It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

For those of you who have pets, you know how deeply ingrained they become in your life.

We adopted Ralph, our senior Siamese cat, from the local shelter. He’d been brought in as a stray, had a tipped ear to indicate he’d been neutered at one time, and was quite frightened when we took him home. He immediately fled to the guest bedroom and hid under the bed. We left food, water, and a litter box in the room and  opened the door when we went to bed in case he wanted to explore. On the third evening he ventured out, jumped on the couch between us, and that was that.

We soon realized he hadn’t always been a stray. He didn’t jump on the table, didn’t scratch furniture, and preferred the cat bed we bought for him. He did like to eat in the night, something that may have been part of survival behavior he’d learned on the street, and he preferred to drink from a faucet with a trickle of water that emulated the garden drippers most people have in our  area.

His faults? He was quite vocal and very loud and that may be why someone had thrown him out  at some point.

He and I bonded and he became my 5am writing buddy and my 10pm bedmate. Once I fell asleep he’d go back to his bed and hang out with my husband who’s a night owl.

Ralph’s pictures got more likes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram than my book announcements or foodie posts. He became a staple in my newsletter. More than that, he became my best friend and chief comforter whenI was sad.

When he was diagnosed with kidney disease, we changed his diet and started weekly fluids. But just this week we learned there’s a reason he makes frequent trips to the litter box.  He has a massive cancerous tumor in his bladder, a rare condition that’s not operable. So his time with us is limited.

I will miss his wake up calls in the morning, his  purrs and cuddles while sitting on my lap, his faithful presence on the bathroom chair when I take my showers, and his sitting at attention next to me when he wants a treat.

We won’t let him go yet. We know what to watch for and won’t hesitate when he tells us it is time. Loving a pet, and then losing them, is heartbreaking. But at least we know at the end of his life, this senior cat that somebody didn’t want had a loving family who cherished him and will miss him terribly.

4 thoughts on “It’s Hard to Say Goodbye”

  1. Oh Ralph I am so sorry. Pam please give him an extra cuddle and treat from me. You are going to miss this faithful companion. He was blessed to have been a part of your family.

    • Thank you. So far, he has more good days than bad days, but it won’t be long. His cancer is very aggressive.

  2. Oh Auntie! So sorry to hear this update. Ralph is the coolest cat and you & Uncle Mark have given him such an amazing life. Hugs ❤️


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