Goodbye, Dear Friend

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in General Chaos | 3 comments

<Warnings for Very Sad Things>

Early in 2001 I was moving to a new condo–my first time living alone–and I was afraid of being lonely. I needed a friend, so I decided to adopt one.

There were many sad cats at the Connecticut Humane Society the day I went to look for my new friend, but one in particular won my heart. She was a tuxedo cat who had been burdened with the unfortunate name “Mittens”. Put up for adoption because her previous owner couldn’t take care of her anymore, she was nine months old and utterly adorable. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would give her up, as she was beautiful and very sweet, but I took her home that same day and gave her the name Rosie.

That was 100_0107one of the best decisions I have ever made. Rosie was the most companionable cat I have ever known. She loved to watch television with me, and later with my husband. She would often walk up to see what I was doing, only to decide that it was less important than petting her. She was never aloof except with her canine sister, who she tolerated as any big sister should, with the most precise courtesy and only the occasional swat of the paw.

She had an inexplicable penchant for meat sauce. If we ever forgot to put away a pan after making pasta she would trot out of the kitchen sometime later with a red chin.

She never cared for catnip, or most things other cats love. Her favorite toys were fabric roses from the craft store. I can’t remember now how she first found one, but it was love at first sight. She would fetch them endlessly.

She was impeccably clean, and couldn’t abide things being left on the floor or furniture being moved.

Above all, she was, at a very lonely time in my life, my best friend.This is my flower!

In March Rosie stopped eating, and ended up in liver failure. Her skin was yellow and she was frightfully thin. I was pretty sure my time with her was over, but she bounced back. The vet was warily optimistic when she recovered well, but without knowing the underlying cause of her hunger strike, it was difficult to say for sure what her long term prognosis was. I’m grateful for all the days since then that we enjoyed: for every warm nap in the sun and cuddle on the couch.

We had a good number of wonderful days, and a very few bad ones. Sometime after her recovery her belly swelled up. She seemed fine otherwise, if a little unwieldy. I tried not to worry and hoped that it was just spare weight she couldn’t lose from when she’d eaten everything in sight for a month, though I think I knew it wasn’t. Last week she started having trouble walking and breathing, but she was still active and alert.

I took her to the vet this morning because she had become lethargic over the weekend. The fluid filling her belly was clear, and after a quick test the vet said she most likely had feline infectious peritonitis. There is no treatment, and the prognosis is a few months at most. They could drain the fluid from her belly but it would most likely return. They could treat her worsening symptoms, but she would never, ever get better. The vet left me alone with her to consider my options.

She stared out the window for a few minutes, and then laid down where I could pet her. The Rosie I knew wouldn’t do that in a strange room where there was exploring to do. She was tired and uncomfortable. In the end, I didn’t want that for my friend.

She will be very sorely missed. I’m not sure I’ll ever get another cat, but I know for certain I’ll never have another as good as her.

Give your furry friends an extra hug tonight from me.

Goodbye Rosie. You were a good girl.




  1. Oh, Coral, you have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your feline friend and companion. *hugs*

  2. She will always be alive in your heart, Coral. So very sorry for your pain.

  3. Thank you both for your kind words.

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