Monday, August 2, 2010

Harry's Last Day

It's hard to say goodbye to a friend.  Harder when you've comforted each other in times of pain, made hurricane evacuations and cross-country moves, laughed and played and lived together for more than twenty years.

Harry could still get around on his own but we could tell he was in pain.  We knew when we took him to the vet today he might not come home with us.  When the vet said Harry's failing kidneys precluded pain meds, we thought it was time to let him go.

He had a good morning, laptime and petting and birdwatching between snoozes. We held him and scratched his head and he purred. 

Harry in the early days.------------------>

Harry had a good life, longer and better than I could have imagined the day he showed up at my back door in Miami, skinny and ravenous.  For more than 20 years, he gave and received love.  

We're both sad. We miss him. But I'm glad he's not hurting.  And I'll look into the little memorial garden we'll plant with his ashes and see him in the sweetness of the flowers.  

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. oh, Kathleen.
    I'm so so sorry.
    I know you wouldn't wish suffering on anyone or anything,
    but still... this is it's own kind of hard.

    love to you, now and in the coming days without your Harry.

  2. What's comforting is that his life was long and it was a very good life. He had an amazing amount of love.

  3. You have tended your cat/friend well and you have given him release and his ashes will help you tend your bit of earth.
    I know you will miss him, though.

  4. I am so sorry Kathleen, everyone of us experiences this kind of goodbye. It is somehow more difficult for kids though. It is good she died of natural causes, not accidents or anything like that! Anyway, you've given all the love it deserved.

  5. I'm sorry for losing Harry... and glad he had such a loving family. It's hard to say goodbye to animals that are such an integral part of our lives. Last fall our 12 year old basset moved on... I wrote about him too. We have a few stone markers for one of our earlier cats, Sparky too. Glad Harry will come home...

  6. I love you Kathleen. I am so very sorry to read this news. It was the kind thing to do though.

    My total sympathies and love,


    p.s. I had a feeling it was going to be a bad day.

  7. Been there. And will, I know, have to go there again, but in spite of the pain and sense of loss, all the years of love and comfort are worth it - both for the cat and the cat-bonded one. Condolences from Nicholas and me.

  8. Oh, Kathleen. I'm so sorry.
    He gave you a lot of years of love. Releashing him from his pain was hard, I know...but, it was right.
    We've been in the same place, too. Our little ones live on in our hearts, though.

  9. RIP Sweet Harry.
    He was a lucky cat to wonder to / find your back door 20 years ago.
    I am positive he could not have had a better life anwhere else.

  10. What a wonderful life that Harry had. I am sorry for your loss. I look forward to seeing Harry's garden once you have completed it :-)

  11. You gave Harry 20 great years, I can see that so clearly in his change from mangey cat when you first found him to shining, healthy energy. He was lucky to have you and gave back in equal measure. It was kind of you to take him in and kind to let him go. Hugs from Here. N2

  12. I'm so sorry to read this.*hugs* What a great friend he was . .

  13. Thank you, friends, for your kind thoughts. It was comforting.

  14. Hugs... it is hard to say goodbye to sweet pets that grace our lives with their personalities.

  15. Goodbye, Harry. He had a good life with you, and I'm sure you'll miss him dearly.

  16. So sorry to hear about the loss of Harry. It is hard to lose a member of the family, but you still have 20 years of memories.

  17. FOG

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

    Carl Sandburg

    I memorized this poem 50 years ago, like millions of other high school kids of my generation. But I didn't fully appreciate what Sandburg was getting at until I lived in New Orleans a few years later. Early mornings I sometimes walked a few blocks from my student's apartment, where I would climb up onto the Mississippi River levee, stand quietly, and watch as silent, dense fog would completely engulf me and my neighborhood as it meandered its way from the Gulf of Mexico along the curves of the River.

    Like Sandburg's fog, Harry has moved on...silently. But what a journey his little cat feet took him on. I know you and Denny will miss him dearly. I promise that the next time I am engulfed within a massive fog bank, with all due respect to Mr. Sandburg, I will think of Harry's little cat feet, and the life he shared with you and Denny.


  18. I believe our feline and canine friends have so much to teach us about our own humanity. Sweet Harry was a great teacher; you and Denny great students. There is something incredibly beautiful about a life well-lived. Rest on your laurels, Sweet Harry.

  19. Oh Harry - you will be missed. KS - I know you will mourn and miss him and I also know you will celebrate his shared 20 years with his spot to be in your gardens.

    A fitting tribute for such an intrepid partner.

  20. So sorry about Harry. It is never easy to say goodbye to such a good friend. We just lost our kitty too, many years too soon. 20 years is a good long cat life. I'm sure you'll miss him for 20 more though. Every time I lose a pet, I'm reminded all over again how much I miss them all.
    Lovely post, and lovely to think of his ashes in your pretty gardens.

  21. I'm crying as I write this. What a sweet dear cat. I'm so sorry for your loss. But also so thrilled that 20 years ago you rescued Harry and you had a chance to discover significant life together. You both were so very lucky.

  22. Oh Kathleen I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Harry will live on in your hearts. I apologize for being late to this, but somehow I missed it.

  23. Oh Kathleen, few cats have been as loved as Harry. Next time I see you, we'll tip a glass in his honor. Love you.

  24. Oh Kathleen dear, I am so sorry, twenty years is such a long and precious time to spend with a beloved cat. 'Harry', I love that name, that was my Dad's name.
    I must have missed this post for if I had seen it I would have been here right away to offer my condolences.
    I had to make the same decision with one of my kitties, he had kidney failure also and I know it is very hard to say Goodbye but we must when nothing more can be done.
    It is lovely to place his ashes where you shall see him again in the sweetness of the flowers, my little one is in my garden and I planted a tree above his final resting place. I know that you are hurting but that hurt does lessen over time and he will always be with you in the lovely memories that you have shared over his lifetime.
    Take car my dear friend, this is a lovely tribute to Harry.
    xoxoxo ♡


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