Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Sad Goodbye

Ziggy


1994 - 2 February 2010


Yesterday, we lost our gentle giant of a cat, Ziggy. While the day before he had shown some signs of a little improvement - talking more to me and eating more than he had been - by that night it was clear something else was going on. We found him in the morning, in the sunroom, unable to move and yowling in a tone I had never heard come from him. I picked him up and returned him to the chair in the office where he had been battling the pneumonia. How he made it to the sunroom I will never know. We never heard a sound throughout the night indicating his distress. It looked like a stroke.


I placed Zig on the heating pad to warm him back up, but by then he was yowling almost constantly. I also noticed his pupils dilated and the light that had been in his eyes the day before was gone. He was as comfortable as possible and I was there, petting his now unresponsive body, as he slipped from this world into the next. Softly, as he left, I thanked him for sharing his life with me and told him what a good friend he was.


It was in 1995 that Ziggy appeared at our house. My DD had come home from work to find a young cat wandering where we park our cars. He followed her down to the house, begging to come inside by sitting on a garden bench on the deck and staring at us through the sunroom windows. And stare he did. I have never seen a cat with such riveted eyes.


We tried placing him in the barn's feed room thinking that would satisfy him. At that time we not only had many housecats already, my father was living with us with his two small dogs. We really didn't have space for another cat. But as many times as I would put Zig in the barn, there he would be, at the sunroom windows, staring in at us. It wasn't long before my DH asked if we could at least bring him into the basement until we could find out whom he belonged to. OK. Will do. Once inside it became obvious. If no one claimed him, he at the very least claimed us.


I never saw a cat with such a penchant for playing fetch. Zig would drive us nuts each evening by insisting we throw a rabbit-fur mousie for him to retrieve. He would be satisfied for literally hours of this while we wore out. No matter how hard or where we threw his toy, it would be instantly brought back and dropped by our feet to please throw again.


That behavior remained until a couple of years later when Ziggy accidently fell out of the second-floor bathroom window. He seemed fine at the time but years later we would find out that he had in some way hurt his spine. The Mousie Game stopped and he started to lay around much more. We thought it was his getting older and outgrowing the game. It wasn't until later when an upward curve developed that it became apparent of the now way-past injury. While he didn't run after mousie any longer, it still didn't stop him from playing, eating, taking walks on a leash around the farm.


And he was huge! Not only big of frame, but he had gained weight up to 26 lbs. Our vet at the time would comment on his size, tempering the comments with the fact that he was in perfect health, and how the vet should be able to feel his ribs. My response would always be, "Press harder."


A little over a year ago, Zig started losing weight. It was determined that his thyroid was doing too good a job and he was placed on medication. This winter, though, there was something we just couldn't put our finger on. Something was different even if all the tests showed he was OK except for the thyroid. Then, about a month ago we had an upper respiratory bug hit some of the cats. Hindsight always being 20/20, now we know it was just too much for Zig's system. The round of antibiotics just didn't seem to work. There had also been some internal bleeding due, we believe, to a sinus infection which ruptured and may have also cause the pneumonia. Well, you know the rest...


I will miss my dear friend. My heart feels like part of it was torn out yesterday. I know that, with time, it will heal and the hole replaced with fond memories of my friend.


And I know one thing for certain: As much as the heart hurts at this time of loss, I would do it all over again. My life has been very blessed with good animal friends...like Ziggy.


47 comments:

Tina T-P said...

So sorry you had to go through that alone. You have lots of good memories of Ziggy - keep them in your heart. T.

Tammy said...

What a beautiful boy. I love the story about the mousie game. What characters the kitties are...even if they can wear us out. I'm glad that you were with him when he passed. I think that would be better than finding him all alone and be upset that he went without your love wrapped around him. Take care of yourself.
(Just had some 'shocking' news a few minutes ago...the boys (Gabe and Noah) 'aren't working out'.. Phew. People. So eight cats in the house? Any suggestions or tips to help things not be a trainwreck would be appreciated.

Take care,
Tammy

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

We heard from Miss Peach about your loss. We're very sorry to hear that Ziggy had to go the Bridge. He sounds like a wonderful cat and you loved each other very much.

Sending gentle purrs to comfort you,
Charlemagne and Tamar

Poppy Q said...

Kathy,
we are sorry to hear about your sweet boy Ziggy. What a lucky boy to have had so much love from you all, and to have waited for you to be by his side as he passed.

Sending you gentle hugs and purrs
Julie and Poppy Q

The Kool~Kittie~Krew said...

We heard of your loss of your dear sweet, Ziggy from Misses Peach. We came here to tell you how sorry we are for your loss. Take peace in knowing that he left you knowing the TRUE meaning of love, family, and home. He will always watch over you from the bridge and will anxiously be awaiting the day you are together again.

Gentle Purrs and Hugs~
The Kool~Kittie~Krew and mom, Shannon

lois said...

Ziggy knew whom he wanted to spend his life with, and was blessed with the love that you gave him. He was a bright and beautiful spirit and such a wise soul. I will miss those eyes, and all his sweetness...

nursedragon said...

Mark, Laura and I are so sorry to hear about Ziggy. He was certainly a character! It seems that the cats who adopt you are the hardest ones to lose.

I know you and Ralph did your very best by Ziggy. He got the best of care. No one could have done more.

jansfunnyfarm said...

We are so sorry to learn about Ziggy. He was obviously quite a light in your life. We just recently lost our Crystal, so we know how painful it is to say good-bye to a beloved furry. Warm purrs and tail wags.

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

We heard of your sad loss from our friend Miss Peach.
Ziggy sounds like he was a wonderful cat and a terrific friend.
Although you are missing him so much today, be comforted to know he will live always in your heart.
(((hugs)))

Everycat said...

We are so very sorry to learn of the passing of beautiful Ziggy. Your tribute to him shows what a beloved friend he was to your family and also what a great character he was. We know how hard it is to lose an old feline friend. Ziggy had a wonderful life with you. He will be watching over you all, thankful of the great life and love you gave him.

Rumbly purrs and love

Whicky Wuudler & family.

Brian said...

My sisters and I are so very, very sorry to hear about your sweet Ziggy. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to get to know him, but your heart felt tribute left us feeling that we had known him forever. Thanks so much for sharing him with everyone and will can all remember Ziggy forever. Our best loving purrs to you.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We know what you mean. Despite not having nearly enough time with them we would gladly do it all over again for our "special" ones. We hope that the happy memories take over faster than Ziggy's passing.

Leigh said...

Kathy, I am so, so sorry. It was difficult to read your entire post through my tears. A big cyber hug to you all.

Amy & The House of Cats said...

We read about Ziggy on Misses Peaches blog and wanted to come by and send you some comforting purrs and prayers. We went through this not long ago and we know how sad you must be. But just remember that Ziggy is at the bridge, and healthy and not sick anymore.

Harry Spotter said...

I am so sorry. We are sending you are purrs and prayers for comfort. At least he is not in anymore pain and is running free with all the othe rainbow bridge kitties, including my Rodzilla, Lady Harley and Shrek. I know they are all taking care and loving each other. Our purrs and prayers are with you.

'Kaika said...

We are so sorry that your sweet Ziggy had to leave you. He was a lovely boy. We send you many gentle purrs and comforting thoughts ...

'Kaika and his mom

The Creek Cats and Maggie May said...

We just heard the loss of your precious Ziggy. We just wanted to stop in and give you our best comforting purrs and vibes. We are very sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

Fin said...

I just read of your loss at the CB and I wanted to offer my deepest purrs of sympathy to your family. So sorry for your loss.

Chesney Cats said...

We are so very sorry for your loss.

The Zoo said...

We're so sorry for your loss.

Michelle said...

Oh Kathy, I just found out. I am so sorry! There are just no words to ease the loss; know that I feel for you and have been there, too....

Sharon said...

I saw this on FB this morning and am so sorry. Reading your chronicle tonight through tears, Charlie came over and annoyed me by trying to be on my laptop, or tried to annoy me. I've never been so happy to have him annoy me in this way.

Ziggy will be Tina's Neelix to you. I've never missed a dog the way I miss the cats that have passed through my life. Cats have a way.

Karen Jo said...

I am so very sorry for your loss of Ziggy. I hope that the memories of his wonderful life with you will be of comfort to you as you miss him.

Ayla and Iza said...

We are so sorry to hear about Ziggy. All we can offer are our purrs of comfort. We know how hard this parting is.

We are sure our own LC and Skeeter were there to greet Ziggy at the Bridge and show him around in the new place.

Kelly said...

Ziggy would be impressed - 24 comments already. I think Mom really appreciates your kind words.

Freya & Teego said...

We're all so very sorry to hear about poor Ziggy... A lot of us here know exactly what you're going through right now, and we know it's so hard.

I hope the pain goes swiftly, and that you can only remember the great times you had together...
The softest purrs to you and your family.
xxx

Marg said...

We are so sorry to hear about Ziggy. He sounds like he was a terrific cat. Love the fact that he would fetch his toy. And he was so persistent about living in the house. It is so hard to lose an animal. Lots of purrs coming your way and woofs too.

Theresa said...

Big hugs to you and we'll light a candle here for Ziggy.
I know how hard it is to lose those much loved companions. I'm sure he's back at his mousie game now though.

Rusty said...

Mom and me are so sad to hear about Ziggy's passing. Mom says he sounds like he was the bestest kitty. Purrs and hugs from us to you.

The Kitty Krew said...

We're so sorry to hear of Ziggy's passing. Our Ziggy especially is sad to hear about the namesake he never knew was out there. Your Ziggy sounds like he was a very wonderful kitty. We bet our Callie, who we lost in December, was there to greet him at the Bridge. We're sending many purrrrrrrrs to you right now.

Purrs and hugs,
The Kitty Krew and The Mommy

Mayleen said...

Sending you much healing and comfort during this time. I hope Ziggy is enjoying all the mice on the other side. May you always remember him with a smile for the times you shared.

Naomi said...

Oh bless you for your love to Ziggy! And for your open heart to all critters, and your faith to do it again! My heart is with you in your sorrow and I pray for your healing...I know of what you speak as we lost one of our own precious cats this fall. They are truly gifts in our lives.

I haven't read your blog before, but I am moved by your postings on Ziggy!

Cheryle Hoover Davis said...

I'm sorry to hear of Ziggy's passing and how it pains your heart. Zig was a good friend to you, and you to him. I've had animal friends go to the Bridge, too, and it's always sorrowful.

Hugs and Purrs to you...and we'll always remember Ziggy..

Cheryle

Benita said...

I am seriously sorry for your loss. We lost our cat of 16.5 years last November and we will miss him. At least you got to be with him up until the end and he got to be at home when he died. I'll be thinking about you.

Pierro said...

You are not alone in your sadness.
You have shared this wonderful story with us, and now we are here to hold you up.

I am pretty sure Caesar and Princess were there at the bridge with open paws welcoming Ziggy to eternal comfort and rest.
He is safe now.


headbonks, love and (((hugs)))

Rosemary and Peirro

Tigger, Munchkin, Jigsaw and Patches said...

Oh, my, we are soo furry sorry to heer dis terrible sad mews. We knows how hard it iz to lose a speshul furriend. We iz sending tons of healing purrs to soothe your greef, an we know Ziggy will find lots of furriends, and not be hurtin anymore offurr da bridge.

Purrlease know that he lives on in your precious memories of your wonnerful years together.

Purrrsss... from the "Talk With The Paws" crew of Tigger, Munchkin, Jigsaw and Patches, an our mom, Liz (well, mebee she's not purrin....but sends you all the best healing thots she can. )

Junior & Orion and their Mom said...

We are so very sorry for the loss of Ziggy. It sounds like he was a wonderful cat, and we are glad you had so many wonderful years with him. We are also glad you were with him as he passed.....what more can we do, or can a pet ask for? We will be purring and praying for all of you.

Tristan and Crikey said...

We're so sorry to hear that Ziggy had to go to The Bridge. Please know that we're purring and purraying for you. Codspeed dear Ziggy, Codspeed.

Tristan, Crikey and Angela

Helena said...

I've come over from Miss Peach's.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
Ziggy looks like a wonderful cat. What a gorgeous, thick, rich coat he had!
One of my cats, Fluffy, has been on meds for her thyroids for a while now. At least 18 months. This week I found out that my other cat, Scooter, has to go on them now, too. He is a big cat, like your Ziggy. But he is 17lb! This is heavy enough when he leans against me in bed though :) Your story has brought home to me how we need to treasure every day we have with our older moggie friends (mine are 17 next month). Every day is a gift.....

I know what it is like to lose one as I had to let their litter-mate go a few years ago. Sometimes I still shed a tear for her. Some people said to me, "It's only a cat!" but they don't know, do they? There is such a deep connection with a loving fur-companion. There is such a knowing behind those eyes.

In time, when you think of him, it will be with more smiles than tears. Till then, and in the weeks ahead, be especially gentle on yourself. Give yourself all the time, love, sleep and treats that Ziggy would have wished you.

Love, tea and cake,
Helena

Catline Crew said...

We are so sorry to hear about Ziggy going to the bridge. We know how difficult it must be for you at this time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Kim Gibson said...

I am so very sorry to hear of Ziggy's passing, I know how sad you must be. I also know you will in time remember more the wonderful times, the fun times, the loving times. He is surely remembering them too. Love and strength to you now.

Miss Peach said...

Dear Kathy and family....I am thinking about you and wanted you to know. You have been loved on so much and that is wonderful. My friend Helena is mommy to Princess Dilly...who I adore so much. Dilly left you the best comment on my blog about Ziggy...it is purrrrfect and precious...like the love of a loyal kitty all ones life.
Soft hugs....the cozy cottage crew

JC said...

I am so very sorry for your loss
You wrote about a marvelous cat
Know that he knew he was loved
He is now at peace
Hugs to you,
JC & The Purr Gang

Jennifer said...

I am so glad that you had Ziggy in your life and I am sorry that he is now gone. Thank you for sharing his story and your love for him. Give yourself the gift of time to grieve.

Gypsy & Tasha said...

Thank you for sharing a little about Ziggy with all of us. It's special that you got be right to the end. We're sending our purrs to all of his family left behind,

{{{hugs}}}

Gypsy & Tasha

TK said...

We are very sorry to hear of your loss. We wish for your hart a recovery, and for your head long memories.

Kathi said...

Kathy~
As I'm wiping tears away, my heart feels for you. I'm sorry for your loss, we too have lost many a beloved animal and it hurts deeply.

Hugs to you, prayers to both you and Ziggy.

Kathi @ Rockin' A Ranch