Saturday, February 02, 2008

In Memoriam

In memory of Shug
(1992 – February 1, 2008)

Shug left my life yesterday as suddenly as she came into it on November 14, 1992. On that November day, I tore open my door when I saw a tiny little kitten being kicked-at by a little boy. When I opened my door, intending to race out there and set things right, she saw my open door and raced toward it, with front and hindquarters all out-of-kilter in the funny way that kittens run. She raced into my home and claimed me as her own. She quickly established herself as queen of the household.

She left just as suddenly. I didn't realize she was sick until Thursday night. I took her to the vet first thing Friday (yesterday). Shug's kidneys were in failure, and there was nothing to be done. The vet and I talked, and I made the last loving decision I could make for her. Last evening, we spent good time together. I shared my good recollections with her, and we shared prayers of thanksgiving and of forgiveness. And I held her in my arms until God took her into God's own arms.

I am heartbroken. Scotty and I miss her terribly.

More than that, I cannot now say.

[These photos were taken in the fall of 2004, when Shug deigned to be photographed.]


Blogger Suzer said...

Oh Lisa, I'm so sorry. May Shug be at peace, and may God give you comfort during this time.

2/02/2008 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Suzer said.


I have had cats throughout my life and it never fails to break my heart when a cat passes over.

2/03/2008 7:27 AM  
Blogger Ellie Finlay said...

Lisa, I am very, very sorry. I do know what it's like as I've had cats all my life. I'm so glad you had each other for the duration of Shug's life time. May she have much kitty-cat delight in the next life and may you be comforted.

2/03/2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger Hilary said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Our pets mean so much to us and can leave such an empty spot in our hearts and souls when they are gone.

We lost our beautiful rescued greyhound to cancer last fall and I still find myself "seeing" him in his usual places. Even last night when we were talking about him over dinner, I found myself with a lump in my throat.

You gave Shug a much better life than she otherwise might have had. I'm sure she knew that and loved you for it (in her own cat way).

2/03/2008 12:57 PM  
Blogger Lindy said...

Thank you for sharing the story of how you and Shug chose one another. It's a great story of love overcoming violence. I am so sorry for your loss. I know it can feel dreadfully painful. But, like all of life, it's only for awhile...

2/03/2008 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, dear Lisa:
I'm so sorry. Losing one's beloved pet is heartbreaking (been there!), and there seems little comfort in this loss. I still dream of my Kerry Blue, "Seal," and it's been four years. What I mean is that she "comes to me" in my dreams, and I find this a comfort. I hope that Shug will similarly visit you so that you may sense her abiding presence.

2/03/2008 1:32 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Prayers continuing - Bearcat and Ms. Kitty send love.

2/03/2008 1:40 PM  
Blogger Aghaveagh said...


Oh, you gave Shug so much love, and especially at the end when it was the hardest. I don't know how anyone can say that cats do not have souls--I'm sure Shug will be waiting for you. We lost our beloved Sneakaround Jones in November and I still expect to hear his gentle snore around the house.

I feel for you.

2/03/2008 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prayers for Shug, in Catnip Heaven, until you are reunited.


2/03/2008 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs, Lisa.


2/03/2008 3:27 PM  
Blogger Malcolm+ said...

We had to put down our Bear last year.

Bear, for clarity, was not a bear at all, but rather the fattest and possibly stupidest Samoyed that ever there was. But he was also the happiest and friendliest dog I've ever known.

We'd gone to the Humane Society just to LOOK. For a SMALL dog. Oh well.

Bear thought everybody and everything should be his friend and should play with him. He was disconsolate that the squirrels would run away from him.

For us, the hardest part of the decision to have him put down was that he was still happy - even as his quality of life was declining.

In his last hours, he got a toilet paper roll and a paper towel roll. (We'd stopped giving him those years earlier when his tummy troubles started.) He also got a walk around the park and 2.5 ice cream cones.

It sounds like you loved Shug both wisely and well. You came into her life right when she needed you - and it sounds like she rewarded you by tolerating her presence for a goodly number of years.

2/03/2008 3:32 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Kazan, a samoyed-malamute mix, moved on to glory in 1981. I still miss him. In that heaven where cats and dogs happily coexist he and Shug will surely be waiting for us. Until then, my sympathy.


2/03/2008 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathy goes out to you. Cats have a special way of showing us God's unconditional love. Shug was a beautiful cat and I am sure she brought you untold joy. May God comfort you at this difficult time.

2/03/2008 7:08 PM  
Blogger PseudoPiskie said...

My orange gals Timid and PuddyTat join me in sending condolences. They say Shug will be waiting when you also pass over to the other side. And they are wondering who will choose you next.


2/03/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger sharecropper said...

My prayers and love are with you - even as our two irritate me with their meowing for attention.

Being chosen is even better than choosing - and you have definitely been chosen.


2/03/2008 7:59 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

As Suzer said, I am so sorry. It hurts incredibly to lose a furry.

Hilary, Jason, Tycho, Mischief, Chipper, Ajax 1 and 2, Shaver, Mac have all welcomed Shug. In my belief, so has my grandmother who must be knitting afghans for all the cats we keep sending her.

Sorry to be so late in catching up -- many prayers as you adapt to this hole in the fabric of your household.

2/03/2008 8:40 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Hugs, prayers, tears.

2/03/2008 8:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Dear friends, I am speechless at your kindness -- and your generosity at telling your own stories. As fate would have it, I had to be away all day today to chair a meeting in St. Louis.

I am overwhelmed by the stories and the kindness you have shared, now that I am back online.

I, the usually verbose one, am still pretty much speechless.

It's still all too raw for me to say anything reasonable. But I am tremendously, profoundly grately.

2/03/2008 11:34 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

I am so sorry for your loss Lisa. What a great story of how Shug found you, I always believe that our animal companions are the ones who seek us.

Something similar happened to me a number of years back and the suddenness adds to the heartbreak.

I send you wishes for peace, healing, restoration as you go through these days. And be comforted if you can by the notion that your heart and door were opened at just the right time. You clearly gave the beautiful Shug a wonderful home.

2/04/2008 5:22 AM  
Blogger susan s. said...

Dear Lisa,

All of us who have loved a cat feel sympathy for your loss. Shug must have been a wonderful kitty.

susan s.(one of MadPriest's readers)

2/04/2008 10:59 AM  
Blogger Caminante said...

"It's still all too raw for me to say anything reasonable. But I am tremendously, profoundly greatly."

I hope that there's someone who can bring you some good soup. The night Jason died, I was supposed to have vestry and I cancelled it (rather said, they could meet without me if they wanted to). Instead, a parishioner brought over a huge pot of soup which further undid me.

Anyway, I hope there's someone out there for you.

2/04/2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, I am sorry. I am a cat-owned as well, and have lost cats, including a 19.5 year old. Think of her lying somewhere, whiskers and paws twitching, chasing who-knows-what in her dreams.


2/04/2008 2:59 PM  
Blogger Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

So sorry to hear about this loss. I don't know why it is, but the loss of a beloved companion animal sometimes just hurts so much. God bring you comfort.

My own Augusta (an avatar if ever there was one) had a similar way of entering my household --- a tiny kitten bloodied and bashed mewing (or rather peeping) outside my cellar door. She is still with us, and I will share your story with her when she deigns to come down from her afternoon repose.

It is harder, I think, to lose these loving animals that choose us, than it is the ones we choose. They come as an unexpected blessing, and the parting is all the more hard. But as I believe the resurrection encompasses all things that have breath (and not a few that don't, else how could trees clap their hands and mountains skip like rams) I take comfort in knowing that all of us are in this together, and that the whole creation doesn't just, with eager longing, groan... it purrs.

2/04/2008 3:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Dear friends, I continue to lay low -- reading and lurking mostly. Thank you for your continuing kind words. You make me cry anew. I am touched by the stories you share and truly touched by your kindness.

In a way, I am still "sitting shiva," and your words and kindness break my heart open.

I thank you most deeply.

This week, I will begin to plan a liturgy for Shug's burial. Thank God, my new rector is supportive of this. I expect the process of developing a rite will be painful. But it needs to be done. Shug spent more time in prayer and meditation than I ever did. So it is meet and right so to do.

2/04/2008 9:28 PM  
Blogger JimB said...

We still mourn the loss, several years ago of our beloved Print. Print was simply the most wonderful cat I have ever known and he was with us for almost 21 years. He left a major hole in our lives.

Our other two cats, Smoke and Sandstorm join us in our hope that memory of the love Shug gave you and your love will help you. Smoke, who has the loudest purr I have ever heard sends you special greeting Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


2/05/2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa: I mourn your loss with you. We have one 18-year old black cat of the four we had when we moved here. I lost my favorite, amber, an orange tabby, to cancer, then the next one, bert, a polydactyl, died in my arms about a year ago. Gypsy, my wife's favorite, 18 at the time, died from kidney failure shortly after that. So now we have Andy, our old gentleman. That is the cats. We also have two dogs (one is her service dog, a golden) and two birds: a cockatiel and a peach-face lovebird. I lost one peach face about 4 years ago, and a cockatiel last year. I still mourn all our lost critters. We have lost several over the last 42 years together, and it is never easy to lose one. Peace and blessings,

2/05/2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger Anglocat said...

Dear Lisa,

I'm so very sorry for your loss--my own cats are also adopted from the street, and there's something special about the warmth they bring to a home.

When my fiancee had to put down her cat Mama, it was heart rending for us both. Prayers, and loving thoughts to you and Scotty.

2/06/2008 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm late to your post, but I'm so sorry. I know our companion animals mean alot. We've recently gotten a Border Collie pup, and I love him already. I would be devastated if something happened to him, even though he is driving me crazy a "redecorating" the house, and trying to herd all the kids, and in general, anything moving. :)

Prayers, and hugs for you Lisa.


2/06/2008 7:44 AM  
Blogger June Butler said...

Lisa, I am so very sorry. You and Shug shared love and company for a good long while. I know that you miss her terribly. May God grant you comfort and peace. May Shug enjoy that place where faithful pets await reunion with their companions still here on earth.

2/09/2008 6:40 PM  
Blogger Jane R said...

Dear Lisa,
Maya Pavlova and I send our condolences, and I remember Amadeus, Alyosha, and Sensei, especially dear Sensei who was only two and a half years old and had been with me only with me six months and who died in emergency surgery two years ago Palm Sunday. It took me a long time to recover from that grief even though Sensei had been with me such a short time. He was a sweet soul and had lived a year in a shelter cage before his arrival here. He and his predecessors and your Shug are some form of furry angels somewhere, purring their way through the sphere. I am so sorry for your loss. Shug was a beautiful cat.

2/11/2008 11:30 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Just checking in. Prayers continue to ascend. Missing your voice.

3/11/2008 9:05 PM  

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