Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 60: Heart Ache--Lost a Dear Old Friend This Morning....

As I reach two months on this juicing journey I was awoken out of bed this morning by my husband saying "You might want to come and say good-bye to Pepperoni (our 18-year old cat).

I went into the laundry room where we put his bed each night since about a year ago he got into the habit of peeing in the corner of our bedroom because he was getting so old his legs were starting to get weak and it was hard for him to squat. He had slept with me under covers every night of his life for years until we had to start putting him in the laundry room so we wouldn't have to keep cleaning the carpets. It was a heart-breaking decision but he seemed to adjust. I compensated by letting him sleep in my lap all day long when I was home which he loved to do.

This winter his legs really started giving him trouble and it was hard for him to jump so I'd have to pick him up when he wanted to sleep in my lap which was always. He was such a faithful and loyal and loving companion....and had such a sweet and gentle disposition. He used to love to wrap his arms around my neck and snuggle on my chest. My husband called him a "cat necklace". He used to curl up on my chest just like these little otters:

Just yesterday he was snuggled in my lap along with my youngest, Pesto, our newest kitten, both on my lap as I was on the computer. I almost took a picture of it....However, I noticed that when I had to get up to go use the restroom and put him down that he normally repositions himself and he didn't do that...he just laid there. Same thing when I put him to bed last night.

When my husband went into the laundry room this morning he was in his bed twitching....I went in and picked him up and laid him on my chest. I wasn't able to be there when my mother died and Pepperoni has always met me at the door when I came home and was such a loyal cat that I'd be darned if he was going to die alone. I wanted him to know he was loved down to his last breath.

He stopped twitching but his breathing became labored....he hung on for a few hours until he finally passed at 10:27 am as I lay alongside him on the bed...he died peacefully and at home. I adored that cat. The other three cats were scared I could tell. They would go by Pepperoni and smell him and then run away. They eventually settled on the bed with us...Pesto is curled up on my chest right now as I type this. He's my new "momma's boy" as my husband calls him. Pepperoni was the ultimate "momma's boy" and we put him in a cardboard box and will bury him in our backyard tonight near our blossoming plum tree.

I put his bedding in the washer and started crying as I realized that even though his peeing was a nuisance and I had to constantly wash stuff, this was going to be the last time I needed to do that for him....he was my little Velveteen Rabbit...he was old and tattered, but he was MY Velveteen Rabbit and worn and old, I loved that little guy. I already miss him bunches. I will no doubt never find a cat that was so loving, so gentle so loyal an sweet as him....he was and is simply irreplaceable.

As I lay there as my cat was gasping for air....I knew I wanted my cat to be out of his suffering, but also knew I wanted nature to take it's course. As I lay there letting him die naturally, I couldn't help but reflect on fellow humans who would willingly take the last dying breath of an animal for sport or for food. I simply could not do that to another living thing. Life is sacred and my cat and I were bonded down to his last dying breath. He knew I was there for him and hung on as long as he could because he loved being with us. My husband had come home briefly and we both lay there on the bed petting Pepperoni while he slowly slipped away. He died five minutes after my husband left for work again....

I am so glad I had the day off to be able to be there with him unrushed and to say good bye...and I thanked him for being so sweet and welcoming and loving to our newest baby kitten that the other two hissed at and swatted's gonna take awhile to mend this broken heart. He was a wise old owl with beautiful lime green eyes and white paws with black pads that looked lie dominoes....Good-bye dear friend. You gave us a lot of loved and we will miss you....


  1. I'm crying lots of tears, Michele, while reading this...It's heartbreaking. No word on Earth can console...but I'm sure you'll meet in Heaven some day, and it will be forever!

  2. You are so fortunate to have had such a wonderful companion for so many years and to be able to be there for him when he made his transition. He is watching over you now and will be waiting to greet you when your own time comes. ♥♥♥

  3. What a sweetheart! Pepperoni sounds like he was an amazing kitty. :) Sending big hugs, Michele. xo

  4. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that. :-(
    You two had such a strong bond. Amazing. He will always be in your heart.

    Hugs from Lissa

  5. Thanks everyone. We are slowly healing. My three other cats have been moping around the house, especially the oldest. He was with Pepperoni for 10 years...his whole life so far. The second youngest slept upstairs and has been so sad. Peps as we called him, was such a gentle, graceful Patriarch that he brought such a stable calmness to the house. We will plant some beautiful hydrangeas where we buried him. to remind us of our beautiful, irreplaceable cat that gave us so much love..


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