Requiem for a beloved cat

Trouble: 1995-2011 (Photo by Amy Thompson)
Trouble: 1995-2011 (Photo by Amy Thompson)

Trouble came to us via a co-worker at The Eddie Mahe Company in Washington in 1995. She found the kitten shivering in the rain in a DC alley. He had survived among the other creatures of the night.

The black-and-white kitten didn’t meow and make much of any sound. We never knew if the silence came form a physical defect or a defense mechanism that allowed the young creature to survive on the mean streets of the city.

He always had a troubled look about him so Trouble became his name.

Yet the creature of the streets became one of our more loving — and loved — cats, a gentle animal that would fight back only when cornered by one of our other, more aggressive pets. He became more than a pet. He became a member of our family.

He came with us to Floyd in 2004, along with A.C. — short for anti-Christ — our younger, more vocal, alpha-male cat. As our menagerie grew over the years, Trouble remained the quiet one. He found his voice later in life but spoke out only when hungry or threatened.

In recent weeks, Trouble showed signs of age. With only three teeth remaining, he had trouble eating, so Amy fed him soft food through a syringe but he continued to fade.

Trouble died at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 2011, in Amy’s arms while she gave him water. When she laid his lifeless body in a box, our five other cats came by — one by one — to say goodbye. A.C. — the younger alpha-male who later became the protector of his smaller, older companion — retreated to a corner of the hallway and hasn’t moved. Our cats know they have lost one of their own and each grieves in his or her way.

So do we. Amy and I cannot stop crying.

Tears cannot replace the loss of a beloved pet.

But they can help.

13 thoughts on “Requiem for a beloved cat”

  1. Sorry to hear of Trouble’s passing. We lost one of our beloved cats recently too, the Alpha female of our brood, who was constantly challenged by the males and other females we have. She was always vocal, and it was hard to tell if she was angry or having fun since she growled in either case. She suffered a ruptured thoracic duct and despite a wealth of treatments, eventually succumbed when her lungs could no longer keep going with fluid building in her chest (it had been drained several times). When we brought her home, our cats did a similar thing to yours and each came up and paid their respects. We buried her in the yard, and ever since the other cats just haven’t been quite the same. Even her longtime female nemesis has stayed rather sad that her longtime adversary is gone. Cats are strange and wonderful creatures.

  2. Sincere sympathy, Doug. It’s heart-wrenching to lose a pet. As we go about our busy lives, we sometimes forget how much they mean to us until they’re gone.

  3. I’m glad Trouble was afforded a great lifestyle with love and caring.
    Thanks for sharing; I feel we all lost a ‘lil friend.

  4. Sad tale (tail) told and one many of we critter friendly humans know all too well. Having been “over blessed” with all strays, throw-aways and still others led in by those who know I’m a sucker, it is fascinating to observe the ins & outs of cats social order. The competitive nature within the pride will eventually lead to a simple respect for those declining with old age and needing space to go peacefully. Trouble, having caregivers and human life partners is what made his life the best it could be. Taking a kitten/ cat from the alleys of D.C., bringing him when the move was made to beautiful Floyd, gave him even more to enjoy in his lucky lifetime with his trusted family of cats & humans. That’s why it is so hard to say “good bye” and have them leave our lives. But beware, trouble can find you even way out here in the hills…he may show himself to you in another who just seems like Trouble 2. You done him good, it sounds. Sorry for you and Amy and the pride of five friends. Peace.

  5. I’m very sorry to hear of Trouble’s death, Doug. I’ve often said that when I die, I want to come back as a cat owned by you and Amy. That’s a good life! I’m sure Darcie can help you fill that void when you are ready. Take care of yourselves and grieve as long as you need. I think we will all be reunited with our pets in the Summerland. Hugs,

  6. Years ago we had two dogs who were not litter-mates, but we acquired them as puppies and they were raised together. One died at age 8 (traffic accident), which was bad enough, but we thought the other one was going to grieve herself to an early death. She moped around for weeks, and would not eat or go into their doghouse. The devastating forlorn look in her eyes broke our hearts. I’ve heard many people refer to “just dumb animals.” That was proof to us that animals have emotions just like humans. I’m sure your other cats are mourning also. My condolences to all of you. BTW, our other dog did finally recover and lived a long and happy life.

  7. Doug – So sorry to hear about Trouble. Please give my condolences to Amy. I hope you both find comfort in knowing that you gave him a good life – filled with love that went both ways.

  8. My condolences, Doug, with prayers and good thoughts for you. As Permanent or Rescue Foster Dad for dozens of cats of the years, I know what you’re going through.

  9. Oh, I am so sorry Amy and Doug. Trouble was one of our playmates, along with AC when we stayed with you. He’s been with you a long time!! We’ve lost three in the last year and it never gets easier. Fortunately here is Floyd, there are many other sweet ones to take their place. We have a new, pure white female joining us next month.

    I know you find joy in your other “family members” in residence!!

  10. We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We know how hurtful it can be to lose a cat that has become a close family member. We lost our Sweetie to an accident in our driveway after having her for 16 years. She showed up on the sidewalk on a September afternoon and we have often said “Sweetie picked us to be her family.” Like Trouble she seldom uttered a sound-if she did you knew something was wrong. It has been almost a year since she left us and we still miss our “Lovely Lady.”
    You are so right when you say tears help! The four of us have cried a river in the past year!
    Thanks for taking such good care of one of God’s stray felines!

  11. Really sorry to hear this, Doug (and Amy). It’s so hard losing a loved pet. Our sympathies are with you. I can’t write more because I’ll start crying/

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