The Hardest Words

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The hardest words are “It’s time”. They always come too soon.

There’s a Rufus-sized hole in the universe today. Not in our hearts, because he’ll always be there, but in my office, the upstairs hall, and most especially the library, aka “Rufus’ and Lefty’s Room”.

Grief bombs abound. The “Rufus Inside” sign on the library door. His food bowls waiting in the kitchen. The way he always bravely placed himself to defend Lefty from the evil vacuum cleaner.

It came on so quickly. He was, to all appearances, fine last month when he had his annual vet visit. Even a week ago, he seemed his normal, snuggly self.

And then he refused to eat. Never a good sign.

We don’t, and won’t, know the full cause. Massive kidney failure linked with, or perhaps caused by, something gastrointestinal.

When we visited him at the vet yesterday evening, he seemed restless and only intermittently lucid. By this morning, he wasn’t tracking at all, and was clearly looking for a way out.

We said goodbye and let him go.

He never got to meet Dad, not in a cuddles and skritches way, but they would have loved each other. Hopefully they’re hanging out now, with Rufus shamelessly extorting tummy rubs.

We had three and half wonderful years with Rufus after he moved inside from the catio, and all those years getting to know him as one of the Backyard Bunch. Wouldn’t change a minute of it, up until the last few days.

We’ll miss you, Buddy. Always and forever.

 

8 thoughts on “The Hardest Words

  1. Oh, Casey. I am crying for a kitty I never met except through your blog. Rufus was so lucky to have wandered in to your world … and for all you did to give him a comfy, cozy life. And, you were lucky to have had him, if only for that short little while.

    My heart breaks … for you and Maggie and your tribe. It’s so hard to say goodbye. It just seems so unfair. Hug the other kitties for me …

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  2. Oh my God. It seems as if he just moved in yesterday.

    I had to go there just in the past year and we’re still getting over it. I know how much you will miss that little derp face. I am sending a hug, which is the only safe way we can all hug now anyhow. I’ll say my late and ex’s Cat Prayer for him tonight.

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  3. We are grieving with you. I can picture your dad doing stomach rubs andRufus lapping it up. We are thinking about you. Take care —all of you

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  4. Thank you all for the kind words.

    We’ve had to apologize to Rhubarb a couple of times already for calling him by the wrong name. Had to make a conscious effort not to get up for Rufus’ 10pm meds. Had to reassure Lefty several times that the changes in the routine won’t short-change him on either food or love.

    On the other paw, Lefty did jump up on the bed last night and give my shin one of his patented full-body head bumps, and I was able to walk past him on the stairs this morning without sending him running for safety. I’d like to consider these signs that he’s still processing the lessons Rufus taught him about proper interaction with humans. That’s a very Rufus-like legacy.

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    • Casey, I shared this on the Facebook, where my fellow cat rescuers lurk. They all loved it, from Rufus’ purr to how much emotion and wisdom is packed into two words: it’s time. All of them could easily relate, and it helped a few through recent grief. Of course, they loved your writing.

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  5. Casey, I shared this on the Facebook, where my fellow cat rescuers lurk. They all loved it, from Rufus’ purr to how much emotion and wisdom is packed into two words: it’s time. All of them could easily relate, and it helped a few through recent grief. Of course, they loved your writing.

    Like

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