Saying goodbye to our Monkey
It’s been a tough week in our house and with a very very heavy heart I have to tell you that we had to say our final goodbyes to our Monkey yesterday. She went down hill fast, looked like a skeleton and was barely able to walk. My husband’s cousin who is our vet came over to put her to sleep. She went peacefully without ever having to fear a car ride and vet appointment.
Sorry for some of the bad cellphone photos but I just snapped the last week of her.
It was very hard for me to write this post and it is certainly written with lots of tears running down my face but I just want to write down how I want to remember her.
It had been such a long road to get her to trust me and then my family. When she showed up in our neighborhood years ago, I wasn’t even able to look at her through the window because the minute she saw my face behind the glass she would run. I started to put out food for her and the other stray cats during the first cold winter and I sometimes saw her sleeping on a neighbor’s front porch chair or drinking from our bird bath.
She was terrified for about 3.5 years but things changed when our male cat Harry died of a long battle with kidney disease. I feel like she sensed that the territorial male was gone. When he died she started sticking around the yard more and more. Hid in the bushes and meowed for food. I talked to her more from a distance and I started to be sure that she was around at all times. Then I had to leave for our annual 5 week trip to Germany and started being afraid that something would happen to her but my neighbor’s kept reassuring that she stayed around and sure enough when I came back, she was still hanging around the bushes.
I sat outside with her in the evenings and she kept coming up to the porch. After a while she would finally jump up on the bench next to me and then she let me start petting her. Those little gestures of trust just melted my heart and I knew that I just couldn’t turn away from her anymore. We’ve had strays before in our yard and I’ve found homes for them but this was just different. It was the long drawn out process of trust and friendship that I just couldn’t discard by trying to catch her and give her to someone else. At that point I didn’t even know if she was a boy or a girl yet and when I started to call her Monkey. She sounded like a monkey when she meowed. It was the funniest sound ever.
Then a horrible winter rolled in and the temperatures dropped with lots of snowstorms. That’s when I bought her a heated pad and built her a styrofoam igloo (click HERE) on our bench since my husband refused to accept another fourth cat and I refused to just ignore her. And yes we fought about it plenty of times.
But when the temperatures started being well below -10 (Do you remember the polar vortex of 2013/14?), I went against my husband and brought her into our spare bathroom at night. I actually spent some nights sleeping in the bathtub with her on top of me. I was afraid of letting her get closed to our cats in case she was sick. When she started hating being in the bathroom and scratching at the doors at night I ended up taking her to the vet (click HERE) where I found out that she was a little girl around 4-5 years old that had been spayed and was blind in her one eye due to an old injury.
I finally let her out into our house and the other three girls just accepted her. There wasn’t one cat fight which sealed the deal for me once and for all that she was mine.
My husband still wasn’t on board and actually completely ignored her and was mad at me but I ignored him.
She finally won him over when I went to Germany again and she would be his garden buddy every day. He likes to work in the garden and she would follow him around. He was scared that something would happen to her while I was gone and that I would blame him so he eventually started talking to her and taking care of her.
Now he admitted to the fact that he will miss her too since the other cats don’t go outside of their enclosure (click HERE to read more about it) and he won’t have a garden buddy anymore.
She loved lying under our huge lilac bush in the summer and that is where we will put her ashes. It was her favorite spot.
After facing the possibility that she probably got into something toxic outside that caused her kidneys to fail, I’m sure that I never want a cat again that goes outside the way she did. Remember I built her the cat door (click HERE) that scanned her microchip so no other animals could come and go.
If you read my post on Friday (click HERE) then you know that I ordered a custom plate of Monkey and I can’t wait to get it. Rachel gave me a sneak peek and I just adore it. Smiling and laughing is the best way to remember someone and this plate will do just that.
She certainly was a little hunter like Katniss Everdeen who snuck out at night to hunt. And she brought me lots of disgusting dead presents. And I’m so thankful that she crossed my path and gave me the gift of her love and trust. Other humans had failed her and she decided to trust me again and accept us as her family.
I’m kind of drained and not really enthusiastic about blogging right now. I’m hoping to post once or twice yet before the year is over and start a little break which will hopefully get me in the mood again to tackle all the unfinished projects around the house.
Have a good weekend my friends.
I’m so very sorry and I’m crying with you, Julia. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved cat. Monkey was lucky that she met you and that you had the patience to win her trust. She had a great time with you and she will always be in your heart. You were such a wonderful cat mom to her.
Sending you a very big hug,
I’m so very sorry for your loss. This was a lovely tribute to your Monkey, and it is clear how much you loved her. Take good care of yourself in the coming weeks. Peace to you.
If I hate any part of owning a pet is this. How awesome is it that a rescue pet can bring joy to your life. You were lucky to have Monkey in your life. So sorry for your loss and we understand you need your time. Xoxo
Oh hunny, I’m reading this with tears streaming down my face!!! I am so so sorry you had to say goodbye and this is such a beautiful tribute to a special little lady that clearly needed and loved you. You were such a good cat mommy to her and she was so lucky to have met someone with such a good heart. Wayne always says we allow animals to come into our hearts only for them to break it in the end but we know that for everything they give to us during their lives, it’s worth the pain when they are gone. Sending lots of love and hugs your way xxx
I have always loved the story of Monkey and the igloo. And her little face and eyes are the sweetest thing ever. Kitties somehow seem to be able to find the right person or family that will love them and take good care of them. She found that with you. What they give us in return is love and memories 1o-fold. My heart breaks for you.
Peace, love and purrs from NC
i am in tears for you over here- i know how much you loved her and i remember the entire journey with her. pets are put in our lives to teach us so much about life, love, trust… they break our hearts because their lives often end too early, but the time that we have with them is worth every tear and then some. love you and thinking of you.
I am sorry to hear about Monkey. I know how hard it is. XO Patty
I am so very sorry for the loss and pain that you are experiencing. Prayers for peace and comfort in the coming days.
awwwww. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It is sooo incredibly hard to lose a family pet. especially one like her that came in to your life the way she did. I’m glad you have something fun to keep her in your memory forever!
This kitty had a happy ending. Her life experience could have been so different. Thank you for taking care of this little Monkey. I wish all animals could be so loved.
I’m so sorry to hear about Monkey.
So very sorry for the loss of Monkey.
So sorry to hear about Monkey. It’s always hard to lose our little furry loves.
I know you will miss her dreadfully, but what a wonderful life you gave her for her last few years. She was warm and fed and loved and taken care of so well. And at the end she went peacefully to sleep. You did all you could for her and I’m sure she was very happy with you. Losing pets is awful, but in time you will remember her with smiles, not tears. Xxx hugs.
Oh Julia, I am so sorry for you and your family! You gave her the best couple years of her life ! It’s always so hard to lose a fur baby. Sending hugs!
Tears for your little Monkey. The care and love you gave her was given back in return. Her sweet face will be remewmbered, Her little paws will hold onto your heart forever. Rest in peace little one/
So sorry for your loss, she was very special and hit pay dirt when she found you. I just, last Sunday, lost my Sam who was 17, so I’m grieving also. Rest In Peace Monkey and Sam.
Very few people have not lost a pet that they dearly love and it doesn’t get any easier. That you were so kind as to give her a nice warm place to be and be loved and have her return the love. My heart goes out to you at this time. The hardest part about loving a pet is when they leave us. My sympathy goes out to your family.
I am so sorry to read about this. It really brings me to tears. I am a cat lover and currently have four. I have always had cats and they are with me for life so they become part of the family. I miss the ones that have passed away so much. They really do get into your heart. I pray to see them all again one day.
I really love how much you love your cats. Please take care. I wish you and your family peace this holiday season.
So very sorry for your loss of Monkey, a beloved family member, she will be waiting for you in Heaven, she is one of God’s loved creatures and we will all be reunited one day. We lost our sweet Susie Q last year and we still miss her, but talking about her and looking at photos is a good thing. Bless you for kindness to our furry friends. I would send you a picture of our girl if I knew how, she was a black face multi sheltie, what a sweetheart
Dear Julie. I am so sad to read that Monkey has left us. I followed along during your rescue of 2013/14 and have loved all your updates. I LOVE the commemorative plate you had made. Love that Monkey is depicted as a warrior. What a treasured memory! Hugs friend!
I’m so sorry, Julia. I’ve been through this twice, and it just sucks. You gave Monkey such wonderful care, peace, and happiness in her final years. Please take care of yourself.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
I’m so sorry, Julia! I glad you found each other, but I wish so much that it could have been for longer 🙁
Sending lots of hugs your way!! I know how heart wrenching it is to lose a loved one… I lost my Roxxie 2 years ago and I still get teary eyed when I talk about her or see a picture. Not that I like fights but I’m glad you didn’t listen to your husband 🙂
OOOOOOo so sorry about Monkey. When one of our cats died due to kidney disease both my husband and I cried like babies.
Julia, my heart hurts for you and your family. Over the years two of my cats died of kidney failure and others from cars. I too keep mine inside now. I’m so glad she decided to adopt such a wonderful home and loving family.
Hello, I am so sorry about little Monkey passing. I foster for rescue and understand what it took to get her to trust you. You and Monkey had a special bond and that makes losing her hurt even more. By chance, was she diagnosed with FIP (Feline Infectious Paratanitis). I recently lost one of my cats to that – it all happened within 5 days. I was not prepared.
I’m so sorry for your loss Julia. Thank you for sharing Monkey’s story with us. The plate is such an unique and fun way to remember your sweet pet. xoxo Hang in there.
I’m so sorry to be reading this. We’ll all miss her.
I’m so sorry to hear about Monkey. It is never easy but at least the last year of her life was filled with love and happiness.
OH I am so sorry, sharing tears with you, Monkey will be so missed by your family. Our fur babies leave paw prints on our hearts and we are better people for having them in our lives.
Julia, So sorry for your loss, you gave Monkey a good life,. R.I.P. monkey.
So so sorry to hear this Julia! I’m praying for you guys. What a great memory that plate will be!
I’m so sorry to hear about precious Monkey. She has now crossed Rainbow Bridge and is free of any pain and playing with all her brothers and sisters that have gone before her. I’m so glad your husband’s cousin could come to your home and save her that stress. My little Gracie Belle went downhill really fast just like Monkey and we knew it was time to set her free. She was on our bed between my husband and me before we were to take her to our Vet; however, she would have none of that and died peacefully on our bed in her home. Yes, I still miss her desperately but we have so many precious memories and pics and will have that love forever. There is so much more I want to tell you that is so similar to Monkey’s story but I am crying because I know how much pain you and your family are in. I will send you an email soon. Take care and I am praying for you and your family. RIP sweet, precious Monkey.
Die Liebe einer Katze ist immer freiwillig und kann nicht erzwungen werden.
Die Liebe, die Dir Deine scheue Katze geschenkt hat war also ein besonders kostbares Gut.Wenn u sie in Deinem Herzen behältst und sie nicht vergisst, dannwar Dein und ihr Leben füreinander sinnvoll.
was gibt es bessees als das übe ein Leben zu sagen.
Karin aus Frankfurt.
My deepest sympathy on the passing of Monkey. You can tell that she was a beautiful soul. I am so glad she found her forever home with you and your family. I have no doubt both of you are better for having found each other and the love you shared.
So very sorry for your loss of your beloved pussycat Monkey. Your love of animals is what drew me to your blog. She was so very lucky to of stumbled into your yard, and I have again enjoyed reading the story of how you met her. The pain is so hard when you have to let your beloved fur babies go, no easier than losing a loved one. Hopefully the holidays will put a smile to your face and lessen your sadness. Sandra xox
My heart is broken for you and your family. I pray that you may find comfort in knowing that you loved Monkey so much and gave her the best home possible. I’m sure she knew how much you loved her – she gave you her trust and what a gift that was. It would be wonderful if every animal could be as loved and cared for as Monkey – what a lucky girl she was. I believe that we will see all our pets as well as all of God’s creations again in heaven.
Oh Julia tears for the loss of your beloved Monkey but also tears of happiness for her now that she is not suffering and is in a much better place. Tears also for the unconditional love and attention that you gave her and that she so deserved. You gave her the gift of love and family and made her last years so special and meaningful….How funny that she became you husband’s garden buddy!! Praying for you, your family and beloved Monkey during this very difficult time. XOXO
Oh, i just read this. I didn’t realise this had happened… Monkey was a joy to read about and i know you love her so much. She had so much love in the time she had spent with you, i am so glad. She is a very lucky cat. Condolences.
Thanks Nerryna, we just picked up her ashes two days ago. I miss her so much.
Just caught up with your blog. So sorry to hear Monkey is gone. Having owned many cats in my life, I can only imagine the pain and sorrow her loss caused you and your family. Loving always has the potential of loss. Our hearts are big and welcoming to more love……look forward to hearing about your next new cat baby when the time comes.
Thanks so much. I’m terrified of what’s ahead of us with my three other really old cats 🙁
That’s such a wonderful yet sad story!
I too love cats and we have a rescued grey and white female who took a very long time to trust me. She was a stray for a while, then tried three different homes before we found her. Now that she has accepted me as her “person”, it’s the most wonderful feeling ever! She is so loving with me and I know she appreciates her family and her home.
The world needs more people like us who appreciate and love these wonderful creatures who depend on us!
Your cat died loved, with a home, and the freedom to come and go as she pleased. You gave her a happy life.
Thanks Carl. I still miss her.
I’m so sorry for your loss . Your story reminds of what I’m going through. I have three rescued inside cats and two outdoor strays I feed . I never thought I be a cat person. I have always rescued dogs and love big dogs but now I love both . This all started a year ago my neighbors moved in and had this 16 year old cat name Dane . He was a character lol He always came over to my house for treats and had this meow that was so stern and vocal . My neighbors said he hated being inside so he was an outside cat that was friendly to everybody hunan or four legged didn’t matter he would be friends with everyone. Well over the course of two years I built this bond with him and it I was outside he was right there I pull up with groceries he would hop into my truck and take a nap while I got my groceries out ( always had to leave my trunk open for an hour after so he finish his nap . Well I think he sent a memo out to every stray in our neighborhood to come to my house I will feed them cause I would have a new one every month . Dane was killed by a dog that got loose in the neighborhood. That crushed me but the love I had for him and how he died made me worry about the other strays . I am feeding three strays at the moment two of them are so scared I can only get within ten feet then they run so I always walk food out when they come up and walk away then they will walk up and eat . I try each day to talk to them and I’m getting closer but still haven’t touch them yet to pet them then my third one is a sweet little female that finally lets me pet her I tried to bring her inside but my three inside cats are not having that . After reading your blogs about everything and the time it took you to gain the strays trust I have hope I can get two of my strays to trust me and let me close eventually. So thank you for sharing your journey it has helped me a lot . Sorry for the long post .
I always love hearing when a cat converts someone to become a cat lover. I’m so sorry to hear that Dane was killed. It is always better for the outdoor cats when they aren’t friendly and will help them stay alive. Good luck to you and getting your strays to trust you Cynthia.