The death of a reader’s cat

Everyone who has a pet (and that includes d*gs) knows how much a part of the family they become over time, and how devastating it is when they die. I’ve always thought that cats should live at least fifty years, so you could get one as a kid and have it your whole life. Sadly, Felis catus doesn’t live that long, and so, if we outlive our moggies, we must suffer, still knowing that our cats had good lives.  Reader Ginger K. sent me a sad email about the death of her beloved cat, and I asked for permission to put it up her as a memoriam. Meet the late Timmy Starr Garcia K., who died January 18, the day I got this information. Ginger’s notes are indented below:


Attached is a picture of my beloved sweet little baby boy Timmy Starr Garcia K.  I got him from death row at a local pound along with 2 other kittehs.  He had been abused, had fleas, ear mites, and worms, and his gorgeous fur was matted and filthy.  He was so small I thought he was 8 weeks old, but the vet said he was 5 months when I rescued him.  He required a stay at the vet and industrial-strength worm medicine, but he has been parasite-free ever since.

Despite his terrible early kittenhood, Timmy Starr was a very gentle and gregarious kitteh. He loved any loving attentions and fusses.  He was a major lap kitteh and loved to be groomed.  He got on well with my other kittehs, and being around them greatly helped him socialize.  He was emotionally needy and required a lot of motherly reassurance.

Today my beloved little Timmy Wimmy Kitteh had a stroke.  I took him to the vet, and his prognosis was poor.  I decided to send him to Ceiling Cat.

Timmy was such a good little boy.  I got him from death row in the pound in Michigan. He was always a happy little kitteh, very talkative, always begging for treats.

He and my other kittehs have moved across the country with me twice.  I had him for 14 years.  I miss him tremendously.  May he play with Ceiling Cat forever.



  1. Cindy
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful cat.

    My condolences.

    I lost my kitty of 16 years in 2010. She was the sweetest most loveable thing. She slept in the bed with me every night, right under my armpit.

    I never thought that I could move on but I did. I got my hands on an Abyssinian and let me say, Abys are a handful. She is nothing like my kitty of 16 years but I figure that this is ok, as in the end, I can love her for the unique individual that she is.

  2. Barry Lyons
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    That is sad. But that photo is great. There’s something about the texture (soft focus?) that makes it appear as a painting.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Very sorry for your loss.

  4. Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry, Ginger, for the loss of your beautiful boy. You had many joyful years with him, and I hope that, in time, you will smile when you think of him ❤️

  5. Merilee
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


  6. Diane G.
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear about Timmy Starr, Ginger. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you & his kitteh step-siblings. Such a sweet face!

  7. charitablemafioso
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry. It’s always so hard to lose them but I hope you can take comfort in the fact you gave Timmy a good, long life.

  8. robin
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope all your joyful memories of Timmy Star help you through your grief.

  9. Redlivingblue
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    My condolences. I had to put down my beloved cat SCSI three years ago. He aged 15 years and was my best friend. Time is the only prescription that seems to help the symptoms of a broken heart. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  10. Taz
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post. My two boys are 16, and one is really starting to show his age.

  11. darrelle
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss Ginger. Going by the photo Timmy Starr looks like he was a beautiful, well cared for kitteh. You did a wonderful thing in rescuing him and making him a part of your family.

    Reading of this made me sad, but also a bit happy to hear a story of a compassionate person rescuing a kitteh in need, caring for it, being cared for by the kitteh in return and developing a strong, reciprocal and long lasting relationship. It’s the kind of thing that shows some of the best qualities of people and the best that life has to offer.

  12. Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Been there too and it’s hard to go through. All of my kittehs have been rescue ones and I like to think they appreciate us as much as we appreciate them (even if we’re just staff). Sorry for your loss.

  13. Taskin
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    What a gorgeous cat Timmy Starr was! Thank you for rescuing him and giving him a wonderful life.

  14. jwthomas
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a sad story. My own Max the Magnificent was recently diagnosed with cancer with 4-6 weeks to live. I had him euthanized in my presence on August 30, six months ago to the day. I still haven’t gotten over it. He was like no other cat I’ve had, and I’m too old to consider getting another. A great seven years with a great friend and companion. Even his bites were loving. Well, mostly 🙂

  15. Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    There likely isn’t any such thing as consolation.

    But the closest — and even better — thing is knowledge that the world is a better place for what you’ve done, and the memories to prove it.

    All things considered, a fourteen-year stay of execution for a kitten on death row is damned impressive. Timmy’s world was clearly far, far better for what you did for him, and I daresay the evidence is pretty clear that your own world is equally better for what he did for you.

    We none of this get out of it alive, including our divine overlords. What matters not is that we die, for that is a guarantee.

    What matter is what we do with the lives and time we have.



    • rickflick
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      “What matter is what we do with the lives and time we have”

      If that’s true (and I don’t doubt that it is), Timmy had a great life. He was lucky to have had a great caregiver for 14 years.

  16. frednotfaith2
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    My deepest condolences too, Ginger. Lost quite a few feline companions myself over the decades. Each loss is a wound to the heart but the joy they each brought during their lives makes it all worthwhile.

  17. DTaylor
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Such a beautiful tuxedo cat! And how refreshing it is to read of your loving rescue of this furry refugee from the storms of life, especially in the context of a nation (USA) that has (temporarily, I hope) gone berserk. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve lost similar companions, and it really hurts.

  18. eric
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Condolences, he looked and sounded like a wonderful cat.

  19. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Pets almost always break our hearts. I had to euthanize my dog before my current dog because she got cancer at only 8 years old. It was awful to go to the vet with your pet and return with only her collar.

    • nwalsh
      Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Condolences ginger & Diana, I can relate I just had to put my 14 year old mostly Short Haired pointer down. She had canine lymphoma. I did extend her life nearly a year with chemo.Then my wife came down with some kind of a virus necessitating cancellation of 3 weeks in Maui. A double whammy, but the pet hurts far more.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 30, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        So sorry to hear that. Every time I play with my dog, who is now 8 & still behaves as a puppy, I’m pained by the thought of losing her one day. She is so much in my heart, has such personality and is so smart. Someone once asked me to name someone I loved and I immediately answered, “my dog and I’d love to be just like her because she lights up a room and everyone is attracted to her”. What a little soul in a big world!

        • nwalsh
          Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Good on you. Enjoy your best friend.

        • Filippo
          Posted January 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          I am in the same situation with a black standard poodle who is going on eight years, yet continues to bounce off the walls. Prior to her, we had a black standard poodle no less full of life and who could run like the wind. At age four she expired during the night while staying with friends (a friend and his doggie), with whom she had stayed numerous times, while we were away on vacation. As much as we grieved, I cannot imagine what he felt like to wake up to find that situation on his hands.

          And as time has passed our friend had to confront the ordeal of his dog similarly passing during the night, the next morning looking as if he were merely asleep.

          Soon after that, we had to confront a thirteen year-old rescue toy poodle suffering seizures (brain tumor?) and endure having the vet mercifully putting her down.

          Good training in “carpe diem,” and “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may” (Robert Herrick), and predisposing one to be thankful for every precious day and every precious memory.

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 6, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          Diana, that’s so poignant; and I can certainly identify with all you say.

          Filippo, same to you. I guess all we can do is hold on to the good memories, and continue to rescue the other little fur-balls that need us…

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I am already crying as sure as you have been. What a great cat.

  21. Mark R.
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Losing a pet is indeed a travail. Time is the only cure, and solace can be somewhat achieved by remembering and knowing you gave the pet a good and happy life. I can tell from reading your comments that you gave Timmy a great life, and that’s a wonderful thing.

  22. alexandra Moffat
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Very touching. Yes, it is devastating when they die and/or we have to help them out of suffering.My sympathies – but he was a lucky cat to be rescued by such a caring person.

  23. Cathy Crompton
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I lost my boy, Mike, 2 years ago and I miss him still. My heart is with you

  24. somer
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    My heartfelt sympathies – he looks so soulful and from your account he was a wonderful puss. At least you can console yourself you gave him a very happy life, and enjoyed a wonderful companion.

  25. Linda Calhoun
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry for your loss, Ginger.

    Please know that you did a wonderful job caring for Timmy and giving him a full life. You did the right things to overcome his initial health problems, as evidenced by his long life.

    I’m sure you will miss him terribly, especially in the near-term. May your memories of him, and the knowledge that you helped him heal and live well, give you a measure of peace. L

  26. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Although a sad post, you did this very very well, and I can tell that your kitteh had a great life with you and that you were the perfect human for Timmy.

  27. Mary L
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    So sorry for your loss, Ginger. Thanks for giving him a good life and sharing the story and photo.

  28. BJ
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad one more kitty who suffered at the beginning got to live a long, healthy, fulfilling, and loving life. Thanks for saving him, Ginger.

    Most cats that were bread to be sold off will eventually find owners, but most of those in the pounds will only lead lives full of sadness until the finally die. If anyone reading this is ever looking to get a kitty, please adopt one from a shelter — preferably an adult, as they have far less chance of being adopted than a kitten. Adults are often adopted as kittens and then, after living a happy life full of love for a year or two, are brought to a shelter and locked in a cage for the rest of their lives and without ever knowing why, all because their owner thought they were a toy that could be returned when they got bored with it. Save them and give them the lives they deserve if you can 🙂

    By the way, I’d love to know the story behind this kitty’s name.

  29. busterggi
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    great condolences, I lost three last year & it still hurts

  30. aldoleopold
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry for your loss of Timmy. — wish there were words that could soothe the grief that comes from that aching absence of a cherished family member. Hold on to a special memory of him, and let the others flood in with time.

  31. Posted January 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    My sincere sympathies, Ginger. The grief from the loss of a beloved pet is profoundly painful. I still grieve the loss of my cat Wolfgang even after two years.

  32. Claudia Baker
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I know exactly how you feel Ginger. Hugs for you. He was a beautiful kitty.

  33. Ginger K.
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting this. I miss my baby so much. He actually died Jan 5, but I couldn’t send the pic until later.


    A day wifowt kittehs iz a day wifowt sunshine. — Dr Jerry Coyne, translated into LOLCat by Ginger K.

    Eben teh smallest kitteh iz a masterpeece. — Leonardo da Vinci, translated into LOLCat by Ginger K.


  34. Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    My sincere condolences. You gave him a wonderful life.

  35. ginger
    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and sentiments. Timmy Starr went to Ceiling Cat in my presence because I am his Mama and I should be there.

    His name is a bit of a story. The person who found him in her yard and gave him to the pound is named Starr, and my coworker named Garcia told me about him. I then adopted him from the pound.

    The pic is from my mobile phone camera. I don’t have a real digital camera.

    Thank you again,


  36. Posted January 30, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry for your loss. My Toy Poodle, Tuffy, died over 20 years ago. He took a last mad dash around the house and had a heart attack, dying on my lap. He is buried nearby on our home property. I still dream about him, mostly worrying about whether or not I’ve remembered to feed him. He was a little dog (about 8 lbs.)but he thought he was a giant and a warrior. I’ve seen him chase much bigger dogs, and cows.

  37. Dominic
    Posted January 31, 2017 at 3:13 am | Permalink


  38. Posted January 31, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Timmy Starr Garcia… vaya con el gato del cielito lindo.

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