Lopsided Cat, 2000 – 2015

This is the first picture I ever took of Lopsided Cat, back in April of 2003. He came to us in an interesting way: Krissy and Athena were working in the garden (well, Krissy was working, Athena, age four, was “helping”), and Lopsided Cat emerged out of the trees at the property line and made a beeline to Athena. When Athena bent down to pet this friendly, strange cat, he hopped onto her back. And just like that, he was home.

Well, part-time at first. I suspect Lopsided Cat, who appeared well-fed and who was neutered, was someone else’s cat too, possibly one of our neighbors to the east. Alternately, as happened with Zeus, someone abandoned him, and Lopsided Cat, an able hunter, had been taking care of himself until he found himself an easier situation. But at some point he decided he liked us and made us his permanent base of operations. We were fine with that because he was friendly and affectionate, unlike our then-current cat Rex, who liked me but was a jerk with everyone else.

Lopsided Cat’s name came from the fact that he usually had his head at a tilt, which was visually endearing but was rooted in an actual malady — when he came to us he had a rather substantial infestation of ear mites (this alone suggests he might have been abandoned), and this apparently caused him to tilt his head a lot. We got the ear mites cleaned out and otherwise got him shots and so on, but he never stopped tilting his head. When he was a part-time resident, I called him “that lopsided cat.” When he came on-staff full time, the name stuck. It suited him.

Lopsided Cat came to live with us, but he was and remained through his life a mostly outdoor cat. He would come in to eat and sleep and have occasional pettings, but when he was done with all that he let you know that he was ready to outside with a meow loud and insistent enough to cut through concrete. I’ve read that cats meow in a vocal range similar to that of human infants, because that’s what makes adult humans get up and make the problem stop. I’m willing to believe it because I would be dead asleep, and Lopsided Cat would meow on the porch on the other side of the front door, down a flight of stairs, and I would be awake instantly and up out of bed before I had time to think about it. I suspect he was pretty proud at how well he trained his human.

He earned his keep and then some. I’ve noted before that our cats are not just pets but are working animals — we have agricultural fields on three sides of us and the creatures that live in the fields like to migrate into the house, particularly when the weather starts getting cooler. The cats kept that from happening, Lopsided Cat most of all. He was an avid hunter, and at times would do it with… well, style might be the word for it. One morning I went into the garage and found two dead rabbits, symmetrically arranged facing each other, paws up as if praying for their lives, on the mat by the door, and Lopsided Cat sitting there, looking up at me. My immediate thought was holy shit, it’s a gangland killing.

For all that, he was not a standoffish cat. He liked to be petted — although not in front of the other cats, which is a thing I found very amusing — and he was never skittish with the other animals, including the dogs, both of which during his tenure, Kodi and Daisy, outweighed and outsized him by a significant factor. He was cordial if not overly friendly with both. His closest animal relationship was with Zeus, whom he initially disliked but eventually took to engaging in mutual grooming behavior with. This made me joke that he and Zeus were gay, which, I should note, was perfectly fine with me if they were.

Of all the cats we’ve had, Lopsided Cat struck me as the most Platonically ideal. Ghlaghghee was a princess, Zeus was a hyper bundle, Rex was a curmudgeon, but Lopsided Cat was a cat: He ate and slept and hunted and accepted tribute from humans in the form of petting and that’s what he was. Of all the cats I’ve had, I expect he was the least smart; he never did anything that made me think wow, that was actually pretty clever, which every other cat I’ve ever had has done at least once. But then he never had to. This was a creature who was perfectly and utterly at peace with who he was: A cat. You could not ask for a better one.

The other evening — on the same day as we picked out our new kittens, currently named Thing One and Thing Two — Krissy found Lopsided Cat in the garage, looking rather disheveled and dazed. He had slobber on him, which suggested he’d been in a fight with a local dog, but didn’t have any bite or claw marks on him, which suggested that the fight had been lopsided in favor of the cat. Nevertheless we took him to the vet to see if there were any broken bones (there weren’t) or anything dislocated (again, no). The vet kept him overnight, then gave him painkillers and let me take him home, and I thought that would be the end of it.

It wasn’t. Lopsided Cat, always a very active animal, didn’t want to move and didn’t want to eat or drink. We waited to see if he would get better and when he didn’t I took him back to the vet for some more x-rays and other tests. Our vet, this time looking for things other than broken or dislocated bones, discovered that our cat had suffered a hernia, probably from the fight. That explained why he didn’t want to move or eat. She also discovered that Lopsided Cat was suffering from kidney failure — and that was something that was independent of the fight, likely brought about from the fact that Lopsided Cat, who was at least a couple of years old when he joined up with us, was simply just now old.

So here was the thing: Our vet could operate on the hernia, but Lopsided Cat’s recovery was not assured to be smooth because of his age, and the fact of the matter was that no matter what, the state of his kidneys meant that the time he had left with us was short. The cat we knew and loved was active and spent most of his time outdoors. The cat we would have left to us would be invalid and failing. We had to ask ourselves whether Lopsided Cat would be happy not being the cat he had always been.

Each of us, Athena and Krissy and I, knew the answer to that. So yesterday all of us went to the vet’s office to say goodbye to him. Then, when that was done, we brought him home to bury him.

Which, I have to be honest, I never thought we would be able to do. Lopsided Cat came to us out of the trees, unexpected. He was an outdoor cat, and one that was never shy of a hunt or of a fight. For those reasons, I fully expected that one day he would simply go out on his daily rounds… and that would be that. We would wait, and wait, and wonder and be concerned and then after a month or two we would have to accept that the cat who came out of trees had gone back into them, forever, and that we would never get to give him our farewells and let him know he loved him.

But he didn’t do that. In the end, he went out on his daily rounds… and then he came back. Because in the end he knew where his home was. It was with us. He came back to us, and we got to give him our farewells and let him know we loved him. And then we got to bring him home one last time, to be with us forever.

I’m so glad he came home.

270 Comments on “Lopsided Cat, 2000 – 2015”

  1. While condolences are gratefully accepted, please do me a favor and don’t post that awful “Rainbow Bridge” poem. It makes me want to punch things. Thank you.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Scalzi family – but thank you SO much for giving Loppy the best, hardest and most important form of love there is, sparing him from a life of increasing debility and pain. All too often, we human family put our fur-kids through horrendous experiences trying to prolong their lives, when truly the most loving thing to do is to release them gently and compassionately when life becomes a burden.

    Thank you for letting us follow you down this path, sir, though it brings tears to my eyes as I am sure it did to all of you. Rest gently, Loppy, and know that you’ll live on in the hearts of those who loved you.

  3. Aww. I figured from the title this would be about his passing, which I thought was odd cos you were just tweeting about him the other day, but now I see why. Wasn’t expecting to get all teary, but I did. Such a lovely tribute. I hope I can write such good words as you did for both Lopsided Cat and Ghlaghghee when my own cats’ times come (hopefully not for a long while yet, which is I guess something all families with pets hope for). {{hugs}}

  4. That is a beautiful story and a fine epitaph, John. These animals are fine people, and I’m always just as sad when they pass as I would be for any family member. My condolences on your loss; may Lopsided Cat live a long while in your fond remembrance.

  5. All hail the Lopsided Cat. He sounded like a fine fellow as walk-on-in felines go.

  6. So sorry. Having just discovered that my beloved dog has the beginnings of a degenerative spine condition this week, this hit home. Their time with us always feels too short.

    And fuck that rainbow bridge bullshit.

  7. So sorry for your loss, and glad you did get the chance to say goodbye. I have had 2 cats who just didn’t come back, and that is at least as hard as deciding it is time to make an end.

  8. :(

    I’m very sorry to hear of this – Lopsided Cat was a magnificent specimen, regal and proud. The Things will have big shoes to fill.

  9. So, so sorry for your loss. You’ve written so beautifully about the loss of your pets here and in the past; thank you for that.

  10. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful creature.

    So very sorry for the loss of your mighty hunter. You gave him a great life.

  11. So sorry for your loss – but glad you could bring him home. The shrubs we’ve planted above our late pets are my favourite places in our yard…

  12. Crying here.

    Sounds like LC had a very fulfilled life. Well done to all.

    I’m sure the kittens won’t understand the extra cuddles today, but they’ll appreciate them. I for one will spend a bit more time with my three cats today.

    Thanks John. Sorry for your loss.

  13. Oh, no. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, and grateful to have known him through these pages.

    Good kitty.

  14. So many condolences.

    I hate that damn Rainbow Bridge poem, too. The vet that put down my cat of 17 years read it to us as he was dying and I was trying to say goodbye. It’s so impersonal and saccharine.

  15. Sorry for your loss. RIP Lopsided Cat – he sounds a lot like my sister’s Random Cat, who similarly walked out of the trees and into their lives…

  16. Condolences, especially so soon after the loss of your other cat. I too have had to make that decision, it’s not an easy one – but seeing other people keeping their pets alive even when they are in pain and should be allowed to pass on has convinced me that letting them go is best for not only the pets but also their families.

  17. My condolences to you and your family, and thank you for sharing Lopsided Cat with us down the years, even unto this last story. I’m glad you got to bring him home.

  18. I am so sorry for your loss, but no cat could ask for a better life than the one he had with you. R.I.P., Lopsided Cat, and happy hunting!

  19. Very sorry for your loss… I need to go hug my cat and tell him for the millionth time I love him tons and tons!

  20. So very sorry for your loss :( . He was a lovely cat, and that was a great tribute. I’ve ‘known’ LC for at least six years through your blog so I am crying. And I am also glad he came home one last time.

  21. My ha-ha is prompted by personal recognition, as we define our cats the same way; three of them have distinct idiosyncracies, one is very much just CAT. The ones with the distinct idiosyncrasies are not loved any more or less than the one who is just CAT. It is just something we recognize.

    Condolences on the family’s loss.

  22. My condolences to all the Scalzi household, and thank you especially, John, for letting us share these snapshots into the lives of Ghlaghghee, Lopsided Cat and the rest.

    Even when the news is as sad as this has been.

    Vale, Lopsided Cat, wherever you may have gone. May the mice, squirrels and rabbits be just plentiful enough, just that little bit too slow, and pleasingly plump.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cuddle my own feline overlords a whole lot.

  23. Sympathies on your loss. Many folk will tell you “it’s just a cat”, but anyone who’s actually owned a cat or dog knows that they’re little furry people, and leave a person-sized hole in our lives when they leave.

    You already know this, but easing his pain was the right thing to do. (It helps to hear it repeatedly. Personal experience, beloved dog who I still mourn nearly 10 years later. Brittany was exceptional, even by dog standards.) It’s the last gift you can give an old friend, and I’m praying it becomes a legal option for when my time comes. They’re just starting the discussion here at a government level. Within another 10 years, we should have a result…

  24. So sorry for your family’s loss. Lopsided cat had a great life with you. ( And I agree with you about the rainbow bridge.)

  25. Oh, man, I saw the headline on my email list and started tearing up even before I clicked through to the actual post. I was reminded of so many of the cats Hilde and I have had and lost over the years, some with individual personalities, some “pure cat” like Lopsided Cat. (After nearly forty years of marriage and mutual cat-ownership, and several more decades while growing up or living on my own, it’s a pretty long list.)

    (I am one of those people with the word “SUCKER” tattooed on my forehead, but it’s in a color only cats can see.)

  26. I’m sorry for your loss.

    I’m also sorry I looked up what Rainbow Bridge was. Apparently it’s heaven for pets, except that heaven for pets is waiting for their humans to die. Presumably their humans have to die gloriously in battle to be able to find Rainbow Bridge in the first place. Also, if I’m reading this right, it’s possible all female pets go to hell.

  27. So sorry to hear this. These little guys and gals do dig themselves into our hearts, don’t they? When you say goodbye, it’s hard to remember all the pleasure and love – but over time, the pain reduces and the memory kicks in.

  28. Hail and farewell, Lopsided Cat.

    My condolences to all at the Scalzi Compound, including the Things who lost a potential mentor.

  29. So sorry. It sounds like he was quite the Cat, and he was lucky to have found you, or just showed good judgement in choosing you, which is probably the cleverest thing he could have done.

  30. Condolences to everyone who will miss him. What a beautiful,cat, and what a lovely tribute. I am glad he came home one last time.

  31. My sympathies. They offered to put one of my cats on dialysis and I could not even comprehend why they would think a cat would want that.

    You were a good friend to LC, right to the end. All the best at this time.

  32. Well. There’s my morning tears, then. Thanks for sharing your cat with us. A lovely gift. Now I need to shuffle a bit and get on with the day. Best to the Scalzi family, two-footed and four-footed.

  33. Hmm. That would have been, “snuffle”. Or maybe “sniffle”, which at least autocorrect believes in.

  34. John, I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I always enjoy your stories about your animal companions, because I knew when I read them that you and your family really did love these four-legged friends, and you treated them with respect. Lopsided Cat chose well when he came out of the woods to join you. And I’m so glad that you all had a chance o say goodbye to him. Be well, my friend.

  35. Condolences on your loss. And whether or not that matters to cats, I’m glad that Things One and Two met him.

  36. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I can’t stop crying long enough to think of any better words. I’m sorry

  37. Sometimes I think animals come to teach us how to love and to lose. But it never gets easier for me. I am so glad your family was chosen by Lopsided Cat. Thank you for sharing your fierce hunter with us. May the kittens channel his protective house spirit!

  38. Lopsided cat looked a lot like our Shadow, a Maine Coon cat. Friendly, strong, and a voice that carried and paws that were sometimes scary. He was with us too short a time but left an indelible mark precisely for the characteristics you mention. Genuinely sorry for your and your family’s loss.

  39. Well, crap. I am so sorry for your loss, John, Krissy and Athena. Rough year, pet-wise. My thoughts are with you. It sounds like he had a great life with you guys.

  40. I’m so sorry. He was a magnificent cat, I’ve always thought–and I always loved his name, too. I’m so glad that he came home to you, to be with you and to let you take care of him, one last time.

  41. I’m glad you got to share your life with Lopsided Cat and vice versa. One of my dogs came to us in much the same way, unusual for a dog, I think. You seem like wonderful people and I’m sorry for your loss.

    And now I have to stop sniffling and go write some light-hearted murder. Damn it.

  42. Must be allergy season because all of a sudden my eyes are all teary.

    Travel well, four-legged furry person. Condolences to the rest of the Scalzi household.

  43. Many condolences to you and your family. Those who can’t appreciate cats will unfortunately never know the joys these furballs bring with them.

    It speaks volumes about you and your family that y’all put Lopsided Cat’s needs ahead of your own. I know how hard that decision is.

  44. Aw, so sad. I’m currently facing the same decision for one of my cats. And I’m with you in the rainbow bridge. Ugh.

  45. I’m sorry to hear this. He was a most excellent, and most handsome, cat. And he had a great life with you. But it’s never long enough.

    I will give my feline overlady extra pets in his honor.

  46. Deepest condolences. But what a wonderful eulogy you’ve written. I was a bit relieved to read that I wasn’t the only one tearing up over it.

    He sounds like a very fine fellow indeed, I’m so glad he found his way to his forever family!

  47. This is so similar to a cat I had named Stubs. Named so due to the tips of his ears freezing then falling off the winter he came to us. I first met Stubs with his head stuck in an old metal fence. He struggled a bit but managed to get out. At some point he started living under our front porch, and being a kid I thought feeding this hairy stray was the right thing to do. The following winter was particularly cold, leading to the aforementioned ears falling off incident, which lead us to bringing him into our home. Though fluffy, Stubs was mostly skin and bones, but he loved the outside. He came and went as he pleased to destroy some unsuspecting mouse, bird, or rabbit with his 7 toed clawed mitts. But he always came home. He must have left his mother early, as every time you got his motorboat sounding purring going he’d kneed the fuck out of you with his massive clawed mitts. And he loved to sleep directly on the small of my back at night. Stubs would move with my parents between three different states. Before one day going out and not coming back. He would be found by a neighbor the next day lost and confused under a porch. Brought back to my parents he would spend a few weeks getting lost around the house and being incontinent, before my parents had no choice but to put him down, and buried him at home. I wasn’t there when they buried one of my best friends, but I’ll always remember that stray Maine Coon would found his way into my life and would know I was getting tuna fish out by the sound of the can hitting the counter. Cats with personality like his are one in a million, and it sounds like you had one of the best. My condolences to your lose.

  48. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m glad Lopsided gave you the chance to say goodbye. And gave himself the chance to say goodbye to you, as well.

  49. I am so very sorry that you have lost Lopsided Cat, and so glad that he came home to where he knew his humans would be.

    I’m pretty sure that those two dead rabbits were the greatest compliment that a cat could pay his humans, as well as demonstrating that he was a mighty hunter, should anyone be foolish enough to doubt it.

    Ave atque vale, Lopsided Cat.

  50. They give more than they take, to be honest, and then, because their lives are short, they leave such a hole. To me it is a condolence that their lives were made better by us.

  51. May his memory be a blessing.

    I’m also sorry he’s not going to be around to give the Things catting lessons. I don’t know if he WOULD have, but it would have been nice for him to have trained up a couple apprentices to carry on the vermin-destruction before he had to leave.

  52. I’m so sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat was an awesome cat. I’m glad he came home to you at the end.

    My own kitty Socks just passed last Sunday. I’ve been comforting myself with pictures of your new kittens. Thank you for sharing them, and all your pets’ stories, with us.

  53. I am so sorry for your loss. It never gets any easier to say goodbye. Two of my beloved cats are getting older so I am trying to enjoy them while they are still with me.

  54. So very sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat sounds like a fine beast indeed.

    My cat is asleep on my lap as I type this. She’ll be getting extra petting today.

  55. Beautiful reminiscence. It’s hard to lose an animal companion. For what it’s worth, I think you made the right call, keeping LC’s quality of life in mind.

  56. We recently had to make the same decision concerning our Victor cat. He was, by his own preference, an outdoor cat from Spring until it got too cold in Winter. He was napping, hidden in the garden and got caught by surprise by a not nice dog. His shoulder blade got fractured. We were facing an amputation, from which he would never be able to go outside again if he survived the surgery. we really hate having to make these decisions.

  57. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a cat to kidney failure in May, and his brother may not be as far behind him as I would wish. It’s a pain I’m entirely too familiar with at the moment.

    Lopsided Cat sounds much like the cat I knew years back who won me over to team cats. I’m glad he found you and got to enjoy the life he wanted for so long.

    Much sympathy to you and the family.

    Also, I feel exactly the same way about that Rainbow Bridge poem! Ugh.

  58. I’ve enjoyed reading about this cat in your blog over the years, and will miss him too.

    You write, “I’ve read that cats meow in a vocal range similar to that of human infants, because that’s what makes adult humans get up and make the problem stop.” I believe that too, because one of our cats would meow in the car all the way to the vet, trying out a wide variety of pitches in evident hope that eventually she’d hit on the one that would persuade us to turn around and take her home.

  59. A fine tribute to an exemplary cat. Your difficult but wise and responsible decision at the end confirms that you all deserved his love, trust, and loyalty. It hurts just as much as losing a human family member, my heart goes out to you.

  60. I’m so sorry you’ve lost Lopsided Cat. I have to say that I made it through the entire blog post, feeling mildly sad and nostalgic for my own lost kitties. That last paragraph….suddenly I’ve got tears falling and I’m sobbing. Anyone ever tell you that you ought to write for a living. A wonderful tribute, John.

  61. Your eulogies are, as always, moving and informative.

    The last picture captures love and loss, and is truly worth a thousand words.

  62. Very sorry to hear of the loss of LC. My condolences to all. And it is nice to know that when a cat is needs a home, or is injured, or merely cold, hungry and frightened (like Zeus was) they can come to the Scalzi Garage and they will be taken care of.

  63. Condolences from my wife and me. We’re making a donation to the UC Davis Companion Animal Memorial Fund in honor of Lopsided Cat.

  64. I’m sorry for your loss and can assure you, having lived with a cat with kidney failure, you did the right thing. My cat Seymour was only 8 when diagnosed and we managed for almost 2 years, but that required he eat only his special food (low protien, low salt) and that I give him subcutaneous fluids from an IV bag every few days. I can’t imagine an outdoor cat putting up with that and without it they become anorexic with nausea and mouth sores. I’m glad he got to live his life fully to the end and that he was part of your family.

  65. Two days ago my sister and I were agreeing that, yes, we really love our own cats, but that Lopsided Cat is one really handsome cat. The world is an emptier place today. We grieve with you.

    Just about a year ago, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I was begging my vet to give our Dora just a little more time, because I couldn’t bear to lose another cat during the holidays. She kindly explained to me that she could, with extraordinary measures, give her maybe another six months, but that Dora would not be the lordly Explorer that she had always been. We said goodbye to her a few hours later. My vet later wrote us a long note that I will not share here, that boiled down to “I try not to tell families what to do, but I’m glad that you saw it through Dora’s needs and not your own.”

    We have since gotten our own Thing One and Thing Two, but the tears are raining down my face now, a year later, thinking of Dora, yes, and of Ghlaghghee, and now the Magnificent Lopsided Cat. Ghlaghghee and Lopsided Cat, at least, have been immortal since first you put fingers to keyboard about them, and put in words the feelings of so many of us who lack your skill. Thank you for sharing with us, both their lives and their passing.

  66. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful eulogy. I’m glad you and your family got to say goodbye.

  67. So hard to say good-bye, especially to such a fine cat, but you did the right thing at every step, from my long experience with cats. My sister says that she’s never regretted having an animal put down when they needed it, but she has regretted waiting too long and making them suffer when life was not what it should be for them. I feel the same way. So glad you gave him the gift.

    But what an excellent cat. He was very smart, I think–just not humanly “clever.” He found you, after all…

  68. Aww – my condolences to you and your family. My last cat died due to kidney disease (and old age) at 18 1/2. It’s hard but I hope the new kittens help to take some of the pain away.

  69. *sniffle*

    I am so sorry. (Gah. Had things to add, but the aphasia level’s a bit high today. And in the end, what matters is that he’d chosen your family to be his people, and that he was very much loved.)

  70. My condolences to the Scalzi family. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt eulogy.
    R.I.P. Lopsided Cat.

  71. I was shocked to see the title of your post; we just heard about MLC’s fight and subsequent vet visit and thought he came through okay. The only ‘good’ thing is that in the end he did return home, rather than disappearing into the woods again.

    MLC resembles Junior, the library cat we recently adopted after he was given administrative marching orders. Junior is getting on in years (16-17), and we hope we can give him the same loving retirement you have given all your pets.

  72. It is always hard to make that call, especially for animals that have been independent and vital. My condolences to your family. Give Zeus extra scratches for us.

    Lopsided Cat was a favorite of mine of your animals because he looked and acted a great deal like one of the cats I grew up with, Nicholas. Nicholas got into the back seat of our car during a cold autumn. He then insisted that he should be fed, which we did since we had one cat at the time, outside our house, with our mom insisting that we not let him get into the house because she did not want another cat. But of course, he streaked at first chance into the house, which had a picture window in the living room. And Nicholas jumped up there, settled down on the sill and dared us to throw him out. He was an outdoor cat, both places we lived with him, which was more common back then. And he would hunt mice in the woods and bring us their half-digested bodies as gifts on our front steps. No dog dared take him on — he scared off a collie five times his size. When we eventually got a young dog for my sister, a terrier mix, the dog lunged and tried to bite the cats and we though, oh, this is going to be a problem. But a few days later, the dog (Barney,) came racing down the stairs with Nicky riding on his back like a jockey, all four sets of claws dug in, and after that, they were respectful friends. He lived a very long time, the last cat in the house, and then got very sick.

    So Lopsided Cat always reminded me of my old childhood pal, in his pictures and your descriptions. And I will miss that bit of the Internet and hope you will find comfort in the time you had with him, and him with you all.

  73. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, but I’m glad you got the chance to say goodbye.

    *googles rainbow bridge poem* Eww!

  74. Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear about this, Mr. Scalzi; Lopsided Cat seems like a really awesome cat.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’ll be sure to give my own cats extra cuddles when I see them over Thanksgiving break in Lopsided Cat’s name.

    Rest in peace, Lopsided Cat.

  75. Cats come and go in our lives, and I’m glad you have Thing One and Thing Two to help fill the void. Your LC looked like my Gidgie, who was a real warrior.

  76. Condolences to you, Krissy and Athena on your loss. I’ve always been more into dogs than cats, but all our pets become important beings in our lives and their deaths or disappearances affect us greatly. Thank you for writing this tribute to Lopsided Cat. It made me think of all the animals–dogs, cats, horses, a squirrel, a racoon, hawks and more that I’ve enjoyed living with over the years.

  77. I’m so sorry to hear Lopsided Cat isn’t with you any longer. I know your family’s had a tough year when it comes to pets. Your tribute was lovely.

  78. I’m sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat was a handsome fellow, with a side of badass, and struck me as having personality in bucketloads!

  79. Shedding tears along with you this day. I’m so sorry he’s gone, but glad for the memories you will have, and that you were able to say goodbye. Thank you for sharing him with us here. Peace to you & your family.

  80. My deepest sympathies to all for your loss. Lopsided Cat was a true warrior and it is proper, in passing, that he is honored as one. Thank you for sharing his story with us.

  81. I’m so sorry for your loss. This has been a terrible year for you. I’ll give my cats and my dog an extra hug and probably shed some tears in Lopsided Cat’s memory when I get home.

  82. So sorry about your loss. I imagine he is hunting the fields of heaven with his feline and canine siblings. I’m glad he was able to come home.

  83. What can I say that hasn’t been said above?

    Of the five cats I have had, the first went out (days after having kittens) and never returned. The second developed kidney failure at about the same age as Lopsided Cat. My kittens (brothers) are now a few years old and share the house with an sweet old fragile lady cat whose age is unknown but must be at least 15. I’m sure her time is drawing near.

    Lopsided Cat lived a full life and was with you at the end. What could be better?

    Give the kittens some extra love tonight.

  84. My heart sank as soon as I saw the headline of the post. He was a handsome cat and a mighty hunter. My condolences to you all. Rest well, O Lopsided One.

  85. I’m sorry. I’ve got tears in my eyes reading this, because we just said goodbye to a much-beloved old dog recently, but also because I really liked Lopsided cat. He was a character and sounds a lot like my former cat, Boris, who was also not bright but a good hunter. My condolences to you, Chrissy and Athena (whom he chose in that way cats so often do). I know he’ll leave a hole behind, but I hope your new feline family members bring comfort and laughter to all of you at this hard time.

  86. Condolences to you all, but glad you were there for him and that he didn’t just go back into the trees. I’ll now go and sit with my old feline friend who spends most of his time asleep nowadays but seems content with that.

  87. I am so, so sorry. It never gets easier to lose them. We went through losing both of our elderly cats in one year, so please believe you all have our deepest sympathies.

    I’m glad he came home and that there was closure. He was a good cat.

  88. I too am glad that he came home and you got to say goodbye. That helps. The whole thing still hurts like hell, of course, but it helps to have that closure. So sorry that you’re having to put another beloved kitty to rest. It never gets any easier, and you have my deepest sympathies.

    Good hunting, Lopsided Cat, and farewell.

  89. Only problem with cats is they don’t live long enough. Very sorry for your loss.

  90. so sorry, John, Krissie, and Athena……I hope you will find solace and comfort in the memories of Lopsided Cat, and the newfound joys of Thing One and Thing Two.

  91. Implicit in the covenant that we make with our furry family members, when we accept them into our home and our care, is the granting of release to them when the proper time comes.
    In no way does this make it easy, though, of course. My deepest condolences go to Clan Scalzi. May your fond memories of that most proper Cat stay warm in your hearts always.

  92. Lots of ugly crying here. I’m sorry you lost Lopsided Cat. I’m glad he came home. Sometimes animals give us a gift before they go–my childhood dog waited for the all the kids to come back and say goodbye before she moved on. Big weirdo internet hugs to you all.

  93. So sorry to hear this about Lopsided Cat :-( I’m struggling with the same question with my cat, currently under treatment for cancer. I worry that I’ll end up doing it for me, not her, but she still wants to eat and do what she normally does, so right now it seems like the right thing to do. I hope I have your wisdom to know when it’s no longer the the right thing for her.

  94. I’m very sorry for your loss, John. We are in the process of having to come to a similar decision with our cat, whom Lopsided Cat reminds me of. And now I’m crying. :-(

  95. I’m so sorry that he’s gone, but am so glad that he came back and left the world knowing that he was loved.

  96. So sorry for your loss. Bright blessings, an it be your own will, for swift healing of the pain and long memory of the joy.

    Also, that was a moving tribute. Thank you for letting us in on your family’s story yet again.

  97. I’m so sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat was always my favorite of your cats. He was so large and fluffy and noble in the way that large and fluffy and competent cats are. I will miss his appearances on your blog and twitter. I am sending my sympathy your way.

  98. You groked Lopsided Cat when you said he was a working cat. Our Chester Cheese the Third was the same way. Celeste petted him one day and felt skin and bones. He did the cat thing – just walked away and died. You did your best for Lopsided Cat, and wrote a great tribute to a great cat. It is too bad that he was not able to teach the Things how to hunt, but I suspect they will learn anyway – it is the nature of cats.

    To the great cats we have known – good hunting…

  99. For a short space of time, we get to share each other’s lives, human and human, or human and another animal. They are like us and yet not. They’re aliens, in a way. They perceive the world, and us, in their own kind’s way. If we’re lucky and observant, we get glimpses of how they think and feel, of what the world is like to them.

    I love getting to see what that cat way of being is. I love seeing my cats’ personalities. Each one has been different through the years. I grew up with a sweet mama dog, so I got to see a little of the world according to dogs too. It’s a privilege to get to share life with these “alien” beings, and now and then, I’m reminded they might have a better handle on things than we humans think we do. My current two choose to stay, and love and like and live in their own way.

    It’s good you’re sharing life with two new little beings who are just learning what all this world is.

    Condolences on the loss of a great boon companion, who walked the world in his own way and chose to share his life with you as his friends and family.

  100. I’m so sorry for your loss. We just said good bye to one of ours last weekend. Just because it’s the right thing to do doesn’t make it any less difficult or painful. ~hugs~

  101. Our first cat, Sebastian, was a big hairy beast. He weighed well over 20 lbs in his hey day. He was my cat in that he tolerated everyone else but I was his mom. He would follow us to the local park with our dog when we would go walking. He was an avid hunter and fighter, we stitched him up several times over the years and I can only think how much worse the other animal was as he was big and aggressive. When he was 16 he disappeared. I remember walking all the paths in the woods calling him and crying as I was sure he had gone into the woods to die. After 4 or 5 days he turned up on our doorstep, a ragged mess. He was down to about 11 lbs and l was shocked to see he was still alive.

    I believe he came home to die; to be with those who had loved and nurtured him for 16 years. We took him to the vet and he passed away peacefully, my kisses and tears on his fur. How painful it is to lose our babies, and that is how I think of all our pets. It is our responsibility to make sure they go out as peaceful as possible. Sebastian will always be in my heart as my first cat and as one who was devoted to me.

  102. my family’s first cat did this. she was fourteen; she came home to join the choir invisible. the last thing she wanted to do was go outside; she passed on snoozing under the porch looking out on her domain. i still miss her dreadfully.

    everything is so temporary and fragile and precious here. the weight of grief’s considerable, but memories of good times help lighten the burden even as we go through tons of kleenex.

    i’m sorry for your loss. goodnight, lopsided cat. you are amazing and will always be. ♥

  103. I understand your loss only too well. To you and your family, my deepest sympathies on your loss.

  104. I am so sorry for your loss. Burying a pet is never easy, but I am so happy you didn’t have to wonder about him; you were able to tell him you loved him and put him to rest yourself. This made me tear up; I’ve lost pets and it never gets any easier.

  105. So, so sorry, John, and a beautiful epitaph. Loppy was a very lucky cat to find the Scalzis.

  106. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to lose such a beloved companion, and I’m glad you all got to say goodbye. This has been a rough year for you, with pets. May next year be much better.

  107. this morning, i had to make the always painful, but right, decision to have one of my cats euthanized. she was a rescue from a feral colony, no idea how old she was, or what caused her sudden demise…. it never gets easier, to make the decision to end a pet’s life, but i know she was in pain, and it is just wrong to prolong a pet’s life to avoid your own pain. i’ll miss her, her cat buddies miss her, and i know some of what you are feeling (though we all grieve in our own way). i’ve always had this odd belief that when a cat dies too soon or before living ‘all of their lives’ that the lives not lived get passed on to the ones left- or the next cat i get. there’s just been no other way to explain similar behaviors that show up.
    enjoy your kittens- my bet is that they’ve been gifted with some of lopsided cat’s ‘badassitude.’

  108. John, Krissy and Athena, I’m sorry for the loss of your cat. My heart goes out to your family. Be at peace knowing that Lopsided Cat is at peace also.

  109. For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
    . . . .
    For he is docile and can learn certain things.
    For he can sit up with gravity, which is patience upon approbation.
    For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
    For he can jump over a stick, which is patience upon proof positive.
    For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
    For he can jump from an eminence into his master’s bosom.
    For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
    . . . .
    For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
    For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
    For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
    For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
    For he can swim for life.
    For he can creep.

    –Christoper Smart, c. 1760

    I’d as lief pray with Kit Smart as any one else.
    –Samuel Johnson

  110. Oh, no… so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing LSC with us, and for that lovely eulogy. Our critters never live as long as we’d like, but for them the main thing isn’t how long they lived, but how well. LSC lived a very good life.

    Jeannie is on my lap as I type this, getting extra snuggles.

  111. Ahh, kitties. They make us so happy, they make us so sad, and we welcome them in every time. I’m glad you had each other.

  112. Aw, I was just enjoying that picture of Loppy with the kitten and being all proud of him for winning that fight!

    But, yes, he’d have hated being an invalid. Better to go out on top, as the handsome furry beast he was. So glad you all got to say goodbye.

    Man, you guys have had a rough cat year. So glad you have the Things, but sorry they didn’t get to learn the ways of Cat from him.

    (This is why I can’t have outdoor kitties. The stress of not knowing is too much.)

    It’s all dusty and full of pollen here all of a sudden.

  113. Very sorry for your loss. A few months ago I had to take my own cat to the vet for the last time, and I still find myself wishing her a good night when I’m shutting down the lights before bed. Part of me hopes I won’t stop.

  114. Oh, that is just awful! I am so sorry for your loss. I know that he is no longer suffering, hunting all of the rodents of cat heaven, waiting for you (someone’s gotta give him attention).

    Well do I know the stinging pain of losing a beloved pet. Most people say that the pain lessens in time, but I am a firm believer that it really doesn’t. Not as quickly as people believe at least.

  115. I’m so sorry, my condolences to you and Krissy and Athena. Thank you for giving him a loving home and for writing such a beautiful remembrance — which has in turn evoked such expressions from the community you’ve created here that reminds us that there are indeed good folks in this world. The expressions of compassion and kindness as well as the appreciation of your articulating what obviously so many of us feel about our pets actually encourage me. At the heart of it all though is the loss of LSC and for that I am so sorry.

  116. Sorry for your loss, but also glad to hear the Lopsided Cat was able to find a family that would care for him as you did.

    The Rainbow Bridge stuff bothers me as well. Because while it’s a sweet thought, cats are amazing little furry death machines. If they go anywhere it’s not to a rainbow bridge, it’s Valhalla.

  117. Oh so sorry, how sad for you all. But glad you got to say goodbye after all. I will miss reading about his badass adventures and the gangland killings. *internet hugs if such is wanted*

  118. Well, hell.

    I am so sorry that you and yours have lost a loved and honored friend. I know how tough it is to lose cats within a year of each other, having done it twice now.

    Although I know it isn’t the kind of thing you meant when you said that Lopsided Cat had never done anything that made you think “that’s a smart cat,” I feel obliged to point out he did a pretty smart thing when he chose your family to be his people. And he did a kind thing when he came home to allow for goodbyes.

  119. John, my heart goes out to you, Krissy & Athena for your loss. I’m too teary eyed to say more. Sorry.

  120. I’m so sorry. :( What a lovely tribute to Lopsided Cat. As someone up above said, he was definitely a smart cat to adopt your family. Hopefully some snuggles with Thing One and Thing Two will help ease the heartache.

  121. A hard decision well made. The time is inevitably coming when I’ll probably have to make a similar one. Reading this helps, so, thank you.

  122. John, I’m really sorry to hear about your loss, particularly after Ghlaghghee earlier this year. Having your writing from then helped us work through when we lost Gulliver at the beginning of September. Thank you for sharing both the lives of your cats and your pain at their passing.

  123. What a great shock this was. It’s always a great shock.
    Lopsided Cat was a magnificent cat, with beauty and dignity.
    Your words give him immortality. (But we do not want immortality through words; we want immortality through living forever!)
    I am weeping.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  124. So very sad for you and your family. I’ve lost two cats to kidney failure, and it’s an awful, slow decline. Hard as Lopsided Cat’s death was, this was better. Wishing you joy in your two new kittens!

  125. I’m so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful boy and well loved too. I’m glad he found his family with you, Krissy, and Athena.

  126. The custom in my house is that when another family loses a pet we implement the Treats for Everyone Protocol. All our pets are given special love and food in the dead pet’s honor. “Good breathing, here’s some tuna.” “Nice standing there, have a piece of hot dog.” “Fabulous nap, want some chicken?” So today my three will get some delicious things in Lopsided Cat’s memory. We’ll be thinking of you. Well, I’ll be thinking of you, my pets will be thinking about hot dogs. They can’t help it.

  127. When I got divorced, my ex got the older cats five or so years ago.

    The very first cat we had when we moved to this city was Mabinogion, Mab for short. She made the sound John mentioned from underneath a car at a local gas station. We scooped her up, took her to the vet where she was cleaned of motor oil and dirt, and her myriad cuts treated. She was with Donna until two days ago.

    She was put to sleep at the ripe age of at least twenty three years when her back legs simply stopped working and other serious problems developed this week. Though she was a little terror to the much larger of our cats, she’ll be very much missed.

  128. Sympathies to all of you. I always enjoyed the picture you posted of him. It was easy to tell he was a great cat.

  129. I’m so sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat sounds like a Mighty Hunter, and wonderful. Thank you for sharing his story.

  130. Sorry for your loss, and glad Lopsided Cat came home with you, and hung around while you found out what he needed most.

    Hardest thing we have to do for our fuzzy critters is that last thing. Thank you for taking care of Lopsided Cat. So hard to type with tears in the way!

  131. My deepest sympathies to you and your family, on losing a companion who was loyal to the end. How gracious of him to return to you for his final days — and you repaid his loyalty when you gave him a merciful ending,

  132. Tamora Pierce and I send our deepest condolences to you and your family over the death of Lopsided Cat. Some years are just bad that way….

    Thank the Gods you have kittens to refill the hole this leaves in your life.

  133. Lopsided Cat was the epitome of cat – a glorious and beautiful creature.
    My heartfelt condolences.

  134. I’ve been following “Whatever ….” for several months and I find your way with words fascinating. Your lengthy but thoughtful and touching description of the life and times of the Lopsided Cat actually brought a tear to my engineer’s eyes. A pet loss is comparable to the family loss for many people. Best wishes to you and your family.

  135. What a magnificent CAT he was. Undoubtedly, the proud old beast is fighting his eternal rodent foes in some feline version of Valhalla.

  136. Adding my condolences. He was a cat who gave the world assurance of a Cat. Sending kind thoughts to you and your family, and going to give my furry girl an extra cuddle….

  137. Condolences. He had a great life it seems, and found himself a true home to always come back to.

  138. He reminds me so much of a half-feral kitten I once caught as a girl. He was like your Lopsided Cat, an outdoor hunter who enjoyed human affection. He was a perfect cat and the one most missed and talked about for decades after his vanishing act from our lives.

  139. My condolences to you, Athena and Krissy. He sounds like a really great cat. You gave him a great home and he was with you because he chose to be.

  140. A few short weeks ago our cat Goosa (spelling apparently stems from the fact my husband is from Rhode Island) also died of kidney failure. We knew he was getting old, and we knew he had lost one kidney. We knew he was in danger of losing the other. We came home one day, he jumped off the couch and had a stroke. We tried antibiotics in case it was an infection that could be controlled. It was not. He also was a cat pure an simple, and because he was just all cat his motives were simple. He wanted food and cuddles.

    Our condolences, we know what is like to lose a buddy.

  141. What a beautiful tribute to him; I’m glad he came home. I’m glad you gave him a home. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  142. Such sad news. I am so sorry for your loss. Lopsided Cat will be remembered, and all the better for your eloquent tribute.

  143. I’m sorry about your loss, john. Lopsided Cat always seemed so fuzzy and loveable. And your eulogy made him seem perfect. I wish our animals lived longer, but the fact that they live well and give us so much — that keeps us going. Hugs.

  144. I’m very sorry to learn of your loss. You gave Lopsided Cat a wonderful home and a tear-inducing eulogy — which I’m not sorry for having read. My own favorite 15-year cat came to live with me as a kitten, when I was only five. She was usually a homebody, but when she was growing obviously ill, she did me a kindness similar, if opposite, to Lopsided Cat’s, by going out one day, quietly, and quietly not returning. (She has her own memorial in my head, of course — it composes three houses’ worth of adventures, cuddles, and growing up alongside me.)

    Thank you for sharing your family — human and otherwise — with us. My family and I wish you and yours comfort.

  145. So very sorry to hear of the passing of Lopsided Cat. Losing any fuzzy companion is hard, no matter the circumstances. The ones who choose us, like Lopsided Cat chose Clan Scalzi, are extra special.

    My condolences.

  146. O Bubastis, Goddess of the Nile, pray keep watch for the arrival of a long-haired tabby cat named Lopsided Cat, who never scratched or bit without just cause, who was much loved by his people, John, Kristine, and Athena, and who returned that love in full measure. Guide him forthwith to the Eternal Catnip Fields, wherein he may enjoy a well-deserved rest.

    (Ghlaghghee awaits him there, I’m sure, as does my Star and my fiancee’s Demon)

  147. Aw, crap. I loved reading about Lopsided Cat’s antics over the years and seeing lots of pictures of him. Thank you for this sweet and wonderful post.

  148. OMG, that last picture makes me want to weep – I had to scroll away quickly. We lost our first cat (got him about 2 years after we were married and kept him for the next 12) to kidney disease and it was a brutal blow, especially for my husband. He’d never been allowed to have an indoor pet (even indoor-outdoor) when he was a kid and Mr. Kitty was definitely something precious to him. Mr. Kitty had Maine Coon in him, which looks like Lopsided Cat did too. I’m sorry for you and your family and appreciate the eulogy of him. Also, that you’re giving two new troublemakers a new home. :)

  149. Deepest condolences, so sorry to hear. It sounds like he had a great 15 years with you all. Lopsided Cat always had the best stories which you’ve always been kind enough to share with your readers. R.I.P. Lopsided Cat, you fabulous fuzzy ferocious creature.

  150. Sorry for the loss of Lopsided Cat, who ruled with awesome feline majesty. I imagine the local rodent population is quite relieved . . .

  151. Oh, Loppy. :( I am so sorry to see this. Just came back from a weekend away and have been rejoicing in my cats after all of three days away from them. I am so glad you have the kittens and Zeus and Daisy to help fill the house. Even with twelve left, I still have moments of feeling Rufus’s absence nearly a year ago, but it helps to have the others to cuddle.

    I’m so glad Athena, Krissy, and you had so much time with Lopsided Cat, and I wish you’d been able to have more, but better that he have a maximum amount of his time as 100% Active Outdoor Cat doing what he did best. My condolences to you three and Zeus.

  152. You have my sincere condolences, Mr. Scalzi. I said it when Ghlaghlee passed, and again: It is never easy. I am glad that Lopsided had a long and loving home with you.

  153. John, I’m so sorry for your loss. I teared up when I read this blog entry. It’s clear that Lopsided Cat stayed because he was loved. I have a picture of him on my computer, the one you put up with him guarding the laundry. It’s a favorite. My own cat (Quantum) even noticed it, which is unusual, because she is usually oblivious to computer things. I was petting her when I read your words here just now and she offered purring comfort. So from Quantum and me both, our deepest condolences.

  154. I’ve got the Loppy SOON banner on this page. It makes me smile. He continues watching over us all.

    (Wasn’t Loppy the model for Papa Fuzzy? He looks like a Fuzzy.)

  155. I’m so sorry, John. I’ve lost five cats over the past 20+, four of them to various maladies that emerged with getting older. You never get used to it. It always hurts, but there is a certain peace to knowing they’re no longer suffering.

    My condolences to you, Krissy, and Athena.

%d bloggers like this: