Willow is gone

Our cat Willow died today. Two hours ago, I was in Chilliwack visiting family, and Irene called me to tell me to come straight back and meet her at the emergency clinic. She had found Willow thrashing on the floor. Irene tells me that Willow was gone by the time she was at the clinic, less than fifteen minutes after she called me. There was nothing to be done.

Willow has been part of our life since 1996. She was about a year old (or so they guessed) when we adopted her from the SPCA. I actually almost didn’t get her: I had picked her out, but another guy took her out of her kennel and was carrying her around. I guess she turned around and bit him while he was stroking her, and he put her straight back in her kennel… from which I immediately adopted her.

That was the day we also got Rommel. Initially, Rommel and Willow were fast friends, but they grew out of that after a year or so. Willow of the luxurious fur, the dramatic tail, and the belly in the air “pet me” pose… I’ll miss that furry tummy. I miss all of her already.

9 thoughts on “Willow is gone”

  1. We are very sorry to hear about your loss. I like all of your cats, but Willow was one of my favourites.

  2. Thank you, Shane: I missed spending more time visiting with you, but I appreciate you understanding why I had to run. No matter how fast I went it wouldn’t have mattered in the end. Willow at least had Irene with her, and Irene had me once I got there.

    I knew the next five years were going to be tough. Three cats over 14 years of age- the math is stacked against us. But I really didn’t have any reason to expect Willow would die so soon. Her last vet check was three months ago, and they said she was fine. But fine has a different meaning when a living creature is getting on in years.

    As much as I hate losing my furry family, when it happens it gives enough of a jolt to help put a clearer or at least different perspective on life. I wish I didn’t have to go through this, though.

  3. I am not a cat person but I do appreciate how a pet becomes a part of your family and how significant the loss can be. I had to have the vet put my pal Elmo to sleep just before Christmas last year. After being part of my life for about 13 years Elmo left a big gap in my life. Even though we had already acquired another dog earlier in the year it wasn’t the same without Elmo around. For months afterwards I’d glance over at one of his favorite spots and seeing it empty was a shock all over again. Its a good thing dogs don’t understand English or Rudy, the Chocolate Lab we bought in the spring of 2008, would surely have developed some sort of complex. Everything he did got compared to how Elmo would have done it, usually in the context of how much better Elmo was.

    Sorry for your loss.

  4. Thanks, Judy, Jim. These critters we share our lives with really do touch our souls. You’d think that, with more animals, it would get easier, but I haven’t found that.

    Having another pet after losing one does, for me at least, help. But I think our other cats are wondering why I keep grabbing them and hugging them 😉

  5. Thanks, Chris.

    We got word back from the vet re: the autopsy. Willow’s diaphragm had ruptured and her stomach and liver had ended up on the wrong side. The vet feels it was likely pretty quick, and given the fact that there was no evidence of trauma it is likely that her diaphragm was defective either from birth or from a very early injury, and gave way suddenly.

    I miss her.

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