Apr 122012

I’m getting a slow start on today’s NCS posts. We had to put our cat down yesterday, a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday.

He had gone downhill fast. He stopped eating about 5 days ago, stopped cleaning himself, and was having trouble walking. He didn’t seem to be in pain, yet, but he seemed miserable. The vet said he was most likely experiencing kidney failure, which she said is the most common cause of death in old cats. She said he could last a few more days on his own, or conceivably a few more weeks, even without eating. She said she could do some things to prolong his life, but that his time had come. She said it would be appropriate in her opinion to euthanize him.

My wife and I agonized about that for 24 hours, but we couldn’t stand to see him in the condition he was in. So late yesterday, the vet gave him an injection of something that rendered him unconscious in about 5 minutes. His eyes slowly closed and his small, dark head drooped onto his chest. She then put an IV in a vein and used it to inject something else that stopped his heart in seconds.

I’ve been in bad shape since then.

He was a constant part of my daily life for 18 years. He lived inside our home — we live in a place where he wouldn’t have survived nearly so long outside, what with raccoons, coyotes, dogs, and much bigger and nastier cats on the loose. He greeted me every morning, followed me around the house wherever I went, curled up in my lap (or on my chest or on my shoulders or right up on my face) whenever I sat down to read or listen to music, fucked up my typing when I was at the keyboard by walking across it or sitting right in front of the monitor, threw up hairballs on a regular basis without being choosy in where he did it, made an awful howling noise whenever I would go outside, but was otherwise quiet as a stone — except for the almost constant purring.

He was so clingy and affectionate that a lot of the time he was just a fucking nuisance. But at the moment, I’m having trouble imagining how to be happy without him.

I listened to a new EP yesterday morning before that last trip to the vet. In a way, it suited how I was feeling and made things a bit better, briefly. I’ll write about it soon, but not today. I haven’t paid much attention to music or metal happenings in the last 24 hours. Fortunately, many of my NCS comrades have stepped up, and we’ll have a lot of their posts today. Probably better for me to get those ready for posting instead of just staring into space and crying some more about the loss of my friend.

Ugh, sorry for all this sappy shit. It really doesn’t make me feel any better to share my misery, but I thought I owed an explanation for today’s delay. There will be a lot of other, better posts coming up soon.


  71 Responses to “MISERY”

  1. Dude I’m so sorry to see that your lost your cat!!! I know the feeling. I just lost recently my dog and that pretty much just left me in pieces. In time this shall pass and only the memories will remain, in the meantime wish the best.

  2. Hang in there dude.

    • Thanks Dave. My wife is now blasting “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps on our stereo. Burn, baby, burn . . . somehow this isn’t helping.

      • Wait… you allow your wife acces to music? Pfft… liberal.

        • Yes, and I’m realizing (again) the error of my ways. Disco and soul make her happy, and she’s trying to get happy. However, she is unintentionally deepening my misery. I’m now drowning in Donna Summer.

          • Yeah, the other day I was at a party and everyone else was having a fine time, and my girlfriend caught me saying out loud “ugh, fucking songs.” We have decided that we’re just going to listen to podcasts together, otherwise, its headphones. Anyhow, sorry you lost your little guy. I really like this blog a lot. I know those two things might not seem related, but I think they are.

            • Thanks Dave. I like this blog, too, and a big reason why is that I like the people who come here and leave comments. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right.

  3. I’m really sorry to hear this man… we had a dog of 18 years die last year. To say that was rough is an understatement, especially since we lacked the money to even cremate. I had to drag his carcass down to the bottom of our woods myself and bury him. Wasn’t easy.

  4. My sympathies dude. I sat with both my rats when they died and it’s always sad to see an animal suffering in any way, I still miss both of them, as they were more like dogs than rats (although noticeably smarter than most dogs) in how they grew to recognise people, respond to my voice, display excessive amounts of affection, etc. They have such short life-spans though.

    18 years is a wonderful time for a cat though. Many good memories.

  5. Sorry to hear about that, I’ve gone through this myself. It’s not easy dealing with the pain, but it’s important to remember that you’ve spent 18 wonderful years together and that he had a good life with you. Hope you’ll feel better.

    On the other hand, if you have other cats, it’s kinda interesting to see how the power balance shifts after the event. That’s some real Game of Thrones shit right here.

    • I don’t trust cats. They have an agenda we’re just not seeing. And they can talk… but choose not to. Suspicious.

    • Thanks. Every now and then, we would talk about getting another cat. But we so adored this one that we didn’t want to mess with his life by introducing a competitor. So, we’re on our own now. My wife says, no more pets. That may pass.

  6. This is what I get whenever I try to type a review or do anything computer wise. She’s not a lap cat, she just sits there and judges me. I dread the day when she’s not doing this to me.


    Losing a pet is one of the worst things ever, so I can empathize. I’ve accompanied far too many friends on their trips and its always miserable, even when it isn’t your own.

  7. My condolences, man. That’s rough. Hang in there.

    *horns of respect for your cat*

    • Thanks dude. Although he looked like a devil cat, with that dark coat and gold eyes (that don’t show up in their true color in that photo), he was just too damned sweet to be thought of as demonic. But yes . . .horns of respect.

  8. I’m very sorry for your loss, Islander. It was always obvious from many of your writings that you love your cat. You did the right thing.

  9. Sorry to hear that brother..really. Losing a pet really is losing a member of the family. I dread the day I have to start making those kinds of decisions with my menagerie

    ..and cats are totally heavy metal….http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/everytime-a-cat-cleans-itself-it-is-worshipping-the-dark-lord.jpg

  10. I’m sorry to hear about that. Two years ago my family put down our 17-year old dog (whom we had since I was 11). He was such a big part of our lives. Being in that room was the saddest experience of my life. My wife also lost her 18-year old cat several years ago–she died of natural causes, after living with my wife’s family since my wife was only 6. It’s really tough to lose a pet, especially one that is such a big part of your life for so long. I’m thinking about you.

    What I don’t get is why euthanasia is appropriate, merciful, and kind to pets, yet we can’t even let humans decide for themselves. I wrote a two posts about it a few years ago, back when my blog was about social and legal issues.


    Then I posted a little memorial right after we put him down.

    • Thought-provoking pieces. I sure don’t have answers to some of the tougher questions you posed. Not thinking very straight today either, though I do think mature, competent people ought to be allowed to choose to end their own suffering.

      • I hope it took your mind off things for a bit.

        After we put my dog down, another thing I did was go through old pictures, and I made a line drawing of him, and I gave it to my dad (who had walked the dog after dinner nearly every day for 17 years; they were best friends). I found that extremely therapeutic.

        I’m not sure exactly what it was about that act that was so helpful, but perhaps you can glean something helpful from it. If you’re artistically inclined enough, you might try doing something similar–drawing or painting a picture, or something like that, and then presenting it to someone else who loved the cat. Or if you’re not as artistically inclined, you might try making a collage of happy photos with your cat using some computer program or other, getting a print of it, and framing it. Or maybe you can get some other idea with this seed.

        • Yesterday I did spend some time trying to collect photos of the cat, though I didn’t find as many as I had hoped. To be honest, I haven’t thought of anything that would really be therapeutic. I’m still in the frame of mind where any reminders of him are painful. I think I just need to let some more time pass before I try to do anything else.

  11. Hope you’re doing better already dude… I was late on this post, and reading it just reminded me of how I have to face the same problem as you many years down the road when my three Maltese dogs will, one day, inevitably reach the end of their lives too.

    They’re still young: 4 years, 2 years and 2 years respectively, but I am already feeling depressed just thinking about how I will handle their passing when their time comes.

    • Sorry I turned your thoughts in that direction — it’s really the last thing you should be dwelling on. Enjoy life with them to the fullest while they are with you.

  12. Sorry to hear, man. Having lost a dog with whom I grew up I pretty much know how you feel. But I promise, you’ll get over it – more or less, but things will turn better and you’ll still have your memories!

  13. RIP. My cat Chester is one of my life’s constants, and one of the best things for my anxiety, and I hate thinking about losing him. There’s more weight to losses like these than people realize, and I feel for you and I hope you make it through. Cats are one of the most metal pets you can have, if only because Ronny James Dio had one and loved it.

    • Thanks Shiv. I knew the day was coming — the cat was getting more feeble over time, but I really didn’t have any idea how hard this was going to hit me until it happened. This morning, I would look for him without thinking about it, and then be hit all over again. I threw out all of his old things, trying to remove anything that would remind me. It didn’t help.

  14. My condolences for you, man. I know what it’s like. I lost my dog 10 years ago, when I was 9, and I still miss him sometimes. The pain passes though.
    My cat is 12 and definitely showing a bit of age (we have him on anxiety meds as well) so this makes me think of how long he might have.

  15. Never apologize for stuff like this man. You have lost Comrade Kitteh and that is most sad.

  16. judging from what you wrote, that cat was not your pet, it was your friend, and loosing a pal is the hardest thing one has to endure.

    i too share my house with two awesome cats and yeah they are freakin metal, and regardless of what i look like and what i choose to do with my life, they will always be here to keep me company, a trait not shared by many humans unfortunately. makes me wonder who is the rational being.

    hang in there bro

    • That’s the thing — I know he was just a cat acting on instinct most of the time, but I could always count on him to be with me and affectionate to me no matter how shitty my mood or how badly I was behaving. He was there fo me no matter what.

  17. My condolences, man, that sucks. We had to do the same for our 16-year-old cat Zeke a couple months ago (bladder cancer). It was very tough. But it was absolutely the right thing to do, no question. He was really suffering; no reason to be selfish and drag that out. Anyway, we have two new kittens now, and they’re complete hellions. Lots of fun. Our other older cat Stripes hates them.
    Hang in there, it gets better.

  18. Shit, man… that really sucks. I’ve had my cat Phantom for about 6 years, and while this time is (hopefully) a long way off, I dread it. It’s going to only be tougher because I suspect my daughter is going to develop quite an attachment to him.

    Fuck, this sucks.

    • Phantom is a great name. Nothing you can do about your daughter’s attachment — bound to happen, and one day she’ll probably be crushed when he goes, but I guess this is just life in a microcosm. Everything dies.

      • Phantom is especially appropriate given that his markings kind of look like the mask from Phantom Of The Opera. I mean, he also kinda looks like Abbath, but the wife wouldn’t have gotten that one.

        Also, nice (and appropriate) Type O Negative reference. If that’s indeed what you were going for, anyway.

  19. My condolences, man. We had to put our cat down the day before last Christmas eve. He was only almost 12, but ended up getting FIP, which if you don’t know is a really awful disease for cats. My parents got him when I was barely a teenager so I pretty much grew up with him. Losing a pet is never an easy thing to deal with, sorry to hear about it.

    • I’m sorry you lost your cat, too, after him being with you so long and for that important part of your life. I didn’t know about FIP, but now I do. It sounds godawful.

  20. Sorry to hear that dude. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of cats anymore, but when I was young we owned this barn cat named Mickey and she was special to me, I was really young, like 5-7 probably, and I teared up as I hugged her one last time before she was put down. My mom took me outside and I sat on the car and cried as she tried to make me feel better.

    I don’t know if there’s an afterlife, let alone for animals, but if there is, I hope he’s having a great time in it: and I hope you feel better man!

    • Thanks Utmu. All the comments I’ve gotten on this post have definitely made me feel more peaceful about things. Means a lot to me that so many people took time to write.

      • No problem Islander. We’re all friends here and we care about you. I suppose this site is a bigger part of our lives than a lot of us think.

  21. I just wanted to show you my support and tell you I am sorry for your family’s loss.

  22. Condolences, man. I know from experience that one thing eases the pain pretty fast: Getting a new cat. That said, I’m not looking forward to when to the time comes for the 3 we have now. Especially the oldest, she is 13…

    And cats are metal. You know the difference between cats and dogs? The dog says “They feed me and pet me. They must be God”. The cat says: “They feed me and pet me. I must be God”

  23. Sorry to hear about your loss, I just had to put a pet down today. Not fun times.

  24. *Bro hug*

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