105 Comments

  1. Sarah

    I’m so sorry to hear about Cal, Pamie. My husband doesn’t understand why I’m crying at my computer, but then again, he wasn’t there for “slen.”

    My best thoughts to you and Jason.

  2. DinoNeil

    Oh, Pamie… I’m so sorry for your loss. My wife and I said goodbye to our sweet cat Darwin this past Sunday. He was with us for nearly all of his 20 years. Though you know it is time, you are never really ready.

    As I tweeted on Sunday: in a just world, cats would live forever and be awarded a brilliant diamond halo for every life they blessed. Cal would be sporting a stack of thousands by now. Thank you for sharing his awesomeness with us.

  3. Gina T.

    Oh Pamie…I am so, so sorry to hear this…I remember the dialogues and letters Cal and Taylor used to have on Squishy…Made me laugh so hard. I knew Cal must have been a very sweet, silly cat. May your memories of him comfort you right now…It’s good that he was loved so much. <3

  4. I’m so sorry. I had to let my girl go when she was 18 and this brought it all back. You were such a good mommy and friend to Cal. He was loved by so many people who didn’t even know him…he had a good life and you made the end of it so comfortable for him. You both were lucky to have each other.

    This post was a lovely tribute. xoxo

  5. Scott

    Pamie – So sorry for your loss. You were blessed to have him, and he was just as blessed to have you. Sending many happy thoughts your way.

  6. A very beautiful post for a very special cat. It moved me to tears a little, and during it, I kept thinking about how I’m starting my search for a kitten to adopt, after talking about it for too many years. This shows me just how much I’m really going to enjoy having a little partner around for a long time.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this, Pamie. Cal seems like he was a wonderful friend and creature. I truly believe cats know when they are loved, and Cal obviously was, very much. Take care of yourself.

  8. Oh god, I’m crying in my cubicle. I am so sorry for your loss. It’s been almost a year since I lost my Frank. He was a cat on Cal’s level. We are lucky to have had such wonderful animals in our lives.

    “Until one has loved an animal,
    a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
    – Anatole France

  9. Robyn Jamison

    Pam… I am so sorry for the loss of Cal. He was an awesome cat. I loved hanging with him when Bosie and I came to visit. He was a super cool cat. A few months ago, I had to do the same thing to my cat Zoë who was also 16. I too feel lost without her around and miss her constantly. My love to you and I hope your the joy of things to come can help get you through this devastating time. They are never just cats. They are family. I love you Pam. Be well.

  10. Cheryl P

    I’m trying to write this while still crying uncontrollably. You just put into words everything I went through with my cat Gal. It truly is heartbreaking. Time definitely helps ease the pain but never the memory. I am so very sorry for your loss. Cal has always been a favorite to read about here. :( From one cat mom to another – my deepest sympathies.

  11. Monica

    Im hoping Cal can find Otto and they can tweak hard on some awesome afterlife catnip then find a cozy spot to lay in the sun. Just as we l love our friends uniquely we miss them uniquely. I think Jason is right Cal was just better. Rest easy Cal and cat lady hugs to you.

  12. Pamie, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have three cats and they’re all fairly young and I haven’t had to go through anything like this yet but it’s heartbreaking. I hope you’ll be able to find some comfort and peace. I’m so sorry. They truly are the best friends.

  13. Fallah

    Bah. Genuine tears in my eyes. You did the right thing. Cal let you know that it was time. My dog Agnes went over the Rainbow Bridge last October. She was terribly ill from congestive heart failure and diabetes. I kept trying to fix her, hoping for the best. She died in my arms of a stroke or something similar. In retrospect I should have sucked it up & made a vet appointment sooner. I just hope that stories like yours will help someone else realize when it’s time to let a good friend move on. *hugs*

  14. Ally

    I already left a FB note, but I wanted to say again how sorry I am. It brought back memories of having to say goodbye to my sweet girl back in May. One day she was happy and silly and then she was sick. Her best pal died last September, so it was the first time (and still is) I’d ever been without a cat my entire life. The house still feels empty, and I am often caught off-guard when I come home and she’s not meowing. I’m glad you were able to be with Cal and comfort him and make sure he knew you were there. You clearly loved him so much. xoxo

  15. RIP, Cal. My dearest boy George is set to follow you soon, so can you keep an eye out for him when he gets there?

    I’m so sorry, Pam. In a perfect world, we’d all go at the same time. Lots of love to you and Jason.

  16. Lisa D

    OK, I’m crying now :( I am so sorry for your loss. I am dreading the day I will have to make this decision for my sweet little GUS. I do think you made the right decision after reading about the state he was in. I truly hope you find peace.

  17. Terri in SF

    I’m new to you and your blog – about a year or so – and so I don’t have a history with you and Cal, and yet here I sit at my computer with tears steaming down my face. I lost my beautiful Shadow in a similar fashion, after 19 years of constant companionship. You wrote all the things I wish I was talented enough to express after she left me. Anybody who says Cal was “just a cat” simply doesn’t understand the everlasting bond we have with our beautiful beasties. I’m so sorry for your loss. Cal does sound like the best of all kitties.

  18. Stef

    Oh Pamie. My heart aches for you. I had to let my sweet, beautiful Sadie go almost 3 years ago – the love I had for her is similar to Cal. What a sweet, sweet boy and what a beautiful relationship the two of you had. Crying for you, for Jason and your giant Cal-shaped hole. So much love to you.

  19. Oh Pamie. I’m so sorry for you. I’ve been there–my dog Elmer was my familiar and my best friend, and when he had to go, I was out of the country and my heart was broken. I’m so glad that you were there with your family and that he got to be with you.

  20. krystyn

    Oh, I am so sorry. This made me so weepy, because paying attention is so scary, when you know that time is coming, but it turns out to be the best way to love a pet, and it also sucks so much at the same time.

    G’bye, Cal, you were *so awesome.*

  21. AprilN

    I’m so sorry, Pamie, and I’m so glad you were able to say goodbye and spend those last few hours with Cal. I’m sobbing here at work (in a shared office, of course) – my beautiful Persy cat died unexpectedly 3 weeks ago, not even 10 years old, while at the vet for minor surgery, and I’m still so lost because I couldn’t say goodbye and tell him that he was the perfect kitty. We have another cat (who favors my husband), and had to let another cat go last year (tragically young), but Persy was my baby boy, and it hurts.

    Lots of hugs to you and Jason.

  22. sarawr

    I am so sorry for your loss. Cal’s going to have to run for Slenator of Kitty Heaven now. I know he’s got it in the bag.

  23. LucyEliza

    Your love for Cal gave me the courage to adopt my own cat and he’s on my lap right now. Thank you to you and Cal for that, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  24. Karen

    I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing compares to the grief we feel when we lose one of our furry friends. I lost my old dog Moe in April and I still miss him every day. Thank you for sharing your story. Huge hugs to you and Jason and RIP Cal.

  25. Nicki

    Pamie and Jason, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve enjoyed reading about Cal over the years (Taylor and Lillith too). He will be missed by many people he never met. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. Kim

    I mostly lurk, Pamie, but I’ll uncloak here to say how sorry I am. No one ever thinks they’ll be able to make that decision…but I’ve learned that no one ever, ever makes it lightly because we love our furry loveys so much. Sweet dreams to sweet Cal.

  27. Hellcat13

    Oh, Pam. My husband is driving home and I am crying to him and just aching for you, and our two beloved kitties will get a special treat tonight when we get home in honour of Cal. They are never, never “just a cat.” They are friends and companions and confidantes and the loves of our lives. They comfort us when we’re sick and sad; they keep us company when we’re lonely; they are silly right back when we’re singing silly songs to them. Your writing about Cal had always exemplified the joy of sharing life with a pet, and we will all miss him and that joy that you’ve both brought to us. Thanks for sharing him with us.

  28. elsewise

    Goodbye, Cal. What a lucky cat you were, with a giant extended fan club and plenty of unauthorized mini biographies by way of your human family. You were loved.

    Pamie, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ve been an amazing kitty mama. Thank you for taking such good care of him.

  29. oh, Pamie i am so so so very sorry. :( he was the best cat. i’ve loved you, your blog, your books and all the people in your life. i loved your cats too. i cried when Taylor passed and i’m crying now. he’s on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. xoxoxo

    goodbye Cal. i hope there’s a lot of treats there. :)

  30. Angie

    If there’s anything after this life, I pray to god our pets are there, and if they aren’t, I’m not sure how they could call it heaven. Sending you lots of love!

  31. Sharon

    I’m not a pet person in the slightest, but I always loved reading your stories about Cal (and Taylor too), and this had me wishing I had a cat or dog around to give a hug to while I cried. Wishing you both peace as you grieve.

  32. Lydia Espineli

    Dear Pamie,

    Thanks for sharing your story about Cal, we just lost our Maine Coon cat Mikey who was just 9 1/2 years old, (he looked very much like Cal) a week ago, we never had the chance to share in his pain as our vet told us that if we want to spare Mikey pain, we need “to put him down”. My husband and I thought that he just needed some medications or even a shot to make his labored breathing better but we were told after the X-ray that he had tumors and that it was already mestasized into his lungs and ribs. Right then and there, we left him, we were so devastated as he was very close to me too, he sleeps above my head and always rested his head on top of mine every single night and always coddles with me even when I read books. Anyway, we still miss him so much and will never forget him, everyday, he reminds of us of his presence. He was a wonderful cat and took care of the others, he cleans their ears, play with them, etc.

    I am so so sorry for your loss and I am crying while I am writing this as Cal is so much like our Mikey.

    I hope that someday soon, our pain will ease
    and wish that both of them are now in cat Heaven.

    All the best,
    Lydia

  33. J.C.

    Oh, God, Pamie…your words are so perfect. I had to let my girl, Luna, go in a similar fashion but she was only 7 years old (or so). She was my college-girl cat and my first pet on my own as “an adult”. It broke my heart in about a million different ways and into a million pieces.

    Thank you for writing this, for loving Cal and for doing the right thing for him. Even though I have been without Luna for 5+ years, your words are so perfect and priceless.

    R.I.P, Cal. You are missed by so many…

    My very best to you, Pam–and your family!

  34. Barry

    Beautiful account of a special friendship, and remarkably attentive handling of her transition through failing health. Your cat so reminded me of mine in both the close attachment, bathroom scenes, and look. I have a Torby that’s seven years old, a remarkable friend with doglike behaviors, and I will dread this day. But I have tenderly, caringly let go before, cats in my arms at the vet’s. I had never heard of house calls to euthanize a cat, but I think that is quite a beautiful way to handle it, and my cat (Trouble) will likely get the same now thanks to your story. I feel for you and know the loss is hard to bare. You obviously gave him a good life filled with love, and carefully measured his quality of life to protect him from needless suffering. You will see him again and must live on till then. Do your best and be well. Cheers from NYC.

  35. Jena

    I’m so sorry for your loss; it’s so hard to let go of someone who has been such a large part of your life for so long. When my Ginger passed away, I’d watched him be born when I was in grade school and he’d been with me over twenty years. He’d been with me for so much of my life that it hurt at first, but now I’m so glad that I have those memories… Cal will be with you in spirit as you go forward and will be waiting for you, sacked out in the best sunbeam ever.

  36. TARA ARMOV

    So sorry to read about Cal. It seems as though you’re surrounded by people who understand that a cat isn’t just “a cat”, and I hope that helps just a little bit. I think what strikes home for me is the realization about your observation of the amount of space a cat doesn’t take up as opposed to the amount of space they do occupy. I gotta go hug my cat now.

  37. kris

    OK, so I am (sorry!) not a cat lover by any stretch of the imagination…but this post had me in tears. This is why I keep coming back to your site all these years later. I’m so sorry about Cal.

  38. Kat

    Couldn’t read it all at once, had to take a break. Gosh I feel for you. Hope you are coping ok.

    Hard to believe that he was 16… I have been reading your blogs for 14 years it seems. Time flies.

    Big hugs to you.

  39. John

    Thanks 4 writing this – I thought I am the only one that grieves 4 their pets – they can b every bit as important as any human relationship. Rip Cal.

  40. Adrien

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss, Pamie. Cal was greatly loved. It took me a while to get through this because I recently lost my sweet 17 year old girl and I have not properly dealt with it. I know that’s not healthy but I just can’t. Amazingly cats like that don’t come around often, you know? We are the lucky ones, you and me.

  41. CJ

    I’m sending you guys all our love. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope it makes the load a tiny bit lighter.

  42. Stig

    So sorry for your loss. Brings back memories of doing this too many times and thinking it does not get any easier. It also brought back many more pleasant memories. And some tears.

    Our thoughts are with you

  43. alopecia

    It hurts to lose a family member, and Cal certainly was that; he was just a little smaller and hairier than the rest of the family. Nothing anyone can say or do—certainly nothing we out here on the internets can say or do—can make that hurt go away for even a moment (we would if we could), but we can share the loss and the hurt and the tears, and perhaps in some small way help you honor Cal.

    Condolences to you and Jason and everyone who knew and loved Cal.

  44. Kim

    So sorry for your loss. I really appreciate you writing this and how beautiful it was. We had to put our dog down today and no one quite understands what the loss of a pet is except other pet owners.

    Its so true that the space where they aren’t is so much bigger than the space they used to be. So well put.

  45. Stace

    I am so sorry Pam! It is not the first time you’ve made me cry with your writing. A beautiful tribute for a cat I never met but loved.

  46. Kara

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    It’s hell gauging the ‘when’ and very selfishly, I really appreciate your sharing what happened for you and Cal because it provides me with some signposts on that road.

  47. Katie

    So very sorry for your loss, Pam. I just had to explain to my husband why I was all teared up in the middle of a football game and, good man that he is, he does not think I’m crazy at all. He sends his condolences too.

    Cookie kitty will get extra snuggles tonight in Cal’s memory. Take some comfort in knowing how amazing you were in his last days – well, all of his days. I hope I am half the kitty parent you are! Much love and good, peaceful vibes coming your way.

  48. I put off reading this for a few days because when I saw the title, I knew (I lost my own sweet boy just a few months ago). Thank you so much for sharing Cal with us for all these years. He was so special and so, so loved. Just as blessed as you were to have him, he was to have you and all of his friends. I’m deeply sorry for your loss, Pamie.

  49. Hamish

    I remembered reading about Taylor’s death, years later when I had to say goodbye to my own, uniquely wonderful cat. Thank you for writing about this because it means so much to know there’s people out there who share these connections with our animals and also share the terrible grief when they go.
    I’m so sorry to hear about Cal. I know there’ll be a lot of cats getting extra special love and care today in his honor.

  50. Suz

    Dear Pam-
    Thank you for sharing Cal with us, through it all. He loved you, and that’s the best gift he could give you.
    Treat each other gently. Grief sucks. Suz

  51. Pamie ~ I am sobbing in my kitchen reading your post. I am so, so, so sorry and yet I know it doesn’t matter at all what I say. Please know that I’m sending you warm hugs and the very best thoughts, but I also know nothing can ever, ever replace Cal. I’m glad you had so many good times together and that he went peacefully.

  52. Marieka

    Oh, Pamie, this is so sad! Cal was so much a part of your blog and both his personality and your bond just leapt out of every post that mentioned him! I hate that we have to lose our pets–why can’t they live as long as we do?

    I lost my cat of seventeen years over twelve years ago, and I still miss his sweet black and white face.

    Condolences on your loss of Sweet Cal. He was a special guy.

  53. Shannon H.

    Pamie, so glad you could be there to hold and say farewell to your beloved Cal. Such a lovely and well written tribute. I’m all verklempt now. My condolences for your loss.

  54. Rachel

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I haven’t been here for a while and decided to stop in this morning to see what you’ve been up to… Only to have this be the first thing that I see. Tears came to my eyes as soon as I started reading.

    I have six pets of my own, 3 dogs and 3 cats, and I love each of them as if they’re my children. I dread the day that I have to say goodbye to one of them. I can only imagine what a horrible time that will be and I am so sorry that you’re going through it.

  55. Kayla

    Oh, sadness. I’m so sorry, Pam. I hope things get easier for you and Jason sooner rather than later. If I was there, I would bring you boxes and boxes of tissue.

  56. Pamie, I’m so sorry. I’ve been reading since the days of “Pamie’s Panties” and feel like I knew Cal personally, and I cried as I read this post. My heart goes out to you. <3

  57. Shay

    I am sorry for your loss. This was the second post I have read of yours, and though I knew nothing about Cal, this post hit me pretty hard in the face. I can get pretty attached to animals really fast and you drew a vivid enough picture of him in just one post that I had to go cry on one of my cats.
    He sounded like an excellent guy. And it sounds like you both gave him the best goodbye.

  58. Lucia

    I’m really sorry to hear about Cal’s passing. I’ve been reading for more than a decade now (wow, that long?) and your stories about Taylor and Cal were like the original LOLCats for me.
    I vicariously became a cat person through you and eventually adopted my own cat and enjoyed her SO much. When she died, reading your archives and the stories of Lilith helped me deal with it. I guess that the pain of dealing with a pet’s death comes with having pets with shorter life spans than ours, but it still sucks.
    Here’s a little hug from Mexico to let you know you share your sadness with a lot of us who felt like we knew Cal too.

  59. Tim

    It’s tough to lose a loved one that you had for so long in your life. In August I had to put my best friend of 20 years Dapper down. He was already on meds because of weight loss due to his thyroid. He kinda showed the same signs because he had lost his appetite, if I hand fed him he would eat some but eventually he stopped eating and would only drink water. I took him to vet and they said he had an issue with his liver(I forget the terminology) where it wasnt totally filtering his blood. I wanted to do whatever it would take to help him but my vet said that at his age there was nothing that could be done. I felt so horrible that I had to put him down. I always knew that it would happen but I kinda always hoped that either he would pass in the night or I would come home to find he passed. Saying goodbye to someone you held so dear is hardest thing you can do, but they will always be fondly remembered.

  60. I almost didn’t read this post, mostly because when I saw it named “the hardest goodbye” with a picture of Cal, I knew exactly what it was going to be about.

    It mirrored my post … “the hardest goodbye” that i wrote in august http://www.emiliafarrace.com/articles/the-hardest-goodbye/ when I had to make a decision to let my beloved Theodore go, who was suffering – coincidently again, from growing abdominal masses in his belly.

    I knew it was going to be hard, and the similarities would be all to poignant … and they were, but it’s somehow comforting to know that there are others that would understand why I still tear up when I think about Theodore, even though it’s been months and even though I’ve already adopted a new kitty to fill a hole that can’t be replaced.

    A sweet ode to your sweet Cal. When you’re ready, you’ll be able to love another and open up again with another one to love, and one your new baby will love.

  61. I am so sorry. We lost our perfect kitty this year, too. He was awesome & everyone loved him, just like everyone loved Cal.

    He was the first pet I’ve ever bought a memorial stone for. I found a cement kitty, curled up with his belly pointed up, like he’s napping in an afternoon sunbeam. I’m going to plant catnip there in the spring, where it can grow around the little cement kitty.

    Cat was not “just a cat.” He was your friend & companion & part of your family. I’m sorry you lost him when you’re just about to bring in a new member of your family. You’ll miss him for a long time, but it’ll get better. We’re so lucky to have had them while we had them with us, even if it hurts this bad when they go.

  62. Sara

    I stumbled upon your blog from the “Urban Legend” post someone linked me (Kontaku, I believe). I have a 16-year-old ailing kitty as well, which led me to read your posts about Cal. First, I’m so sorry for your loss; I was tearing up (at work, urgh, why did I read it here!) just reading about it. Second, my elderly cat (I’ve had him since I was 9) also has a strange mass in his abdomen, but the vet said surgical removal wouldn’t necessarily give him more time anyway because of his age and the physical trauma/risk of surgery, so as long as he keeps eating (as the mass grows, it could be uncomfortable for him to eat) and enjoying his old kitty life, he’s still chugging along, but I know that someday his constant interest in anything edible will cease and I’ll have to have him euthanized =( I halfway hope he just goes peacefully in his sleep so I don’t have to bring it just to end pain. Pets bring us so much joy, bonding over so many years, and yet they don’t share our lifespan and it just isn’t fair =(

  63. Donna

    I.CAN’T. STOP.CRYING. I’m so sorry for your loss and that it took me so long to get around to reading this. I follow you on twitter so I knew he was gone, but reading this… I’ve been away from my cats now for 8 weeks due to hospitalization and I miss them so much, that this kills me even more. But at least they are there when I DO get home. XOXO

  64. Stephanie

    Oh my gosh – I am so behind on your entries and I just saw this one. I am now sitting at my computer at work crying. I am so sorry for your loss, especially as you were going through your pregnancy (congratulations btw). I’m sure he is at peace and is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge

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