Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Saying Good-Bye to Magellan

It's so hard to say good-bye to a beloved pet. I had to do that on Tuesday night -- say good-bye to my beloved kitty Magellan. We lost our other cat Lightning 2 years ago, right about this same time of year, so we're now a catless house. We got both of them at the same time, as kittens from a shelter in Massachusetts, and for a while when they were small, they were inseparable. Although they didn't come from the same litter, they had similar coloring, and we always thought of them as sisters. We renamed Lightning when we brought her home, but the shelter had given Magellan her unusual name, and we decided to keep it, despite it being the name of a male explorer. 

When she was young, Magellan was the absolute stereotype of a cat -- somewhat aloof and mysterious. As she got older, after we lost Lightning, she became much more affectionate, always jumping into our laps as soon as we sat down on the couch. She would sometimes come upstairs to where I was playing on the computer, and in a bid for attention, she would sit right on the mouse pad, on top of the mouse, to keep me from using it. We didn't allow the cats into the bedroom, but every morning she would wait outside the bedroom door to greet us when we emerged. In the last few weeks of her life, she had stopped coming upstairs -- I assume, because they were just too hard to negotiate.

Magellan as a kitten (right) snuggled up with Lightning (left)

Kitten, kitten!

Getting older. She loved sitting on those dining chairs

Laser eyes on our bed

Magellan and Lightning (who passed away two years ago) exploring the fenced back yard of our rental house in Seattle

Sitting on top of the fridge in our old house back in Massachusetts

So cute

Am I not the most beautiful creature in the world?

Yaaaaawwwwnnn!

Sleeping on my bathrobe

And on my gardening hat

Begging at the kitchen table

Waiting for Nigel to drop some food

Looking for a taste of my smoked salmon

Sitting in a window -- note the cat hair on the plant

Enjoying the warmth of a wood stove

She liked going outside occasionally, but for the most part, she was an indoor cat. We never let her out without supervision, and she never left the confines of our fenced back garden.I don't know if it's obvious in the photos of her, but she had extra digits on her paws, with fluffy tufts of hair between them.

Exploring the small outdoors

It's a jungle out here!


On the covered back porch, right beside the back door

On her way to greet me

Sitting in my lap

About a month ago, she was diagnosed with diabetes, but despite me giving her daily insulin, she continued to decline and never fully recovered. She spent a few days in the hospital while they stabilized her blood sugar. But after that she still suffered with dehydration and loss of appetite. I thought for a while she was on the mend, eating well and staying active. But she declined very suddenly on Tuesday, lost her coordination (I thought it was low blood sugar, but it wasn't). She couldn't stand or walk. I brought her to the vet's, and she survived the night, but just barely. On Wednesday morning I made the difficult, heart-wrenching decision not to prolong her suffering any more.

A few weeks ago, when she came home from the vet hospital after they had managed to stabilize her blood sugar

Just a couple of weeks ago -- once again, on a dining chair

Good-bye, Sweetie

She was such a loving, trusting companion. I feel like I failed her. Right now, the house is still full of reminders of her. Every time I sit down, I expect her to jump in my lap. I keep looking for her in her favorite chair.

I'm going to miss her. So. Much.

30 comments:

  1. My friend, you didn't fail her, she was loved deeply and that's what a pet companion wants and needs. I wish there were words to help with your grief, sending hugs to you right now.

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  2. Oh, Alison, you gave her the BEST life she could have had. You did not fail her in any way, to the contrary. I am so sorry for your loss all the same. It is to me often more difficult to wrap the mind around losing our furry family than anything else.

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  3. You and Magellan enjoyed her best years, down to the last day. I know you miss her.

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  4. She was very lucky to have such a loving mom and there was no failure on your part! So sorry to hear of your loss. She was a sweet kitty and will always have a special place in your heart.

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  5. I forgotten that she was polydactyl! I love the pictures you chose of Magellan in the back yard--her personality seems to shine through those photos.

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  6. You loved her and did everything possible. The very best life a kitty could have. Of course you will miss her and be reminded of those special moments.

    The "Garfield" pose is my favorite.

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  7. Oh, Alison, I'm reading this with tears in my eyes. I'm so very, very sorry. We are never ready to say goodbye but I hope that the sweet memories will help you along. Warm hugs.

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  8. What a beauty, I am so sorry you're going through this horrible time. I think you're wrong about the failing part. You tried, you got her help. She was sick. I am sure she felt very loved by you and Nigel.

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  9. she looks very much like my teen years cat, Freckles. sorry you lost her, and so suddenly. as i write this our cat is snoring a few feet away. i would be devastated to lose her. she carries the last eight years of my life within her. i have found only one way to cope with the grief of losing our cats- kitten/s.

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  10. I am so sorry. Each and every one of them is so special. Though I have LuLu to keep me more than busy I will always miss Macavity and the others I've loved. Hugs to you and in time hopefully you'll open your home and heart to another.

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  11. What beautiful cats, both of them. You say below that "gardening is a solitary activity" but with cats, that's never entirely true! I've lost two elderly cats in the last few years, and even knowing it was time for them to go, I still miss both of them terribly. They just don't live forever, but it breaks our hearts when we have to say good-bye.

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  12. Of course you did not fail her Alison, this beautiful cat had the best life she could have. I enjoyed the wonderful series of photos of both Lightning and Magellan. We know cats don't live for ever nevertheless we'll miss them dearly when they are gone.

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  13. As a cat lover, I feel immediate kinship with other cat lovers. You had two beautiful kitties, who were fortunate to find caring loving humans to adopt them. They spent their combined 18 lives with you. The good memories of these amusing, fun and delightful creatures will last forever.

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  14. Oh Alison, I know that feeling - I felt it when I lost my Ming last year too - but you didn't fail Magellan. It's clear from your photos how you adored her, pampered her, and took care of her. Sadly, it's a bargain we have to accept when we adopt them - they give us incredible joy and comfort but the time together is short. Treasure the memories and let go of second-guessing yourself. Hugs, Kris

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  15. So sorry Alison, I lost my 18 year old Cyd the same way a few years ago.

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  16. Alison, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Magellan was a beautiful girl and she was very fortunate in having chosen your family to be her people. It's clear that she was loved and cherished and that you did everything you could for her during this last illness. Be kind to yourself as you grieve for her.

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  17. Oh Alison, you didn't fail her! I can tell from these photos that she knew she was very loved. My favorite photo is where she's "On her way to greet me". You see the curve on the tip of her tail? That is a the sign of a happy, well-loved kitty. Saying goodbye SUCKS, big time. Hugs, my friend.

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  18. Oh Alison, I am so sorry for your loss... It is hard to let them go. She was such a beautiful cat!! This is the bad part about our little friends, when we loose them. You did not fail, you took great care of her and of beautiful lightning!!

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  19. Hope you can feel us there with you as you grieve and remember your beautiful girls. Much love to you guys.

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  20. So sorry, Alison. Losing a beloved pet is devastating. You did not fail her--she was dearly loved and had a secure, happy home all her life--many cats do not get that--so many are abandoned or never have a good home. Magellan had a home, a family, and lifelong love. That is never failure.

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  21. I understand completely, Alison. Magellan was a gorgeous, loving cat, how lucky she was to have your love and affection and she returned it in kind. You did not fail her, I often think it takes more love on our part to want to spare our pets from needless suffering. I love all the pictures of your dear, sweet Magellan. Sending you our love.

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  22. I'm so sorry, Alison. You didn't fail her. She was loved and cared for. Magellan and Lightning were both beautiful felines. My thoughts are with you.

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  23. Losing a beloved pet is so hard. This was a beautiful post and it brought a tear to my eye.

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  24. A lovely tribute. What a lucky cat to find her home with you. So sad to lose a companion! Such a beautiful cat. My Viola is 17 and I really can't imagine life without her.

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  25. All that love can't help but leave a hole in your heart. Makes me think of the Tin Man saying "now I know I've got heart, because it's breaking'. You have some touching photos to celebrate your time together.

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  26. I am crying right now for you as those words ring in my ears to stop her suffering as you think she might have been, a terrible decision to have to make. She was a beautiful kitty, they both were. I'm guessing she, they, had long lives. With cats I think that age thing does catch up very suddenly, fine one week and feeling very tired the next. There aren't words to tell you how I feel for you.

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  27. Ugh. The worst kind of hurt. Baby and I had a full conversation this afternoon about our Maddie girl, and how much we miss her. We said goodbye in February. Has it been that long!? She said she wished she could give her hugs. Me too. They hold a special place for a very long time. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  28. You have my sympathy. There is nothing worse than losing a good friend. She was beautiful.

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  29. I agree with so many others...your special friend knows you did so much for her...I am so sorry for your loss.

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Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.