Saturday, February 14, 2015

Goodbye, Dante.

I didn't have it in me to write my weekly pattern round-up post this week. On Thursday, we had to say goodbye to my very beloved 17-year-old cat who I've had for my entire post-college life.

My sewing assistant
Dante and I had been together for all but the first few weeks of his life. I adopted him as an unweaned kitten and helped foster/bottle-raise him. He was with me through my stupid and irresponsible 20's, my figuring-things-out 30's, where I met my husband and had my daughter, and for the first few months of my 40's.

Dante, taking a nap on our old stained carpeting
A true native San Diegan, some of Dante's favorite things included:
  • In-n-Out french fries
  • Carne asada
  • Hoppy beers (I'm not making this up--if you left a pale ale or IPA attended, he'd try to steel a few licks)
  • Pasta with meat sauce (okay, not so much a San Diego thing, but I always found his love of meat sauce odd)
Dante enjoying a few licks of a Stone Pale Ale
This wasn't sudden or out of the blue. We'd been treating him for hyperthyroidism and kidney disease for the past six months, and his kidney function had taken a turn for the worse back in late November. (We'd been giving him subcutaneous fluids to supplement his failing kidneys since then.) On Monday night, he suddenly lost interest in food and treats. On Wednesday, we took him to the vet to see if there was anything more that we could do for him, and she let us know that his time was nearing an end, and gave us some medication to make him more comfortable while we tried to come to grips with saying goodbye, but on Thursday morning, he let us know that it was time for us to let him go. 

You know that you have a special cat when the staff at your vet's office comes in to say their final goodbyes while your vet is performing her final act of kindness towards him. Our house feels emptier without him, and I don't feel like our family will ever be quite the same. He will be missed.

Rest in peace, Dante (1997-2015).

23 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so sorry! And I'm tearing up just thinking about it, so obvioulsy must be exponentially harder for you!

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  2. My heart goes out to you, and I cry with you.

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  3. Losing these beloved friends is so very very sad. But Dante will always be in your heart.

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  4. So sorry for your pain. Right before Christmas I lost a parrot I had for 20 years. I know many people do not understand because "it's only a bird", but my heart is still broken. It does get easier, but I will never stop missing her

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  5. Michelle - so sorry for your loss. It's never easy saying goodbye to a beloved family member. g

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  6. Oh Michelle! I'm so sorry :( my thoughts are with you guys. I know its hard.

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  7. This is so difficult, I'm so sorry!
    - Saro

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  8. I definitely know how hard this is. Pets are cherished members of the family. I am so very sorry for you. *big warm hugs*

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  9. Sorry for your loss. How is your daughter handling this? I'm assuming this is her first experience with death/loss so close to home.

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  10. oh dear. Big hugs to you and your family from me and mine. We're all crazy about our fur peoples. We've had to say goodbye to some of them over the years and it is just hard.

    But it does get better over time, and as a friend of mine told me after my brother lost his darling Dizzy (yellow lab) several months ago you will start to be able to remember all the cute, fun, wonderful things without the pain.

    Thank you for including these nice photos, too. Said brother will get a big kick out of seeing a kitty enjoying a nice brew as much as he does :) take care, steph

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  11. I'm so sorry, Michelle. Dante sounds like he was one of a kind. Love the photos and your memories of him.

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  12. A loss of a dear pet is big stuff ( and don't let anyone try and convince you otherwise ) . Lovely piece written about him.

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  13. That's hard. I still miss my little dog that disappeared two years ago. I am glad that you got to keep Dante for such a long time, though.

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  14. Oh Michelle - my heart goes out to you and your family. He had a great and well loved life by the sounds of it.

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  15. Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear this. I lost a kitty a few years ago and it was devastating. I only had him for four years, so I can't imagine how much worse it would be after spending so many years together. It sounds like he was very well-loved, and it sounds like you have some wonderful memories of him.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful cat, and this was a beautiful tribute. He had a great life with you.

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  17. Michelle I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a furbaby you've been with so long is just so hard and it doesn't matter if it's unexpected or not. Take care of yourself in the next while, okay? It's not going to be easy but you'll make it through. Take care

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