Sunday, May 1, 2016


My heart is broken.

I have always wanted a calico cat, and exactly two and a half years ago, my wish finally came true when my friend gave me Ruby.

Four weeks old. This picture was sent
to me by my friend Debbie to try to entice
me to take her. It worked.

She moved into our house and took over, much to the regret of my other two cats, big ol' boys named Pete and Fletcher.  Pete hated her, Fletcher tolerated her, and Ruby established herself as the princess of the household. 

First day at our house, snuggled in
Emma's arms.

Sleepy baby in my lap on her first
night away from her mama.

She was beautiful, without a doubt, but she was also funny and playful and loving and snuggly. She followed me everywhere I went in the house, met me at the door when I came home, and spent hours in my lap, helping me blog.

It started as a cough (odd enough in a cat that never goes outside) at the beginning of March. The vet could only guess that she had may developed some allergies and gave her a steroid shot.  The cough persisted, then worsened. An x-ray showed a mass was pushing against her windpipe and diaphragm and obscuring the view of her heart and lungs. There was fluid in her chest cavity. The vet drew some of it off and sent it to a lab, all the time telling me it was not going to be good, but she was otherwise acting fairly normal, although she was sleeping or resting and not playing, not bugging her brothers as little sisters are usually wont to do.

The lab results stated there were atypical cells in the fluid sample. Our vet recommended we take her to a specialist in Kansas City. My husband (who had never been around a cat in his life before we met and never planned to change that status) and I drove over two hours to take Ruby to the specialty vet clinic, because the most special kitty in the world deserves a specialist. He conducted an ultrasound on her and diagnosed her with cancer that had already metastasized in her chest. There was nothing we could do for her except keep her comfortable and happy.

Chasing moths at night.

Ruby's decline was rapid. We had taken her to the specialty clinic on Friday. By Tuesday, her breathing was labored and noisy. She wanted to be with me, but she wanted to be by herself more. Her discomfort was obvious. As much as we wanted to keep her with us, we knew it was time for her to go.

Taking a siesta with Kyle at the lake house.

Wednesday at noon, we took her to our vet and told her to sleep sweetly. I held her the entire time, and my husband and I both sobbed over the unfairness of such a sweet, funny cat being stricken at such a young age by something so rare.

I know she was "just a cat" and not a person. Not my parents. Or my husband. Or one of my children. But she was just a cat who did nothing but love me and make me laugh. Who asked for nothing except for a lap to lie in and to be loved back.

There has been a great outpouring of love and sympathy from so many friends. I can't begin to express what that has meant to me.

A special gift from my artist friend Nicole.
It's only two inches high.

The ever thoughtful Ivy sent me this.
It is a treasure.

I'm going to miss that funny, beautiful girl. I'll miss her following me everywhere, even to the bathroom, where she would throw the door open (old house, doors don't always close all the way) and even jump up in my lap and curl up if I was *ahem* unavoidably delayed. I'll miss her digging in the small trash can in my room for "treasures" like wads of paper and candy wrappers. I'll miss the twist ties all over the house that she liked to play with, and I'll miss our games of fetch with a bent up pipe cleaner or other found treasure. I'll miss her trotting ahead of me when I walked and flopping down periodically for a belly rub. I'll miss finding her sitting on the fireplace mantel, looking at herself in the mirror. I'll miss her knocking my stuff off the table next to me when I'm on my laptop, and I'll miss her lying on my lap while I write, reaching her paws under the laptop to get my attention. I'll miss watching her chase snowflakes through the window in the winter and moths and bugs in the summer. I'll miss her running up the stairs ahead of me and stopping at the top to grab me from around the newel post. I'll miss her drinking out of our water glasses in the evening when we weren't looking and even her knocking them over in the night and spilling water everywhere.

Grabbing at me on my way up the stairs.

Playing fetch.

I'll miss her cuddling up next to me in the bed every morning, which she did up until her very last day on earth.

Our last morning together.

I love you, sweet Ruby. I know that someday, God will reunite us. Until then, have fun chasing butterflies in Heaven.

Knowing you for these two and a half short years was worth ten thankfuls times ten thousand.

Caught in the act of looking through one
of Emma's open dresser drawers.

Ruby 9/1/13-4/27/16
I miss you, sweet girl.


  1. Sniff. Beautiful tribute. Such a personality.... Xo us

  2. I am so so sorry for your loss.

  3. i am so sorry....

    beautiful post


  4. Ahhh....for me it was a bunny named Cinnamon. I get it. It hurts bad. They make us laugh, snuggle when we need it. Then they are gone, and it stinks. Hugs to all of you!

  5. There will always remain the memories and, though a pale substitute, in a way they capture the essence of what our animals are for some of us, the fortunate people... loved ones.

  6. God bless Ruby, the prettiest cat I ever saw. xoxoxoxox jean

  7. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your precious kitten. We lost our pooch in January and it is still hard sometimes. We love them like children. They love us more.

  8. I am so sorry. I always enjoyed reading about Ruby, and it was apparent how much joy she brought to you. I hope your happy memories will help bring you comfort. Your artist friend is so talented, and Ivy is always thoughtful and kind.

  9. So sad. Still breaks my heart -- I feel like I got to know her through Facebook and your blog. You took a poll to help pick out a name for her, and she even helped you with your A to Z many times! I love the photo of her grabbing you on the stairs. Shows her sweet and mischievous personality. <3 to you and your family. Rest in peace, sweet Ruby.

  10. In tears here reading your post - I've been there (as I'm sure many of us have) and it hurts dreadfully. Ruby wasn't 'just a cat' as you put it, she was part of your family. I've had many cats over the years and every so often there's been one which, for many reasons, has been just a little bit more special than the others - I think Ruby, with her own unique personality and funny little ways, was one of these and I know how much you'll miss her.

    The photos are lovely - she was such a cute kitten and she grew into a beautiful cat. The hole in your heart will take time to heal but it will, and those photos will give you many memories of her to treasure.

    Rest in peace sweet Ruby, and God bless xx

  11. So sad, so unfair. So much love in a sweet cat relationship. Thinking of her catching butterflies in heaven, pain free is a comfort. Sorry for you all. You were a good cat Mama.

  12. The love you have for Ruby has been evident since that first day she entered your life. My heart hurts for you and your family as you mourn your sweet little kitty.

  13. So sorry that you lost your Ruby. It is always heartbreaking to lose a pet. We lost our first cat after only having him a few years and it was awful.

  14. Our pets. Little people in animal costumes, they are family.
    I'm so sorry Dyanne that you lost Ruby at such a young age.
    Reading this post brought tears to my eyes but it also made me laugh looking at some of the pictures. Thank you for sharing her. *hugs*

  15. OH my word I'm crying, Dyanne. I am so so sorry that you lost your sweet Ruby and the Rottens send you all of their love and, of course, so do I. What wonderful photos and tidbits you've included here. You're in my thoughts, always, my friend. <3

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I've loved watching Ruby's shenanigans since you first brought her home.