77 Comments

  1. Julia I am so sorry for your loss. I have a pet cat who is getting up there in the years, and once he got lost for 30 days and I thought he was a goner. I can truly relate to the love of your amazing, sometimes mean, but loving little man. Time will heal all, and you will have these amazing memories of Harry forever. God Bless.

    1. Awww thanks so much for the kind words, Tiffany. That means so much! And I’m glad your kitty came back!

  2. Aww, I am so sorry to hear about your “furry king”!! He sounds wonderful. I especially like your description of what he would have been like as a man. LOL Pets are soooo special!!! I know you will always remember him. I love that you gave that special guy such a good home and that you made the end so easy for him. That’s all we can do.

    1. Thank you so much, Nancy! Pets are truly special and I feel sorry for people who don’t realize that. Their presence and love make my life so much better.

  3. Julia, I had tears in my eyes reading this! Harry was such a special little guy and contentment was written all over his face! You gave him a loving home and that’s s why even with all his health problems he lived to a ripe old age of 16!
    You will miss him terribly but your memories of him will keep him in your heart forever!

  4. Julia, here’s sending you huge cyber hugs from Aussieland. Harry lives on through your blog and in your heart. He enjoyed 8 wonderful, loving years with your family, and lived every moment of them. The rewards of having this little man in your lives was the happiness he brought to you all, and the love and devotion he willingly gave in return for your love and devotion. Rest assured he lives on through the ones he left behind, and that he’ll continue to reign supreme on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge! Be happy for him in his new adventure. Love and strength – Heather x

    1. Hi Heather, long time no talk and thanks so much for the hugs and kind words!

  5. It’s so damn sad to lose a family pet…..I did not think I would get over losing my dog…..cried for days. Harry seemed like a cool cat and you gave him a great life:)

  6. julia, i am so so sorry! he certainly was a cat of character and will be remembered that way! lots of love and hugs to you, your family, and your eye. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks Cassie, my eye certainly needs it. It keeps getting worse. It’s like elephant skin now, yuck!

  7. I’m so sorry Julia, we’ve been through it too, and it’s so hard! Harry was beautiful, and lucky to have such a wonderful family to care for him, you’re such a gem for rescuing him!

  8. Hugs to you…sorry you had to go through this. Pets sure can sneak into your lives and bless them, you are suddenly wrapped around their heart. What a wonderful companion to you all. I know he will be sorely missed.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Kelly. I feel bad for people who can’t open their heart to loving a pet because they sure don’t even know what they are missing.

  9. Julia we are all so very sorry for your loss. It’s a painful time for you and your family and it’s so difficult to lose a friend. We’re animal lovers as well and have experienced this same loss. It’s never easy but it’s true time heals all. Our prayers go out to you and yours.

  10. I am so sorry to hear this news! Pets are such an amazing part of the family and bring so much joy into our lives. I get sick just thinking about the day I will have to write a post like this. Sending hugs your way.

    1. They are a huge part of our family and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They teach us humans so much about unconditional love and I see it in your posts as well when you talk about Lola. I wish her a long and healthy life with you ๐Ÿ™‚ People thank don’t like pets don’t even know what they are missing.
      Thanks for the hugs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your special guy! Loved getting to know him. I have cats and have been down your sad road of poor health for a couple of them, it doesn’t get easier but we choose to rescue them, love them and let them into our hearts. Worth it, don’t you think? Keep in mind that their food is a major way to improve and maintain urinary tract health in males and females. And soon there will be another rescue calling to you:-) Also thinking you might have pink eye at this point and need meds.
    Dee

    1. Hi Dee, yes he had been on special foods for a long time. Our favorite vet (aka cousin) took really good care of him. I think for now 3 are enough. Those old ladies won’t tolerate any new rescues and I have a couple of strays outside too.
      LOL, no it’s not pink eye. It’s getting better already.

  12. OMG…..so sorry for your loss, but so glad Harry had an awesome family to get him through his troubles. I do want you to know that YOU are the reason WE have 4 cats (well, kind of). We adopted our cat about 4 years ago (she was 2), and then last year we adopted a friend for her. A few months later we inherited my grandma’s cat so then we were up to 3! Definitely my limit!! Then a couple of weeks ago the most talkative, loving, no fear in her heart, cat showed up on our doorstep. She stayed for 2 days before I decided she wasn’t leaving (and was most likely dropped off in the neighborhood) and we opened our door for her. 4 cats is now above my limit, but she (Belle) is the missing puzzle piece that we needed. I told my husband that if “Cuckoo4Design” can do it, then so can we…..he thinks Im a little nuts.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you took in number 4. She sounds wonderful! I think you can do it too.
      I’m writing a post on Friday about all my experiences and tips for cleaning after cats, making them behave (to some degree) and keeping them healthy.
      I don’t think you are nuts but on the other hand I’m cuckoo ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I feel sorry, but such a course of things it always hurts. Take care and head up. Harry had a good life and that’s important.

  14. Honey, my heart is breaking for you, looking at those photos of Harry made me love him too…I’m so sorry. I hope you realize that if he’d gone to another home he wouldn’t have gotten the care that you gave him. You are an angel. I pray that you’ll begin to find comfort in knowing that you gave Harry such a wonderful life. Sleep well tonight my friend- I’m sending love
    xo
    Robin

    1. Thank you so much!I It means the world to me to know that other people understand andyYes, I know that other people would have discarded him like trash a long time ago. You have no idea how many bad things he has done. But I just loved him and I didn’t want anybody else to have him either. I think I have a thing for bad boys ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry for your loss……he was so handsome too!

  16. Julia, I am very sorry for your loss, I feel your pain. It’s very difficult loosing pets, they are part of our family and we love them so much because they love us too. I’ve had dogs since the age of 20 and have lost 2 of them already, it’s very painful, I was pregnant when I lost one of them to cancer. I really love how you are writing about this today, so honest. Like your mother-in-law, my mother has a pet cemetery in her yard, for their birthday we bring flowers. I feel bad for your son, we cried for days too. & poor you with your eye, I hope it gets better soon. of course, I will be reading your next posts, it’s hard taking care of a pet when they are sick. Again, Julia, sorry for your lost, so beautiful how you and your family took care of him and he had a good life with all of you. ๐Ÿ™

    1. Thank you Ingrid. You really have no idea how much it means to hear from my blog friends that they share my feelings for animals.
      So thanks for the kind words and sorry for all the fur babies you have lost already.

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about Harry. It’s always hard to loose a member of the family. That is what they are, after all. I love your daughters way of think though! So cute! I have a few kitties sitting in heaven too. Maybe I’ll take a moment to send letters to their clouds.

  18. I am so so sorry, Julia…he sounds like he was one hilarious & awesome dude and he was so lucky to have you guys. He went from the bottom to the top and enjoyed it for 8 years. Serious hugs to you and sending you all sorts of good thoughts. He was meant to be with you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ xoxo! Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

  19. Oh dear Lord, I am so sad with you and for your son. Your Harry looks and sounds as if he is very close to my Sugar (boy Maine Coon).

    I am so sorry, but that is all I can say… hurts me too much and I feel all the pain. I am praying for you all.

    1. Oh thank you so much Sheryll, I knew you would understand what I’m going through.

  20. I am so sorry to read about your Harry. I can imagine how hard it’s been for your family as you cope with his loss. Wishing you happier days.

  21. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful kitty, Julia. He sounds as though he brought much joy to your family. It’s amazing how much these sweet balls of fur borrow into our hearts. Sending hugs your way.

  22. Julia,I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your big kitty. He reminds me of my big furry kitty named Snarf. When I see older cats up for adoption, I always have a soft spot for them in my heart and I’m so glad to hear that you took a chance on him. It sounds like the second half of his life was wonderful and I send good thoughts your way as you grieve your sweet kitty.
    Megan

    1. Thanks for the good thoughts and I’m glad that you have a soft spot for older kitties too, Megan.

  23. Hi Julia,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful post and for sharing your fury king’s story. It is quite intresting how I came up on your post. I was just on my boyfriends ipad searching outside cat (i forgot) and I stumbled on your cat blog ,Small story short , my loving cat just passed 2 days after your baby and I am still grieving but the days are getting better, your post made me have comfort to know that somebody ,many people go thru the same thing and you where going thru the same thing as I was at the same time. I barely have anytime to leisurely to surf the web so it was quite nice to have met you and your amazing blog. I just want to say thank you ,both me and my boyfriend read it together and shed some tears because we felt the same way with our cat. his name was Kee and he passed away in the park where we border ,he left before we were able to get him to the vet.He was a feral most of his life and his last years he was a indoor/outdoor king with sad to say cat FIV. Trust ,loyal and patience allowed all of us to be best friends at the last of his years.
    Thank you again for sharing ,
    Lia

    1. Thank you so much for writing to me.
      I still miss him so much. I hope you will feel better in time too.
      I still have my three old ladies to worry about. And there are so many other wonderful animals out there who need our friendship if we open our hearts to them.
      I feel bad for people who are unable to have friendships with animals and their pets.
      Thanks for sharing your story. I love hearing from people who read my blog. Especially because I hear so much mean stuff from people as well. There are so many cat haters out there that it brakes my heart. The worst is hearing: “They are only animals!” because that’s not true. I read online once when a 6 year old boy explained why dogs and cats don’t live as long as humans. He said “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice. Well, dogs and cats already know how to do that, so they don’t need to stay as long.” So sweet and I like to think that’s true.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just came across your blog and read about Harry. So sorry for your loss. Not sure about you, but the older I get the more it hurts. I once said I would never adopt again because it hurt so much to lose them, but was told ‘if we all said that then who would love them and give them a home?’. They were right, I would adopt them all if I could. I can’t stand the thought that an animal may leave this world never having been loved.

    1. Hi, I think the same way. It’s so important to adopt the forgotten ones.
      How sad to think they were never loves ๐Ÿ™
      Thanks for commenting and coming over.

  25. I haven’t been to your blog in a little while and I stopped by today to see what was new only to be hit with the news of your beloved kitty passing. Words can’t describe how I am feeling right now. I cried all the way through reading your tribute and am still crying now. It brought back the day my father had to let go of his kitty and I (being the good child)took “Rocky” in to the vet for him because dad couldn’t handle it. I got a beautiful little urn for him and dad kept him for many years. My father passed away last year and in his will it states that he wants his ashes to be spread with Rocky’s over looking the ocean. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet but they are both sitting together on the book self. I know how hard it is and my thoughts and prayer are with you and your family.
    Brightest Blessings
    Sandy Clark

    1. Hi Sandy,
      I’m so sorry about your father and his kitty!
      And thanks so much for the kind words for my Harry. I still miss him so much but I’m starting to understand more now that it was his time.
      Thank you so so much again,
      Julia

  26. Julia, I really feel for you. I lost my baby SoX four years ago to kidney failure. He lived for about three weeks after his diagnosis; I had to clean up messes constantly, wheedle him into eating by giving him tuna and Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches (he LOVED them and on the rare occasion I’d eat one, I would share tidbits of the meat with him – at the end I was ordering him a sandwich a day!), and even learned how to give him fluids subcutaeneously so I could care for him at home. I stressed out about how I would know when it was “time” – well, one morning I just did, and while it was the hardest thing I ever had to do I do not regret it at all.

    Until his diagnosis, he was a very healthy and playful cat and I was sure he would live forever. He was a Christmas gift from my parents when I was 13, and he died 13 years later when I was 26. He saw me through middle school, high school, college, and the transition to my adult career. I still miss him every day and often think I see him out of the corner of my eye. It’s a shame that we come to love them so much when we have such a relatively short time with them… but I would rather have them while I can than never experience kitty love at all!

    Much love to you and your family! <3

    1. You just gave me goose bumps and I felt like I wrote your comment myself because I totally get it.
      Kidney failure is a horrible thing. I also still think I can see Harry in the corner of my eye or hear him. I miss him so much even though I have 3 more cats. But they each have their own characteristics that I will miss one day.
      I read ones that a little boy said the reason why animals don’t live as long is because they don’t need to learn how to be nice and how to love, they already know it. Humans on the other hand need to learn all of that. It’s so true and made me feel much better.
      Even though it’s so hard to let them go, I couldn’t live without them.

  27. Hi Julia, I discovered your blog today through YHL. I loved your house so much I had to check it out. I don’t have any pets now. My beloved little buddy passed away last August because of the same thing. I bawled all the way through this post. You would think a year later it would get better but I still miss him. I had him since I was 9 and he lived 13 years. Like the commenter above said he saw me through my own childhood and adolescents and even through getting married and having a child. I think our fur babies will live forever through us. It is almost like I can still feel him. Thank you for describing Harry’s personality he sounded so much like my Tiger acted. Even though I cried my eyes out it was wonderful to remember him so clearly.

    1. Now I’m crying again too. And I could cry about every single pet I had growing up too. We had several dogs when I was a child and they saw me go through everything as well. They were always there for me which (like I said before) makes it all worth it.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of your kitty! We are proud owners of a beautiful orange (really apricot IMO) Maine Coon cat, Joshua… he is now our only kitty because we lost our gorgeous and talkative Bengal, Max, on December 4th, also to kidney failure. The end came on so quickly, it was absolutely shocking, and Max was only 13 years old. Joshua is now going on 15 years old but still seems to be in great health and has adjusted OK to being a single kitty.

    (And I love your outdoor cat enclosure!)

    1. Awww, so sorry to hear about your beautiful Max. Wishing your Joshua a lot more healthy years to come.

  29. I just happened upon your blog through YHL – reading about your Harry brings back strong memories of my beloveds who are gone but never forgotten.
    I still grieve for my Serengeti’s Narcissus (Cissy) – she was a gorgeous Silver Chinchilla Persian who showed us more love in her 20 years of life than you could imagine – my husband got her for me when she was 6 weeks old. She passed away in my arms in 1995.

    My JB Fender-Martin-Gibson (yes, my husband named our miniature black poodle after guitars) was my best bud, keeper of my secrets, footwarmer, who died of complete organ failure at the age of ‘almost 15’. Putting him ‘to sleep’ in 2005 just about broke my heart, and I cried for days. I had him cremated, and one day, after my husband and I pass, his cremated remains, and ours, will be scattered together.

    Our parakeet ‘Sealegs’ was the antic of the family – he would talk (here kitty kitty, I’m a pretty boy,
    who’s a pretty boy, Hello, what are you doing, wolf whistle, ring like the telephone, ring like the alarm clock, say who’s there, and various whistles and chirps). He was a complete hoot to have in our family, we always kept his door open, he loved Cissy Cat, and she him…JB was quite interested in Sealegs, but could never forget the time Sealegs bit his nose (I don’t think I would either)…he loved to sit on the faucet at the kitchen sink and when I did dishes, he would dive into the water – the first time he did that I totally freaked out – but he LOVED it. He would fly from room to room visiting our daughters, son…and had his own perch in the bathroom where he would sit while the girls did their makeup and he would ‘preen’ himself in the mirror and say he was a pretty bird.
    Oh I still miss that boy – he lived to the ripe old age (great for a parakeet) of 17 years – he developed a cold/infection and passed away in our wonderful Vet’s office in his hands – the whole office wailed with us when he died that day – He was a beautiful blue parakeet with the most gorgeous feathers and tail feathers – to the very end of his life he brought us joy and sunshine.

    Sealegs and Cissy Cat, are buried in our ‘pet cemetary’ along with a Rat that was my daughters, A Rabbit named Stashio, A Bearded Dragon named Roscoe (but Roscoe we found out one day was really Roscette), and a Hamster named Patches.

    I hope you are all doing better these days – the sting of your Harry’s passing will always be there, but not as sharp.

    I loved your outdoor cat environment – I will share that with my daughter who has two Russian Blues. She adores them also, has an outside ‘tent’ for them, a stroller, and an enormous cat scratching tree that her husband built.

    I will have to view your previous posts when time allows me to.

    Your stories made me smile today, which I sorely needed.

    Laura D. in Lubbock, Texas

    1. I loved hearing your pet story/history. Your Sealegs certainly sounds like he was a fun little fella. My hubby has always wanted a bird but my cats don’t allow it. And so sorry to hear about you poodle! It is so heart braking, I know!

  30. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful boy, just gorgeous. I am crying reading this post as I can relate to your loss. I lost my bloved 8 year old cat almost two years ago. He became sick just out of the blue.

    I took him to the vets and they took blood tests, put him on the strongest antibiotics, etc. After about 6-8 weeks he wasn’t improving. He couldn’t eat, and when he tried to he would throw up. Using his bowels made him cry. He lost so much weight. And he had a massive infection. It was just awful.

    The thing is I couldn’t let him go. He was my baby boy, the love of my life. But he just wasn’t getting better. The vet wasn’t sure what was wrong with him, possibly stomach cancer. A couple of nights he just cried out in pain and I knew I had to let him go. It was the worst day of my life.

    I cried EVERY DAY for months & months. It felt like a piece of me had died when they put him to sleep. I still miss him & I will love him always. He was wonderful.

    I have two female cats now, and they are the other two loves of my life. They are my everything. I couldn’t imagine not having a cat or cats in my life.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad he had you & you him for 8 years.

  31. Mary Thompson says:

    Julie, I so feel your pain regarding the end of Harry’s life. I had a Harry as well but his name was Sir Fluff. He was a stray living under the home of a friend…..with dogs. So, they brought him to me. They thought he was a she but when I took her in to be fixed I found out she was a he with testicles that did not descend. I was so embarrassed. Needless to say they got the job done after having to make a very long incision in his belly to go searching.
    He was my beautiful little man. We had 2 other cats, one for each of my daughters, so he became mine. When he came home still doped up was the only time he would ever let me comb his hair. The vet estimated he was about 9 mos old when I got him, so he should have plenty of years with us.
    About a 2 years later he was hit crossing the street in front of my house. I was so very mortified (I sooo wish I was cool enough to have had an enclosure like you built!). The emergency vet said his back was broken and to put him down. I wanted to see the x-rays myself. Hmmm……they hadn’t done any yet! Better yet…..his back was NOT broken at all! But his poor him was broken in 2. My own vet helped me take wonderful care of him and he returned to his old self within a couple of weeks.
    Fast forward 15 years and he has terrible arthritis in that hip. I had become a grandmother and was due at my daughters house 5 minutes ago. So, out the door I went, jumped into my Jeep and started it up and put it in reverse. Guess who was under my Jeep napping and got up slowly and walked slowly out from under the side of it. Right……too slowly but not slow enough. I ran over my 18 yr old boy that day in May in my own driveway. I howled and screamed so loud that my neighbors thought I had run over my granddaughter. They don’t understand how much a part of the family my 4 legged furry friends are. I miss my Sir Fluff. Harry and Fluff could have been identical twins.
    I am so very sorry you lost Harry and I LOVE seeing his pictures. He sounds like the attitude was the same as Fluff’s as well. I miss him so much.
    We don’t have any pets now. We live in an apartment now and with my disabilities I can’t take care of litter boxes and not sure I could potty train one to use the toilet. My yard would have been a great spot for an enclosure like you built. You did a WONDERFUL job not just with the enclosure but with being a momma to your little ones as well. Once I got Fluff I could never break him of needing to go outside (he would get up on the stove and pee down the vent burner or poo on the front burner) so outside I would let him go.
    Anyway, I just wanted to share with you about my little man. Hugs to you and kudos for all you have accomplished

  32. Oh my gosh! That is horrible! I’m so sorry that this happened to you!
    Maybe you could volunteer at a shelter. Not to do litter boxes but just to sit with the poor lost and abandoned kitties and give them some love. All they want is a rub and a scratch. You appear to have so much love to give and I wish more people would be like you!
    Happy Holidays!

  33. Julia, thank you for your beautiful blog about Harry. Only those who have had their lives blessed by a cat such as Harry will truly understand. My big old yellow tabby BB (Butter Ball) adopted me. His feral mama who lived in our garage, introduced him to me when he was about 4 weeks old, literally coaxing him over to my feet. He was a delightful part of our lives for almost 5 years, even tolerating the move to our new home in the country well. He would rarely ask to go out (after all, it was scary out there) but would sit on the front deck and watch the world happily. Sadly, he disappeared last Easter and I miss him terribly,even though it’s been nearly a year. Oddly, I knew when he slipped out the door when my grandchildren came in (he tolerated them) it would be the last time I would see him. He was more than a pet, he was a friend.

    1. That is so so sad.
      I just pretty much adopted another stray cat who still wants to go outside and I’m terrified that something will happen to her. I love her so much. She is blond in one eye. And it took me 4 years to get her to trust me. It’s the best kind of friendship and while I love and adore my human friends, I can’t get this trust, love and devotion from them. Don’t tell them I said that ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I have another male stray outside who is a yellow tabby, you would love him but he is so afraid.

      You should check out my pet series I think you would like it https://cuckoo4design.com/living-pretty-with-your-pets

  34. i’ve just found this. i’m so sorry for your loss (a year late, but it’s new for me). i have 4 cats, 2 dogs (all 6 of them adopted), and an occasional visitor. every time one of them went missing (even the ones that weren’t “mine”), i spent the days hoping they’d find a loving home, if they weren’t meant to come back. i’ll never be ready to let them go, and it has been that way since my first pet (my parents had her, a dog, since before i was born. i’m 27 yo now, and i’ve had like 10 pets + the occasional visitors, throughout my life). people around me usually get over them like it’s no big deal, so it made me happy to find this post. to see that someone suffers as much as i do when they’re gone (not because you suffer, but because you love them that much). so, i hope that after a year you’re feeling better and remembering all the good things, while loving your other beasts.
    saying ‘thank you’ from argentina ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Jane. I still miss him terribly but I know that there are so many other great pets that need me and I appreciate their love and give them as much love in return.
      I’m so glad that I’m not the only one and I love hearing from likeminded people like you. I’ll never understand how people can just forget about them and throw them away like trash.
      Thanks so much for your message.

  35. I just found this post and I just want to say I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 16 year old kitty on January and I still cry everytime I look at her pictures. This is the second cat I’ve lost, and it never gets easy. I adopt older cats from shelters, and it hurts everytime I lose them but I know they enjoyed their last few years with me and that makes me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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