Saying goodbye to a furry family member

On Wednesday I said goodbye to my cat, Uly. I debated whether or not to write about it- whether or not this topic is the kind of thing readers want to read. In the end I decided to pay my respects to my furry family member that’s been with me for 18 years, not only for me and Uly, also in honor of all the wonderful family pets that have come and gone in all of our lives.

Welcome home, Uly!

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Uly, short for Ulysses, came to me via a private adoption. Back before Petfinder or craigslist it was a lot harder to privately rehome a pet.

In 1995 I worked at a nursing home in the Denver metro area. One day a woman called the facility trying to rehome her cat, asking us if we wanted a resident cat. Our facility already had a resident dog, but as it turns out I had been thinking about getting a companion for my cat, Palo.

I returned the woman’s call and she told me she needed to rehome her cat because she and her husband were taking custody of two orphaned children, one of which was allergic to cats.

I visited Uly and decided to adopt him.

Uly was the peace-keeper in the household, making sure everyone was happy and got along. Uly sensed when people were upset and immediately came over to cheer you up. When my home had more than 2 cats, Uly intervened whenever the other cats weren’t getting along. He was an easy-going, gentle kitty.

One of Uly’s favorite games was to “help” me make the bed each morning. Uly jumped up on the bed and crawled under the covers. He would lay on his back with his paws tenting the quilt, trying to “attack” my finger as I moved it along the top of the quilt.

Caring for a senior kitty

A few years ago Uly began to exhibit some health issues that come naturally with old age. His kidney function was beginning to decline and he went on a special diet. He developed high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism and we put him on appropriate medication. Last September he developed arthritis and we put him on more medication. Despite his various illnesses, his quality of life was good and his diseases were managed by the medication.

Saying goodbye

His kidney disease progressed over time and last week his kidney’s failed. I made the difficult and necessary choice to euthanize Uly, telling him I loved him as he look his last breath.

I am grieving for the loss of my sweet kitty and I am grateful he had a good, long life in which he was loved and cared for every day.

Goodbye, dear sweet Uly, thank you for bringing joy to my life!

Thank you to those who helped me care for Uly

I want to give special thanks to Dr. Susan Plaza at South Mesa Veterinary Hospital for taking such great care of Uly in his elder years. Dr. Plaza consistently went above and beyond, doing research on medication cost and options, and making Uly’s care a priority.

I want to give additional thanks to Rainbow Bridge Pet Crematorium. The staff at Rainbow Bridge is compassionate and they treat each animal with the utmost respect and care.

Honoring loss and love

To all of my readers that have lost a furry family member: I honor you for taking great care of your family. May you and your furkids enjoy the joy, love, and peace you have brought to each other. heart paw

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  • http://daryledickens.com Daryle Dickens

    It is always hard to say good bye to our friends but this was a beautifully written way to honor Uly. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chrysta Bairre

      Thanks so much for your kind words. After writing the post I knew it was the right thing to do.

      Be well,

      Chrysta