jadedreams
This Saturday, the 19th - I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat of 22 years.  Yes 22 years, Riley was an old guy born on 4/15/1995.   I've had cats over the years but Riley had my heart, he loved Chinese food and whenever I brought it home he would come looking for me.  He also loved to head butt me and as soon as I was ready for bed he would come running, lay on my chest and tuck his head under my chin.  He loved to play on the bed and get in the way when I was putting new sheets on it.

He even saved me about 10 years ago,  I had a new dryer put in and somehow the gas line got kinked which caused a crack in it and a gas leak.  Riley clawed at my chest in the middle of the night to wake me up and left marks he was so determined.  As soon I was awake I stood up and had a headache and felt dizzy, as I walked through the house I could smell gas.  We got out of the house and I called for help.  I will forever be grateful to him for that.  He got a meal of chicken all to himself afterwards to show him my gratitude.

Riley had seen me through losing a brother, my Dad and a few friends over the years.  When I was feeling low he would know and come to cuddle with me with his head tucked under my chin.   He was always an extremely healthy cat and was never sick until he was the grand age of 19.  Then he was hyperthyroid and was on medication for 2 years, he lost some weight but did ok.   The past few months he just started slowing down, I could tell age and arthritis were taking their toll, then the past 2 weeks his eating dropped off.  The last 4 or 5 days before I took him in he barely ate and was getting weak.

And though it was one of the hardest things I've had to do, I took him in to the vet to end his suffering and give him peace.  It was the least I could do for all he had given me, I could never repay him but I will always love him and he will always have a piece of my heart. 

I took him outside to explore before his appointment and I cried knowing it would be the last time he would be at home, I cried on the way to the vet and my heart broke when he took his last breath.  I cried after and was numb most of yesterday, but today the tears are back.  Words can't express what I'm feeling, but dear Rye Rye you will always be my baby and I will feel lost without your head tucked under my chin at night.


Jade
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Teacherof3
Riley literally saved your life and will always be with you in your heart. I have found that losing a fur baby can be harder than losing a family member if our pet had been as close as yours was. Take care of yourself through this grieving process. You had a bond that was amazing.
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Bailey15
Hi Jade,
You certainly did have an incredible bond with Riley! I enjoyed reading about - and could picture Riley playing as you were trying to make your bed.... and the Chinese food... all the special things you did together!
He was a huge part of your life for a very long time so it will such an adjustment just not having him near. Then there is the love you shared and that is so very difficult to lose. Animals give us that loyal and totally unconditional love and when we lose that it is almost unbearable. In your case, Riley helped you and was there to comfort you through the loss of your brother, your father and friends... not to mention saving your life. He truly was your best friend in every sense of the word. 💕
It had to have been the hardest (but also the most brave) thing you have ever done to let Riley go but you did it so that he wouldn't suffer - your last gift to him. When we truly love our babies we put their needs first and in time you will take some comfort from that. I know though that at this point you are likely just trying to make it through the day. I was numb for some time after I lost Bailey and in the moments when it became real the pain really was unbearable. You have my deepest sympathy!! I am glad you posted here: a place where everyone understands and will be ready to support you through this terrible time. Again, I am so sorry for your huge loss! Hugs, MJ
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jadedreams
Thank you both for your kind words - I came here because I knew others would understand the depth of my feelings.  And yes Riley will always be my baby, he was with me for half of my life - through the good and the bad he was there.  It just feels so strange without him, I know the hurt will ease with time - but right now it is hard and I'm just taking it day by day.

Jade
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