Goodbye, My Pet


For the past few weeks, I’ve been avoiding friends, ditching work, ignoring phone calls, and staying curiously silent in terms of writing. The reason? Chloe, our beloved Persian pictured above, died last Sunday. It was a blow to both The One and me, especially since we weren’t with her when she passed. The only good that came of it was that she took the decision of putting her down out of our hands. It’s as if she knew we—especially me—were simply incapable of doing it.

But right now, it seems as though the grief and mourning is bottomless.

It wasn’t just Chloe’s death that has caused me to crawl into bed and to sleep 10, 11, even 12 hours at a time. It’s also the diagnosis we just received for one of our other cats, Raja, pictured below. When Emmy, our vet tech, noticed a foul smell coming from his mouth, she thought it was an abscess, and we made an appointment to see the vet. After exploratory surgery, she found he had squamous cell carcinoma in his gums and that it had infiltrated his jaw. The surgeon removed as much as he could, but we were warned that it would return. Two days ago, Raja started bleeding from his mouth. Yesterday he didn’t eat. Tomorrow we see the vet. And most likely this week we will have to put him down.


If you’ve never had pets, you’ll never understand what I’m about to say. The pain is as tremendous and soul shaking as if it were happening to a family member, because that’s what beloved pets are: family. A friend, someone who has since passed, once said to me, “The death of a pet is like the death of a child. But unlike a child who grows up and leaves, a pet comes to you dependent and needy and leaves the same way. They age, but they never grow up.” It’s true.

This is all a long way of saying I’ve stayed away from The David Blahg because writing funny posts with pretty pictures feels so deeply inauthentic to me and insulting to my dear cats. My mind isn’t working. I can’t even cast about for the words to express the pain I feel. Metaphors, similes, allusions, and onomatopoeia aren’t my allies at the moment. It’s as if my brain is dried, cracked earth from which no life can spring. I struggled writing even this post. I kept asking myself, What does this have to do with food? And the answer is: everything. And not in the way you think. It has to do with stuffing my emotions. I’ve eaten everything in front of me. I’ve binged on potato chips, ice cream, pie, peanut butter, doughnuts, tuna fish, hot dog buns, Cheddar cheese, alfajores, honey, and crackers (including some stale oyster crackers from last Christmas) while I wept on the couch. I’m not even remotely okay without munching on something. I’ve gained at least 10 pounds over the past few weeks. Lettuce and carrots simply aren’t sufficient ballast.

I know the pain will lessen in time, as it has for the other eight pets I’ve lost over the years. And in time I’ll be able to write about my homemade butter and my sour-cherry pie and my new kitchen and my swanky knife drawer—all those things you’ve seen on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. It takes so much less thought and energy to click a button on a cell phone and take a picture than it does to string words together that matter. So be patient; I’m here. I’m just heartbroken.

UPDATE: We put Raja down on July 17th. He went very peacefully, cradled in The One’s arms. Although it was terribly hard, I preferred it to Chloe’s dying alone, as we’d made a promise to our cats that ours would be the very last faces they saw. I’m at peace that we were able to do that for Raja. Our vet, the miraculous Kim Rosenthal, and Emmy, our vet tech, were so kind and respectful of our feelings. We thank them immensely. And we thank you, too, for all your support.

David Leite's signature



  1. David – I’m new to your blog and this was one of the first posts I read, since I’m a huge cat lover. I have three fur babies myself right now and my oldest is almost 18, so I know my time with him is limited. I am so sorry for the loss of your fur babies. Yes, it is heartbreaking. However, I bristled when I read your comment (a quote from a friend) that compares losing a pet with losing a human child. Please, PLEASE never, ever compare losing a child to a pet. I HAVE lost a child – my oldest son, 7 years ago at the age of 21. I’ve also lost pets. There is absolutely NO comparison. Unless one has a child and that child passes away before you do (which is the most unnatural and cruelest thing in life that can happen), that person has no right to compare child loss with any other kind of loss.

    1. Melanie, first, I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine anything worse than losing a child. But I don’t think my friend was equating the passing of both exactly. But rather I think she meant that a pet is like a young child, needful, totally reliant. It come to you this way and it leave you this way. They are children, dependent on us. I’m truly sorry if the comment was hurtful. Alas, I can’t ask my friend to clarify, as she has passed, too.

  2. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a pain that that plunges deep into your soul and there are no words to describe it’s solitude. If I may, my only comfort was father time and the somewhat feeling of being cradled when I pray. I now am facing a loss for comforting words in helping my two sisters make a decision for their pets. One courageous cat with a dying will to survive for his mom yet his little body among everything else is failing him rapidly. And my other sisters dog also very old blind and deaf yet somehow an amazing love for my sister gives him courage strength and a will to move around. He still eats a little and although he bumps into things, he manages to move around. The little courage these pets display make it a prolonging decision for my sisters. I want t to help them make the decision but they are not receptive as long as life still prevails through their little bodies.

    1. Gracie, thank you for your thoughtful words. I’m sorry to hear of the impending loss of your sisters’ pets. It is never, ever easy. My thoughts are with you all. xx

  3. Captured by what you wrote. “It takes so much less thought and energy to click a button on a cell phone and take a picture than it does to string words together that matter. So be patient; I’m here. I’m just heartbroken.”. So incredibly true and so many people think it, but are unable to articulate it. Beautiful post. Incredible sorry for your loss. Hang in there.

    1. Susie, thank you. It means a lot. The pain is lessening a bit. But we have a hard time when we come across a picture of them or find their grooming brushes or food bowls. The One is still hurting a lot, which is why he hasn’t yet left a message here. In time, in time.

  4. Sending hugs to you and The One for your double loss. When it was time for Shayna, our lab, to be put down after living with her for 14 years, we had the vet come to our front porch. It was so hard to watch and it brings tears to relive the memory.It took a long time to get over her.When the pain of your loss is gone I know you will remember the crazy good times and be glad that Chloe and Raja were a part of your life and will live on in your memory and heart.

  5. David, I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. Thank God for the great memories you must have of them and how they chose to stay with you and live their lives with you. (you know, cats only do what they want to!) Sending you a hug. (FBC 3 day Silvana)

  6. First I must tell you how much I enjoy your posts. I have a much loved girl “Chloe “, I have lost loved ones of my family and it is devastating. My heart goes out to you and the “one “. You will see your girl @ boy again some day, this I believe with all my heart.

  7. We had 3 cats, all related. A father, a mother and one of their offspring. So we had a family within a family. All lived into their teens. We had to put the father down. I had a heart attack five days later from the stress and grief. Five months late we had to put the mother down. The son is still alive but he is old…15 years old now. He is getting closer to his time to go. I am trying to enjoy our time together. I worry about when the time comes. I hope we don’t have to put him down. I don’t know how I will take it. Take some time to recover. Don’t allow yourself to get too stressed. As time goes by you’ll be able to remember the good times with more smiles and fewer tears.

  8. Dearest David and The One,
    Please know you are so very right in your belief that our pets are more than animals, they are a wonderful part of our life. They are giving and forgiving, loving unconditionally, attentive when we are down to only lift us back up with their purrrrrrrsonalities. They require only 2 things out of life, food and love. Whether a cat or a dog, they are our extended family and most time our immediate family. Have a bad day? Just go home and who meets you at the door, but your loved one purring or wagging the tail just to say I missed you and am so glad you are home.
    You sweet Chloe and Raja will be missed and have left a hole in your hearts, but just know you did the very best for them and they are so much luckier than many animals out there, they were loved. And you are better people having had that love. People who have never had an animal to love, don’t know what it is like when they are no longer there.
    Although we have another loved one, my sweet boy died 3 years ago and I still find myself weeping for him. Each one has their own place in your heart. Whether you try to fill that hole or not, there will always be special emotions that run through your veins at the sound of that lost love one. You have wonderful memories and it will get easier. Be Blessed.

  9. Wanting to know how you David, are doing in your grief? Any suggestions from The One to we, the on-line readers? How can we lessen David’s sadness and gently lift his spirits?

  10. David, my condolences to you and The One. The love given and received by pets is like no other. I know they will be in your hearts forever, as they should be. Be gentle with yourself during this hard time. We are all here for you.

  11. Your poignant and painful tribute to your faithful companions has me crying. Only last month I had to make a decision for my 17 year companion Mz Mini Juliet to find final slumber. She was in great distress but still came to me when I entered a room and tried to follow me around. I had to step outside of my own need and desire to have her and do what was best for her. I’m sorry for your grief. May your heart open to another when it is ready.

  12. David, I am so heartbroken for you and the One. In past years, I have also experienced the departure of beloved furbabies and can sympathize with your overwhelming sadness and grief.. The first days, the pain was inconsolable and the tears never-ending. Over time the pain does lessen, but the magic, love and memories of our beloved four-legged child/family member, will never fade. They live in your heart – always. Keeping you and the One in my thoughts as you heal from your losses.

  13. David, I’m come back so many times looking for a new post. Now I understand why there hasn’t been one. I’m so sorry you and The One have had to go through these devastating losses. I am a cat lover and am still feeling the loss of a dear cat who looked a lot like your Chloe, and that was decades ago. Hugs …

  14. So sorry for your loss. Pets are so precious to us. We & they love unconditionally. I believe there is a special place in heaven for all pets where they play & thrive with all of there counterparts.

  15. David. I’m so, so sorry to hear of Chloe’s passing. I know your pain. I had to put my dearest little Trixie down 2 years ago and I still miss her. She was my first and only dog; she lived to the ripe old age of 18. I have never sobbed to the point that I couldn’t stop as the day we drove away from the vet’s office where she died in my arms, She was so ill and so scared when we went in. She crushed herself against me, nose tucked under my arm as if I might be her only savior. It crushed me. I’ve not had the courage to get another dog fearing it might choose me as it’s trusted friend. I couldn’t go through it again. (at my age, I fear any dog I get might outlive me if it gets to 18. I couldn’t betray another pet just so I could have a companion for a while. I mean…it really shook me and that surprised me. I didn’t realize how attached I’d gotten to her. They do become as beloved as any member of the family. Maybe more so.

  16. It took me a long time to click on this because I am not good with good byes. We have said good bye to many pets and I always swear I won’t get another because it is to hard to say good bye. Pets trust us with their lives, they are always by our side and they don’t recognize our flaws. I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry.

  17. Thank you for the courage to share your grief, David. One year ago, we sat on the floor of our vet’s examining room sobbing and holding our beloved corgi/lab, Shorty. The source of his coughing had been diagnosed: lungs filled with cancer. It was time to say goodbye, but we could hardly do it. It was a dark day, with many to follow. No, our loving and comical felines and canines are not “just pets.” Not at all. Though each heartbroken experience is different, know that on some level we understand…..and care.

  18. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Being an animal lover, and having grieved my fair share of beloved pets, I think I can say that I have grieved MORE over my pets than I have over many humans — and I am not ashamed of that! I think that our relationships with our pets are so pure and unconditional that their loss is sometimes harder to bear than those of humans with whom we often have complicated and difficult relationships.

    Every time I bring a new pet into my life, I know I am taking on the inevitable heartbreak that comes with losing them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Be kind to yourself during this terrible time. Take the time and space away from the world that you need, and please know that there are many of us who understand the depths of this darkness.

  19. I am so sorry for your loss!! I know what you are going through. We lost our dog Max last year and it is so hard.

  20. I am so sorry for you. Take comfort in knowing the wonderful home and care you have provided and continue to do so.
    Devil Cat’s world is changing and he will need you more than ever!

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our 9 yr old Shepherd first. I cried for weeks. Had to stop grieving because our 10 yr old Springer was sad and mourning with me. Had to pull it together for the Springer’s sake. Then a year later we lost our Springer Spaniel to cancer (a misdiagnosis by his vet). The day he was put down, he was jumping and smiling (yes, he was very expressive) in the vet’s office. I held him and cried while he went into his sleep. The stories I could tell about these two “boys”.

    Then, we lost our little 12 yr old Shih Tzu mix a couple years later. She was the $10,000 dog. She had contracted Valley Fever when she was about 7 yrs old; then had gall bladder stones a few months later, and developed arthritis in her later yrs. The only dog I knew who had a neuro-surgeon, an internist and a primary care. Oh, forgot to mention the couple thousand dollars we spent on her teeth – her route canals (no joke), extractions, fillings, cleanings, etc. And she obeyed no one. The “boys” were very obedient, but this girl would turn her head if you tried to tell her what to do.

    But we loved all of them. And I cried and mourned for each of them differently. And I still got up every morning, showered, got dressed, went to work. Cried and cried.

    So I know how you are feeling and have no words to offer you, except I hope my small description of my little girl Shih Tzu brought a bit of a smile to you. The stories I could tell would make you laugh – even now. And I am comforted all the time to remember the crazy stories that only our pets can write. I’m sure, like my pets, that your kitties have crazy quirks and behaviors and likes and dislikes that have made you shake your head and laugh. And these same behaviors will become sweet memories.

    May your mourning be short, and your healing be swift.

  22. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your fur baby,for I am also a cat lover and understand your feelings of loss,I and my friend at work today were talking about how our cats were not just our pets but family and about how emotional it would be to lose our dear beloved babies and anyone that does not have an attachment couldn’t possibly understand the pain or the loss we would feel as you said and I have told family and friends it is like the loss of a child and the pain and emotional heart break is real,I Love My Baby as you loved yours I know they say time heals all but one does not think about time when you have lost such a great part of ones soul,bless you and your other fur baby. :(

  23. Dear son: We’re so very sorry about your beloved family feline members, Chloe and Raja. Our prayers, love, thoughts and hugs are with you at this most difficult time. Both kitties were very fortunate in having the home you provided for them. God bless you. Mom & Dad

  24. Joining the list of people here sending you sympathy and encouragement. It’s been eight years, and I still occasionally wake up thinking my cat Ben just jumped up to sleep next to me. Who knows? Maybe he did.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. It is never easy, and the pain never truly goes away. My cat, Smokie, is reaching 11 years old and I fear the day that I lose her as she has been the only cat I have truly had a bond with. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  26. Dearest David, My heart goes out to you in this time of grieving, and I do understand the bottomless pit that your sweet Chloe has left behind. My only hope is that you will find strength and comfort in your memories of her life. Sending you and the One hugs and lots of love. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  27. I understand completely…as a fellow(ette) pet parent, I teared up reading this. Take as much time mourning as you need….we’ll still be here.

  28. Dear David,
    I have written to you several times about losing your little lovies. My sympathies are only heightened now that you have actually lost Chloe. I think you know that.
    No, today what I want you to know…and I feel I speak for many here… that you need not worry about neglecting your blog or trying to force cheerfulness when it’s not possible. What struck me as I read these many comments is that aside from a food empire, you have also created a very loving family on Leite’s Culinaria. Perhaps you didn’t realize that was the case until now. It’s true, though, and the wonderful outpouring of love from all of us is yours for the taking. We will lift you up and stand by your sides for as long as you need us.

  29. And my heart is breaking for you as well David. Our pets bring us such joy and their loss truly is immeasurable. I wish I could lessen your sadness, but we both know only time will do that. Both Chloe (and Raja) are so lucky to have had you and your partner in their lives! {{{ HUGS }}} to all of you.

  30. It is a time of feeling stunned.
    Yes, all you can do is go with it.
    Don’t be surprised if you see her backside going around a corner. She’s checking on you.
    My thoughts to you both-

  31. I feel your pain. I agree too the lost of a pet is as hard as the loss a child. You have to loose one to fully understand the pain it causes & even though it has been but a few years I still grieve for them. I will never forget them & I live ina state that allows you to bury your pet in your yard. I have three graves each in a different spot in the yard, each with its own flower bush to mark there being. We grieve, we go on, but we never forget. God bless Janice

  32. It can’t be easy to lose not one, but two cats that you both love so much, David. We had a 12 year old cat that began to suffer from a very similar condition to the one you describe Raja as having, which would take weeks of treatment for a 50/50 chance of a year’s survival. It really hurt to have to say goodbye, but she was in so much discomfort and pain. We just couldn’t let her suffer because I was reluctant to let her go.

    On the bright side, I don’t snore (quite) as much anymore. Seems I was mildly allergic to cats.

  33. Oh David honey, I could tell you sad stories about the special cats that have left me, but it wouldn’t make you feel any better about your losses. And there is nothing that can make you feel better. How do you get over losing someone (yes they are someones) that loves you unconditionally? My metaphysical religion says that they go to play in flower filled fields and chase butterflies while waiting for us to cross over and be with them again. I believe this is true. And it makes me feel a little better. I hope it help you, too.

  34. Everyone, I’m so touched–and choked up–by your messages. You are all extraordinarily kind to share with me stories of your pets and the joy they brought you.

    I was told once that the depth of our pain is equal to the depth of our humanity. I think all of us are deeply, deeply human.

    Thank you a million times for your caring. I wish I could write each of you, but I don’t think I have the emotional stamina (or tears!) left to do so. So please know that this message is meant for each and every one of you beautiful people. I am so blessed and honored to have such marvelous readers. Thank you.

  35. My dear friend David…reading the above comments I am crying so. My wife’s only dog was put to sleep at age 11 after a one month battle with aggresive bladder cancer twenty years ago…and she decided never to go through “playing God” again. About five years ago our neighbors cat, who likes to sit in the hall and watch the neighbors, invited himself into our home, and hearts – especially my wiifes’. Tux can stay here eight hours in a row, has his toys, food, favorite boxes to sleep, and when his owner come to take him home will curl up in a box, and put his paw over his eyes to say “if I cant see you, yoiu cant take me home”. Like your beloved companions, he is our little child who stays forever young: curious, mischievous, loving. One day I looked at him sleeping and realized at the age of 12 he might have many good years left, or a few – and I cried like a baby…as I cry now. I spoke to a priest who told me since God wants us to be forever, and gloriously happy, in heaven, it stands to reason we will be rejoined with our beloved pets. After all, would heaven not be better with dogs, and cats, butterflies, and all. I am just too sad for all the above friends as they recount their situations…we adjust to the pain of loss, but never truly recover. When are friends depart we give them a place, and piece, of us forever.
    Someone once said: when our parents die and we cry we become more of an adult, but when our pets die and we cry, and for the moment, we become children again.
    You, and all, remain in my prayers.

  36. David, we lost our border collie mix that we have had for 15 1/2 years. We adopted her from a shelter. She was the most loyal, intuitive , and we know that she would have laid down her life for anyone of us. She was my husband’s constant companion on walks, while mowing the lawn, and when he slept under the stars. We lost her to cancer in October the month of her birthday. She waited until we were both at a doctor appointment, and though she could not walk by this time, she got herself to a sunny spot and passed, I’m sure to spare us from putting her down which neither of us could stand. After all these months, we still miss her every day. My son, who grew up with her, carved a marble gravestone for her, and we placed it in the orchard she so loved. I’m sorry this is long, but you have my pure thoughts of understanding. May you have all the time to remember.

  37. I have had some very sweet and loving pets in my life. Perhaps more precious than my own children. My Whitefoot, (14 years), very independent but very loving cat, came inside to die. I felt so honored. His twin brother died soon after my husband died. You and your special One will heal in time, tears keep filling my eyes for you! Take care. Thank you for sharing the sweet ones in your life.

  38. Oh David – so sorry to hear about your loss of Chloe and your potential upcoming loss of Raja. Animals just burrow and work their way into the fabric of our hearts and their passing highlights just how mortal, we and they are. Please extend my condolences to The One also.

  39. My very deepest condolences on Chloe and my heart goes out to you with respect to Raja. I do know the pain you are going through and I know you are numb with grief. You have known Chloe’s love, fun and loyalty and in return, you gave the same. It was unconditonal – that’s what makes it so beautiful and yet so sad. There are so many of us out there that have experienced the same and we are here for you … and now, we stand beside you, The One and Raja!

  40. No matter how many times you go through it, no matter if the furry family member in question is young or old, frail and fading or (seemingly) in the prime of life, it just never gets easier, and the heartache lingers long after your tears have dried. Pets ARE family, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. My heart is heavy for you all, and I send much love your way. May your good memories bring you some comfort through this time.

  41. Goodness. How much our pets are our children!

    My heart goes out to you and your family as pets make our lives more rich and fulfilling.

    Be happy in the knowledge that you and your pets are better people / animals with each other in your lives.

    Bless you.

  42. David I am heartbroken for both of you. I lost my own Chloe years ago and I think of her often, along with others. They are completely dependent on us and rely completely on us to care for them in good times and bad but that doesn’t make it any easier. I firmly believe that each pet we are fortunate enough to share our lives with makes us better human beings and prepares us to be a better companion for the next pet that enters our lives. Remember and cherish the great joy.

  43. Oh, David, I am so terribly sorry for your loss and now for the new illness. Our cats are members of our families. Funny, loving, and sometimes irksome, the little chums brighten and enrich our lives immeasurably. Their loss leaves a deep void, pain that lessens, but the loss is always felt. In his illness I will never forget our valiant Jack who, as his tumor inched out hope to make way for the everlasting, remained the same loving and strong Maine Coon he had been in his prime. He fought that cancer until his body and soul were exhausted. The day we took him to be put down we cried like babies. It was the same fro Tobi. And when little Truman passed away on her own, just eight weeks ago, we were wracked with grief. I wish you and The One and Raja all the best. Please take comfort in the knowledge that many friends are sending good and comforting thoughts your way.

  44. David, I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this twice in such a short amount of time. This year we lost our beloved Michoux, a long haired tabby stray who had sashayed onto our deck and into our lives and stayed for 13 years. I took it especially hard because she had been my cat before I went off to grad school and I couldn’t be there when they put her down. I’m sure Chloe and Raja lived full, happy, well-fed lives and loved you and The One as much as you loved them. Sending you and The One prayers, a hug and a virtual slice of pie. Hang in there.

  45. Dave: I am sooo sorry. They are family members and it is so painful and takes time to get over it. I believe you never do, the pain just lessens with time. Carol

  46. David, I feel your pain. I share your sentiments on the love of your pet children. They grace our life filling voids when needed, loving us unconditionally. When we loose them suddenly and with out warning the pain is greater. Our family lost 3 pet children (1 cat, 2 dogs) within a 14 month period. Our cat, mr. Blue eyes, had a tumor in his throat that was cancerous and inoperable, needless to say we had to say good-bye. A few months later my beloved Lucy was being treated for cancer and doing well….out of the blue she collapsed. The space around her heart had filled with blood. We had it drained in hopes that she would get/feel better to have more time with us. The passing of those two put me ove the edge! But I had Roofus to care for, he was not aging well. His loss was made by us for his best interest. Our world has been emptied by 3 amazing furry members, we still have 2 cats they run the roost, and I know they miss their siblings. Thank you for writing of your loss.

  47. David, here’s a quote from Joyce Carol Oates’ “A Widow’s Story”: “Suffer Joyce. Ray was worth it.” A friend of hers simply sent these words after her husband Ray passed away unexpectedly. It’s one of the most poignant sentences I encountered during the early stages of grief over my husband’s death, and it still resonates with me. So go ahead and grieve as much as you need to, in any way you want to.

  48. oh, david…there aren’t words. i won’t share any of my heartbreak – just the knowledge that they are with us always no matter where our or their physical bodies are. be kind and patient with yourself.

  49. David, just want to say I am so sorry for your loss and this new bad news. As a pet lover and Mom of 2 cats who have now been gone 6 years I know that pain too well. I guess that is why I have yet to adopt any new pets since the last 2 passed. No one tells you the day you bring your new furry baby home about how much the last day hurts. I know I was a wreck for a long time and just thinking about them now still brings tears to my eyes. Take your time and sending positive vibes your way.

  50. Querido amigo! Sinto muito pela perda….Sei o quanto é triste perdermos nossos amigos.Muita luz e muita força, desejo para vocês.
    Um forte abraço

  51. So sorry to hear of your loss. As the parent of cats who have had cancer I feel your grief intensely. They truly are family. Think of the poem about the Rainbow Bridge and how we will be together with them again.

  52. David – your beloved pets live in your heart and soul now. It’s devastating to lose a special animal – two in such a short time seems so cruel.
    Know that somewhere up above these animals are whole and healthy and will be there to great you once again.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  53. My 16.5 year old Chelsea,a Tibetan Terrier, passed away almost 2 years away and my heart is with you. Having her die in my arms was the most difficult thing I’ve had to do. From reading all the comments, you have many sympathizers. You described it well when writing that they are “family members”. Totally devoted and unconditional love. I use to say Chelsea loved me because I had thumbs ( to open her food, something she couldn’t do ! )
    So sorry for the other prognosis and it just doesn’t seem fair. Please remember, no matter how painful the moments are, they are always in your memory and heart.

  54. My little girl just turned 13 and has had a number of medical issues over the past year and just the idea of her not being here rips my heart apart. I so cherish our time together. The day will come and I keep reminding myself how lucky the two of us are to have had each other through life.
    “It is better to have loved, then to have not loved at all”.
    I wish you peace….xoxo

  55. So sorry, David. Hugs to you and the One. We lost our precious Sugar last year to cancer. He was a “replacement” for our beloved Pretty Boy who died suddenly 3 years before. Two of the most delightful personalities and we were blessed to share our lives with them but not nearly long enough. God bless and comfort you during this very painful time.

  56. God made our pets to enjoy their lives. Once the joy is gone and our pets are taken over with pain I believe it is God’s will that we let them go. I had a dog that I inherited from my mother and he lived for 21 years. When he needed to be put down I held him in my arms and got to see him go peacefully. I like to think he went back to my mother. My cat Beauregard has cancer now and I will also try to have the courage to let him go peacefully as well. You are in my prayers and thoughts,.

  57. I’m so very sorry for your loss and the illness of your other Cat. I have three dogs and I don’t know what I’d do. Allow yourself to mourn, and thank you for sharing such an intimate moment in your life. Looking forward to your future posts. Blessings

  58. David,and The One, I am so sorry for your loss. I do understand the feelings after putting down three cats. They are family members. I wish you good luck this week with Raja. May you and The One find peace and healing in the weeks ahead.

  59. My heart breaks for your losses. I too, have lost a dog, a beautiful and loyal black lab to lymphno carcinoma 23 years ago, I felt exactly as you do now, and I find it very brave, honest, giving and loyal for you to even find the strength to write and let us know what was happening in your life at present and to share openly, your deep sorrow. I could not do it after my “Friday” died, and for years I refused to even own another pet, for years I didn’t even want to know if I could suffer the pain of the loss of another pet, should it happen. I didn’t even think I could love another pet again, our bond had been so close and to this day, there are still times that I think of her and shed tears of missing her all over again. Recently, over the course of the last two and a half years, I have rescued 2 beautiful cats. Figaro and Merlin. They really picked me, and kind of fell into my lap in a way, but I was somehow struck with the need to take them both in when I did. I am very happy that I did and I love them both with all my heart. I still worry, about the day when they may pass before me, but I hope, God willing, that we will have many years to love and enjoy each other’s company still to come before that is even an issue. I know how your heart must be aching, I cried every day for 6 weeks after Friday died and missed the same amount of time in work. I was a complete basket case. Eventually, with a lot of prayer for strength and a loving and understanding husband at the time, I got through it and moved on. I have always known, however, that the day Friday died, a huge piece of my heart died with her. With my cats that I have now, I have realized that I can deeply love a pet again and that they have actually helped me heal and move on in my love for all animals again. You will get through this as well, but don’t let anyone rush you or make you feel silly or weird about your grief for your dear lost babies. They deserve your sorrow for them, as much as any other living being deserves to be grieved over upon their passing. One day soon, you’ll be able to get up one morning and realize that your tears have finally stopped flowing, but don’t feel bad about that, it’s just your heart telling you that it’s ok to move on now and then each day after that, it will get easier. You will always remember them with deep fondness and memories in your heart, but now you’ll be able to get back to normal living and eventually love another pet someday with just as much intensity. Be strong, you and your loved ones are in my prayers. God bless you and give you strength.

  60. I know what it is to lose a cat. We had a very sweet Persian cat, one day he didn’t come back and we never found him back :-( The hard thing is that we don’t know what happened, is he still alive or not.

  61. David, you are right – those who have never had a pet, don’t get it. But, for those of us who do have pets and who have, sadly, gone through losing a beloved pet – we completely understand the utter devastation of losing that fuzzy family member. And, to be faced with the likelihood of losing another loved one, well, that really is just almost too much to bear. Please know that you have many friends sharing in your grief. I wish you peace and comfort from Above during this very sorrow- filled time. Julie Anne

  62. I am sorry to hear of your loss and the condition of Raja as well. A pet is truly a family member and the loss is a difficult one.

  63. You have my deepest sympathies. Pets are our children and losing them is so devastating. We lost our beloved Nemo on June 29th, from lymphoma. We got the unexpected diagnosis that Tuesday and we said goodbye to him on Saturday. Knowing that we did not prolong his suffering is something we hold on to in those moments when tears sneak up on us. I will hold you, The One and Raja in my thoughts as you negotiate this week. Though they be little, our furry children own a huge piece of our hearts.

  64. So sorry to hear about Chloe, and about Raja’s cancer. One possible loss upon another can be tremendously hard. Chloe looks very much like my kitty, actually :-). I have loved and lost many animal friends (and some human ones) and I do not differentiate- we are so close to our pets that it can be almost more intense, more difficult. I think we make ourselves vulnerable to them, open our hearts, in a way that we rarely do with humans. So the loss can feel very raw and overwhelming.

    Today is my dog Twix’s fifteenth birthday; she has recently been diagnosed with kidney disease. She has been with me for ten years…previous to that she lived in a shelter for almost three years, and started her life out as a laboratory research dog. She came to me right after a big loss (my mom) and so…she helped me through a difficult time. I cannot imagine my life without her. So far she is acting like she feels good, and looks great. I guess we have to just grab on to the precious time we have with them…..

  65. Dear Dear David and The One. I was thinking of you guys all weekend and just have no words, but you know how I feel so no words are really needed. I am lucky to have JP who, as a former veterinarian understands when it is best to say goodbye to a pet and put that pet to sleep. He has had to make that decision on several occasions and lucky he can be strong and detached and look at the situation scientifically. Although I know part of his decisions are made because he is humaine and knows when our poor pet has just suffered too much and there is no turning back. But it is always he who then goes to purchase the next because he cannot live without the particular and unconditional love and warmth only a pet can give to us. But, unlike a sibling (and I know this sadly from experience), the black hole of sadness will fill – though the memories stay forever – and we can move on and fall in love with another all over again.

    Poor Chloe gave you so many years of love and agitation but she is in a better place where she no longer feels pain. We are all with you, darling xo

  66. I so feel for you and your feline-human family. I know that pain too well. Wishing you much love, an easy as possible transition with Raja, and many, many happy memories of Chloe to help soften your heartbreak. No matter how long, their time with us is always too short. Remember that the pain you feel is a reflection of the love Chloe brought to your life.

  67. When something horrible happened…because even in the most beautiful life, it does…that scruffy mug waiting in the front window was always my solace. When something horrible happened to her…’heartbreaking’ barely does it justice.
    My thoughts are with you and The One completely.

  68. It’s heartbreaking to see your beloved pets suffer and die. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that Chloe is not suffering anymore and that you can help Raja, when the time comes, by taking the decision that is the last act of love. A big hug.

  69. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal . Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
    So sorry for your loss , David.

  70. My fourteen and one-half year old cocker spaniel lies at my feel while I read this and weep. I love that little buggar so much; no need to describe to another pet owner how you feel and I know my time will be relatively soon…despite my best attempts I know she will not live forever.

    My deepest and sincerest sympathy to you…can I send you some cookies?

  71. David, I can not tell you how very sorry I am to hear your news, let the thought, that they are not suffering any more, comfort you. When my first husband died more than 12 years ago, our beloved Dachshund (who was very attached to him) passed away a day after the funeral, and the younger one, shortly afterwards. To be honest, I still do not know how I managed to cope with all of this – I ended up taking 3 ! urns down to the beach and the sea!!!!

  72. To say I am sorry, just does not seem to be enough. Words can not express the emotions that are felt in losing a beloved pet…I lost my blue eyed handsome boy, Frankie in November. We were blessed to have him 22 yrs. For such a little kitty, he left such a large void in our lives. You will be in my thoughts, take it a day at a time, there will come a time that you will smile thru the tears.

  73. I’m so sorry for your loss. Our pets take a piece of our hearts, and they do not live long enough. We have experienced the loss of a few sweet pets, but the pain is worth all the great joy they give us while they are here.

  74. Sending you big hugs and you are absolutely right. As lovely a person who doesn’t have pets might be, they will never be able to comprehend the loss of a pet.

  75. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose one that you love, whose only purpose in life was to love and adore you in their own way. I have lost four over the years and have had to stay home from work to be able to get through it so I could function with humans after it. It will never get easier but it will always make you smile. Especially when you remember the goofy things they did or pretty much anything they did. *HUG*

  76. We have a 16 yr old Pom and a 18 yr old cat and they are our babies just like yours are. David and The One my heart aches for you both. You gave them love and they loved back and that makes all the pain and sorrow worthwhile…but oh so hard to get through. We all deal with loss in our own way and method. You have to work through it in whatever way is best for you. Sending you hugs and I will keep y’all and Raja in my prayers. When I have lost my precious babies….The Rainbow Bridge has always given me some comfort.

  77. I live in fear of the day my precious baby pup will go through this very thing. I understand and am so, so sorry for your loss. Please take your time healing and be kind to yourself. <3

  78. Sorry for your loss. Also for the news about Raja. I, also know the feeling on losing pets, it sucks. God Bless you and all are deceased pets. We will always miss them.

  79. Oh, David. I am so sad for you and The One. And I so know that pain. I lost the last of my furry children last December, when I was caught in a snow storm. Thank goodness he had loving “siblings” here with him. So freaking hard.

  80. David, I am so terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Chloe and the probable loss of your beloved Rafa. (My mother’s cat had the same type of cancer.) As I type this, my beloved brown tiger tabby is sitting here with me. I feel your pain and grief. Nothing will help it immediately, but time will gradually lessen it and you and your partner will be able to take comfort in your warm memories. I hope the following poem – author unknown – will also offer some measure of comfort, too:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  81. Dear David — The Universe sent me a note just last week just a day before I also lost my beloved labrador, Rebus. Sharing it in the hopes that it will help you, as it did me. Funny how “messages” can come in the strangest ways.

    I just want you to know, Nonna, that those animals you’ve known, who’ve moved beyond the veils of time and space, were forever changed by your love, they’re alive and well, and they’ve banded together to ask me a favor… that I make sure you get this message.

    Bark, meow, chirp, ergle –
    The Universe

  82. Over my quite a few years, I have many cats in my home. Most lived to advanced age, but several did not. It is always a painful loss. I totally empathize with your feelings of grief.

  83. Truly sorry. My brother recently had to put down one of his pets due to multiple sites of cancer. It is really hard. I hope your memories of the felines in your life will be able to bring you comfort soon, once of course the initial hard grief has passed.

  84. David: I am so very sorry. I know all too well everything you are going through. You are not alone. We lost our beloved Bebe to a sublingual squamous-cell carcinoma. We operated knowing they wouldn’t get everything and were blessed with 10 more months. Boy did we spoil her. We said goodbye in September. Three months later, after 10 yrs of battling diabetes and fighting numerous other challenges in the months after we lost Bebe, we lost our Marcus. He was our superstar (we were featured on Cats 101), our fighter and my first baby. This was a double whammy that knocked us completely down.

    Six months later our hearts are still raw. Our home still quiet, almost cold despite the hot & humid New England summer. Some days are better than others. We’ve been to the shelter a few times, but I’m not sure we are ready yet.

    Unfortunately, no words of comfort can take the hurt you are feeling away. Only time will do that. It sounds as if you are doing exactly what I would advise…allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Do not let anyone diminish what you are feeling. These beautiful creatures enter our hearts only to take a piece away when they leave. It’s only natural to treat our wounds with anything comforting.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I am sending strength to you, the One and Raja.

  85. I have lost 6 pets in the last 4 months. Yes, they were old, yes, we were dealing with health problems for several years. No, it doesn’t get any easier and yes, I miss them all every minute of every day. But it does get easier with time and you have been here before. You know you’re not alone and all of the pet lovers in your audience will be with you (in our thoughts) when you take that pretty Raja to the vet next week. Maybe you can get a mobile vet to come to your house instead and save Raja the anxiety of the trip.

  86. What most people don’t understand is that for some of us our companion animals are our children and it hurts to lose them. I lost both of my boys and I still feel the loss every day. I hope the good memories of your little ones carry you through.

  87. My condolences, David. I’ve lost pets to age, accident, and illness (including cancer). It’s been my experience that the Lord taketh away, but he also giveth. When the time is right, he’ll send you another cat to love (He sent one of mine via my car dashboard, but I recommend the local animal shelter.

  88. Only when you have lost a pet that you loved can you understand what you are going through. You have my deepest sympathy for you loss.

  89. Tears are running down my face as I post this. I feel the depth of your pain. Just keep in mind you gave them the best life you could and keep the good memories of them close.

  90. Each pet that goes seems to take a piece of your heart with them. I am sure Chloe is hanging out with my beloved Tedster at the Rainbow gate. So sorry.

  91. As someone who has loved many cats the loss of one is always heartbreaking but not having had one is even more heartbreaking. We are better humans for loving and being loved by our animal companions.

  92. David…Everyone owned by an animal understands what your losses, plural, must mean to you all. One loss is so tough and two losses is a trip to another animal planet. Our animal family members each have their own zip codes in our hearts. So, so, so sorry.

  93. I am so sorry for your troubles. My last cat (Eggroll) lived 20 years and it was a very, very tough time when he died. Losing two so close together is that much worse. So… love the ones left in your life and never mind the rest of us. We’ll be here when you are ready to write again. As for bingeing – I think you can do better than that … Belgian chocolate and lemon cream and Bourbon iced tea come to mind. And maybe a stroll down to the local humane society to volunteer ….

  94. I cry for you as I know that day will come for my 17 year old furbaby, Chester, named such because he looked like a little orange cheese doodle when we picked him up as a wee 6 week old kitten. I know nothing that can be said will ease your pain, but remember that the love you have for your furbabies should not go fallow, and that you would do them justice to share that love with more furbabies in the future…..not EVER as a replacement but a way to share the love you have in your soul, a love that was taught to you by a kitty.

  95. David, anyone who’s loved a pet as much as you loved Chloe understands. Our pets are a part of our family as much as any human. Closer than human relatives who live away from us for sure.

    Our pets know when we’re down, know when it’s time to play and know that sometimes just acting silly is enough to lift our spirits. They accept us warts and all as long as the food bowl is full.

    This will pass but you need to grieve and it takes the amount of time that it takes. Be kind to yourselves. I’m really sorry for your loss and the stress you’re experiencing with Raja.

  96. oh I’m so sorry. I hurt for you. I love my two cats so much. They are my babies and best pals. Please know that you were their person and as their person you loved and took care of them. They had a wonderful life and everything they needed and wanted because of you. <3

  97. Losing one pet is hard enough, but two in the same month is devastating! As a pet owner, and lover who has also found a beloved pet dead, I share your loss……….Remember the good times and eventually time will lessen the pain, but you will never forget your pets…..

  98. Having grown up with one cat that lived over 25 years, I feel your pain. She adopted us when we moved into our new house and had seen both me and my sister grow up and go off to lives of our own. That was a blow I hate to relive, but know that I will because life is not life without a family member of the furry description.

    Eat your chips. Grieve your loss. Take your time. We will be here when you return.

  99. David I am so sorry for your loss. Although I rarely comment on your site I read it all the time.

    It’s been years since we lost our lab but it was devastating. My husband called me daily from work for a month to check on me. It was as though I’d lost my best friend, and quite frankly I had. There was such a void in our home. I felt sick for close to a year and couldn’t understand why until we got another lab. Then it was like a miracle and I was well again. Who could have known this loss would be as devastating as when I lost my dad. One is your father, and human, while the other a pet. A pet that is by your side always, loves you unconditionally, regardless of how you look or smell.

    Time will pass and eventually your wounds will heal, but youll never forget. I hope your other kitty will be ok. Take care. I will be thinking of you.

  100. I’m so sorry hear of your loss and about the one will likely come in the near future. Please know that you are not alone and that there are other pet lovers out here who do understand. I do agree with you that it can be harder than loosing a family member or close friend due to the dependence and the part pets play in our daily lives. I will think of you and yours as I look at my remembrance candle tonight. Be gentle on and with yourself please. Take care of yourself and your beloveds.

  101. G’day David and as an animal love who JUST lost the last of our pets, I can empathize with you! Pets are our family, they see us through the ups, downs and love us unconditionally too!
    I have never cried for a human (that I TRULY loved) as much as I did our 4 legged children. While they provide heaps of wonderful memories, it is exactly for the reasons you wrote about today they we will not be having any more. I have always had animals my entire life, but now THAT one day you have to say “See ya…” is more than I can ever bear again!
    I had this poem saved…and hope it can bring some comfort to you!
    Cheers! Joanne
    “Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. YOU have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…….”

    1. Received this very poem in a card sent by our vet after our Springer Spaniel was put down. I loved it and found great comfort in these words. Sweet of you to share.

  102. So very, very sorry. Having two 9 year- old -cats, one a Russian Blue that thinks she is a dog and who has chosen me as her constant companion and a former feral PAWS kitten that continues to take up new hobbies after that many years, I know that time is rapidly approaching. People who don’t have cats usually only see them in their aloof times. They are amazing, smart pets who know exactly what we are saying to them. Thanks for sharing your pain and the faces of those two precious love-bugs.

  103. I am so sorry and truly know the pain you feel. I have had to deal with it many times and yes it is somewhat easier to take when you do not have to make “that” decision.The more you love the more you open yourself up to the hurt that must come eventually. Please take the time to come to terms with your grief. You will accept it as part of the natural process eventually but you we never forget.

  104. David – We know how you feel… Our sincerest condolences. Yes, the. Pain lessens, but we never forgot their place in our hearts. Take your time getting ready to return to the blahg. Your fans love you and we are patient.

  105. its hard to lose a beloved pet, lots of people dont understand but they are family. loving, funny, annoying at times and such personal quirks that bring great joy in the telling of to others. Only other pet parents understand. Thoughts and prayers with you.

  106. I’m so deeply sorry to hear what you’re going through, David. Just so sorry. Our Wilma is our life, our only child and the thought of ever losing this sweet kitty tears me to pieces just thinking about it. Thinking of you.

  107. I’m so sorry, David!! Hugs to both you and The One as you navigate through the next several days and weeks. May you find peace and comfort in unexpected places.

  108. I am so sorry – we unexpectedly lost one of our cats to cancer in January. Nothing an anonymous blog commenter can say will make the pain any less terrible, but I do hope that it eases sooner rather than later.

  109. I’m so very sorry about Chloe and Emmy, David. I lost 3 back to back last year and I didn’t think I even wanted to continue without them. I continue soldiering on, and not a day passes when I don’t think of them, and am so thankful they were in my life. I rescued a couple more cats and while not replacements, they’ve found that spot in my heart which I didn’t think could ever be filled again. I’m even sobbing right now – it’s very difficult, and I only wish they lived longer than they do. I heard somewhere that their lifespans are much shorter than ours because they are already almost perfect, and don’t need to spend time here for as long as we do…

  110. Heartbreak is the sign of total & complete love & devotion~she taught you well & loved you all the more for it

  111. David I know what you’re going through we lost our kitty in March and I miss her so bad. Time heals all wounds and I know that in time you will find another Persian kitty that will tug at your heart strings and come home with you and your partner. Hugs. Now your chloe and our Mrs. Dee will be mousing and telling kitty tales in heaven.

  112. I’m so sorry for your loss, and the illness of your other beloved family cat. I have children and I’ve had pets all my life. I have to say that when you have to say the final goodbye to a pet it is no different than losing any other member of your family. The loss is real & it HURTS. God bless & I hope you reach a place where you can feel some peace.

  113. I am so sorry, David. My condolences to you and The One. To lose one pet is almost unbearable but to have to face losing two is beyond words. I have an old cat and cannot imagine my life after him.

  114. As the owner of a bastardly feline who I love so fiercely, I am so sorry for your loss. Your pets have been so blessed to have you and The One as their parents.

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Upload a picture of your dish