The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Remembering Our Matriarch

Yesterday evening, at dusk, my wife and I drove west to the vet clinic in a nearby village.  I squinted my eyes against the light of the setting sun.  I knew that, before soothing darkness overtook the land, another bright light in our lives would also be winking out. 

Boo (August 1, 1992 - March 29, 2011)

Boo would have been 19 years old this August.  She was my wife’s steadfast companion throughout her entire adult life; I was privileged to share her for nearly 10 years.  She came home as a tiny, triangle-tailed barn kitten who would just as soon come at you sideways – all pointy paws and teeth – to grab your shins, as purr on your pillow at night.   

Boo was the matriarch of our household, and ruled firmly but fairly over her feline, canine and human subjects.  She taught our dogs manners.  She patiently tolerated the fawning affection and incessant grooming needs of our boy-cats.  A toddler’s over-exuberant fur-pull would be met with only a look of disdain and a flick of the tail as she sauntered off. 

She knew how to get THAT glass of water hand-delivered to her…no, not that one, THAT one (and filled to the top, please)…with nothing more than a chirp and a sideways glance. 

In her younger days, she was a mighty hunter who could take down a bird mid-flight faster than the human eye could process.  

Her face was capable of expressing a near-human range of emotions; you never had to guess how she was feeling.  In many ways, she was more human than some people I know.

She also had the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.  Gazing into them was like gazing at an exotic, far-away galaxy, or at rare amber-coloured gems.

During her last few months with us, she never complained or lost her regal air, despite the arthritis that made her limp and the kidney disease that would eventually claim her life.

We’ll miss you, old girl.

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8 responses to “Remembering Our Matriarch

  1. MObugs41 March 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to say good-bye to our feline and canine companions. She was truly a beautiful cat and it sounds like she 19 wonderful years full of love. *hugs*

  2. Ruth Fitzpatrick March 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    I’ve been where you are and definitely feel for you. Just know that you gave her the best life possible and that she truly loved you. She will visit you occasionally, I’m sure of it. My Alien comes back periodically to check up on me, and to let me know he’s okay.

  3. Morgan Jackson March 30, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss Geek. Letting go of a pet is the worst experience in my books. Enjoy the sunshine today as I’m sure Boo would want you to!

  4. A. Jaszlics March 30, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I’m so sorry. Losing pets is always awful, especially one who’s been a friend and part of your family for so long.

  5. TGIQ March 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Thank you all for the kind words, it means a lot. We’re pretty shattered about losing her, but at least we can honestly say that we’re at peace with the decision we had to make. She was a most awesome cat; she’ll be missed for a long time.

  6. Dave March 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Sorry for your loss. When I’m pretending to be rational and scientific, I try to think of our cats as pets. When I want to sleep late and they want to be fed, I think of them as pests. But they do make themselves an integral part of your lives. We recently spent three grand to irradiate away a hyperthyroid condition in one of our middle-aged cats. It was crazy, but since there was a good chance of success, we rationalized it as only about 300 a year, less than a dollar a day, if there were no kidney complications and she lived to 18. I don’t know if she will make it, but she is fat and very much the cat again.

    • TGIQ March 31, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      I understand. Unfortunately there was little we could do for Boo that wasn’t just prolonging her discomfort and the inevitable (so we just managed her pain and let her eat whatever the heck she wanted), but we’ve definitely gone to extremes before. Our three-legger, Jaida, came into our home as a puppy with a several-thousand dollar price tag attached, due to the awful pneumonia and leg deformity she had (she was a rescue); she’s had other surgeries since. It’s very hard to leave emotions at the doorstep when it comes to these critters; they become important family members and, since they can’t chip in, it really is our responsibility to provide for their health care needs.

      I really hope your kitty lives a long and beautiful life; radioactive iodine therapy has a good outcome for many. Give her a head-scritch for me :-)

  7. mthew April 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Always sad to say goodbye to an old friend, but you’ll always have your memories.

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