Friday, October 25, 2013


Hey Syllie,

It was sudden for us, you turning sick on Sunday. We took you to the vet on Tuesday. She said something was wrong with your kidneys and that we should bring you back on Thursday for tests.

Thursday morning, you were admitted with severe dehydration (10% of the normal required fluid levels), so the vet said she'd feed you and put you on the drip so she could do the tests the next day. We stopped by to check on you before they closed, since you aren't used to being away from the family.

You looked better.

I was the last one to pet you and after giving me one long look, you set down your head and closed your eyes for a nap. An hour after we went home, we got the call that you'd died.

I think you waited for us to come. You looked better because you were glad to see us one last time. I think you knew you were going to die, but didn't want to show us. And I think when you went for that nap, you knew you wouldn't wake up. But you felt better drifting off with us there. Having seen us.

And if you think I'm being stupid and sentimental, you might be right. But then, you don't know what a remarkable cat you were. How you touched each of our lives. Or maybe you did, but just didn't really pay attention to the fact.

After my brother's previous cat had been killed by a car, my mom went to the animal shelter to get him a kitten, since he'd been distraught for weeks. There were three kittens in the cage one day. One was cute, one was beautiful, and one was this scrawny, ugly little spotted thing that didn't look like it'd live long.

My mom, being the soft touch, took the two healthy kittens and walked away, only to be stopped by a bang against the cage's wire. It was you, Syllie, trying to get out and follow her, refusing to be left behind. So she took you home as well. And you and my brother fell in love.

You were devoted to us in general and him in particular, always going out when we did, doing who know's what. Somehow, you always always by the front door when we returned. You just knew when we were coming back.

Remember when you were still a scrawny kitten, dogs slipped into the room where we kept you, your brother and your sister? Luckily my grandmother heard the ensuing drama and saved the three of you. When you were big enough to live with the dogs, you started a reign of terror by beating them up for the smallest transgression. They never chased you again. Not even Ben.

You always demanded rather than requested anything, as was your right as household cat. And you refused to show affection in public. Always in private (and lots of it). The only exception to this was yesterday when you said good bye.

So for the eight short years you were with us, you supplied plenty of entertainment, stolen cuddles and kitty attitude. And every time I come home now, I find myself glancing to the spot where you awaited our many returns.

I know, Syllie, that wherever you are (which is probably on a bed of nails, because pillows and fluff never were your style) you're counting down the days until you have to meet each of us at the pearly dates. Because (regardless of what the dogs may think) I fully expect to see you there, walking up ahead of St. Pete, mowling at me for taking so long to come home.

Thank you for being part of our lives.

Love you, Syllie.

Misha (Slave 3)


Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful tribute to a special little cat. So sorry, I know how hard it is to have to say goodbye. :(

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I am so sorry for your loss Misha. What a tear-inducing tribute. Beautiful.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I am so sorry, Misha. You wrote a beautiful piece in his honor. I expect you cried the whole time you were writing. (I did when I wrote about my cat Stripes.) Hugs and prayers coming your way.

The Words Crafter said...

Hi, Misha. I came here via Sharon's post on Facebook. I can hardly bear to read this. I've loved cats since I could walk and talk. And this breaks my heart. Many hugs to you. He was well loved, given a chance at life that might otherwise have never been because your family decided to adopt him. I am so very sorry :(

Robyn Campbell said...

Misha, I haven't been by in a while. I come by and read these beautiful words of yours. I'm so sorry. He'll be waiting at the rainbow bridge for you all. Do you remember my post about loosing my beloved cat Blue? And then two months after Blue died his brother Scooby grieved himself to death? So I feel your pain today. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you. {Hugs} {Smooches}

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks Julie. Writing about it felt like the best thing.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks OE.

Misha Gericke said...

I did cry the whole time, but you know what? I feel a lot better now.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks WC. *many hugs back*

Misha Gericke said...

I remember reading about Blue, but didn't hear about Scooby until now. So sorry about your loss! *hugs and smoochies back*

Connie Keller said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. Our dog died a few years ago and I remember how painful it was.

Sara Fowler said...

Beautifully written, and brings me right back to losing my dog about 10 years ago. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Syllie. Hope the memories of good times together bring some comfort ( :