Smudge’s Farewell

From our deer deer frend,  CatBurgh:

*Walks in slowly, with head down and tears flowing down cheeks*

Ohai, my cween. My heart is filled with sadness because it is time to make final plans for my beloved Smudge, our long-haired white kitteh. We have decided to give him the best possible last few days with us before arranging to have him cross the Rainbow Bridge here at home.

Smudge has been a part of our lives for 15 1/2 years. We adopted him from a local shelter when he was an itteh bitteh kitteh of 8 weeks. He has brought so much joy into our lives. When he was diagnosed with diabetes and heart failure 2 1/2 years ago, we armed ourselves with as much information as possible, and were able to stabilize his diabetes, which made his heart good as new. Since then, 95% of his days have been gudgudgud, full of purrs and chirps and bouncing around. A couple of weeks ago, he started on a downward spiral, which led to him not eating, being lethargic, and walking like a little old man.

Today, for the first time, he did not come into the kitchen for his morning food and insulin. Hubcat and I took him to an emergency pet clinic, where they poked and prodded and x-rayed and ultra-sounded. Diagnosis: lymphoma of the liver, anemia, and problems with his spleen and intestines. We were blindsided.  Cancer!!?!! He’s been doing so well, and now this??? Not fair!!!

The doctor was very kind, and said that she would not recommend anything involving sedation, as he likely would not survive given his age and other medical problems. With a less than 50/50 chance of having, at most, another year, but one filled with chemo, more tests, etc., we made the decision to not pursue aggressive treatment, but to bring him home. We’re trying to make his last few days as comfy as possible, making sure he sleeps in sunbeams in all of his favorite spots and giving him all the love and rubs he can handle.

The thing I’m struggling with is knowing when the “right” time is. I don’t want him to suffer.  My heart is breaking.

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83 thoughts on “Smudge’s Farewell

  1. My hart brakes with urs, dear CatBurgh. Smudge will let yoo noe wen its tyme. He’s sew lucky tu have had a lawng life wif ur lubs and tendur care. He lubs yoo wiffa feerce, jus lyke yoo lubs him. {{{{{{{{{CatBurgh adn Smudge and famblee}}}}}}}}}

  2. Oh deer. ai am so sorry to read this. 😦 Mah hart is borked for you too.

    FWIW, I think you are doing the right thing about the cancer. It is so hard to let them go and the instinct is always to fight — I did that with Morgan up until the day he could hardly breathe, and there were no more fighting options. I am afraid his last day was not a comfortable one. :/ I don’t know that he was in pain, exactly, but he was not really resting. Just waiting.

    I can offer this perspective: it might be better to simply choose a day in the near future, and while you might be able to squeeze out an extra day or two or three — if I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I think I would have let Morgan go peacefully a day earlier, and not spent that last 15 hours wondering if he would keep breathing long enough for the vet to get there, and worrying about what to do if he started gasping or choking. I would rather our last day had been an ordinary, quiet one, full of love rather than anxiety.

    • Tessm, I cry for what you went through. Thank you for sharing and for making me feel better about this choice. I will re-read your message every time I start to second-guess myself. {{{{{{{tessm}}}}}}}

      • {{{catburgh}}} ai cried a lot too. 😦 heck, ai am crying a liddul bit now.
        but, ai am glad to share mah storee if it halps another kitteh and famblee.

        I forgot about this also: a neighbor whose dog had cancer had said to DH something about the idea of not waiting for a medical crisis, but “our vet believes your dog should wag his tail on his last day, too.” When Max was getting worse and worse, eating less and less, and throwing up whole meals, DH took that to heart. He picked a day, took Max for a long, slow walk, and then went to the vet. I truly think that was the better choice for both of them.

    • That’s what my sister and her family did with their dog recently. There was nothing more that could be done for her, so they picked a day… they spent her last day doing all her favorite things, eating ice cream, playing (as much as she wanted, which wasn’t much), and lots and lots of cuddles and snuggles. And they took pictures. Each family member has a picture of just him/her with the dog. Makes my eyes leak just thinking of it. Of course, it was barely a month ago… 🙂

  3. Oh,CatBurgh, this am SO-O-O SAD! Ah haz leeky eyes now! It is good that you have decided against making your belubbed Smudge suffer a bunch of chemo, when it would just make his last munffs more painful, and he couldn’t understand why the hoomans were gibbing him such terribly unpleasant shots and stuffs. What he CAN understand, is your deep love for him and all the snorgles and sunbeeeems you have planned for his homecoming to the Meadow. Hugggs and beeems; may your memories sustain you in your coming loss. {{{{{CatBurgh, Smudge and famblee}}}}}

  4. You have my sympathy CatBurgh, keeping your sweet Smudge comfy and then thinking logically about his final days…
    Tessm has the right direction to keep in mind, from experience, I couldn’t agree more.

  5. O mai dere CatBurgh, I am so sorry.
    {{{{{Catburgh}}}}}
    Go well, Smudge….play at the meadow in soft grass while a gentle breeze wafts through your lovely fur.

    • Ohai, catena. I love teh image of the gentle breeze. He will be holding his head high to sniff all teh wonderful smells in the meadow. {{{{{{{catena}}}}}}}

  6. Oh no, CB! Ai’z so sorry fur yoo nd ur Smudgie. Ai dunno iffen dis halps, butt (!) mai KC wuz gibben a diagonalosis uv teh pleh can sir, tu. Him wuz gitting weeker, nd loozing lawts uv wate. Wii sed no tu the pleh chemo, tu, nd him letted mi no wen it wuz thyme. Him gotted awn mai lap fur teh furst thyme in munfs, nd juss sleeped nd purred. Teh nekst day, ai taked him tu teh v-e-t, nd him diden cumplayn. Ai noed den dat it wuz teh ryte decizhun. him wuz tyred nd reddy tu go, eeben iffen ai wuzent reddy tu say gudbai. Aifinkso sumthymes teh best fing am teh hardest fing. Beems tu awl uv yoo.
    {{{CB nd Smudge}}}

    • {{{{{{{seethrusoul}}}}}}} What a beautimuss deskripshun ob KC’s lettin yoo noes wehn it was tiem to go. It shows hao close teh bond between us adn owr furkids can be. Fanks, my frend.

  7. Oh CB, I am so sorry for all this. I love your picture of having him sleep in sunbeams, surrounded with your love. What better gift could you give your beloved furbaby than peace and warmth and love? He will carry them with him to the other side, all wrapped up in a life of joy.

    {{{{{{{{{{{CatBrugh}}}}}}}}}}}

  8. Sweet CB, I am so sorry… I have second guessed giving the Princess one more day, but in the end it was right, so that her last day was with me, and not at the vet’s. Only you know what is right for Smudge — partly by listening to your own heart and making the difficult decision as his mom, and partly by listening to his heart telling you when it is time. You will know, dear one — and when you do, please trust yourself. Smudge knows there is no place safer than in your care and he will bless you forever for helping him take this next step in his journey — right to the Meadow where he will be healed and well, and where all our babies will help him settle in so he can watch over his beloved family.

    My heart breaks for you, even so. {{{{{{CB}}}}}}}

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{shepmom}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I’m crying so hard now I can barely type, but it’s a good cry because of your love and understanding. The Princess knew she was loved, too. I hope she will be there to greet Smudge as he enters the meadow.

  9. Oh Catburgh, my heart is so heavy for you. The gift you now need to give Smudge is the best for him, and the worst/hardest for you- the gift of letting go. If you don’t mind one of our Blessings:
    May Bast take up Smudge and heal him, may She nurture him until he is once again whole, and then may She turn him towards the meadow, and all his friends who are waiting for him. A place where HE will wait for you.
    Many Blessings on both of you, and know that we are all right there with you, trying to help you with this heavy load.

  10. CatBurgh … i am so sorry. It is a hard decision but i agree it is the right decision. may your love for smudge comfort you both as he leaves our reality for the infinite universe that awaits all of us. i just looked at your cheezland picture gallery and especially love the photo of smudge sitting on a barrel looking out of the window. his reflection in the window pane will remain and watch over you. he is saying don’t be too sad my dear, love is amazing.

  11. Oh, dear heart, I am so sorry! It is so hard to let them go, but in the end, it is the right thing to do. GOD bless you and comfort you through this sad, sad time.
    All my love —janey (altosinger)

  12. Ohai, CB. Lawng thyme noes see. And I’m sorry that my reunion with you comes under such grey skies. Cherish your memories of the Smudgie one, and know that the imprint of his paws in your heart have their twins in his. I can’t say more than all the dear friends have already said, so just know that I weep with you, smile at the joyous times with you, and hold a little piece of your sweet boy in my heart forever. I know your love is strong enough to do what you must, and to let the tears flow as they must. Holding you and Smudge and HubCat in loving thoughts. {{{CatBurgh)))

    • Kestrela! I’ve been missing you. Yes, I’m holding on to the memories of the good times. More and more pop up as I walk through the house and see the places he loved to sit. Picturing him there brings a smile to my face. {{{{{{{Kestrela}}}}}}}

  13. 😥 Oh, my friend! {{{{{big tight hug to CB}}}}} Why can’t our companions just live forever and be loved and taken care of by us and our children and their children and their children’s children, etc?! 😦 It’s a day I dread and my heart bleeds with yours and your family.
    If I can also share… My mom took over caring for my grandmother’s maltese poodle, Cindy, when she passed away and my mom was so attached to the last living connection to her mom that she just couldn’t have Cindy put down when the time came. So, one night Cindy just squeezed through a gap she made in the gate and disappeared (we suspect to go die somewhere in peace). My mom was never able to forgive herself for that. 😦
    You’re making the right decision, hard as it is.
    {{{{{another HUG}}}}}
    Please give Smudge a snuggle and ear scratch from me and gentle hedbonks and purrs from my kitteh-bums, Pepper and Patches!

    • Ohai, Benni. Please give Pepper and Patches a hug for me. Cindy’s story is so sad, but it sounds like she was ready and decided to take action on her own. I hope your mom can forgive herself. We always wish we could have done more. . .{{{{{{{Benni}}}}}}}

  14. Smudge wyl teyul yew wenh iyut izz taiyum, deh Keows knoez moar dayun wee fynkk dey dew, hee lubbs yew berree meuch adn wuud laiyuk tew stae wyff yew beut hee knoez deh raiyut taiyum tew teyl yew tew!!
    Ai habs leekee aiyuz peuttn dys kawmeunt heer, ai habba Keow dayutz syxteeyun yeerz oeld, Miss Feistybutt, shee izz sloeur dayun shee yewz tew bee beuut styll oe kae, Smudge wyl bee inna meyddoe wenh shee leyutz mee knoe dayut iyutz taiyum.
    Wee dew dys kuzz wee lubbs aour lyddl Keows, dey shuddnt habs tew seuffr ayut awl beut dasss deh wae ub Keows, nawt shou enny weeyukneuss, wee heyulps dem azz meuch azz wee kayun beekuzz dayutz whut ae mawm oar dayud duzz foar dere peyut!!
    {{{{{Catburgh adn Smudge}}}}} {{{{{alla Keows (Kitty+Meow) inna meadow}}}}}

    • Oh, abt, no one but another Keow lover like you can understand. Smudge told us when he was ready, and we helped him cross over to the meadow. He wiill be there to welcome Miss Feistybutt when she decides it is her time. Thank you more than I can say for your warm hugs. {{{{{{{abikertoo}}}}}}}

      • Yew awr berree weyullkeum, dass whut eus Keow peeps duzz, ai habs mennee Keows iyun deh meddoe awlreyuddee habbyng hayud lossa Keowz awlreddy frew mai laiyuff.
        Iyut izz nebbur eezzee, nawr wyl iyut ebbur bee, yew awr habbng tew sai gudbai tew ae nais peurrpeurrsun hoo wuz dere alla tym.
        Knoe dys, wenh ai krawss deh brijj dere wyll bee ae stayumpeed ob lub reusshun tew meeyut mee, alla the Keows and Goggies dayut ai habs hayud azz GUD freyundz and kumpayunyunz wyl NAOW bee beerree eggsaiyutud tew weyulkum mee.
        Habbun tew sai gudbai heer izz HAWEURD tew dew, knoe iyut wyll bee galoeurreuss reeyoonyun wyff lossa Meowz, Arffs and Cheurppz tew (paeruhkeeytz)
        Ebbrree wun wyll habs ae wehl deezeurbbd wewakksaeysheuun tym FAHREBBUR wyff alla deh deeyur freyunds inna Meddoe!!
        {{{{{CatBurgh!!}}}}}

  15. Catburgh..yoo haz my deepest sympathies. Ai noes yoor payn adn ai send {{{{{{Catburgh and Smudge}}}}} as many as ai can. Go well, Dear Smudge, and run like the wind.

  16. Iz a hard decision– juzt knowz mie hart iz wid you when the rains come down ur cheekz … Lub lub lub ….. dragonryder …..

  17. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{CatBurgh an awl hoo lubs teh Smudge}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Ai yam sew terriblolly sawree tu lern dis gnuz. Ai hoeps dat, in thyme, yoo will fynd peese an komfurts aw teh uvver side ub teh payns. Ai wish Smudge a sayf an peeseflol jurnee ober teh Bridj, an ai’ll aks mai hart-goggie Lucy tu kom an say Ohai, an innurdoos Smudge tu awl teh naise kittehz an goggiez in teh Meddoe.

    Wif lubs, frum teh Prayree. ♥

  18. {{{{{{CB & Smudge & fambly}}}}}}

    Ai habs mush care anna simpathies fr yu, ai maz da happitailol dat Smudge had sush a gudgudgud long lyfe wif alla yur lubs! But(!) eet iz tym fr himz tu plai wif alla awor babehs inna da meadow. Fly away little birdie, fly away and run through the grass and sunshine!

  19. leevin (for Smudge CatBurgh adn fambly)

    teh stawry haznt alturd,
    iz mii tahtz gettin owld
    wer wunce ai woz teh summer,
    nao ai’z teh wintur cowld
    ai haz noe strenf tu reech yoo,
    noe mattur hao ai trai
    butt darlin it wood brayk mii,
    if ai shood see yoo crai

    ai’z livd tehse menny yeerz,
    wif yoo heer bai mai sied
    ebbry moemint preshuss,
    a joi ai cood nott hied
    butt nao ai muss be leevin,
    merember yoor lief froo
    mai lub itz been mai pleshur,
    tu spend mai daez wif yoo

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ sunovawot }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
      Yore pomes alwais mayk my ais leek, but none more tahn this won. Thank you thank you for teh gud teers, teh teers of healing. Ebbry moemint was preshuss. He was a gift I will tresure forever.

  20. Oh CB! I haven’t been on in a really long time but I just read your sad news. I am so sorry you had to let your sweet baby go. Smudge is very precious and will be remembered always. I miss you so I should really visit here more often. Lots of love to you & family! ❤

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{fae}}}}}}}}}}}} It’s good hearing from you. I miss you adn remember all teh laffs and lubs we had. You were there for me when he was diagnosed with teh diabetes, and I will never forget how sweet and supporting you were.

      • Well, I like you a lot! You’re a good Cheezfrend. I just got so busy that I faded away. I finally got married though, so that’s good! 😀

  21. Im sew sawri to heer this sadsadsad noos. ai haz teh leekee aiis fur yoo an yur famblee, boff last nite an tihs mawnin. Jus no smuj had a grate life wif yoo, an unforchoonatlee wif ower fur babies, sumtimes wi haz tew maik tihs hard choic. Jus rememburr hao mush smuj lubs yoo, nao an furebbur. furebbur hoam bi furebbur hoam.
    Schmoos an hugs an gudgud beems!

  22. ps when mai zeekie wuz dyin last joolai, I new when hi was goin. i new hii wudn make it tew teh docktor, sew ai made his last dai as wunnermus as ai cud. ai tried tew make a liddlol sling fingy sew ai cud carree him arownd wif mi, but hii nebbur did laik bein held mush. sew ai did whut ai cud,an sang rew him an kissed an lubbed him an ai went tew bed an found him teh next mornin, in wun ob his fabrit nappy plases. I did whut ai cud, but ai still tries tew guilt maiself fur nawt goin tew teh doc an runnin awl kine ob tests, which wud hab made him nawt happeetayl. Ai nawt hab teh munnees fur tests an awl, an feel laik a bad catmomma, but ai did whut ai cud. mush lubs to yoo, mai deer cheezfren

    • {{{{{MM}}}}}
      Bad catmomma = any amount of munnies, but duz not lissen to purrkids an consider tehm famblee-nawt-accessory, an duz nawt feel them suffering, an shrugs an goes to get annuvver when this wun am nawt there anymoar.
      Good catmomma = lubs despite evreefing, alwayz, an hart borks at the thot of tehm suffering, an knows that can never be replayced but new wuns can make new home in hart, an duz best tu du what am best fur teh purrkids nawt fur self, even if iz no munnies.
      Betcha if yu cud ask enny cat, “You want a momma wif endless lubs or a momma wif endless bank akkount or no momma atawl?” we awl know exactly what they wud choose.

    • {{{{{{{{{{{muggle mary}}}}}}}}}} Fanks for yore lubs. No, yoo are not a bad catmomma, zeekie knew yoo lubbed him. Awl teh tests in teh world cannot halp wehn teh end is near.

      • Thought you might not, is why I wanted it not to be missed.
        Whenever you hazza ready to come back, Cheezland will be there with hugs and love – and until then, the love you can has ennyway and alwayz.

  23. {{{{{CatBurgh, Smudge and Hubcat}}}}} ai am sew sorrie fore your trials. butt fifteen yees…hao wunnnerful. it is neber neber eeze tew let tehm goe ai noe, it is a hard butt teh most luving fing we due fore our pawed chilren.

  24. I am so sorry for your & your hubcat’s grief for Smudge. May he play in peace and joy in the meadow with so many old and new friends. Ifink my PunkiePumpkinPunkin will come over to him adn hedbonk him and hug him and groom him (whatta a lovey dat kitreh boi am)! I know it’s so owwie for you to lose him and you absolutely loved him & cared for him as he needed. Punkin passed at home while i was at work and im still sorry he was in so much pain but mom insisted to leave him be. And she was right, he ddnt want to budge from his hidey place. I’ve fink of him every day, he was my bitty baby kitty boy puppeh cat person since fit in the palm of my hand when i was 13 until he had to leave when he was 17 and a half. Ifink ob him when i want to smile and hope to snorglol him again when i someday pass from this world. And surely your dearest Smudfe willnleap into your arms again when you & hubcat may see him. Oh! Good grief, just as i’m trying to be comforting there’s my skwirrl’s alpha son from last year’s litter (remember i had to give mama a baff?) pokin’ his silleh head thru the screen door asking for a treat! Pardon me a moment, please…

    Oh, gud grief! It was the Terrible Two! Guapo and his brother wingman B-boy. Heerz a cashew foar each of yew – now awae wif yew silleh skwirrlz.

    I lawst mai train ob fot… Anyhoo, sending mush mush lubbs andhugs and shmooz. Kthnkbai. signed, yoar fwen Roofie

    Cweenmj, if you am reeding dis, may yew pleez tew putting CB and hubcat inna magiklol Cheezlubb bubblol? Kthnxourcween!

    • {{{{{{{{{Roofie}}}}}}}}} What a sweetie your PunkiePumpkinPunkin is. One ov Smudge’s faybrit fings was being groomed adn told hao handsum he was. He cud nawt get enough!!! Fanks for teh gigglols wiv yore skwirrl famblee. Hubcat adn ai sat in teh bakk yard today watching teh skwirrls adn teh burds adn teh bunnies, tehn we went bakk inside adn hugged and snorglolled owr Mindy Cat adn reminded ourselves taht we still has a furbaby adn she must also be missing Smudge.

  25. {{{{{{{{{{{{CatBurgh adn family}}}}}}}}}}}}
    So sorry to hear of Smudge’s passing. Our family joins the many others sending wishes of peace to you and yours…

  26. Ohai, folks! *hangs nownsmint sine here*
    On Monday, on the 12:00 Cheezthyme post, we’re gonna be having a tribute/memorial on Cheezland to celebrayt Smudge’s life. CatBurgh has sended me her favrit pixurs of her brayv byootiful boy for us to appreciate. Smudge be across teh Bridge with many other beloved furkids and famblee to welcome and comfort him, but those uv us still on this side can duz all we can to comfort hims hyoomins left behynd an honur an remember hims presence on this side in propurr Cheezpeep style.

  27. O mai sweet CB. Mai hart am borked intu a billyun (oar lebenty..witchebber am moar) peesis for yu. Yor liddol boi wun teh bebbeh kitteh loddery teh day yu adoptifyed him. Menny wud nawt hab gone fru awl teh stuffs wiffim dat yu did! He node he wuz preshus an lubbed an yor speshul boi an he still do. Sending yu hyooj hugs an a speshul bawks ub XL Canuck shamwows, eh?

    {{{{{{{{Catburgh an Smudgie-boi}}}}}}}}}}

    • {{{{{{{{{gunnersmama}}}}}}}}} Ai needs teh XL Canuck shamwows nao, eh? Ai has to keep ringing tehm owt ober adn ober. Fank yoo for yore sweet werds adn yore hugs. Ai swares ai can heer adn feel tehm frew teh keybored.

  28. So sorry to hear of his quick decline, but –I know this sounds strange–glad the vet could find out what was wrong so you could make that hard decision instead of just having him be in awful pain for weeks and weeks until a final gasp. So hard on us–dang onions–we really should buy stock in shamwows. (((((CB)))))) http://cheezburger.com/6793381888

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