Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In Memory of Pookey

This post is in memory of my Mom's darling cat, Pookey, who passed away today at the young kitty age of 8 years old.  Pookey was my mother's pride and joy, and he became her loyal companion, as a kitten, after her heart attack in 2000.

Pookey, having wonderful taste for a cat, adored my mother and followed her everywhere.  He especially liked being picked up and held for long periods of time, especially wrapped in a towel.  I've never seen a who liked being held as much as Pookey did.  

Pookey liked to sleep on Mom's bed at night and she never seemed to mind him waking her up at all hours to "let him out".  He also enjoyed burrowing up under the sheets of a freshly-made bed, where he would lay under the covers as a "hump" in the bed, sleeping for hours.  Pookey was my Mom's best pal and companion, especially during the last few hard years of Dad's illness when Pookey gave her one small thing to celebrate each day.  And he has kept her close company over the last year after Dad went into the nursing home.
Pookey especially liked to go outdoors, climb on the wood pile, cross the road, and chase mice. He was known to have confrontations with foxes, neighbour's dogs, and other cats.  Even though he only weighed 10 lbs (max) and was mostly fluff, he had an enormous personality, oversized paws, and an-almost-human character.  In fact, he was kinder and more loving than most humans I know. He was a doting companion and kept my Mom indoors many evenings to "spend with the cat puttering around the house".  She worried about him when he was outdoors and she was away, but as soon as her car came in the yard, he always came running to see his Mom.  

He had a fondness for cat nip and always got a Christmas present with some tucked inside.

Pookey liked to sleep on the bed in my old room, in his kitty basket, and especially enjoyed sleeping on any light-colored furniture where his black fur could accumulate.  He enjoyed scratching furniture, scratching his post to shreds, and chasing those little toy mice.  He had a whole basket of toys.  He liked to be rocked in the rocking chair, roll in the dirt (see below), and sleep in the laundry basket.  He often had leaves or sand in his whiskers. He liked to be held whilst one was sitting on the toilet.  And he liked to drink the leftover milk from cereal bowls.  All this was indulged with nary a word.  
He was also permitted to occasionally walk on the table and the counters, but we don't mention that.

About two weeks ago, he started feeling badly and seemed to be having laboured breathing. Mom observed that he was not himself and thought that maybe he had worms after all his summer exploits.  She planned to take him to the vet to be de-wormed and checked later this week, but then a couple days ago, he began to not eat and started to dislike being picked up.  Mom was worried and when today he seemed worse, she made the hour's drive to the city to the vet, assuming he would get medication and come home.

At the vet, after a thorough exam and withdrawal of fluids, he was diagnosed with FIP virus (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), which we'd never heard of.  It is a lethal virus.  He had fluid build-up around his lungs and was slowly suffocating. Due to his worsening condition and struggle for breath, there was no choice.  The vet said that he would not recover, so a horrible and sudden decision had to be made.  He was put to sleep peacefully, with his loyal Mum by his side.

He is now in kitty heaven, I'm sure.

They may seem like "just cats" to some, but they are beloved friends to others. Pookey will be sorely missed.  We learned many lessons from him, most importantly the meaning of unconditional love (even when your hair is not done).  He came into my mother's life at a time when she needed something to make her smile and get her out of bed each day.  He has been a ray of sunshine every day since, until today.  And he will live in our memories until we are no more.

Rest in Peace little angel.


  1. Oh, Terri, so sorry to read this. It is so hard to lose a pet, and I am sure this was a terrible experience for you mom. I've lost pets and know the pain one goes through over these fluffy and loyal companions.


    Hope you are well, Terri!


  2. Oh Terri!
    So sorry to hear this :( It is never easy to lose a pet, especially when that pet is family. I hope your Mom does okay with this loss. It's terrible. My heart goes out to you

  3. Terri,

    I'm so, so terribly sorry for Pookey's passing. I had to make the decision with my oldest cat in October but knowing that he was suffering made it easier to guide him to a wonderful place across the Rainbow Bridge. I will pray that Ferguson (my cat that just passed) will find him and have some fun! :) Hang in there.

  4. Hi Terri,

    Aww :( I'm sorry to hear that :( Indeed, cats and dogs can be ever so important and feel more important than people. Seems like your mom and Pookey had a very special relationship and yes it must be terrible for her :( I had tears in my eyes while reading what you have written. My thoughts go to your mom and Pookey.

    Have a peaceful weekend!

    Hugs, Susanne

  5. I am so sorry about Pooky. I lost 3 this year...Angel age 22, Casey age 20, and Sushi the Siamese who we found and spent THOUSANDS ON but he died of heart disease anyway. At the moment, one of my five, Salem is going in friday for tests, and xrays, looks like it may be asthma. I NEVER say just a cat. They are my family...again, sorry for your loss

  6. Terri, you have described Pookey so well, so completely, that I feel as if I had held him myself. Your mother will be in my prayers as I know that this is an awful blow for her. This loss is one of those things that I just don't get. Seems as if she needed him so...

  7. Oh, Im so sorry to hear about this. Its a terrible thing to lose a friend, no matter what their species. I hope you and your mom are a comfort to each other.

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of beloved Pookey. He so reminds me of our Twister, who had to be put down last year at 13 yrs. of age., suffering from a malignant tumor in his mouth. He was my husband's best friend! Whenever my husband felt bad or had a headache, Twister would go upstairs, lay snuggled up beside him in the crook of his arm with his head on my hubby's shoulder. I truly believe some special animals are "sent" to minister to those who need them, like your mother and my spouse! And the orange ginger cat, Goldie, who sits in my lap as I write this!!

  9. Anonymous8:16 pm

    So sorry to hear about your Mom's beloved Pookey. I dread facing that when our dog passes on.


  10. Anonymous4:56 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom's cat, Pookey. I can completely understand the special place a cat holds in a household, and in your heart. I have grown to be less of a dog person, and more of a cat person over the years and really feel that our cat is a full member of the family. RIP Pookey.

    JA. Ottawa

  11. i'm so sorry for your loss. a year ago i would have been one of those people that "didn't understand" but after getting my little guy i totally get it. the way they love you unconditionally is awe-inspiring.

  12. Anonymous9:32 am

    I am so sorry for you & your mother's loss. Thank you for posting such a lovely peice about such a wonderful cat. I hope your mom can find solace in her lovely memories of her cat and the support of family and friends. The loss of a beloved pet can be so huge and gut heartwrenching. My heart goes out to her. Carolyn

  13. Wow, I'm very struck and saddened by the life and passing of Pookey. It hurts me and will haunt me even as my three girls wander nearby.

    My eldest at 12 years was diagnosed as diabetic in June and I was very fortunate to find out that her illness can be managed. I dread the day when she or her younger "sisters" can no longer hold on. I'll keep your mom and Pookey in my prayers.