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Saying Goodbye to Michelle

Saying Goodbye to Michelle

Michelle was my wife Jacinta’s family cat for the last 14 years. When I say “family cat”, I of course mean, Gerry’s cat, because Gerry took special care of all the cats in the family until she got sick and the burden of care mostly fell on my father-in-law Frank’s shoulders. He will tell you himself that he was never a big fan of cats, but if you saw the care and attention he lavished on that cat it was obvious she was special to him.

Unfortunately, Michelle was almost 17 years old. Her mother Patches was a regular in the household. She had a litter of kittens and Michelle, the older sister, acted as baby sitter many a time while her mother roamed the neighbourhood searching for food. Gerry took Patches in, and Michelle wandered in crying within a week. She became a permanent fixture and never wandered away again! Of all the cats that came and went, Michelle had a special place in my wife’s heart.

We took Michelle to the vet this afternoon. This was our third visit in the last two months. She had a large tumour, her appetite had disappeared, and she was very weak. We couldn’t let her suffer any more. The vet, Stephanie, let us say our goodbyes and gently put Michelle to sleep. Michelle was very calm through out. She lay there, letting Jacinta stroke her and cup her head in her hands, as the enormity of what was about to happen sunk in. I was fine until the needle went in and then memories of my own pets came flooding back and I was as inconsolable as Jacinta. It never gets any easier.

Michelle will be missed by all who knew her.

Surprisingly I only ever posted one photo of Michelle, when she was snug in her own little home in the back garden. I really like that photo. It’s the first I posted with the Canon 50mm f1/8 lens.

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

10 replies on “Saying Goodbye to Michelle”

I’ve only been through that once, in high school, and it absolutely killed me. Having 3 dogs or our own (that mean the world to us) this hits home… hard… for me. I know that one day I’ll have to say goodbye to each of my friends in turn. It’s sad enough now to bring tears to my eyes, I can only imagine how it will be then. I can only imagine how it must hurt you now. My heart goes out to you both.

I like to think that friends are only supposed to be in our lives for a certain amount of time. Some friends longer, some friends shorter, and then they have to go — having served their purpose of enriching your life and being enriched by you. The fact that they’re gone doesn’t make that bond any less, and you can know that they did their part for their time just as you did yours. You’ll always have the imprint (or paw-print) in your soul saying they were there, and they were loved, and so were you. Past friends live on in that legacy, that love, as long as they are remembered.

I hear ya. I know some people will think this crazy, but pets are every much a part of a family as any other member, and the day after, when they are gone, there is a massive void. I have not had a dog since our last was “put out of her misery”, still hate that expression.

Awah! That’s so sad. Made me feel all teary too.

I love our cat Josie, and it’s really cool sharing a house with a creature like that. I always miss her when I’m away. Oh, and the wife too, of course.

Thanks for all those comments, my wife just read them and she really appreciates what everyone said. I don’t even want to think about what will happen to Oscar, our dog. Better to enjoy the present and make every moment count!

I’m really sorry to hear this. i know how much it hurts to lose a beloved pet. It takes a lot of time to get over the pain and even then it is still with us until the end of time.

Take care and be sure to grieve properly, your cat deserves this. Michelle, what a georgeous name for a cat.

Best wishes

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