay it forward”. My heart breaks for you today.
Thank you so much.
My goodness. My eyes are leaking and my chin is crumply. I am so very sad and so very sorry for your loss. </3
Thank you so much.
Mattie, My heart is breaking with you. I don’t know what to say. I’ve been thinking about you since I heard the news. You gave that little Elvis your heart and soul, and for the short time that he was on earth, I bet he was the happiest little guy ever. As crazy as this may sound, I know that you and he will be together again. This I know for sure. I am so, so sorry.
He was really a good cat Aislinn. I’m really grateful for all the support.
Oh Mattie! I am so sorry for your loss. My darling cat Bear succumbed to FIP 4 years ago this month. It was horrible. I feel so sad for you – I know how hard it must be.
I also wholeheartedly agree with you about how our pets make our lives better. After Bear died, I always used to wonder how something so small could take up so much room in my heart. I still have his litter mate Daisy, plus I now have a cat named Hobbes, and they definitely make my days a little brighter. Plus, petting a cat can reduce your blood pressure by 20 points!
I do want to ease your mind about one thing though…FIP isn’t contagious. The coronavirus that causes it is, but a lot of cats have that virus. What isn’t contagious is the mutation that transforms the coronavirus into FIP. It is thought that there is some genetic component that determines whether the virus mutates or not, but nobody knows for sure (yet!). It’s a really poorly understood and devastating disease, but that is changing and hopefully they’ll find a cure for it soon.
It’s funny how you can be sad about a cat that you never even met. I enjoyed seeing your posts about him – he was quite a cutie!
I’m really glad to hear that. Thank you.
it’s so sad. i’ve been through it with dogs. elvis was lucky to have your love. hugs & kisses.
We really were both lucky.
Oh Mattie, I am so very sorry. Rest in peace sweet little Elvis.
Mattie dear–Sitting here weeping for your loss! I know how much Elvis meant to you….He could not have been loved more. with deep sorrow and love, Carol
thank you, Carol.
I am so sorry, Mattie. Elvis was beautiful and so well loved, but died way too soon. I took in a stray kitten in June and I cannot believe how much i love that sassy thing.
I know. They really do steal your heart.
My heart aches…so sorry. I mean that. Those of us who cherish our furry families can understand. The world is a richer place for those critters, past and present.
I am so sorry about your sweet Elvis. It is so hard to lose a pet, more so when it is unexpected. I’ve enjoyed reading about him and Ray.
Thank you Kelly
How are you doing, Mattie? I’ve been thinking about you.
I”m doing okay. Sweet of you to ask.
I know how tough it is, Mattie. Your heart will slowly heal. One day at a time.
Mattie, so sorry to hear this. I agree with every single response you have received in regards to Elvis, I feel your loss! Love U – T
Love you too, Teresa.
OMG I am so so sorry to read this. I felt like I knew Elvis and am crying while I am typing this. You can tell I love animals. Hope you get another kitty. A friends cat would open the fridge and eat all the butter he could find when I saw the photo of Elvis in the fridge.
I was really sad. He was so sweet.if you keep reading, you’ll see how it turned out pet wise. Thank you so much for writing to me.
I began re-reading your blog just this week and I knew I would reach this post at some point. I thought I would find it sad and I would reflect on the fact that 3 of my 6 cats are 12, 14, and 16 years old and acknowledge that within the next 5-10 years, age/illness would call one or more away from me.
Well, as of 5:30 pm yesterday, the oldest cat in my household is now only 14 years old. I thought of putting away your blog and not continuing with my perusal, knowing that I would reach this posting. Now that I arrived to this entry, I am crying for your loss and for mine. I don’t have the words to help me with this sorrow and I am wishing greatly for time to speed up for me and lessen the pain of Charlotte’s passing.
I hope that your sorrow has lessened and is no longer as sharp by now. I will continue re-reading your blog and I do hope (as I feel that pets greatly magnify life) to see, from a distance, that you open your heart and home to a cat again.