Friday, July 12, 2013

Little Bailey

The Husband and I decided to talk to the girls about our little cat. We wanted to give them the chance to say goodbye, tell him anything they want him to know, and in general get their closure going.
Both girls were surprised, which in turn surprised me. It seemed obvious Bailey was very ill but somehow, his imminent death did not make their radar.

He was laying down under a chair and we encouraged both girls to crawl on the floor to get closer to him and express their feelings.

Teena went first. She asked him to please not die. She said, Daddy will be so sad if you die Bailey, stay with us. We'll miss you so much.

Genea went next. She said, Goodbye Bailey, and she was done. She spent the next 15 minutes drawing hearts with crying eyes. She compulsively demanded I view her efforts every other minute or so.

Thank you so so very much for the lovely comments. It's nice to know so many people understand, he is not "just a cat". I appreciate it more than you can know.

He has always loved to sit in containers (though not anything so undignified as an actual cat bed). We set this one by his favorite window and put some cushioning in it. He had a lifelong interest in ornithology.
Bailey died yesterday. It was excruciating. His will to live was not overpowered by the systemic shutdown of his body and he lingered. In the end, we had to do the humane thing.
Genea sobbed and sobbed. She had to be prodded to accept comfort from her Dad and I, but she did. She is so sad. She is also determined to make every symbolic gesture of her love for him as is possible.
Teena is a mess. It's hard to watch her, she has never experienced anything so hard in her little life. She has no idea what to do with her big feelings and they are coming out everywhere. It's striking, this difference. Genea's years of therapy and history of traumatic events seem to have fully prepared her to handle something so difficult. Teena, not at all.
We had huge bowls of ice cream and talked about our memories of Bailey. We happily coated our feelings with sugar and spoke of the funny things he would do. It's happy-sad. Enjoying the memories and missing him even more strongly because of them.
I have simultaneous urges to never ever have another pet, and to race off and get a kitten right now.
Boo Boo, our other cat, is hopelessly lost. He used to give Bailey his baths, and is wandering the house looking for his baby.
It's hard to realize I also feel relieved that the fight is over for him. We miss him.


  1. Oh my gosh, I am so, so, so sorry.
    I'm not sure you will think this is appropriate but there is a book called Tear Soup. It is about grief and it is appropriate for children as well as adults. It's a sweet little book and if Teena is still having difficulty, I suggest you look for it.
    I am so sorry about Bailey. My thoughts are with your family (both two legged and four) in this difficult time.

  2. Oh sweetie. I'm so very very sorry. Thinking of you all.

  3. I could sit down and sob for you.... That's so sad.

    I guess this is supposed to be good for the girls in some way...and it does sound like you are being the best mom ever in this regard. I don't think I would have thought of having them talk to him. Also, sounds like they are coming up with some very good strategies for healing. Nothing like releasing those stress hormones via tear-duct.

    I'm so, so sorry...and oddly glad you have this outlet for YOUR grief. Ornithology. I am crying.

  4. Essie, I am so very sorry. Losing our 'furry babies' is so very hard as so few get it. Thinking of you all.


  5. I'm sorry Essie... Losing a pet is so painful. They are family for sure! Hugs! Jen

  6. I am so so sorry! We have a cat that is heading that way. I'm dreading it. Our dog died five months after L came home. She was so devastated and still cries for her three years later.

  7. Just finding these and I'm so, so sorry. It's SO hard to lose a pet. Cats are just special.

    Big hugs to all of you. I know you'll miss your favorite ornithologist.

  8. IM sorry you have lost ur furbaby. They become members of our family.

  9. One of our cats became very ill last fall and we had to put her down. I think I cried more than the kids, and I still cry about her to this day. It's VERY sad to lose pets. Only people who have never owned a pet might think it's silly. The rest of us know that the grief is very real. So sorry for your loss.

  10. So sorry for your loss! Of course he was not "just a cat"! I totally get that.


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