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Monday's pets on furniture, and a tribute to Edgar

If you'd like to send me photos to include in next week's "pets on furniture" post, please ensure your photos follow my basic rules: First, the pet must be on a piece of furniture. And said piece of furniture must be clearly visible in the photo, so it takes center stage rather than your pet. Think of it more of a photo of a great piece of furniture that you want to show off...and your pet happens to be sitting on it. And second, if the photo is dark or fuzzy then it may not make the cut. Photos, your name, location and a brief description can be sent to desiretoinspirekim@hotmail.com and PLEASE don't send closeups of your pet! Thanks!

Our rescued Canadian born cat, Singha, reclining on her favourite thrift store chair.
- Christine, England

We found Buddy rocking in a chair at the seafood shack "down the (Jersey) shore". He would rock a while, then stop to watch the customers buy clams or crabs or whatever it was that wasn't Pupperoni. Then he'd go back to rocking. Buddy. 
- Priscilla 

Pictured is Cameron, our foster dog. We call him the Silver Fox (kind of like George Clooney). He is hanging out on our Lafer-esque sofa that we scored off Craigslist, enjoying life. Cameron was "born wild" or on the mean streets of St. Louis and lived as a feral dog for five or so years until he was humanely caught and rehabilitated by Stray Rescue. He was then adopted to a sweet retired lady. They hung out together for two years before he came back to the rescue -- it turns out his lady had Parkinson's Disease and had to move somewhere where she could get more care (and no dog's were allowed). So we have ended up with Cameron as our foster dog. He is about 9-1/2 years old and in great health except some arthritis in his back hips. You can see his full bio on Stray Rescue's website. Cameron is super sweet and we love having him around but I'm also hoping he can find his forever home soon so they can enjoy a lot of time hanging out on the sofa with this guy.
- Courtney 

These are my daughter Hayley's dogs-Rhonda and Howard with the new chair (from Anthropologie.)
- Christy (Visalia, CA) 



This is a tribute to Edgar, the 7th cat who joined my family only a few years ago and who left such a memorable impression that I'm already tearing up writing this. By sharing Edgar's story I am not so much doing this in his memory, but for all the cats and dogs out there roaming the streets who just so desperately want a home and to be loved. That's all Edgar ever wanted, and that's what he got, right up until he died Saturday afternoon. And if anyone out there is in a similar situation where you are able to give a stray animal a home, I hope this is what it takes for you to make the right decision. 

Edgar started hanging around my house in July 2009, a time when I had several stray cats I was feeding and trying to figure out what to do with. Edgar was TERRIFIED of people. I would leave him some food across the yard and if he even so much as spotted me peeking through the corner of a window he'd take off like a shot. This went on for a few months. I did manage to capture a few photos during this time.

One day 3 months later I took one of my strays, Seymour, to the vets to get fixed up so I could find him a home - but he didn't come home with me. Turns out he had severe FIV and was put down. When I returned home totally devastated, I sat in the backyard and cried. After a few minutes I could not believe my eyes when I looked up to find Edgar sitting on the deck with me. I reached out my hand and he came over and let me pet him. I even managed to go inside and get my camera to document this unbelievable turn of events.

After a while I figured he'd go off gallivanting around the 'hood as per usual so I went inside. And this is what happened for the next day or so. He sat at the door and howled. 

Of course, that was the end of Edgar as a stray. I took him to the vet and found out he was neutered, between 9-13 years old and had bad kidneys. Due to the fact that he wasn't healthy and pretty old, I was stuck with him. It didn't take long for me to realize how grateful I was that he became my 7th cat. He turned out to be a big baby, who loved me so much. He followed me around the house, was always under my feet or in my lap. And WOW did he ever love snuggling up against my husband and I under the covers on cold nights. (It's going to be a cold winter this year we keep saying :( ) Not only did he have the best personality, he was one of the most bizarre looking cats I've ever seen. We used to say that he was half wolf, half human. He had legs that were abnormally long, and huge paws. And fur that was really fluff, in about 10 different shades of grey.

He developed arthritis the past year or so and it got very bad recently, particularly in his hips, so my husband and I knew it wouldn't be long before we would have to make the decision to put him down. But since about Thursday things took a turn for the worse, and Edgar gave up. You could see it in his face. There was nothing in his eyes. Friday morning I knew something had to be done so I emailed the vet and was told she could come by Saturday after the clinic closed at 4 pm. He got worse and worse each hour and I sat in the bathroom with him (he decided that was where he wanted to be) and told him I loved him and to just go. I am devastated that he ended up in pain and suffering, especially the last couple of days. Edgar passed away around 2:30 pm Saturday, before the vet could come. It was hard to see him go, but we knew it was for the best. I just can't get the images out of my head of Edgar, dead, but still breathing. That was what it was like for the last 2 days of his life and I am so sorry I couldn't/didn't do anything early enough to spare him from all that suffering. I'm trying to focus on the fact that he was able to spend the last few years of his life in a loving home.
I have a Flickr set dedicated to each of my cats, and this one is Edgar's if you would like to see more photos (including some from his final days, which I can't bring myself to include in this post). There are even a couple of iPhone videos of his antics. (Edgar was a hoot).
Edgar, we love you buddy. It will never be the same without you, and I know I will never again come across a cat like you. You were so special, and thank you for loving me, and letting me love you. 

Reader Comments (38)

Oh hon, I'm so sorry to hear about Edgar. So glad he had a good home in his last few years. I'll never forget that face. So human. Hugs and kisses to you and your husband.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

So sorry for your loss. I have 5 cats and love each of them dearly and it is so hard when we have to let a pet go. He was lucky to have had a great and loving home.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpam

You made me cry... For every single pet I've lost over the years (most of them were ex-stray ones), for every Edgar in my life... God bless you for every happy moment you gave him during his last years...:-(

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDespinach

I am so sorry for your loss. Edgar was clearly so loved. He was so lucky to find you. I have rescue dogs. One of them was a stray and nothing is more rewarding than being able to give him the home and love he deserves.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha Swope

I have tears in my eyes, my heart has sunk to my stomach. I knew your post would be difficult to read, yet beautiful. I too, despite trying to perpare for the best possible passings for aging, ill beloved pets, things didn't go as planned. It is heartbreaking. But, it does make me strive harder to do more.
Take a little comfort in knowing that your readers will be giving their pets a little extra love today and hopefully inspire more adoptions.
It's so easy to give a homeless animal a truly great life.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterd of dogland

omg edgar! so sad, but so good for him to go with such love and care. you're an angel.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpriscilla

So sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is devastating and it takes time to get past. They become so entwined with our daily lives. My thoughts are with you and your husband. Rest in peace Edgar.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

The hardest thing in the world...losing a pet. Thoughts are with you. :(

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKara

Soo sorry to hear that your cat passed away, but as a owner of cats and a reader of your blog here in Portugal, I say that the cat was very lucky to have you and your family and the comfort of a home in his last years. Had he remained on the street as a stray, he wouldn't have lived so many years. I believe he was a happy cat and you can see it in your pictures.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSofia Cunha

So sorry to hear that, Kim. This is a truly sad post. It made me cry because it reminded me of my own cat who died of cancer only a few weeks ago. His name was Elliot, I rescued him and his brother Mike from being drowned when they were about six months old and they stayed with me ever since - a full 21 years. I still miss him a lot. But your Edgar and my Elliot had a good life, they have been loved and cared for and I am sure they knew it. They won't be forgotten. And this is what counts, right?

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKirsty

Remember the wonderful life you allowed Edgar to have living with you and your husband. Funny how he knew to come to you when you needed him. Once again my dear Kim, I left a note the other day and please hold the memories dear. You have done a lovely tribute to him with your blog today. I'm going to go wipe away my tears now. What a bunch of saps we all are. Big Hugs.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

My dear old yellow Lab, Huckleberry, also died before the vet got to our home. Like you, I wish I hadn't waited "one more day." And like you, I was by his side, with him in my bedroom, head on a pillow. I did not go out ... spoke to and petted Huckleberry till he was gone, though I think he really left me before his body followed.

We love our pets, especially those who came from hardship and lived against the odds. They are hardest to let go. But, damn -!, isn't it a wonder that they DID live, and live well, with us? They knew love and comfort. They loved us back. That's a fine thing to have done.

Rest in sweet peace, Edgar. Your Mommy loved you so, and still does.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenteroh holland

Edgar radiates insight in his pictures... you two were on the same wavelength; to share that love and understanding is a wonderful gift.

There is nothing harder than watching the ones we love die (we had an experience with one of our cats when the vet didn't get there fast enough), and it haunts me still. But I try to find reassurance in having loved and tried to comfort to the very end. Damn kidney disease.

And maybe it is a last gift too -- to share an inevitable passage of life with someone we love.

Big hugs Kim. I am so sorry for your loss.

(and you have me wondering whether you have the same vet I do here in Ottawa, because not many seem to make housecalls. Dr. D?)

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonika

I am so sorry for your loss, and for the heartache of those last couple of days. Even though you couldn't ease his physical pains, your presence and love brought great comfort to your dear Edgar, and his last days were better for being spent with you.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

My heart breaks for you every time one of your cats passes away. What a handsome guy Edgard was, and I'm so glad that he found a loving home for the last few years of his life.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Kleenex. Everyone who has ever lost a pet is crying now. Good old Edgar. He lucked out when he came to visit you. Nice pet photos everyone.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterminnesota

I am so very sorry for your loss. I am struck by Edgar's face - it's incredibly powerful. Peace be with you in the days ahead. Both of you were lucky to have one another.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Thank you all for your comments. Though I teared up a few times while reading them, it sure is making it a little easier to cope. Sorry to all of you who have lost pets as well.
Monika, my vet is Dr. Thom at Merivale Cat Hospital (I highly recommend her).

5 Aug 2013 | Registered CommenterKiM

Oh Kim, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have now tears in my eyes after reading this beautiful and sad story. Edgar was a very special cat and a very lucky one to had such warm and loving home his last years.
Now you have this very sad pictures of him from his last days in your head, but belive me, they will go away and the day will come you will most remember the beautiful and happy moments with him.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusann

So sorry for your loss.
It seems like Edgar and you were meant to find each other.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

such a lucky and hansum puss. love your story and beautiful way of conveying it. u r special x

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleelee

I too agonize about a compassionate death for our pets.
We've done "put to sleep" & let them "go naturally." Neither felt right.
Either they were terrified in the carrier on the ride to the vet or they suffered on their way out naturally.
I'd like for there to be something like a sleeping pill that they could overdose on....does that sound crazy?
To quote Bill Clinton "I feel your pain"

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCiely

Hope you find sime comfort in these words...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author unknown... 

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

So so sorry that you had to go through the sorrow of seeing him leave, but I'm glad for Edgar's sake that he chose you to live with when he was ready for a home. You gave him a good one and he was loved and appreciated. Maybe he sensed how strong and loving you would be in the end. It's damn hard, and nothing really makes you feel better, just time passes and it doesn't hurt so much. Thanks for sharing handsome Edgar's wonderful pictures.

5 Aug 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Thanks again for the kind words. Dee, that made me tear up again. How sweet.

5 Aug 2013 | Registered CommenterKiM

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