Sunday, July 13, 2014

where to go when your heart is broken

Somewhere like this:
Dollar Lake

One of the differences between cats and dogs is that cats can't really come along with you on adventures. In all  of my travels I've only seen one backpacking cat, peeking out of a backpack enroute to Mount Whitney, perhaps an an HKC* attempt. So whenever I went to the woods, I always felt guilty leaving my furry pals behind.

The hardest thing about losing a pet is that you just don't know. You don't know if it was the right time to make the call, or if it was too soon. If there was something you could have done differently. If you could have spent more time with them, if you had only known.

This is the second time I've had to make the call on the operating table, and it broke my heart. The night before I took Smoke outside and he quietly watched the birds. He purred as I held him and said goodbye, just in case. It's not enough.

I brought him home fourteen and a half years ago, when I was in love with fire, and so I called him Smoke, but a lot of people liked to call him Smokey. He was cool with that. He also didn't mind vacuum cleaners, dogs, or visitors. He was a great cat. I still can't believe he's gone.

*Highest Known Cat.


  1. So sorry for the loss of your beloved kitty.

  2. oh, no...I am so so sorry :(

  3. I'am so sorry Mary,
    I went through this with a special kitty I had a couple years ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. My dogs and cats are my kids, so much to the point that Shane and I have put backpacking aside for now for the sake of our older dogs. They are 12 and 11 and they still go but they pay for it for days afterwards. Those pups have been on every packing trip with us since they were 6 months old, it's not easy, I will miss the backcountry with all of my heart but I can't leave them behind, for now it will be lots of tent camping. Just remember how much your kitty loved you and you loved him back.

  4. During their loving lives, pets steal, hold, and break our hearts. Thinking of you, Mary; sending hugs.

  5. Another kitty mama (I know doggy mama too) who has the heart. Over the past few years I had to make that extremely difficult decision for my 17 and 19 years old cats. As you said, hardest decision EVER! With my 17 year old, she told me when it was time. That helped immensely as did a great experience at the vet's office with the process. With my 19 year old, he wasn't going to make it easy. Much like his life where he loved to drive me crazy alternating between being a naughty boy, a playful kid, and a lover.

    Right now I'm pet free and it's very lonely at times. Miss my kitties and have great empathy for you. Hiking helps :)

  6. Aww man, I am so sorry about Smoke :( hugs to you!

  7. *hug* Sorry about your kitty. He sounds like he was a great friend.


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