Had to say goodbye to my cat last night

It seems to be a bad week for Dopers’ pets. Both Leaffan and Dung Beetle are mourning (and others too but those two threads are currently sequential) So am I. Unlike them I wasn’t involved in any end of life decisions for Philo, and I wasn’t expecting it. My cat, my sweet, sweet, lap cuddling cat was mauled to death by my neighbor’s St. Bernard.

Over in another thread I shared the story of Philo.

Here’s the shortest possible recap: In May of 2012 he came to live with us. In August of this year he released himself on his own recognizance. On November 4th he showed up back at my house. He and my older cat really are incompatible so I couldn’t just bring him in. I’d been feeding him outside and built him a shelter, while looking halfheartedly - still hoping for a miracle reconciliation - for a comfortable real home for him.

Yesterday my son called me, concerned. He said “I think you should come home. Philo isn’t moving.” We’ve been having unusually cold weather. I drove home hating myself because I hadn’t found a home fast enough and he must’ve frozen to death. When I arrived he appeared to simply be lying on his side on the ground. I had called the vet before driving home and was still thinking there was some kitty cat crash cart saving that could happen. When I got close to him it was apparent that the life had already gone out of him. It wasn’t until I picked him up (with a towel) intending to still take him to the vet’s office for his final arrangements that I saw that the whole right side of his body was badly injured and bleeding.

“How do you know it was the neighbors’ dog?” you may ask. The fact is I don’t know with absolute certainty, but it’s an educated guess. Based on where I found him and her history.

Daisy killed my downstairs neighbor’s kitten a few years ago with four people witnessing, unable to do anything fast enough. But that was a tiny, yet to be hardened kitten. Philo had just demonstrated that he could handle his business out there on his own for over three months. I didn’t think to worry that he’d go in that yard, or not be able to outrun Daisy if he did.

We did have a great lap cuddle the night before, and that’s the memory I’m going to try and keep in the forefront.

The day Philo came to live with us my son dubbed him “officially the second most chill cat ever.” (The first being Ferdinand, the cat who was with us from 1996 to 2007.) A few weeks later my mother told me “He doesn’t want to tell you because he thinks it might upset you, but he now thinks Philo is actually more chill than Ferdinand.” He was, but it was a close race.

Now I am going to miss him in a very different way than if he’d just gone to live with another family the next town over.

some photos:

From the flyer that led us to him.
So helpful.
So dignified.

He was beautiful, my tomcat lies down in my way just like that.
I am so sorry.
I’m gonna go cuddle that cat, I seem to need a hug to deal with the something in my eye.

Your beautiful kitty was very pretty, gwendee, both while sprawling and while dignified. I am so sorry for you that his life ended the way it did. I also knew a cat that liked to sprawl on his back like that and, if you took too much notice of him doing it, would give you a look as though saying “What’s your problem?” Please accept heart-felt condolences from me on Philo’s death.

So sorry you’ve lost your beautiful friend in such an ugly way. My heart goes out to you and I empathise: five years ago our neighbors bought a dog to kill rabbits and didn’t think to warn us, and it killed our cat. Also, on Monday night, a fox found its way into our chicken coop and killed our four ladies. Feeling quite sensitive about sweet and loving pets meeting a violent end at the whim of other animals just now. Anyway, I’m glad you have a nice memory of the last cuddles, and I’m glad your feline friend had a loving home with you.

What a sad way to lose your baby. At least Philo had a good life with you for a while. Have the neighbors done anything to make amends?

Gwendee… I’m so very sorry that this happened to Philo! You have to know that you did everything that you could & this it was his choice to be an outdoor cat. He just wouldn’t have been happy being locked inside & constantly fighting with your other cat.
Outdoor cats pass away suddenly and by violent circumstances (car,animal) a Lot. He lived life the way he wanted to and on his terms… and he met his maker facing down an animal 20 times his size and weight.

Even a Viking couldn’t have asked for more.

Sympathies & Condolences

Condolences gwendee. I can’t see the pictures here, but will tonight.

Gwendee, I am sorry as I didn’t appreciate the circumstances of Philo’s death. Even more sorry that is. There is something wrong about domestic animals wanting blood.

Oh my god. I am so sorry, gwendee. I have also lost cats in that way.

I’m sorry, gwendee. He was a beautiful cat.

Oh gwendee, I’m so sorry. What a beautiful boy.

I know you can’t prove anything, but you might want to get it on record with animal control that this dog has killed a kitten and is suspected of killing your cat. Our AC is pretty concerned with dogs that kill other animals.

Sorry this happened to him and to you. It’s tough to say goodbye to the fuzzy ones.

I am so sorry for your loss - he was a striking cat.

That’s so sad, I am so sorry.

What a great cat! Remember all his happy times when you think of him.