“Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty,
little ball of fur.
Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty,
purr, purr, purr”.
– The Big Bang Theory
We are starting 2015 on a bittersweet note as we prepare to say good-bye to our long-time companion, Claudia.
Steve and I adopted our little calico in 1997, shortly after we were engaged, from the Milford Humane Society. Overwhelmed by the quantity of cute fuzziness, “Krissy” captured our attention by reaching out of her cage to tap Steve on the shoulder, as if to say “hey, you missed me.”
Put simply, Claudia (so named by our friend after the character from Interview with a Vampire) was the perfect cat. Unlike many of her kind, Claudia was not aloof or skitterish. Instead, she was a constant welcoming presence, settling on any available lap (or back). As when we met her, she was never afraid to tell us what she needed, or to point out that our lap wasn’t quite right for her needs.
Our first baby, she moved with us (twice) and watched as we welcomed (and evicted) a dog, and then our two children. She tolerated all of the changes, never acting aggressively towards Anders or Sophie. Even when our toddler son had pushed Claudia to her limit, she only “batted” him on the forehead with her paw, shocking the poor boy, but leaving him mostly unscathed (a stray long nail did leave a tiny scratch).
Speaking of patience, it was not unusual for her to be lovingly harassed by my husband – who liked to parade her through the house like baby Simba – or my children who recently used her as star in their “Check me out I’m a cat” video.
What she would not tolerate was other animals, as evidenced by this video which demonstrates she is not a kitty to be trifled with (good thing there was a glass door keeping her from her nemesis).
Any wildlife in our yard was subject to stalking – although my husband was convinced her style was “catch and release.”
Over the years, Claudia has provided not only comfort and affection, but also lessons for our children including responsibility and compassion. Watching my children sit with her as she rests, I realize she is leaving us with one more – how to let go of a loved one, focusing on our happy memories while giving ourselves permission to grieve.
Tomorrow night we will gather with our neighbors (and Claudia’s caregivers whenever we went away) and children for a “wake,” sharing our favorite moments and toasting a fuzzy life well lived.
Thank you Claudia. We will miss you.
15 thoughts on “Goodnight Kitty”
My condolences on the passing of your fine furred friend. They really are our babies.
I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Pets have a special place in our lives and the lives of our children. You gave Claudia a wonderful life and allowed your children to see what it really means to age in peace.
I will keep your family in my thoughts.
So, this was in my twitter feed right under a post from my local news about Cuomo’s passing. This was much more important to read. A pet’s passing is hard. I wish you love dealing with it.
Having just said goodbye this fall to our sweet kitty, Mali (18 yrs old), I appreciate your blog post and love how you have shared my own thoughts about the lessons we learn from our loved pets. I will be thinking of your family and hoping the happy memories keep everyone of you smiling and ease your sadness.
I am so sorry . I just had to put my 16 year old cat to sleep on Monday. So hard but he isn’t in pain anymore .
I am sorry for your loss, and we feel your pain, as we had to say goodbye to one of our cats today, Cola. Not a good way to start the year. 😥
I’m so sorry for your loss. I care for pets for a living & it’s always hard to see them go. Claudia lived a very long life though, and from the sounds of it she had really good care. She was lucky to have you.
Thank you everyone – as always I’m comforted by our amazing community! I wasn’t planning on launching a new site so soon after retiring from Manic Mommies, but I realized how much I needed to write it down to process how I was feeling.
I love that you are having a wake for Claudia. That will be comforting to all, especially the kids. Hang in there ❤
We know how you feel. We lost our first “fur” baby, a golden retriever, a week before Christmas this year. She was even our faithful newspaper retriever every Sunday. Pets sure do have a way of becoming part of the family. Hugs to your family!
So sorry for your loss. We had to put our 8yr old boy “Momo” to sleep back in August because he was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and it became a struggle for him just to breathe. I still cry for him. Fill your heart with the good memories and he will never leave your side. God Bless you and your family.
Pets do become part of the family. Sorry for your loss. Its so important to have those memories and stories to share and talk about. And to acknowledge feeling sad. Loved all the Claudia stories and references on the MM podcast over the years.
Thank you for sharing. We lost our 15 year old dog the week before Christmas which shattered my daughter who had never known life without her. It is hard with her not being around.
The passing of a family pet is difficult – my heart goes out to you and your family. We have a 14 year old kitty who appears to be nearing the end as well, and I have been able to relate with the stories you’ve shared on the podcast about Claudia’s final months (years? it all blurs sometimes…) and the efforts you’ve made to ensure the comfort and care of your kitty.
Take care in this new year.
Goodnight Claudia, may she rest in peace. Kristin I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed hearing you talk about her on your podcast. Here are two books I gave my kids when we lost our kitty a few years ago. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst and Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant. Best Wishes.
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