Sunday, May 7, 2017


I had to put Booboo to sleep on Wednesday night. I took him to the vet on Wednesday morning because I thought he was constipated. In the car on the way there, I told him, "We'll get you fixed up; it's going be okay." But it turned out that there was water in his abdominal cavity and that he was severely sick. It wasn't constipation at all. The vet said it's a condition that happens very fast and gets bad quickly, and there was no way I could have known. We did X-rays to try to figure out more, and I rush ordered an expert opinion and went home with Booboo for the three-hour wait. We gave Booboo all his favorite things and lots of petting and ice cubes and his favorite toy. The vet had said she didn't want to give up hope, but it sure felt like our time together was unexpectedly coming to an end. Rapidly.

Though we had known he had kidney failure and a heart arrhythmia since December 2015, his kidney-failure medicine had been holding off any noticeable decline at all. And his arrhythmia was not worsening. He'd been happy and well. He was such a happy, sweet, super social cat...

But now it was clear Booboo didn't feel good. He usually purred loudly when I pet him or cuddled with him, but now there was nothing. Or maybe there was almost a noise, but it was so faint it wasn't clear if it was Booboo or just me wishing he were purring. He hadn't used his litter box at all in a while and was hardly eating or drinking anything. But he still seemed glad to be with us, even if he was in pain.

Finally we got the call from the vet about the expert analysis. Of the three possible causes, the vet felt pretty sure it was caused by a tumor. But to know the exact cause and to try to treat whichever cause, it would have taken an ultrasound and some sort of surgery/invasive intervention. And that just didn't seem like a good idea for an older cat with his problems. Especially because two of the three problems were fatal anyways, and the other was only a small chance of a cure. And he already only had 25% kidney function.

So we made the decision to put him to sleep that evening. It was really hard. But it seemed like things would only get worse for him, and I didn't want him to be in more pain.

I was with him to the end. I'd never been with an animal when one was put to sleep. I had been there years ago when my grandfather had died, so I had thought I would be prepared for it.

But I wasn't. It turns out when you authorize it, when you choose the death of someone else, it's an entirely different thing. And Booboo was alert and awake. He looked at me with complete trust. It was heart-breaking and agonizing. I positioned myself right by him, my face in front of his face, petting him and talking to him. I kissed him on the top of the head, like he liked. We looked in each others' eyes as the medicine made him lose consciousness. His eyes were open, so it was hard to tell when exactly he was slipping away. I talked to him the whole time, though, just in case he could hear me. I stayed right by him for the second step (which stopped his heart). And when his heart had stopped, everyone left and gave me time alone with him. I wrapped him up in the little fleece blanket that was under him, covering the table. I kissed him on the head, and told him goodbye. He was my family, and he was there for me through the worst time of my life. He was my faithful, loving friend.

I miss him so much. These last days have been hard. I keep seeing his favorite places and imagining him there. His food and water bowls remain untouched. I'm not quite ready to empty them and move them. So many patterns and routines are now different. When I told him, "Booboo, it's bedtime!" he'd scamper down the hall and hop in bed. When my alarm went off in the mornings, he was the enforcer to make sure I actually got out of bed. And if my alarm didn't go off on a day off, he'd come and cuddle with me.

Here are some of my favorite things about Booboo, in no particular order:

  • When Booboo came to lie down he would wait before committing to lying down. Then, all at once, he'd plop over
  • I loved Booboo's curly, fuzzy white fur on his tummy and his soft fur in general.
  • Booboo loved getting kisses on the top of his head. I think I started kissing him there a couple of years ago, and he must of decided he liked it, because it would position his head to "ask" for kisses.
  • He knew how to use a mirror. Multiple times over the last years, he would be walking down the hall away from me (towards a mirror at the end of the hallway) on the way to the bathroom, and then stop and look "back" at me in the mirror to see if I was following him. He also would look at me in the mirror in the bathroom. It was so interesting to see him learn what a mirror was and realize that it was not another cat in the mirror and that he could watch me in the mirror.
  • I loved that Booboo loved ice cubes. He would ask for them regularly and he just loved his water with ice cubes in it. He also loved to rub his cheeks against the ice cubes.
  • Booboo was incredibly social. He would spend most of his time in the same place with me.
  • Booboo would come when I called him.
  • He never held a grudge. Even if he went to the vet and had something painful done, he was always as happy as normal as soon as he was home again. It was as if nothing had happened. He was the sweetest.
  • He never nipped or bit.
  • Booboo seemed to like most everyone and he was patient even when being chased around the apartment by little kiddos. He just politely excused himself to under the bed when he was tired of being around kids.
  • Booboo liked to hang out in the dining area at dinner time, and sometimes he sat in a chair at the table, hanging out.
  • He was curious and playful.
  • He loved boxesBoxesboxesboxes!
  • Booboo loved lying on top of my shoes. My red converse were his favorites.
  • His snoring was the most adorable thing ever.

 You were the best kitty in the world, and I love you and miss you. Goodnight, sweet Booboo.


  1. *hugs hugs hugs* This post made me tear up a bit, because I am so sad for your loss! I can only imagine how I will feel when either of my kitties passes, and I wish I could give you a hug in person right now. Just know I'm thinking of you, and sending lots of love your way! I am glad you got to have such a wonderful time with BooBoo while he was with you. It sounds like he was a great kitty!

    1. Alia, I hope your kitties live really, really long, healthy lives... Thank you for your thoughts and love. And he was an amazing kitty. I always told him he was the best kiity in the whole world...

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute to him! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Kim L. How are you doing? I hope all is going well for you...