Preparing You All Ahead of Time

So, Ghlaghghee has been feeling under the weather and moving around slowly and peeing in places she normally doesn’t, none of which are good signs, so I took her to the vet today to see what’s up. And what’s up, basically, is that Ghlaghghee has experienced congestive heart failure, and she’s on the downslope of her time here with us.

The vet gave us some medicine to clear up some fluid backup in her lungs, and depending on how that goes, Ghlaghghee could live for a fair amount of time past this point, even a year or two longer. But our vet also noted that this was a “best case scenario” option; realistically she has less time than that. Given how tired and sluggish she’s been recently, I suspect “less time” is likely to be the case.

We’re fine on this end; the nice thing about getting this information from the vet is it gives us a little bit of time to prepare for her to take her leave of us, and to make sure she does so as comfortably as possible. I’m letting you folks know because obviously Ghlaghghee has been a big part of Whatever over the years, and I feel it would be unfair to spring her death on you all suddenly.

So: Be ready, and if you like, think some good thoughts for my cat as she prepares to move on. I would appreciate that.

226 Comments on “Preparing You All Ahead of Time”

  1. Aw, sweet girl. She will reign forever as Bacon Cat. All my love and hugs to the Scalzi family. It hurts like hell when our fur-kids leave us.

  2. It’s so tough losing a pet; they’re members of the family. But they rely on us to do what’s right for them when they’re very sick and it’s cruel to let them go on that way. Bless you for recognizing that, and for loving and appreciating her in the time she has left with you.

  3. So sorry to hear about Ghlaghghee. I hope her end, when it does come, is as painless as such a thing can be. (Though I picture her going out the same way one of mine did, with one last battle cry telling Death precisely where he can stick that scythe.)

    And I totally agree with you about that friggin’ Rainbow Bridge poem.

  4. Also, yeah, I hate that horrid Rainbow Bridge nonsense. When my Murphy was claimed by canine epilepsy some years ago, a woman at work insisted on reading it to me OUT LOUD in the break-room, in front of a dozen other people. Hearing that schlocky mess made me so angry. The only reason I wasn’t fired for murdering her on the spot was because several people grabbed me and took me outside before I could.

  5. Oh man, I’m so sorry. It’s always so hard to lose a pet, even when you can plan ahead and make it as gentle as possible for all concerned. I hope she has a some good days left to share with you before that final trip.

  6. Awww. Prepared or not, I know it’s not exactly easy. I’m sure I’m not the only reader of Whatever who would like you to pass on a little chin scratch to Ghlaghghee. Thank you for letting us know.

  7. My condolences. It’s always difficult to lose a beloved pet. Ghlaghghee is a lovely kitty, and I am so sorry to hear about her declining health.

  8. Sending healing energy and peace to her and to your family. It can be helpful to know and prepare yourself for the inevitable, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less when her time comes. I suppose this is what we sign on for when we let ourselves share (physical and emotional) space with an animal.

  9. If you have trouble giving her her medicine, ask about having it compounded into a flavored liquid suspension or a transdermal gel that’s applied to the inside of the ear flap. I know how difficult cats can be to medicate.

  10. So very sorry to hear. I’ve noted elsewhere that I’ve always felt sadness at the passing of pets, but much more so now that I’ve joined Missy-cat’s staff full-time.

    I’m happy to hear that you’ll be able to spend some quality time with Ghlaghghee, though.

  11. I’m so sorry, John. We lost our cat, Sketch, to CHF, and it sucked. I’ll snuggle my cats (provided they deem me worthy) a little bit more tonight, for you and your family.

  12. It sucks when pets die, but I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to spoil the hell out of them if I have advance notice. I knew it was time to let the bulldog go when i bought us a pizza to split and she didn’t want any.

  13. Well, shit. Sorry about the bacon crack on Twitter, as it doesn’t fit the context now. You’ve given her a good home, and will continue to do so, I know. May her days be comfortable and many.

  14. I’m awfully sorry to hear it, John. I will definitely think good thoughts for her and your family. It’s never easy to lose a fuzzy family member…

  15. Been on that slope with pets that felt like forever, and it’s a humbling experience indeed to see their dignity, see their knowing, and see their love – all the best for you (smiles).

  16. I’ve had 7 cats, and have had to put several of them to sleep. It is even harder each time….

    [Deleted because please see the first comment, re: The Rainbow Bridge poem. Again, folks, please don’t post it; I’m not fond of it at all – JS]

  17. Sending good thoughts everyone’s way, John. We’ve lost three cats in the last three years (including our Max last Thanksgiving at 18), and it’s never easy. Wishing you quality time with her.

  18. May she have many days left and a gentle passing when the time comes. And I hope your hearts bear the burdens of her illness and eventual passing well.

  19. Amen to the Rainbow Bridge poem, which made me want to punch people when I was ushering my own Zach through this back in 2010.

    And I’m sorry.

  20. When you tweeted her pic this morning I thought she was looking skinny in that “older cat having health troubles” kind of way. I was worried this post was coming. I’m sorry to hear the news.

    She’s still the loveliest cat in SF. So pluffy! And she will always be famous for being the definitive, original Bacon Cat.

    I hate that dogs and cats are so short-lived compared to humans. At least she’s lucky to have humans who will make her last months as warm, safe, and happy as possible. Good for her and good for you all.

    Gonna give my fluffy boy a big cuddle tonight.

  21. So sorry to hear this. I’m in a similar boat with my oldest cat (19!) after having lost both another cat and a dog this past year. It’s rough. You have my sympathy.

    And I’m with you on the &%$# Rainbow Bridge thing.

  22. I’ve been there, with way too many cats, and it never gets easier. I hope that her passing is peaceful, for her sake and for yours.

  23. Prognosis is so variable depending on the cause of CHF in cats (e.g. tumor = v. bad vs. hyperthyroidism = partially reversible), but I hope that whatever time you have left with her is of the very best quality and that her passing is gentle.

  24. Warm, comfortable thoughts for the Magnificent She, and for your family. She is a phenomenal cat, and we are all fortunate to have shared part of her life here. Thanks so much for that.

  25. I’m so sorry to hear that.Much love to you all. Losing a pet is always awful, but I know she had a good life with you and I know you’ll be there to hold her at the end, if she needs you.

  26. Oh dear. I’m glad she has such a kind and loving family, to make her remaining time rich and comfortable, and her passing painless. You have my sympathy.

  27. So sorry to hear. My only advice is this — When the time comes, find a vet who’ll come to you. I refused to have it end on a stainless table among fear smells … better in my arms, in her home.

  28. My condolences, John and family. I can’t think of anything else to say which isn’t either trite or overly familiar, so I may just tape bacon to a hirsute co-worker.

  29. Ah Shit. That sucks. Thinking good, warm, comforting thoughts for all of you. I’m so sorry.

    I seem to have lost or received bad news about the health of all my pets around this time of year. I hope that she can enjoy her time left with you, and you can too.

  30. All good thoughts for Ghlaghghee and your whole household. I’ve had two pets leave me this year; even the other pets take note. May her passing be peaceful and gentle.

  31. Dealing with my own old man cat who is slowing down and having lost another a couple years ago to old age (and cancer): my heart goes out to all of you. May her final days be filled with love and lots of sunny spots.

  32. Thinking GoodThoughts; sending skritches and snuggles.

    Ghlaghghee was your first cat, wasn’t she?

  33. From all I’ve read, here and via Twitter, she and the rest of the Scalzi household have had many good years together.

    It’s sad that these are coming to an end, and I hope that your remaining days together are as pleasant and painless as possible.

  34. onyxpnina:

    No, she was the third I’ve owned as an adult (Lopsided Cat came to the house first, and we had another cat besides), and we had several cats when I was growing up. She’s the famous one, however.

  35. Oh hell, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s never easy. I hope the memory of the good days and all the kindness your family showed her over the years will be a comfort.

  36. I’m so sorry, John. It sucks to have it happen at Christmas, too. We had a cat die in January three years ago, and it was so hard to know it was coming and still celebrate. I hope that you are able to spend some special time with her and then to let her go peacefully before she is in pain. I know it’s hard to recognize when that is with cats.

  37. Oh dear. :( I’ve had to put down a cat before, and my Polly was showing many of the same symptoms, so many sympathies to all involved. Especially to the poor kitty. May her last days be filled with comfort and love and the best possible kitty treats.

  38. Oh, no. Having lost pets over the years myself, I know it’s never easy when it inevitably happens. It’s my opinion, though, that the time we have with them is worth it.

    So sorry, and all best to all of you – humans and other people.

  39. Damn it. Sorry about the bad news, as one who’s gone through this a few times. At least he had a good home with a loving family. My wife Maggie sends her condolences too.

  40. Many hugs and good thoughts to you and your family, John. My last kitty died of CHF brought on by thyroid issues. I can say based on my experience, you’ll know when it’s time. I know Ghalghghee will be loved a lot in her last days.

    (And yes, I hate the Rainbow Bridge glurge, too.)

  41. With a name like Ghlaghghee, her place in eternity amongst the rest of the Elder Gods is assured.

  42. I am truly sorry to hear that, my deepest condolences and my deepest thanks also for sharing Ghlaghghee with us so often, I hope when she does pass that it is as peaceful as is possible. Sorry, I am no good at this sort of message.

  43. So sorry to hear. We lost 2 cats, suddenly, in July. You’re lucky to have some notice and it was kind of you to share it with us.

  44. I hope Ghlaghghee lives as long and comfortably as possible.

    We went through that with Scruffy, who lived for somewhere around a year after his CHF diagnosis. He’d already been through cancer twice (and an amputated leg), and got the heart condition as a side effect of the classic cat thyroid problem. He was 17 when he died, the last daily reminder of my life with my first husband.

    The meds really did help him seem to feel better.

    We found toward the end that he was refusing his medication, just to prep you for a possible symptom. The day before he died, he refused both his morning and evening meds, so we really felt guilty when he did pass.

  45. John, I’m so sorry. Having lost our Rufus just two weeks ago, a year after his CKD diagnosis, I can say that having the advance warning helps…though not enough. But it did remind us to cherish every moment with him, so the sorrow at least doesn’t have much guilt of the “should’ve done ___” type mixed in. Though I suspect you’re more pragmatic about that sort of thing than I am.

    Best wishes to all of your household, and especially to your fluffy girl.

  46. Awww. So sorry to hear this, John. Losing our furry friends is just heart-wrenching, and my soul cries for you and your family and Ghlaghghee.

    I know you’ll make her as comfortable as possible. I hope her remaining days are fairly pleasant and that she doesn’t suffer much before her end.

    Blessings and peace to you.

  47. Three of our last four cat deaths occurred at the local ER vet (a conscious choice the third time, because they were so amazing with the two actual emergencies). After the first time, our regular vet sent us that Rainbow Bridge poem, which Did Not Help. I asked them to make a note in our file not to send it to us again. The second time, they sent it again, with a hand-written note that our file said not to send it, but it’s so aaaaaawesome. Now we have a new regular vet, who did NOT send us the poem when Mozart came to end of his time last summer.

    Best wishes to all members of the Scalzi clan, both human and feline.

  48. So sorry, John. But I’m glad you have this time together when she’s comfortable and herself. Thinking of you and yours.

  49. So sorry to hear this, John. I am glad you and yours have time to prepare, but it is never really easy. Good thoughts to the lovely cat and to you all.

  50. She’s a beautiful cat who has done a wonderful job of domesticating her humans; I know her humans will continue to care for her in a manner which will do her credit until she reaches the end of her nine lives, whenever that may be.

    It’s kind of you to let us know…

  51. Very sorry to hear this about your sweet kitty. I, like many other cat people, will cuddle my guys a little extra this evening.

  52. I am very sorry to learn this. I am another follower who knows how hard losing a pet can be. I hope that when the end comes, that it will be easy for her.

  53. Well, shit, John, I’m sorry….I added the comment from the email link……had I known you hated the ‘Rainbow Bridge’, I wouldn’t have done it……I don’t always come here first, I usually read your posts as the email…

  54. Man, that’s rough. I’m glad she’s home with family, and that you have a chance to say your goodbyes. She really is quite a beauty, and it’s always tough when a pet dies, even if it’s their time to go.

    Wishing you and yours the best.

  55. I absolutely adore cats as anyone who knows me on Facebook can attest. I am either posting about cats or books. When we lost our cat to cancer, I never thought we’d own another cat, until in waltzed in Boots. Now, he has fans all over the city and people requesting of me to start him a web page or a personalized fan page on Facebook!

    I send to you thoughts of courage and love from all of us, including Boots, our furry companion.

  56. I’m so sorry, we also just lost one of our cats to a fast-moving cancer, the wounds still haven’t healed. Our remaining cat is hanging on, and I’ve already freaked him out with extra tear-stained hugs which he took with remarkable grace. Good luck with making Ghlaghghee’s remaining time as painless as possible. *HUG*

  57. Aw, man. I am truly sorry. I was gutted when I lost a cat to what sounds like the same thing, and I would be just as gutted to lose one of my current furballs. I hope you get more quality time than expected, and when the time comes, it’s on her terms.

  58. So very sorry, John.

    As someone who works from home, our three cats loom large in my daily life. I think of them as my loony, loving, sweet, demented co-workers (who don’t actually do any work and do a lot of napping instead. Wait a minute, they do sound like a few human co-workers I’ve known). To not have that daily contact, or to contemplate that loss — that’s a hard one.

    I am wishing you and your family comfort this holiday season, and for the length of time you have your lovely cat with you. Peace to you all.

  59. Sad news. Best wishes to all, and here’s hoping for that long, best-case-scenario retirement for Ghlaghghee. Take it easy and leave “nibbling on they tiny feet” to Zeus, G.

  60. Also, sorry to have omitted my considerable aversion to the rainow bridge ‘poem’; the rainbow bridge, more usually called ‘Bifrost’ was a vital part of Norse culture, and most certainly not intended to serve a role in making people feel better about losing a pet.

    I have no doubt that Ghlaghghee will navigate her way until she arrives at the right after-life; after all, Sekmeht is always looking for good warriors, and Ghlaghghee is indubitably good…

  61. So sorry for all the Scalzis, both human and animal. Losing a pet is hard. We have three buried in the back yard.

    I hope all the many memories shared between all of you and the internet will ease the loss somewhat.

  62. I’m so, so sorry. My dear Buffy suffered sudden and severe CHF last Christmas. She lived long enough to see my son on his visit home; a blessing. I wrote a long blog post about her, with many pictures from her 16 years with us, which comforted me. That and thinking of all the mousies for her to slay in the hereafter. I hope you eventually do the same, for those of us who are relatively new to Whatever. But months from now.

  63. Aw crap, I’m so sorry. She seems like a lovely cat, from your descriptions. She’s also the first cat I’ve ever followed on Twitter. Strangely enough, she isn’t the only cat I’ve followed. I know you guys will keep her comfortable and happy. Virtual hugs to you and your family (pets included).

  64. Oh No! Not Bacon Cat! She has given me many a gughghau ( “guffaw” in honor of her name ) over the many years that I have been visiting her person’s blog. May her time be filled with as much happiness as possible.

  65. I’m sorry. We dealt with CHF as well during Ghost’s last months, complicated by diabetes & other problems. Whatever happens, she’s an awesome kitty with an awesome family.

  66. It’s hard to grapple with Ghlaghghee being a little-old-lady cat with old cat health issues; but, yes, I have been reading “Whatever” for that many years.

    As yet another human who’s had to say goodbye to beloved kitties, my heart goes out to the Scalzi family. Hugs to you all, and a chin-scritch to the Fabulous She. May she have many good months still!

  67. I haven’t been around all that long or all that often, but my wife and I had a cat that looked just like Ghlaghghee many moons ago now, bright blue eyes and all. Our cat, Willie, was maybe a shade or too lighter, but not by much. I’ve very much enjoyed seeing the photos of Ghlaghghee since I started stopping by here because she reminds me of Willie. Still miss her 10 years later. (Stupid feelings.)

    Thanks for the heads up and hope she’s got some good times left ahead of her.

  68. so sorry to read this. i hope you all continue to enjoy your time together. please give the magnificent one lots of pets from her adoring public in southwest ohio.

  69. I am not much of a pet person, so I had never heard of that rainbow bridge thing, but I hope to forget it soon. I don’t get non-rhyming free verse as poetry, so I was surprised to see it referred to as a poem.

  70. I’m sorry to hear this news. I’m glad you have time to prepare. May you have as much time as you and she need to let go of each other, and may she have a peaceful and painless end.

  71. Oh, dear. Oh, damn. Jeez, but I’m sorry to hear that, Mr. Scalzi.

    I have very much enjoyed the updates from the Magnificent One, and both tuxedo boys in our home have a crush on her. We will all miss her, though of course not nearly as much as you and your family will. And I also pass on thanks in advance for loving her enough to release her peacefully when the time comes, as I am sure you will. That’s an incredibly hard thing to do, but it’s the most loving gift you can give her.

    Sending gentle face-rubs to Madam Ghlaghghee, and supportive thoughts to her two-legged servants. May you have many days of peaceful companionship still to enjoy, and may the end be painless and easy when it comes.

  72. I’m so sorry to hear that this time has come. It never gets easier, in my experience. However, she has had a life that any cat would envy, and she helped make your family better all around. A fine eulogy for any cat, I’m sure. May the rest of her days be peaceful ones – and yours as well.

  73. Oh, this is sad news. I’ve said good-bye to several cats over the years, including two beloved theater cats, and it’s always tough. You have my best wishes for a painless passage for Her Radiance, and the comfort of good memories for the all the Scalzi household.

  74. I’m so very sorry. I hope the time Ghlaghghee has left is as pain-free and peaceful as possible. Many ear rubs and chin scritches to her.

  75. I was so sorry to hear this. She’s a beautiful cat, and I’ve always enjoyed both your pictures of her and your stories about her. May the rest of her days go smoothly and comfortably.

  76. It’s always rough saying goodbye to a pet, but I’m glad you and your family have time to say your goodbyes. My wife and I send our regards and best wishes for her last days to be as happy as possible. Time to go hug my cat.

  77. :-(

    We lost three (out of four) cats in eighteen months — we’d gotten three youngish cats over the course of three years in the late 1990s, and so the Time Came for all three of them in short order.

    I love my cats. I love having cats. The part where they get old and die: sucks.

  78. Aww man, we had to do the same with our dog a couple of months ago. Hurts like hell. The little fluffballs (ghlaghghballs?) are worth it though. Jasmine (our dog) hung on for a long time beyond my expectations and seemed content up until the end when it became clear she was ready to leave. I wish the same for you and Ghlaghghee.

  79. Sorry to hear about this. We have an elderly dog (15) who is in good shape as it’s reasonable for her to be, but she’s definitely slowing down, and we know that our time with her is finite too. So I can empathize with your situation here. Wishing your girl as much good quality time as possible.

  80. So sorry to hear. I know it’s never easy and words are fairly meaningless, but I’m very sorry. But glad that she is obviously loved and cared for.

  81. I’m so sad to read this, she is a lovely cat and will leave a huge gap. I hope she has a few months yet.

  82. Oh, Ghlaghghee, what a beauty you are. I lost my own kitty a few weeks ago (cancer), and it can be really hard. In his final months, I told him, “This life is just a ride. Let me know when you’re ready to get off and I’ll help you.” And I did. Best wishes for a peaceful end for Ghlaghghee.

  83. Ah, John, I’m sorry – that’s hard. Definitely thinking those good thoughts for her and all of you.

  84. Sorry to hear this. I’ve had quite a few cats and it’s never easy to say goodbye. Condolences to you and your family.

  85. So sorry to hear this. Best wishes from our Roger, who is sitting on my desk next to this keyboard: he lost his friends Snowdrop and Poppy earlier this year, and he’s not sure that Teabag and Biscuit are proper replacements, lacking as they do any sense of dignity or decorum. He says that Ghlaghghee is lucky to have lived with a two-legger like you who knows how to treat a Person with respect and love.

  86. So sorry. I had to say good-bye to Malfoy-the-cat last year, and it wasn’t easy. Condolences to you and the family.

  87. Good thoughts for the furry one. Peace and love for the rest of you. Thank you for being a wonderful parent of both the human and feline kind.

  88. Oh John, I feel for you. She is so beautiful, she looks just like my cat in her markings and fur texture. She’s been a joy to me all along. She does have so many fans.

    She’s also not gone yet. Give her some loves from me, she has at least a little time and you have a chance to get used to the knowledge. I hope it’s easy on her when it’s time and that she’s comfortable. She knows she’s loved.

  89. I’m sorry to hear this, John (and family). I know Ghlaghghee will be well cared for and loved, just as she always has been. Having lost many animals over the years, I do think it’s preferable to have a little forewarning like this. It doesn’t make it *easier* but it does give you time to shore yourself up for it. I’ll be praying that she has a great go, this last run, however long it might be, and that her departure is a gentle one when the time comes. Our 30 lb Godzilla Cat, Griffin, will be waiting for her on the other side. He always did have a crush on Bacon Cat.

  90. I’m so sorry. We lost our Lilu in January and it was wrenching, even with time to get used to the idea. All the best to Ghlaghghee and the family.

  91. I’ve had a number of cats in my life and every time, it’s hard to see them go. Over the years, they become companions, friends, and family. For me, it’s always been some comfort to know that I’ve given them the best, most loved and happiest life I could and that they had a good life. I’m sure Ghlaghghee has had the same. My thoughts are with you all.

  92. It’s always terrible to lose a pet. They are truly members of the family.

    How old is Ghlaghghee?

  93. Condolences. I have quite a few cat-shaped holes in my heart, and even with fore warning it’s never really easy to let one go. It does give you a little time to spoil her even more rotten, and shower her with petting and ear rubbing and chin skritching…

  94. I’m so sorry, John. I’ve gone through this many times, and it’s always hard. The oldest of our current cats is around 15, so I’m hopeful that we have a few years before we have to deal with this again. Every time, I think “Oh, I can’t do this again, it hurts too much!” And then one of the cats will do something ridiculous and make me laugh, or will come curl up on my lap, and I remember why the pain at the end is worth the years of companionship and pleasure.

  95. I still look down to where a miniature schnauzer’s head would be when I hear a jangling chain, and Mr. Peabody (my family’s childhood dog) has been gone nearly a decade now.
    The Rainbow Bridge is a terribly schlocky idea, but if my own experience is any judge we carry those beloved pets in our own souls long after they leave us, so Ghlaghghee will have many loyal minions to help you and your family remember her with joy.
    I wish her and you all peace and comfort in your time together.

  96. Thanks for the forewarning, John, that is remarkably thoughtful of you. Best wishes to you and all your family.

    Like many of your followers, I’ve a houseful of Furry Masters, and have lost as many over the decades. I’ve learned to take advantage of knowing ahead of time that the end is nigh, by spoiling the afflicted shamelessly. Which once resulted in a neighbor dropping by to chat and witnessing me (a vegetarian!) carving a freshly butchered rabbit into bite-sized pieces, bloody to the elbows… the things we do.

  97. “We know how this story ends. We know before we even bring the kitten home. And yet we do it again and again.”

    Thank you for the forewarning.

  98. I’m very sorry to hear that, John. I hope whatever time Ghlaghghee has left is peaceful and happy.

  99. I am really sorry to hear this, John.
    I hope she gets to stay around as long as she can, and that that time will be as happy and good as it’s been so far.

  100. Oh, no… I’m so sorry to hear that Ghlaghghee is nearing her time. I know you’ll take wonderful care of her and make her comfortable and happy. I just lost my 19 year old feline companion in October, so I know how tough it is. Chin scritches and treats to the lovely fluffy lady, and good thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  101. Sorry to hear that. Poor kitty. And poor Scalzi family. Appropriate hugs to you all.

  102. My heart goes out to you. I just let one of my cats go a week ago today. She was older and had a hand full of ailments, all of which were the reason she ended up a failed foster (seriously no one was ever going to adopt this cat but me), but she was sweet and a champion lap fungus and face kisser. So even though I’ve known this was coming for years now, it was still heart breaking to send her on to the next life.

    Spend every day with your Ghlaghghee as if it were the potential last. You can’t possibly prepare yourself for the day when you have to let go, but you can certainly have no regrets over the last of your lives together.

  103. I used to be involved in a company that did remote management of CHF for humans. No idea if anyone’s tried the precise, daily weight measurements required to manage it in cats* It’s of course terminal, but catching the episodes early is the key to keeping them as comfortable as possible.

    * This sounds hard to me, as not-a-cat-person, but if people can manage their insulin-dependent diabetic cats, why not?

  104. I’m sorry she’s on the downslide. I’ve had to outlive two of my kitties so far and it’s a miserable experience. Give her as much love as she’ll let you.

  105. Sorry to hear that, John. My parents have had a Minx cat for the past 21 years. The vet told them she had less than a year to live…..12 years ago. You’ve given her a good home and that’s whats important.

  106. I am so sorry to hear this, John. Hoping Ghlaghghee and your family find peace in the time you have together. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  107. I am sorry to hear this, John. Much love to Ghlaghghee, you and your family. I hope her medicine picks her up and improves her health and spirits.

  108. I am so sorry to hear of your impending loss. I have lost my two favorite cats this year (plus my mother). Nothing can make it better, let alone some saccharine verse.

    This must be especially hard on your daughter. From one of your appearances in Seattle I recall your story of how she named Ghlaghghee, whether you or your wife wanted to ever name a cat that or no.

  109. May Magnificent She eventually depart with dignity, and without pain, knowing she is loved and respected. In the meantime, lots of Kitty Caviar and whatever skritches She prefers.

  110. Warm comforting thoughts sent your ways. She is lucky to have you all as her family. She is well loved.

  111. I’m so sorry to read that. :( I will say that I had a cat with congestive heart failure who lived for another 16 months after diagnosis. In the end, it was liver cancer that got him, not heart failure. I am sending positive thoughts.

  112. Aw, man. Ms. Bacon Cat got me hooked on Whatever, especially after seeing her “What has this weird human done to me” look on her face. Now the picture accompanying the current post seems to show that the poor thing’s shriveling away. Thank you, Krissy, and Athena for sharing your wonderful cat over the Internet. Here’s hoping that her last days are as comfortable as possible.

  113. Anecdotal best case, FWIW, was that our cat lived another 4.5 years after the same diagnosis with infrequent vet visits to adjust meds.

  114. You have my deepest sympathies. The picture reminds me of our loss four weeks ago of our 15+-year-old cat, Mattie to thyroid and heart problems. The weight loss and change in behavior were hard on us all. May her remaining days be easy and her passing without suffering.

  115. My Lucy had thyroid problems and I thought her time was up at least a half dozen times over the past couple of years but she always rallied, until she didn’t. I knew it was time when I came home and she was laying on the kitchen floor trying to wedge herself under the stove. I had already worked through a lot of the stages of grief, but it was still hard to let her go. So sorry.

  116. Hi!
    I have a cat that was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 5 years ago. The vet at the time gave the cat 9 months, and he said that was being optimistic. So, if I were you I would not give up. I get my meds online for my cat and give them to him, and he is doing great so far. (knock on wood).

  117. I’m sorry to hear Ghlaghghee isn’t well. I’ll send some good thoughts her way and some others toward the other members of your family.

  118. Awww, that’s rough news. I’ve always looked forward to the Scalzi pets interlude posts and the Ghlaghghee posts were the most amusing of the lot. May Magnificent She live the rest of her days gracefully and with little pain and discomfort.

  119. Just read the news about Ghlaghghee. This is sad news. On a positive note, she’s still with you now. Spread the love around liberally as it were. I know it brings solace for me, after the fact. Take care, amigo.

  120. All hail the Magnificent She; praise her, the most bacony of Feline Overlords! And praise to her bipeds: may they find favor in Sekhmet’s sight.

    I’m sorry, John. My oldest is almost 19 and I’ve got to pick his meds up at the vet today, so the time they have with us is much on my mind. I echo those who’ve said if you can bear it, when it’s time, have the vet make a house call: better your lap and the smells and sounds she knows.

  121. That distant howling is not the wind, it is Chang Who Is Not Chang.

    My deepest sympathies. In the space of a year and a quarter we lost three cats. My wife embraced every bit of schlock that came her way, including the Rainbow Bridge. I found comfort in memories but we all grieve in our own ways.

    Fare thee well Ghlaghghee, Queen of teh Internets, Bacon Cat, First of Your Name.

  122. They age and take our hearts with them. Best wishes to your family and to the sweetie. She is the Queen and her memory will live forever on the Internet.

  123. I’m so sorry; this kind of loss is never easy to face. All the best of thoughts and wishes for you and your whole family, including of course Ghlaghghee. May the eventuality be as peaceful and gentle as possible.

  124. I hope that Lopsided Cat is ready to take on the mantle of Cat Supreme of the Scalzi Compound. Blessings to him, and to y’all; may Ghlaghghee have a peaceful departure, to then live ever in your hearts. {hugs}

  125. Infinite Free Time: I think the reference here is to Rex, who passed in the mid-2000’s. There was a picture of Zeus on Twitter recently (earlier today or yesterday?) looking handsome and healthy. And now a picture of LC looking regal on the blog as well.

  126. I recently lost my cat. It’s hard when they age out. May everyone, including Ghlaghghee find comfort.

  127. Very sorry to hear this. I’m sitting here surrounded by my cat, my dog, and two new foster rats. Kitty will get extra cuddles tonight in honour of your feline.
    As an atheist, the rainbow bridge business is of no comfort. Stuff like that always makes me bawl though. I get pretty damn sentimental when it comes to animals.
    I hope she has plenty of quality time remaining to enjoy being utterly spoiled by you and your family. What can you do but take comfort in the good life you gave her?

  128. It’s damned hard — my Charlie Bigfoot has been diagnosed with feline peritonitis, so it’s just a matter of keeping him as comfortable as possible until he goes. So sorry to hear about Ghlaghghee. We can only love them as much as we can, while they are here.

  129. When her time comes, may the Cat Gods welcome her home, and may your family be blessed for having been her loyal and loving humans/pets!

  130. They are with us for such a short time. We give them the best life we can.Our thoughts are with her and you and your whole family. Our cats, Meftet and Sekmet, send “Meow” and “Purr” respectively.

  131. My heart goes out to you. It is always so hard to say goodbye to the cats who have given us their love and companionship. May the time you have left together be joyous and loving.

  132. My guy also has CHF in the form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He’s a big outlier, having lived for 3 years now after diagnosis. He has bad days, but he’s not so scared anymore. We cuddle him close and calm him down when he has trouble, so it isn’t compounded by being frightened.

    I’ve cut many hundred tiny little pills–my advice is to get a pair of wire snips. The commercial pill cutters are useless.

  133. I too grieve for the impending loss of The Radiant She. She will naturally be the first cat to cross The Bacon Bridge, and will rule over that part of the universe forevermore. She does not do glurge.

    Having a little more time with her will help a bit. My BFF recently lost a cat to CHF in 2 days, the last of which was spent almost entirely at the ER vet. So she’s already an overachiever in my book.

    The only bad thing about long-haired kitties is that age and sickness seem to show up worse on them when the fur gets lank and rumpled.

    My suggestion: get a Pill Popper. It will help keep you from losing blood from your fingers.

    Now I must go feed my beasten.

  134. Sorry to hear this. They really are family members and losing them can be so hard. My best to you and the whole family, including the furry ones, at this time.

    (and I also agree about that poem)

  135. I’m sorry to hear this. For what it’s worth, my cat Andy was diagnosed with congestive heart failure when he was 10. The diuretics he took for the fluid in his lungs, did give me another two years. Here’s hoping you get at least that many more with Ghlaghghee.

  136. One day, my cat was panting when I got up. He had congestive heart failure; he’d been compensating over the previous couple of years, and one day it caught up with him. That was his last day. At the time, I’d had the cat longer than I’d been dating my spouse. Way too sudden. On the other hand, he was a happy and content beast and didn’t spend a lot of time feeling unwell, so I guess there’s that.

  137. So sad.

    But – i think, she had – and still has – a good life at a real home. She always will remember.

  138. That’s a total bummer John, I feel your pain. I’m a tragic cat lover and we lost 18 year old Patchy-wan Kenobe earlier this year, it was really really tough.

  139. Very sorry, John and family. I lost my feline companion of 17 years, China, this last February. I was holding her in my arms when she passed. Needless to say I was heartbroken and my eyes are welling up right now just thinking about her. But I have 17 years of wonderful memories of her and, man, she was something else. If I was more of a camera person, she could have launched a thousand internet cat memes.

    Ghlaghghee is loved. We all can see that. I prefer to believe that Ghlaghghee can see it too.

  140. Ghlaghghee, you are still very beautiful. Live out the rest of your days like a Queen, surrounded by your adoring subjects.

    Also, I feel sorry for myself, because I am curious and googled the Rainbow Bridge poem. If someone tried to read it to me, I would probably laugh in their face. It’s that bad. It’s not even a real poem.

  141. I’ve always thought Ghlaghghee was a cute and creative name for a cat, and it’s made me grin every time it shows up on this blog.

    Also, I admire the pragmatic way in which you deal with an impending loss, accepting the probabilities as they are.

  142. My deepest sympathies. I lost my cat Gremlin… I guess it’s 4 years ago already. You’re getting a lot more warning than I had (they do try to hide it when they’re sick). I’m sure you’ll make the best of her remaining time with you.

  143. I hope Ghlaghghee has many, many good days to come. I come somewhat late to your blog, so I have to ask: What does Ghlaghghee mean? Google searches show that she is famous, but I have not been able to find anything that says what her name means. It sounds celtic, but beyond that I do not have a clue.

  144. Arthur, the “gh” sound is pronounced the same as it is in the word “rough.” Say it a few times fast, and I think the mystery will be solved!

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