In Memoriam Spirit Kitty

Saturday morning was the last time we drove our almost 18 year-old cat, Spirit to the vet’s office.  Her kidneys had finally failed.  Heather and I were grateful for the professional and caring doctors and staff of the Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital.  The veterinarian let us ramble, stress, be confused, and struggle with a difficult decision. Once made, they proceeded with care and gave us the time we needed to say our good byes.

Spirit on a chair in the garden.

Heather adopted Spirit as a kitten before we were married.  As a kitten Spirit would snuggle up under Heather’s chin and go to sleep.  Spirit also started showing her stubbornly persistent attitude.  There was another, older, meaner, nastier male cat living with Heather at the time that they called, “Memer.”  Memer liked to sleep in a basket on a desk.  Well, Spirit liked to sleep there too, but there wasn’t really enough room for two cats.  Spirit would come up and just sit next to the basket, then she’d put in a paw, then another paw and Memer would shift a little, and before you knew it Spirit was sleeping in the basket and Memer was out.

This became one of Spirit’s trademark behaviors – slowly and with unwavering determination, she’d make her way onto your lap, your pillow, between your eyes and the book, under the blanket or wherever she had in mind to go.

Heather and I were married when Spirit was about two.  At that time I had a cat named Shy and Heather’s daughter was living with Heather.  As our wedding approached, arrangements were made to rent Heather’s house to her daughter and partner and to have Spirit stay in the house she grew up in.

Shy kitty only lived for a couple of years after we were married and it wasn’t long after Shy’s death that Heather’s daughter and partner decided to move out-of-state.  Spirit came to live with us and adapted to her new home quickly.  She soon learned where all the sunny places were and had favorite places in the garden.  Spirit liked high places and often we’d find her sleeping on top of a bookcase or in a white wicker doll cradle that we had on a high display shelf.

Spirit was a fierce defender of the garden.  Many times we’d here two cats growling and fighting in the yard.  By the time we’d arrive on the scene, the other cat would be gone and Spirit would be at the door with a bit of the other cat’s fur in her mouth.

Spirit was healthy and happy for many years and was our furry friend.

Three and half years ago a stray cat had kittens in our yard and we ultimately adopted them, much to Spirit’s disgust.  Spirit’s hobby soon became hissing at the kittens and otherwise showing that grandma cat ran the house.  Spirit was nearly 15, but was still able to let out a menacing growl. Over the next couple of years Spirit started slowing down, sleeping more, and moving slowly.  The kittens all wanted to be Spirit’s friend (especially Boots kitty), but Spirit wasn’t having any of it.

In time they learned to get along and avoid each other in the garden.  Spirit started having kidney problems and we put her on a special diet.  We watched her slowly develop more problems and had to start giving her medications.  Just a few months ago Heather had to learn how to give Spirit subcutaneous fluids and for a few months I’d hold Spirit twice a week while Heather did the needle jab.  Then we’d talk calmly to Spirit while waiting for 100ml to drip from the IV bag.

Three weeks ago Spirit took a turn for the worse and we were told to do the fluids daily.

While all this was happening, Spirit just kept on being Spirit, but she was becoming less nasty to the other kitties and now would sleep in the living room with them while we watched TV.  She still found sunny places and still spent most of the night sleeping on top of me.

All the time we knew the kidney disease was terminal and struggled with the question, “When will it be the right time?”

That time turned out to be a Saturday morning after Spirit had yet another bad day.  When I called the vet’s office at 8:00 am we were told to bring her in now.  At 8:30 the technician weighed Spirit and made notes in on the chart.  The doctor reviewed the case with us and offered no new options.

We came home with an empty cat carrier and an empty place where Spirit use to be.  We had lunch with family and when we returned home in the late afternoon there were flowers on our doorstep.  It was a little mystery as we hadn’t told any friends yet and family wouldn’t have had enough time to get flowers sent.  Turned out that the vet’s office sent them and we found ourselves again touched by the kindness and professionalism of the doctors and staff.

The other cats still look for Spirit and still walk cautiously past were Spirit would sleep.  I think Spirit will be in this house for a long time.



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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82 Responses to In Memoriam Spirit Kitty

  1. this made me cry…I am currently working out of state and missing my two kitties….wow…this was beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jendionne10 says:

    So very sorry. Such precious beings and such loss when they go…praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. slpsharon says:

    It’s always hard to set them free. Your spirit looks so much like Ebony, but her personality reminds me so much like Baby, the cat I lost in August. She too had kidney problems. She also liked sunny places and suffered kittens unwillingly at first. She mellowed unbelievably in her last couple of years and even made friends with Ebony. Tux pestered her, so she wasn’t as happy with him. Her hiss and growl worked fine too.
    I’m sure Spirit watches over you two from the other side. She probably is waiting with a cats endless patience.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. DebFarris says:

    Tears and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You touched the hearts of everyone who has lived through the trauma of losing a beloved pet. One of my friends says she will never have another pet because she could not live through that kind of pain again. Be comforted by all those who care for you, and for your warm and funny memories of Spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spirit touched our hearts. The pain of loss is lessened by the memory of all the love. I would never pass on the love, just because there might be pain. If you dare to love, you must risk the pain.


  6. Awh. That’s so hard. And the confusion of the other cats–sad. 😦 Amazing she made it 18 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. krazygirl777 says:

    So sorry about your beautiful cat.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Baydreamer says:

    I’m sorry to hear this news, Andrew. Losing one of our furry friends isn’t easy in any way. I think you’re right though in saying that Spirit will still be with you for a long time. Take care in knowing you did the right thing out of love…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Debra says:

    I’m so very sorry! Such a loss! We went through this years ago with a beloved cat of 20 years. Licorice was the cat my grandmother gave my son when he turned three years old and he died while my son was scouting housing in San Francisco for his first year of law school. It was like this dear cat knew his favorite person was leaving home. For pet lovers these dear creatures take up forever space in our hearts. I’m sure the other cats are feeling the void, too. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m sorry you had to make such a difficult decision, but it was your final act of love for her. I know that doesn’t make it any easier, though – so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My heart goes out to you both. Losing a family pet is so difficult. But what a character she must have been but what is it with cats and desks? Is it warmer or do they want to stay close and the centre of attention while you work?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Losing one of our furry friends is extremely difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Long ago I came to the conclusion that God surely knew what He was doing when He made kitties and doggies. Blessings to you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. tjsthings says:

    Sorry for your and Heather’s loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. With a name like Spirit, how could she not still be in your house? Oh Andrew…I’m so sorry for you and Heather. It’s such a difficult decision to make. But it’s the most loving decision you could have made – sounds like Spirit was in bad shape. But what a remarkable long life she had! Reading your lovely tribute to Spirit brought to mind our pets we’ve lost over the year and one eye is leaking…

    Spirit, have fun with Wart, Nhusance, Ceaser, Willie and KC! KC was actually our dog – a Corgi – but he LOVED our cats, and I know he and Spirit will get along fabulously!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your kind words. Spirit was the perfect name for her. It’s never easy to make this kind of decision and I am sure KC and Spirit are having a great time right now.


  16. artseafartsea says:

    Sorry for your loss. I lost my second cat in March of 2017. I am still grieving. Spirit was a special cat. Your other cats should help with the grieving process.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. So very sorry for your loss. Your story was really touching, the love you all have for her shows.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. dorannrule says:

    I can tell Spirit Kitty was a very special family member and I am so sorry for that loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. jfwknifton says:

    My condolences. Animals are a very important part of any family.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. pommepal says:

    Our animals become part of the family and have a place in our hearts forever. A beautiful tribute to your lovely Spirit. It brought a lump to my throat.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Allan G. Smorra says:

    “When will it be the right time?”

    is the question every pet owner will face at some point or other when it comes to the care of their pet.

    Our pets are time capsules of our lives and you wove a lovely tribute to your Spirit kitty, Andrew. I am sure that she knew that she was loved and cared for, and that’s all any of us can ask for in the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Susanne says:

    I hope Spirit’s spirit stays for a while until the other cats are ready to say goodbye. So, so hard to lose a pet. Take care of yourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. She was a beautiful cat and beautifully named. I loved your description of how she’d patiently ease her way into the basket. 😌
    So sorry for your loss. Sounds like you have a lot of good memories to bring you comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Thank you for sharing Spirit Kitty’s story with us. It sounds like she was a wonderful companion and also that she will always be with you in spirit. May memories of her bring you comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I’m crying, Andrew. I can see how much this wonderful cat meant to you. I can only imagine how I’d feel. I’m thinking of you today.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Chris White says:

    Really sorry to hear this. So nice of the vet to give those flowers. bless.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. LuAnn says:

    Sorry for your loss Andrew.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. kritsayvonne says:

    Lovely that you felt able to write that piece, it must have been tough. x

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Jeff Branch says:

    Sorry for your loss. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Glynis Jolly says:

    It’s so hard to let go of ones you love so dearly. My thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. GP Cox says:

    I am so sorry. Pets are not animals – they are close relatives.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. My first reaction reading this was ‘what a beautiful name for a cat’ – and now so apt, because her spirit is freed. I’m so sorry, but no, you didn’t lose her. She will always be with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. PiedType says:

    She’ll live on in your hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Relax... says:

    Aw, I’m so sorry.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Ray V. says:

    May her memory be eternal ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Beautiful memories which live in your mind, soul and so sorry for you loss. I know how that feels. Spirit will be playing in Summer land as some call it. Be well

    Liked by 2 people

  37. davidprosser says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Andrew but I’m sure Spirit is back to enjoying things she used to do before getting older.
    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

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