My old cat Otto died this week. His sister had to be put down for a thyriod problem three months ago, and ever since then he had been eating less and less, leaving his arthritis meds, and sleeping more.
My ex and I got him when we first moved in together. He was good at keeping tomcats who still had a pair far away from the front porch, so their territory markers were well out of smelling range. He enjoyed a nice game of “toss the chipmunk” with his sister and chasing helicopter seeds. When we lived in a walk-up, he would sit in the kitchen window and snag bats who were flying in the alley, pulling them right out of the air. We learned to close the kitchen window before going to bed, as his first impulse after killing one was to present it.
For the past week or ten days, it was obvious that he was just waiting for the right nap. That came on Wednesday night. The ground is frozen, so we couldn’t bury him. Last night was my ex’s annual Solstice party, which always includes a bonfire. So we put him in cardboard box, wrapped him in Christmas tissue paper, and soaked him with a bottle of lamp oil. Then we put him in the middle of the bonfire and burned him like the heathen cats of old. It was a good fire, so it only took about half an hour to reduce him to his non-combustible components. So he rests now, hopefully in peace, somewhere in the ashes of the fire pit.
The spirits of cats everywhere and everywhen thank you for your observance. I am sorry for your loss, and am going to go hug my kitties now.
What a beautiful way to say good bye to your friend.
I’m off to play with and hug my cats now.
Sadness, but with beauty and honour. You did well by Otto, saoirse.
(I had to re-read the beginning to make sure that he wasn’t just taking that “right nap” when you sent him on his way. Freaked me for a sec.)
Condolences to you. It sounds like you must have really loved him.
A friend in upstate NY was found by a cat. After a few months it became apparent that three cats was too many for her house so she brought it down to me yesterday.
His name was originally Zachias Spikarella but we didn’t care for either name. After throwing a few names at the cat one finally stuck…Otto!
Though this cat is almost a year old, know that your cat’s name lives on…
My condolences on the loss of you cats.
What a touching and appropriate way to send off a beloved kitty.
My almost-20-year-old kitty is looking her age, sleeping a lot, and I dread what’s coming. But it is so inspiring to read about Otto. What a peaceful passing, with a proper send-off. Well done.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Sending supporting thoughts your way.
A lovely tribute – both the actions and the story about them. Thanks for sharing.
Sending hugs your way.
We had to put my husband’s cat down about a month ago. Thankfully, the ground wasn’t frozen yet, so we were able to bury her in the back yard.
It is a little sad, but I’m glad he went on his own terms, and in his sleep. The vet had already given me The Speech twice (“Cats don’t get heart attacks. They don’t die of the things that kill us…”), so I was prepared.
Incidentally, my brother’s dog had to be put down recently. I reassured him that she has joined the Choir Invisible, where she is even now barking “Jingle Bells.”