Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Will Not See Her Like Again

This is the hardest post I've ever written. Not because I don't know what to say, but because it hurts so much to say it. But you guys deserve to know. We lost Riley.

The vet and his people did everything they could, and for awhile it looked like the feeding tube would help her regain her strength, and the I.V. antibiotics would conquer the pneumonia. But she remained weak, and her white blood cell count stayed stubbornly high, and then imaging revealed a large mass that was pressing on several organs, and finally we were out of options...

The vet went on to say some other things, explaining her condition in detail, making sure we understood, but I was trying so hard to keep from sobbing that I only heard every other word. But I wept anyway, and I noticed the silent tears splashing on her uncomplaining little back, and remembered all the times she would lounge on the edge of the tub as I soaked my spine in the bath, eventually leaning down to lick up the hot, soapy homo sapiens soup, and I'd flick a little water at her to interrupt this weird ritual before she developed a taste for human flesh, and Riley would just lift her head and stare at me with a blandly pitying gaze that seemed to say, "That all you got?"

We were there with her at the end. Riley, as you know, liked to cross-dress a bit; she'd wear Mary's sleepmask as a hat, her bra as a saddle, and would use my underpants as both a chamois and a Thigh-Master. So when the moment came to say good-bye, Mary took off the denim blouse she wore over her t-shirt and used it to swaddle our girl, and Riley left this world wrapped up in something warm that smelled of home.
I want to write a proper eulogy for her. Riley was our constant companion for 15 years, and a fixture at Wo'C for the last 7, but I'm falling apart. Maybe in a few days. For now, I'll just curl up with Moondoggie, whose normally placid demeanor is shot through with anxiety as he searches the apartment for his friend, while curiously avoiding the comfy spots they used to compete for.
And I'll imagine Riley, confident and in command, as she begins her final ascent to the summit of Mount Laundryhamper, chewing meditatively on a piece of jerked sherpa, and pausing to order the hapless Jennings to give that piton one more whack with a hammer.

Rest in peace, girly-girl. You were loved.

41 comments:

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

So sorry for you.

M. Bouffant said...

15's a good long run, & I know you're the best parents possible blah blah but it still fucking hurts.

I'm crying too.

demelza said...

I'm so so sorry. I lost my sweet 20-year-old girl last year and it still hurts. RIP Riley.

D. Sidhe said...

I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. Riley was one of the best, even never having met her, she threw so much personality into the pics and video you brought us.

Cypress went the same way, and it still hurts, years later. It doesn't get better with time, they're lying about that, but the parts where you can't be happy to remember her without crying do get less frequent.

Hug the hell out of Moondoggie, all of you need it.

I always imagined Cypress was off to put Hecate's hounds in their places, but Mount Laundryhamper sounds like a good place too.

Riley was a great cat. Thank you for sharing her with us.

KWillow said...

I am so very sorry! You were so kind to me when I lost Peanut, and now I can't think of anything to say except how sad I am.

Debbi said...

I'm so sorry, Scott. :(

Dr. Alice said...

Oh Scott. I am so sorry. I'm thinking of you and Mary. Riley was a great cat.

grouchomarxist said...

Riley was the best. It's just so damned unfair that these beings who bring so much love and companionship and amusement into our lives have such short lifespans themselves. My deepest sympathies to all at Wo'C.

Professor Fate said...

So very sorry to hear this - they give us so much and leave such a hole when they go. Again sorry to hear this.

Tommy T said...

It just never ends. As my circle of friends and acquaintances expands, so also does the furry friend list - and too many (including me) have lost a friend in the past few weeks.

I hurt with you.

Gale Starr said...

So sorry for your loss-sending ((((((hugs)))))))) and thoughts your way.

Robert M. said...

So sorry. I wish I could say something profound, but all I've got right now is that it's always so damned heartbreaking to lose someone you love.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

R.I.P. Riley. You were a great kitty.
~

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

RIP, Riley. You were a cat among cats. And devastated for your loss, Scott and Mary.

Sheri said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I remember when Mary found a homeless kitty at her school - it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. I hope it gives you two a little comfort to know that you gave Riley a great life, and did everything for her that could be done. Take care of each other and Moondoggie, and when you are ready, think about adopting another homeless cat in Riley's honor.

acrannymint said...

So sad. Not just because she was the non related twin to my Sam. Quality of life versus heroic measures are tough decisions to make. However, 15 years is a good run and she was much loved/appreciated by you, Mary and the WOC family

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry

Doc Logan said...

Scott and Mary, I'm so sorry.

Luckily there was a light rain today, so I didn't have to tell my co-workers why my face was wet.

I'm home now and sobbing openly.

RIP Riley, you were loved.

Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking for you. 15 years together just isn't long enough.

Gappy

Li'l Innocent said...

Riley was all cat, and all herself.

She was your good friend, Mary's good friend, Moondoggie's good friend, and our good friend. And always will be.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! Just try to remember that you gave Riley a wonderful, happy life.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. Riley was a great kitteh. May the Rainbow Bridge be upholstered in glorious cat ass.

--Sour Kraut

Helmut Monotreme said...

I am very sorry for your loss. Riley seems like he had nine of the best lives a cat could want with you.

heydave said...

So sorry. No further words...

Gary McCammon said...

Goddamnit.

I stopped by the first time in a long time the other day, looking for snark, and saw the post with Riley and her problems and how you guys needed money, and I had none and I was so pissed at myself for not being able to help because Riley looks a lot like my lil' boy Joss and the thought of him being sick made me sick, if you know what I mean.

And then I saw you guys had the funds and I got excited and thought everything was fine...

I'm so, so, so sorry. I didn't know her, but I can imagine not having Joss around and how much that would hurt. And I remember his predecessor Jasmine and how much losing her hurt.

I wish I could help. Give 'doggie a hug for me. I'm off to give my brat one as well.

--Gary (aka Pere Ubu)

Weird Dave said...

There is not much I can say about her that hasn't already been said.

Just remember the good. Remember that she loved you and that you -- we all -- loved her.

R.I.P. sweet one.

Jania30 said...

I am so sorry to hear you've lost Riley, Scott and Mary. Seeing pictures of her and Moondoggie each Friday made my RSS feed awesome and she will be missed.

Chris Vosburg said...

Aw man, so sorry to hear it.

Hope Riley's better at finding Cat Heaven than Claude was (ref to WB classic anim "The Hypo-Chondi-Cat").

It's rumored that there, mice, lizards, and birds move a bit slower than their counterparts here on earth.

Good Hunting, Riley.

Tracy Mohr said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Riley was a noble cat.

Bill S said...

So sorry for your loss...and ours, since she was the star of many a blog post here.
My condolences to you, Mary and Moondoggie.

grishaxxx said...

RIP, Riley - you were a true star. I will always treasure the trailers for your greatest epics (and grateful to the artists who made them...). Thank you, Steve, Mary and Moondoggie, for sharing her with the world. Now we all share in your sorrow.

Carl said...

I think of all the cats I've loved (cue Enrique) and how they've passed. There's never been an easy passing.

It's funny. Cats are supposed to be these really cool and aloof characters, and we their servants, and yet somehow, when I go "missing" for a week's vacation, my ThumbPer gets completely cuddly when I return. And he;s not been the first cat to do that, nor do I think he'll be the last.

Indeed, as I reach the midpoint of my life, I look ahead and try to figure out at what age I'll have to stop having a cat around, because I don't want to pass without ensuring he has a comfortable life after I'm gone.

It's mortality, pure and simple, that makes moments like these so hard to endure. We don't just mourn the death of a cherished friend. Part of us mourns that we must grow older, too.

I've said it before in several places, Scott, but my heart aches for you and Mary. And Moondoggie, too. . We've all been there, in this place, in some fashion or other.

Ronald C Couch said...

Wow, I just saw this. I am so sorry for you.

L said...

I send a condolence post via my Kindle day before yesterday, but it seems to have been swallowed up by the ether, Scott. What a great being Riley was, wasn't she? What a great match-up her personality found with you and Mary and Moondoggie, and what a lot of chuckles and pleasure we all had through your pictures and posts.

I totally understand and sympathize with your difficulty trolling the repositories of the Anti-Kindness Brigade with her curled up on your lap. But in fact, she was casting a Kindness spell all around you.

Li'l Innocent said...

The "L" who sent the previous comment is me. So sorry - I hit the wrong choice in the drop-down. And I meant every syllable.
Hugs to you, Scott, Mary, Moondoggie.

catnmus said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss of Riley. I always looked forward to her Post-Friday Beast Blogging episodes with Moondoggie. I've dealt with vet bills (and pet loss) myself so I still sent a donation because I know those things just go on and on. The pain will fade and the happy memories will remain.

AnnPW said...

So sorry, Scott and Mary. She was a beautiful cat and lucky to have had a home with the two of you.

Jim Donahue said...

Very sorry to hear this.

Pets are the best.

Anonymous said...

ANNTI sez...

I just tried to comment on the above post, and fucktarded FireFox (b/c of fucking Windows "updates"!!) ATE IT.

Two months and eight billion dollars late, and in no position to be of much help now, but even as y'all are starting to see the first rays of light around the clouds of despair & loss, I'm sitting here crying my face off over Riley, lo, these many stoopidly-missed moons later. I am so sorry that I wasn't here for y'all. I'm so sorry that I missed Sheri's birfday post. I'm so sorry that Riley, an amazing she-beast if ever there was one (I could just IMAGINE Riley hanging out w/my dearly-lost Biddy --- now, THAT would've been one hellacious cat duo/supercat team!), had to have so much pain, that y'all had to feel every bit of that pain with her, that Moondoggie is still aching and wondering why his bestest buddy didn't come home.

It really is ripping my guts out, that I wasn't here for y'all, that I didn't even bother to LOOK IN, I was so wrapped-up in my own clusterfucked shit/health/slumlord/dickwads-in-general --- I had abandoned y'all in one of the most profound losses of your lives. I can never make that up to y'all, but I'll spend the rest of my life trying.
And as soon as I can, I will DEFINITELY be donating to Four Paws in Riley's honor. I just wish that I had been HERE when it MATTERED. That I could have offered some comfort, some help, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry upon, whatever y'all needed. I am so, so fucking sorry. I loved Riley, too, she reminded me of every smart, wickedly-funny she-cat I've ever known, especially my Biddy, but she was HERSELF, our Riley, she was unique and special and could throw the wickedest glares that I've ever seen a cat slice-off.

She is missed, and greatly. I am so, so fucking sorry, Scott & Mary and Sheri and Moondoggie. Please, next time, if I'm not around, PLEASE HOLLER AT ME!!! Y'all have my e-mail, phone numbers, FIND ME whenever you need ANYTHING!!! I know, I *should* have fucking BEEN HERE, but as I already said, my head was way too far up my own ass to see your reality.

(Cont'd)

Anonymous said...

(CONT'D)

ANNTI sez...

Riley was one of the most special cats that I've ever had the privilege to kinda "know," and I will miss her as long as I'm on this earth. Yes, I am overly-blessed with poor little abandoned/PTSD kittehs, and now one with FIV, and I can't even put them on the back porch with the space heaters anymore, thanks to the asshole neighbor and my scumbag slumlord. And I love them, even when Bob's being a bullying outright-fucking-asshole-PRICK out of jealousy, territorial bullshit, whatever --- and most of them love me back, even as skittish as they are. Sometimes, when I get really lucky, James even tells me that HE loves me, but he loves to play hard-to-get. Typical bisexual male. He's just as callow to his unabashed amour, the cat who WORSHIPS his little black ass, Yoda, the newly-deserted FIV cat, our first raging flamer. Most cats are bisexual, from what I've seen, except for the uber-"macho" dillholes like Bob & Chucky... but Yoda love JAMES and James ONLY. Breaks my heart, James is so damned fickle.

But even with a small herd in the back yard & back porch (hey, if the door falls open, I can't help THAT, dammit! Slumlord can't fuck with me over THAT. They DESERVE heat & safety on the back porch, but I can't even FEED THEM on the fucking property.), a huge personality, such a unique entity as Riley, her loss is deeply & painfully felt.

Please love one another and hug Moondoggie for me, and know that, whatever y'all need, until the end of fucking days or oxygen in our atmosphere, whatever --- when you need, when you hurt, when you need help for ANYTHING, fucking CALL ME!!!! If I'm not here every damned day, I do NOT want to miss out on such huge, agonizing parts of your lives, just because I've been so fucked-up and fucked-over in/by MY life. No matter how fast or slowly I waste away as I have most of this year, I am still HERE FOR Y'ALL. I love y'all so much, and it breaks me into a million fucking pieces that I wasn't here to help, to do anything, to BE HERE for y'all when you were going through such hell.

I am so, so fucking sorry, Scott, Mary, Sheri & Moondoggie. I love you all so much, and I loved Riley as if she were my own. Even James is kinda bummed, after sitting on "his" ottoman, watching me cry @ the computer. And for a fickle little shit like him, that's a RESPONSE. Sending y'all all of our love,

XOXOXO
Love,
J/Annti

Stacia said...

Scott & Mary & Moondoggie -- I am so sorry to hear about Riley. I loved that little critter like she was my own, and I know you took amazing care for her, and she was incredibly happy with you.

And I'm sorry this comment is so unforgivably late. There is no excuse for the months that have passed between September and today, and I am so sorry I didn't hear about this sooner and check in more often.

Take care, all of you.