Friday, January 7, 2011

Saying Goodbye

 I had to say good bye to my best friend on Tuesday. Even after nearly 7 years, I was not prepared to let him go.   As I have been told by friends, family and the vet, I did this  to put him out of his pain. Unfortunately, it doesn't take away the fact that he is gone.

I am really surprised that I am having such a problem writing this post. Yes I am very emotional and yes, it is still very fresh. However, I share my stories, my life and my recipes with you weekly. I never thought sharing my loss would be so hard to write or to explain. I am not married and I don't have kids, so Raider and Sookie are my "furry" kids. I guess I wasn't prepared for all of this. I don't know how to explain how awesome Raider was. 

Raider and SookieRaider had a very bad case of FORL. And although he had already gone through 2 different surgeries, where the vet had removed 5 teeth and then 6 teeth, the disease had taken its toll. I had looked into a third surgery, where all of his teeth would have been taken out. However, this surgery would have been to expensive and very painful. Also, Raider would have had to have a special diet, wet food and softened food. 

I didn't realize how sick Ray had been until we went to the vet on Tuesday. Raider was always a large cat, even as a kitten his paws were huge. At one time Raider had weighed 26 pounds, but he I knew he was having problems eating and keeping food down (near the end) and his weight on Tuesday was just 13 pounds.  I had taken to giving Ray baths to keep him clean as he had stopped taking care of his hygiene. 

So all I can say is that Ray was the sweetest, cuddly, most amazing boy. Any time I was sick, he would be by my side and mostly he slept on the pillow next to me, so it is really hard to not hear the loud and grumble-ly purr as I try to fall asleep.  Raider got so excited about everything from his favorite toy (pictured below), to getting brushed. He loved hopping into the shower and getting his tail and his feet wet and I once in a while I would catch him sleeping in the bathroom sink. Yes he was spoiled! And of course, both he and Sookie like watching Animal Planet's Big Cat Diary and the cat DVD.  Raider, I miss you!

Please have your vet check you cats for FORL. It is a terrible disease that will cause nothing but pain for your friends.
RaiderI got Raider and his brother Carter when they were 5 or 6 weeks old. I  adopted them  in 2003 at a Petsmart adoption weekend. I saw this woman with 2 very small cats curled up like babies in the crook of her arm. I was hooked. Little did I know that  these 2 little kittens were going to be my best friends. They were so small, I had to bottle feed them until they could eat kitten food.  Carter and Raider were inseparable growing up. They walked together, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. It was so much fun to hang with these beautiful boys. Raider is Norwegian Forest Cat with some Siamese, so as a kitten, he had a small triangle head and huge ears, I called him baby bat ears!
Carter now lives with a friend of the family. He needed to be an outdoor cat and my apartment was too small. So now Carter has lots of freedom and he now is able to go outside when ever he wants to!


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, our pets become solid parts of our family and it's nearly impossible to say goodbye. From one animal lover to another.

  2. Poor guy! I hope he is in a better place now.

  3. I feel for you. I know how hard this is. Out pets are so special to us that it hurts to think about losing one again. We hope your grief eases soon.

  4. For some reason I got the code this time. Go figure. But I am glad.

    I am glad you put up pictures. Beautiful cats.

    It is never easy having to say goodbye to a pet. They become a part of our lives so quickly and easily.

    They give love and acceptance unconditionally. That is hard to beat.

    When I had to put my parakeet of 13years down it was both the easiest and hardest thing I have ever done. I still 20+ years later get tears in my eyes thinking about it.

    Pets are special.

  5. I am so appreciative of all your unbelievable comments. I can't believe it has just been a week. Sookie and I trying to deal with the empty house. She is spending a lot of time playing with Raider's favorite catnip fish. I thank you all for the support.

  6. he is a beautiful cat!! my olivia is going to be 11 in April....i fear the day she'll pass away :/

  7. Thank you so much for commenting on Calamity Kate's Kitchen.

    I hope your Oliva is hanging in there and feeling fine. I was always worried about coming home from work to find Raider on the floor. Although this was truly one of the hardest things I have done in my life, I was there to pamper him and say good bye. I hope you have the opportunity to say good bye when the time comes.

    I am glad you figured everything out! I am trying to get though the guilt, but like you said, this was the easiest and the hardest thing you have ever done. I get that feeling. I am so glad I got to pamper him and spend a lot of time with Ray before the end. And I was with him, every step of the way.

    Our pets are very lucky, they live with people who love them back unconditionally. Thanks for the love friends, we will remember you in our hearts. Not just pets, not just cats, not just birds...beloved friends, Kate

  8. My family has two cats so I know how important they are. I dread the day our cats will have to be put down! My great-aunt's cat had to be put down last October. I'm not sure how she took it since I was at school but I'm sure she didn't take it well.

    Hopping over from For the Love of Blog's Comment Love Day. I love to bake and eat chocolate so I think I might follow you :)

  9. I'm sorry for your loss Kate. He was a beautiful boy and I know you'll miss him. He was your baby. We lost our family dog and rabbit in the same month and that was devastating to say the least.

    Just take comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain and is in kitty Heaven!


  10. You are all so amazing and kind. Thank you !

    Sarah, Thanks for the follow, I can't tell you how excited to share my love of chocolate with you!

    Monica, thank you so much for you sweet words, brought tears to my eyes.


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