Farewell Willow

Farewell Willow

After fourteen years together, last night I lost my beautiful cat Willow.

You can imagine I’m wreck this morning.

This is the first time in 35 years I have woken up in a home without a pet. After my pup Mary died in June, it was just me and Willow. And we became each other’s constant companion.

Willow was always a clingy cat even when her sister Buffy and pup Mary were both alive. But after Mary’s death, Willow stuck by me so much I started calling her The Barnacle. If I was on the couch, Willow was on the couch. If I was at my desk, Willow was sitting on the desk beside me. When I went up to bed, she came too. She’d follow me down to the basement when I did laundry. She even followed me into the bathroom. Me and my Barnacle.

If you’re a regular reader of Patriot Retort, you might recall my mentioning Willow before. She was the cat I taught to fetch. Actually, I didn’t need to teach her; she just kind of picked it up on her own.

Willow had been slowing down over the last few weeks — her age finally catching up with her. And Thursday night she grew very listless, and I knew what was coming.

Yesterday morning I had to carry her down from the bedroom because she couldn’t do it on her own. Then she went down to the basement and didn’t come up even to eat. That filled me with dread. Because if there’s one thing Willow loves it’s mealtime. So I took the old dog bed and put it on the basement floor for her to lie on. Then I let her be — checking on her every half hour just to pet her and tell her I love her. By afternoon it was clear she wouldn’t make it through the day.

Willow passed away at ten o’clock last night. She wasn’t in any pain and her passing was peaceful.

I buried her this morning in the garden beside her sister Buffy and her puppy sister Mary, so she’s not alone.

I don’t know how much use I’ll be today. I’m just so very sad.

Farewell Willow. You have always been my faithful friend … and barnacle.

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31 thoughts on “Farewell Willow

  • December 5, 2020 at 9:15 am

    My condolences.

    • December 6, 2020 at 12:21 am

      Lost our springer ten years ago, and I still miss her.

      Hurts to lose a pet. They become family members over time. Grieving is a part of the deal.

      Sorry for your loss.

  • December 5, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Just like you I know, unfortunately, what it’s like to lose a friend. My cat, Noopy
    (named after a famous DOG; my little brother couldn’t pronounce lead Ss), lived
    21 years and I was heart broken for quite a long time afterwards. My condolences
    on your loss.

  • December 5, 2020 at 9:47 am

    My pal Rusty is ten, and still occasionally acts like a puppy, although his slowdowns are more noticeable. Dianny, you are TOUGH (and an amazing writer) and I know you will get through this.

    An old saying is “Dogs are God’s way of apologizing for our relatives,” and if you knew my relatives,, you would be hard pressed to disagree. Monty Python’s Flying Circus was never as crazy as that lot of loonies. At any rate, that saying applies to cats as well, or any pet who gives us joy, though I never understood the whole iguana craze. OK, digressing here…

    The point is, Dianny, the heartbreak is real, but so are your friends and faithful readers out here. It gets better. I can’t put myself in your position because I’m not you, but I can say I have lost a few furry pals myself.

    Know that you made her last day comfortable (and that was no doubt true with every day you gave her) and that she loved you very much.

  • December 5, 2020 at 10:16 am

    My prayers go out to you on the loss of your dear friend. Our little kitty, Frodo, is 16 and the last of his trio. Gone are his buddies, Tiger, a gregarious brown tabby, and Ginger, a dwarf Dutch rabbit who was the brains of the group and mob boss. We’ve been without those two for a few years and Frodo keeps close tabs on all of us as well. He keeps us on a schedule. Two weeks ago we were sure he was going to pass away. Thankfully—for now—it was a simple thyroid issue and he is now ravenously eating and playing like a kitten again. But we know that every day is a gift- for us as well. He and our other two pets helped raise our two girls from toddlers up through the teenage and college years. They were my friends, confidantes, joy, and sanity savers. When Frodo is gone, so too will be a soul who knows me better than most people. He is my little furry angel on earth. May you find comfort from your memories of your little angel. God bless.

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Well, I’m in tears again. I’m so sorry, Dianny.

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Losing a pet is a horrible thing. It can be avoided by not having a pet, but that is unacceptable. I lost my beloved Grayson – a Russian Blue – after 19 years of sleeping on the pillow next to mine. I now have Chloe who is very different, but I adore her. She came from Orphans of the Storm – Best $90 I ever spent. A backyard burial is the best choice.
    Remember the happiness you brought to each other.

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:25 am

    I “feel your pain” ; really. I have”put down” many dogs the last 50 years. Say not a word; but Magnum has been under my back yard for many decades.(big Tom fan)

    Because I may have too much pride; I’d take my living pets on run, when all alone cry and cry hard for 15 min. then I was done; but I remember all of them!
    Never lots a kid, hope to outlive all of them, but not sure how I would handle it.
    Love/d my pets almost as much as my kids.
    Folk not having pets do not understand. Those with, do only too well!

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:43 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Kitties are just the best. They are our faithful friends to the very end. Hopefully after a period of mourning, you’ll find a new little kitty and will be able to have the friendship and love back in your life again soon.

  • December 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    What a beautiful cat and great friend. She is still where she’s always been — in your heart.

  • December 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Many condolences. I’ll never forget any of ours.

  • December 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    RIP Lucille – 2 months ago
    Jaundice …. go figure
    Maybe we killed her with kindness ….
    Or maybe it was the shrimp, or the bacon, or the hamburger, or the cheddar cheese.

  • December 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Sending you much love. I know your heart is breaking.

  • December 5, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Saddened to hear of your loss, and our sincerest condolences. We’ve lost our share of kitties over the years and it’s never easy. RIP Willow, you were a beautiful kitty!

  • December 5, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    So sorry for your loss. My sweet kitty Callie is my one and only cat. She came to us from a shelter when she was 5, and has been my “barnacle” ever since. Those fur babies become an important part of our lives. May you hold Willow’s memory in your heart always.

  • December 5, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry for your loss, they truly are family 🙁

  • December 5, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Dianne, so sorry for your loss. I can feel your pain.

  • December 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, Dianny–that is a lot of loss in the last few months. I know they are all firmly in your memory and I hope you find peace soon.

  • December 5, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Very sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel, having had many kitties spend their entire (all too short) lives with us over the past 45 years. My “little girl” Meow Meow has been with me almost 21 years and she will soon cross the rainbow bridge. She will be loved and cared for right to the end.

  • December 5, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Words are never enough to express sympathy, so I’ll just say: Loving memories are whats important, and you have 14 beautiful years of them. Your furry little barnacle will always hold a place in your heart. My little 14 yr. old is often called my ‘gargoyle’….always there, always watchful, always the sentinel. I honestly am not sure how I’ll get over her not be there when the time comes, but I’m sure I will…somehow. God bless you, Dianny.

  • December 5, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    sorry for your loss.
    i know the pain you feel.
    been over a year now that we lost our sweet littlepup.
    still cant talk about her without tears welling up in my eyes.

  • December 5, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    What sad news, Dianny. And with Mary just passing in June. God be with you and let this awful year be behind us.

  • December 5, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    We had to say goodbye too many times for me to want to do that again. Our last dog was this little beagle/bloodhound mix that attached herself to me after my daughter moved out. She developed a huge intestinal tumor that made it impossible to comfortably lie down. I took her over to the vet for the last visit…. I spent the whole time apologizing to her for doing this. I was a wreck. The grandkids are always promoting we get another pet. I just can’t do it anymore. All this to say , I’m sorry about your cat. I know what you’re feeling right now. It’s not good.

  • December 5, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    I’m sorry to hear, Dianny…please take care..

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    I’m very sorry, Dianny. I can’t even imagine losing both Mary and Willow so close together.

  • December 5, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    Dear Dianny,
    Just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your little lover girl Willow. I had to put down my late mother’s kitty a couple months back and my own little Pearl about a year ago, I still tear up. I have one kitty left and I’ve been swearing no more heartache, taking in anymore pet’s, but I know what a sucker I am, so I’ll end up adopting another rescue critter. You are in my prayers tonight and I’ve always wanted to let you know I enjoy your read’s.

  • December 6, 2020 at 4:24 am

    we little creatures each travel our paths… they converge with companions that share each other’s joys&trials …. they diverge and they leave their indelible marks on our souls…. your memories are your reward… treasure each… SEMPER FI

  • December 6, 2020 at 7:48 am

    My prayers and condolences on your loss of Mary and Willow. The Mighty Odin was called home a year ago; I expect to meet him at the Bridge, as I expect you’ll meet your loved ones there.

  • December 6, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    My thoughts are with you…we had to put our “hospice” foster cat down in February (we ended up with 4 years of fun with him, he was 16) and despite a vow to wait a while after the vet bill was paid off on AmEx, we got a youthful 1 1/2 year old orange tabby to fill the void.
    My only consolation at the time before we got the new one was that Newt and the others would be waiting for me when I crossed that bridge; so will Willow and Mary.

  • December 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. She was beautiful.

  • December 7, 2020 at 6:42 am

    God bless dear Willow. Sorry for your losses this year. Our pets are closer to us than most every human we know and their passing leave huge holes in our lives. We are so much better for sharing our lives with them.

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