I was at work this morning when I got the call from my wife that our cat Flit had died. This was not unexpected. She was 14 years old, and her liver and/or kidneys were failing.
I had taken her in to the vet on Saturday, where they hydrated her and gave her a shot of steroids to give her a few more days so we could all say goodbye. She perked up a bit, and I planned to bring her back in this week once the drugs wore off. Apparently Flit didn’t want to go back to the vet…
Flit was one of three kittens I got back in 1997 before heading off for grad school. (I asked my mother to get two cats who needed homes from the vet where she works, but Mom was never that good at math when it came to needy pets.) Flit was a cute little gray poofball who flitted all over my bedroom like a manic butterfly as she explored her new home.
She was a gorgeous cat, and dumb as a rock. She was the best hunter of the three … when she could remember what she was doing. I once watched her sprint across the living room in pursuit of a vicious fly, only to stop halfway and sit back, head tilted to one side. You could actually see the thought leaving her brain as she forgot what she had been doing…
I’m pretty sure she was part Maine Coon, although she was always a relatively tiny cat. She had the Maine Coon look, and she loved the sink, where (in the words of Janet Kagan), she waged a neverending battle against the evil water snake.
She was a ridiculously happy beast, purring at the slightest sign of affection. She had a tendency to forget about her tongue, and would sometimes lay there with her tongue poking out of her mouth, looking around like she was trying to figure out why the humans were all laughing.
Toward the end, she had pretty much stopped eating, and was almost as light as she was back when she was a kitten. But she didn’t appear to be hurting. She still jumped into the sink to see if her arch-enemy the water snake had returned. She still purred at the slightest provocation. She was still happy, and as far as we can tell, she died peacefully.
I’m going to miss that goofy cat.
September 27, 2011 @ 12:11 pm
My condolences to your family on your loss. Flit will be missed. Hey, who will you get to guard against water snakes, now?
September 27, 2011 @ 12:17 pm
It’s hard losing a truly good cat. They are rare. I lost a great cream-and-orange companion named Peach this year to the exact same thing—it’s hard watching them lose all the weight and shrink down, but in the end, you have a ton of great memories from a special animal, and that’s what you’ve got to remember. It’s a good life, being a cat in a good home, and sounds like Flit enjoyed it to the full.
September 27, 2011 @ 12:23 pm
So sorry for your loss Jim. The best cats leave the biggest aches in our hearts when they leave.
September 27, 2011 @ 1:18 pm
I’m sorry, man. That’s very rough.
September 27, 2011 @ 1:37 pm
So sorry to hear of your loss. Flit sounds like a fantastic companion, and I wish her much peace and your household much solace.
September 27, 2011 @ 1:46 pm
My condolences. At the beginning of this Summer, we lost the cat we adopted to celebrate our first anniversary. I hope Flit and Jackson get a chance to chase flies together now.
September 27, 2011 @ 2:03 pm
I’m sorry, Jim. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your cat.
September 27, 2011 @ 2:16 pm
Thank you for sharing your great memories and sweet pictures. Good thoughts to you and your family. And RIP, Flit.
September 27, 2011 @ 2:37 pm
Aw, Jim. Sorry, man.
September 27, 2011 @ 2:56 pm
I’m sorry to hear that Jim, although I knew from your Twitter feed that you were expecting a loss this week.
I hope your family, and yourself in particular, are coping alright. As clichéd as it sounds, remembering the good times will help you all through this.
September 27, 2011 @ 3:47 pm
Losing a friend sucks. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for sharing your memories of her. She sounds like she was a great cat.
September 27, 2011 @ 6:36 pm
so sorry to read of your loss. I’m glad though she could die at home, and you didn’t have to put her down. I’ve had to do that to two cats — even though there was nothing that could have been done for them, I still feel guilty.
September 27, 2011 @ 11:10 pm
Flit looks absolutely beautiful in those pictures. She looked like she was a real gem to have in the family. Thank you for sharing the images and your story.
I know I like to think that our animals go on to Heaven along with the rest of us and that we will hopefully see them again one day.
And not just you, I hope your children are taking it alright as well. Losing a pet is probably one of the harder things to endure when you’re young. Your family will be in my prayers tonight, Jim, as will Flit.
September 28, 2011 @ 11:00 pm
I am sorry to hear of your family’s loss. It was a year and a half ago that my little friend of eleven years passed away from the same cause, a failing liver, which led to a loss of appetite and thirst.
Three times I visited him in the pet store before I knew he was mine. He was so tiny, a black burmese that fit in my hand. He rode on my shoulders and head from the store to the car and during the drive home. He slept on my neck the first few nights.
We moved to Los Angeles together –and back after several years. I think he had over three thousand frequent driver miles. With rare exceptions, he slept on my legs every night of his life.
What was best about him? He knew his name. We could call out Joe or Bob or Ralph or Ed but he’d only look up when someone said Steve. He probably thought of “kitty kitty” as everyone else, or possibly as the universal word for “food available” –but “Steve” was him and him alone.