I have some regret of his passing but I learned a lot and hope maybe this will help some of you as well. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.


Two days ago my tough little buddy Cusco passed away. We got him around the time I was in 4th/5th grade(13years ago) and he's been a part of our family ever since. He shared the house with our other cat Sassy who at the time was much older and has since passed away. They got along quite well and Cusco seemed lost for a while after Sassy passed.


From about age two Cusco had some health issues. His heart was quite large and I mean that literally (Had what was known as a "Valentine Heart”). He was in and out of the vet, but eventually we got to keep him at home without too many issues. After a while Cusco started going outside during the day and only coming into the house to sleep. When we got dogs Cusco remained mainly outside and in the garage (He seemed to enjoy his own space and freedom).


He spent most of his days sitting in dirt boxes, rolling in the grass, lying in the sun and chasing bugs. Kids would always want to pet him or play with him whenever they walked by. He would always rush up to me whenever I got home and even after I pet him for a while he would wait outside waiting for me to come back out. What I think was so special about him is he literally enjoyed our company. He didn't beg for food, scratch you, or run away. He just rubbed himself on you, laid next to you and enjoyed your company.


The past few weeks got busy for me. I started bringing him into my room less and less and sometimes not at all even when I said I would. I pet him a bit when I got home but not as long as I used to. I picked up a second job and was always tired when I got back. I started getting settled at work and went out for my birthday last week. When I was finally free during the weekend Cusco had another heart problem.


He wasn't breathing properly and struggled to move. We took him to the vet and they told us he was suffering from congestive heart failure(part was due to his enlarged heart). The sight was depressing. He struggled to breath and was meowing in pain. On the drive over he scratched me(probably out of fear). When they took him to the back I was in the room next door but he passed before I got to be next to him. I feel like I let him he was alone when he passed and scared. I feel like he thought I didn't love him because of my lack of attention the last few weeks.


We buried him next to Sassy in our backyard and I've been pretty absent minded since. I feel bad for how we parted, but I'm trying to take some positives. We love these guys because of the love and joy they bring us. Regardless of if we do something bad or stupid they still greet us with happiness. Even if we have other things going on in life we are always the most important thing on their mind. I learned that maybe I need to step back and enjoy the smaller things in life like lying in the grass, walking in nature and being around the ones I love…just like Cusco did. I can’t make up for the lack of time I spent with him towards the end, but I can appreciate what he taught me and use it in life that way he is always in my heart. I plan on attending the Candle Light Ceremony tonight much like I did for Sassy in order to make my prayers. I will probably continue to be sad whenever I think of him, but will try to be a better person in his honor (maybe in time I can help around at some shelters) and show my loved ones how much I care.

Hope this helps others going through similar situations. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this. It means more than you know.

Cusco, I hope you forgive me and know how much I cared for you(we all did). I’m going to miss having you greet me when I come home and looking outside my window to see you rolling around. Enjoy spending time up there with a healthy heart and in the company of your brother Sassy. If you will meet me, I would gladly cross the rainbow bridge with you.

-Your Devargas Family.  


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What a touching post.  As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."  You loved Cusco, and in spite of his chronic health issues (I, too, have an enlarged heart and CHF), it never seemed real that he would have to leave you.  You grew up with him.  He was always there, and now he's not.  That must hurt so much. 

I believe that our furries know what's going on around them more than we give them credit for.  The important thing to remember is that Cusco knew you loved him.  I believe he also knew you had grown up and were finding your own way in life.  He completed the lessons he had come to teach you and when he was iin crisis, you took him to the vet for help.  We can't always design how that visit will play out, and you did the best you could.  One day, when you are ready to settle down with a kitty again, you will find the best Best Friend for yourself.  You will treasure the time you have with that friend, and your love and devotion to him/her will be in honor of Cusco.  Sometimes (to quote Joni Mitchell) you don't knwo what you've got 'til it's gone.

I wish you a gentle path to healing.
In one of the stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night. -- The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

All tears are healing tears.  They help to wash away our sorrow and allow the first buds of happiness to blossom in our hearts. -- Susie "Squillions"

A fresh start after 947 posts. March 7th, 2011. I've been coming to this wonderful site since April 6, 2004.
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Thank you so much for the reply. I was happy with people just viewing this and hoping it reached out to some, but it means a lot to get a response. Sassy was around since the day I was born and when he passed I was hurt. It helped knowing Cusco was feeling the same way and yet he kept on going. Now with both of them gone it hurts even more. It does help to think they are enjoying their time together in the afterlife.

I always said when I had my own place I would take Cusco with me, but I never got a chance to. It may not be for a few years, but eventually I want to either get another little furry or at the very least help out at some shelters. It'll let me provide love for animals who needs it and in that way I honor Cusco and carry his lessons with me(Along with taking the time to enjoy the little things and expressing love to those closest to me).

I attended the Candle Lighting tonight and it helped ease the pain. I think it'll continue to hurt, but your message helped and I'm truly grateful. I pray your heart will stay strong through this unfortunate sickness(Maybe use my little guy as inspiration ;) 

Always in our hearts until we meet them again at the Bridge. I look forward to it :)

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Very sorry to hear of the loss of your life-long friend, Cusco.  The photo is incredible, so, so sweet and I love the hearts on the pillow, especially since you described Cusco's health issues were related to his heart.  

No doubt whatsoever that you took wonderful, loving care of Cusco, and he loved you back, that is clear.  I so agree that our pets don't care what we do, they always forgive us, love us, and want to hang out with us.  It does sound like you and your family let Cusco live his life on his terms,  and he had a ball for himself, thanks to you.

It really sounds like old Cusco went out on his own terms, and that may be why he passed before you were able to be in the room with him.  You did not let him down, although I know it still hurts.  To help Cusco's passage to Rainbow Bridge, you can light a candle  (it can be anytime, not just for the candlelight ceremony on the RB website), say a little prayer, take a few items over to a local humane society, or give a donation in Cusco's memory.   I love the mere idea that you will keep Cusco in your heart and simply try to be a better person, in any way you can.  

Take your time grieving your "tough little buddy", know he is whole and healthy at RB, and that his soul is resting in peace and happiness because of the life you gave him.   Be at peace.  

"Now that the time has come
 Soon gone is the day,
 There upon some distant shore
 You will hear me say,
 Long as the day in the summer time
 Deep as the wine-dark sea,
 I'll keep your heart with mine
 Till you come to me"  (LM)

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Cusco....I recently signed up for this forum after losing my dog Ebby (see Ebby's story if you want to) and l felt it very helpful just to write it all down whether anyone responded or not.  It was helpful, but even more so when I got some replies.  Everyone in this forum seems so compassionate and understanding.  Loss is loss...and while it may be a bit different for everyone, there are common threads.  You loved Cusco as much as you could possiblly love him.  I know it doesn't help much to try to remember the positive - it's only been a month for me and I still cry every day - but hopefully in time the acute pain will lessen.  Keeping you in my thoughts.
Love you to the moon and back....
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Im so sorry for your loss. What you wrote really touched me. My baby boy Spence also had CHF as well as kidney failure. He went downhill fast and I too felt like I wasnt there as much as I should have been. I think we might feel that way no matter how much we were there because it never feels like we are doing enough for our babies. I pray you find comfort in knowing Cusco isnt suffering anymore. 
Spence's Mom
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Graceful: Thank you so much for the kind words! I definitely caught him sleeping on that pillow quite a few times but never related it to his heart problem (How funny/Cute).

I always felt the love from him and I hope he felt it back. It’s hard to replay the last day with him and seeing him struggle just to stay alive. Even though I would have loved to have been next to him at the end, I think he was ready to go after so many years of fighting his illnesses. The Monday ceremony is just so sweet and helps relieve some of the pain. I will make sure to light a candle and say a few prayers not only for Cusco but other here who have lost their loved ones as well.

Its tough trying to move on because part of me feels like by doing so I am forgetting him or not expressing how much he meant to me. I feel by using the lessons he taught me I can carry him with me even if I am not always thinking of him or feeling sad. I still drift away in my mind when I think of him or feel down to not see him when I come home, but he is definitely healthy up there and eventually I will be reunited with him if he will have me. Thanks again Graceful, I hope you know that your message means a lot to me.  


EbbsMom: I’m sorry to hear about Ebby, but reading your post I can clearly tell she had the life! Sounds like a lot of love from you and her buddies. I also love the last line, “I love you to the moon and back.” My mom says that to me from time to time :P The community here is so great and understanding. Just a few replies from all of you helps me feel like you understand Cusco’s story and how amazing of friend/family member he was. I will keep you and Ebby in my prayers. I bet she’s swimming around and chasing mice as she awaits your arrival.


naturegirl076: I’m sorry to hear about Spence. He has such an adorable face! Not sure if it helps but I feel good knowing that this passing allows them to be free of their heart problems (even if it causes some pain in ours). I think you’re right about always feeling like we could have done more and though I still feel a little like that, I find comfort in this communities words. Let’s do our best to carry their lessons with us and provide love to the world and those around us. I think they would appreciate knowing the change they made in our lives and would like to see us happy as they wait patiently for our arrival.

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Thank you. I love your outlook. What better way to honor our pets than to be the best we can be and spread the unconditional love that they so freely gave to us :)
Spence's Mom
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