Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just Zoe. At The End.



I just saw Zoe, for the first time in about 24 hours, to give her more fluids. The physical change in her was very hard on my heart, and bit pretty deep. But more than that, she's ready to go. Quite simply, she's ready.

Keeping her any longer would be very, very wrong. It is the hardest decision you ever have to make, for a pet, but she trusts us to care for her, has for 14 years now. And she trusts us to help her now. Our vet will come over tomorrow and help her thru the last bit. And Neil and I will be with her.

I, at least, am not going to feel like writing then. So I will tell you things now.



A lot of cats have come thru the house in the last 17 years. Mostly they just show up, at the back door, having followed some sort of Kitty Signs in the woods no doubt, that say "You SO want to go up THERE, these people will feed anything"

But Zoe was pretty special. I remember when she was about 2, she broke her leg very badly falling, and needed about $3000 worth of surgery to save it. Or she could be a three legged cat. For about $400. Neil didn't blink. Do the surgery. This is Zoe, She is special.

(I had at the time a scruffy stray tomcat named Buddy who loved me, and only me, in complete disregard for the fact that he lived in Neil's house and ate his food. I also recall Neil said at the time that if it had been Buddy, we would then have a three legged cat.)

She was like that. Zoe inspired a lot of love in a lot of people. Neil has been getting 100's of e-mails, and people have been stopping by constantly. I've had letters from people I haven't talked to in years, remembering Zoe. She just had so much love going on, and wanted to share it with anyone who crossed her path. (Thank you Nathile and Kyle for the pictures, two more people who loved her deeply)

Even after she went blind, she still saw. And still loved. She had old soul eyes that knew so much. You had to fall in love her. You wanted to take her home. You wanted a bit of that in your life.

I think that is the hardest thing right now, is that I want so much to save her, to do something for her, to keep her a little longer. And we can't. The only thing we can do is the last thing. Tell her we love her and help her on.

She knows this.



Many people have asked if there is anywhere to send something in her name. We would ask, if this is what you want, to send donations in Zoe's name to Great Lakes Bengal Rescue. You can Paypal to donate@greatlakesbengalrescue.com . All $$ go to saving Bengal cats, who are unwelcome at most shelters.

Zoe wasn't a Bengal. But she had the heart of one. A heart like a Leopard.

Loyal, loving and true.

We, all of us, and you too, will miss her.

Love. Zoe.
Lorraine

137 Comments:

At 18:16 Blogger Kimberly said...

*sob* I have had a few "Zoes" in my time. They aren't all that way, but some of them totally are. I'm very glad that I was able to rescue these two Bengals on the day the bad news came about Zoe. I'm so sad for you all!

((many hugs)) to you all - be gentle with yourselves.

At 18:16 Blogger Heather said...

I've been so very sad about Zoe this week, through Neil's posts and now your own. She looks like such a sweet, old soul. I know she will be greatly missed and am thankful she was able to have this last weekend with all of you.

I donated to the Bengal Rescue for her and for all the lovely cats we've loved over the years. You're all in my thoughts.

At 18:24 Blogger Elvinagb said...

Thank you to you and Neil for sharing Zoe with us. She certainly had the look of an old soul and I can see why she inspired so much unconditional love. Take care,

At 18:28 Blogger DataGoddess said...

I looked at Nathalie's pictures of Zoe the other day and saw her spirit, and her love. She is absolutely beautiful not only on her furry outside, but also in her loving heart. That has come through so much in the posts from everyone who has been around her.

I'm so sorry, Quiche. Much love to you, Neil, Olga, Maddy, and everyone she left some of her fur, and heart, on.

At 18:28 Anonymous Rhonda Roo said...

Beautiful tribute.

My heart aches for you & anyone else who loses someone-furry or otherwise-in this manner. those left behind are feeling the heartache way more than the one leaving. Oh the stories i could tell of signs and dreams that this is true~

It's about Zoe, and love.

She has without a doubt, identified her chosen legacy to be LOVE. Cards, tweets, letters, email from strangers and friends-i even thought of her yesterday in the grocery store, on the pet food aisle, and, having no other way to express why i might have a lump in my throat for a cat ive never met belonging to people ive never met while shopping for groceries, i decided to donate more money to the haiti relief fund, thinking Zoe seems to be a "pass it on" kind of cat and would want it that way.

You've passed it on to those of us who didnt know her, for her, and touched us all, or made us remember, or wish to help--so Zoe's legacy does and will continue.

Peace & love to you all during this time. ROCK ON ZOE <3

At 18:29 Blogger Jane said...

Crying over the blog.

Thanks for the donation suggestion. It seems little enough to do, but I know every bit helps.

I've watched Calvin go a little downhill in the past week, after doing so well, and I hope I do the right thing for him in time.

And thanks for sharing this with us. You know how much we all care.

At 18:30 Blogger kate mckinnon said...

We are all broken hearted about Zoe tonight. Thanks for a beautiful post, and give her a nice kiss and a skritch on the head tomorrow for all of us.

At 18:31 Blogger Bridget said...

There are special ones and there are special ones.

These last few days, her love has been spread a very long distance indeed. A lot of people who didn't know her now know a little tiny piece of that kind of love, because you, Boss and Olga and Kyle have all been willing to share it with us. This is an amazing thing you've given.

Fiends and non-Fiends everywhere are wrapping you all in warm Zoe thoughts.

At 18:35 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I feel so much for you all, and am so glad that Zoe is surrounded by all this love. Surely she can feel all the love being sent her way from people across the world. It says something about her that we do all care.
And yes, Nathalie's pictures really let her soul shine.

Love to everyone. Global Fiend hug.

At 18:38 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I'm just thinking of all the love and support we give each other when our furries are ill. The support from you all got me through when Tysie was very ill, and when Shiraz was having her operations. I know Sharon would say the same about the support for Calvin.

I am so grateful for Fiendish love and support.

At 18:40 Anonymous Rhonda said...

I'm thinking about you, all of you, and Zoe.

At 18:43 Blogger Tziedel said...

Such a well-loved and loving cat.

Much love to Zoe and her people,

Tzi and Pan

At 18:48 Blogger somimi said...

I rather fell accidentally into Zoe's story through Neil Gaiman's twitterfeed and have found myself following her last few hours as if she were my own cat.

I'm glad she has so many who love her during this time.

At 18:48 OpenID Torchgirl11 said...

A loving tribute to a beautiful little girl... I asked Neil if you'd like help crossing her over, but I think you guys have it pretty well in hand :) She is in my thoughts too, I'm using the picture of her and Neil you posted as a focus...

Namaste,
~L

At 18:49 Blogger Jess said...

The sunbeam in her patch of daisies in the sky will be huge, I'll tell you that.

You done good. If I want to say anything, it's that. You all Done Good. Big hugs especially to you, Q.

At 18:49 Blogger pia said...

Oh Zoe. My heart is breaking as I read your post, and Neils. But she is dying, as she lived, being able to give and receive love. That, in the end, is what living is all about.
I have donated to Bengal Rescue for Zoe, with love from me, and my two beloved cats, here in Malaysia.

At 18:56 Blogger stacy said...

Zoe sounds special, and I'm glad to see such a small being inspire so much love.

At 19:03 Blogger LincolnBlog said...

(((Hugs)))

At 19:03 Anonymous Paulyn said...

This is how it is when a family member is about to leave, so much pain...it's hard to let go but we know they will be going to a far more better place.
My family always tucks in a leaf on their paws when a dear pet cat or dog passes away, a rosemary is best, because it means remembrance and in the after life, it is the best way to identify them in all the hordes of cats that will be there waiting..hugs to you Lorraine, and please give a hug to Zoe and tell her to join the cats with rosemaries, they're a fun bunch and will show her around.

At 19:04 Blogger David Nett said...

So very sorry. We lost our 14-year-old calico, Abigail, to cancer last year (tho we're fortunate to have her now 15-year-old brother, Westley, still roaming about). Love and best thoughts to all of you as you mourn her passing.

I've been reading about Zoe for the last week thanks to Neil's tweets - sounds like she had a long, wonderful life with people who loved her.

What more can any of us ask?

- David
Creator, GOLD
www.goldtheseries.com

At 19:05 Blogger Rach said...

I just lost my amazing little fighter Zuzu on January 12. All cats are wonderful - but some are truly special.

At 19:07 Anonymous Tarantino14 said...

Goodbye Zoe. I didn't know you, but came to love you.

At 19:09 Anonymous trish roque said...

*choke* *sob* *sniff* Oh, it is the toughest thing making the decision to let a beloved pet go, especially when you know she is ready. I just did this recently and it was the hardest most difficult thing I had ever had to do...I'll be thinking of Zoe, you, Neil, & Olga tomorrow.

At 19:12 Anonymous Randi said...

I, too, only came to know Zoe through Neil's posts on Twitter over the last few days. Reading about her has brought back so many memories of my three cats, however, that I feel I've known her all along. There was Glenn, my first and oldest cat, who looked so horrified when I told him he was adopted that I took it back and told him of course I gave birth to him myself; we almost lost him once to diabetes, but he recovered and lived three more years, leaving us 17 years to the day from when he first came. There was Allessandro, who we adopted to keep Glenn company after the loss of our dog; he, like Zoe, seemed fine until at age 14 he succumbed to some fast-growing tumor that hadn't been detected at his checkup only two months earlier. And there was Riverbed, who contrary to her name was found on our front porch. Apparently she'd heard we had a black cat farm and moved right in. The last to join us, she was also the last to leave, two years ago at age 15(ish) due to kidney failure. Each was a special individual who I feel blessed to have had in my life.

I think of them, as Frank L. Baum would have said it, as Cats rather than merely cats. I can tell by how loved she is that Zoe is one of those Cats as well. Even though I've never had a chance to meet her, I thank you for sharing her story with us, and for being just the kind of People that a Cat deserves.

At 19:14 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

{{{{{{{Quiche}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{Zoe}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{Fiends}}}}}}}

At 19:19 Blogger Julie said...

There is nothing on this Earth that compares to the heartache of having to decide to ease a beloved companion's suffering.

I think the Celestial Design Committee gave cats (and dogs) a deeper understanding of these things. Somehow they tell us that they love us and that it's okay to grieve, but they know their time is done and they're ready to say farewell.

But no amount of time will ever erase their influence in our lives. They are the epitome of unconditional, perfect love. And we are better people for having been blessed with their fellowship.

To Zoe, and to all loving creature that have touched us... Goodnight, sweet cat. Godspeed.

At 19:19 OpenID kylecassidy said...

i love you zoe.

At 19:25 Blogger Rachel Robbins said...

The Heaven of Animals

BY JAMES L. DICKEY

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle’s center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.

At 19:26 Blogger K. said...

The first time I saw a photo of Zoe was only a few months ago, and I remember thinking that she looked like the sweetest little lady. At the time, I thought it was because I was projecting a bit of our cat Smeagol, who has the same markings and wild whiskers as Zoe, and who, in spite of being a bit fearful at times, is the most gentle cat I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my home with.
Over the last few days, I've come to read what a truly special cat Zoe is, and that her specialness did indeed show through in a single photo. She is such a lucky cat to have humans who appreciate her and love her so much. She will be missed, and my two cats will continue to be annoyed by the extra hugs for at least a few more days.

At 19:33 Anonymous cowsharky said...

You can tell just from the pics Zoe was a sweet, gentle and loving kitty. So sad that she's passing, but it is good that she will be surrounded by those who love her. Hugs to all of you.

At 19:36 Blogger Heidi said...

I've commented on Olga's blog and sent a message to Neil, and I'm commenting here...but with a different tone. I still see my cats out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes I feel their little spirits around me when I'm having a bad day. My brother's Roger woke me from a horrific nightmare years after he died and I was able to go back to sleep feeling watched over and safe; I woke in the morning and remembered that Roger wasn't alive anymore, but he was there on my bed a few hours previously.

I like to imagine that the animals who die go to a special place where they are taken care of by animal lovers like my aunt and my grandparents. I like to imagine my beautiful aunt Deanna (who died at 20) surrounded by little furry friends who are waiting for their people.

Aren't we lucky to have such wonderful companions? Companions who are picky and insistent and soft and warm and weird and wonderful? The memories make me so glad I had them in my life for a time, and I can find comfort knowing that they had good lives with me and my family. If I could trade places with one of our cats for a day, I would--just to feel the love we people have for them.

I'll be thinking of and (for what it's worth) praying for you all tomorrow, as I would for anyone going through this hard thing. I'm sure Zoe won't ever be far away; she seems too loving to want to wander.

At 19:36 Blogger Phiala said...

Zoe isn't just a cat, she's become a Romantic figure (with the capital R), and possibly a mythological one. The blind cat who lives in the attic... You can tell just from the sheer numbers of people who have told Boss or Q or each other about Zoe, and their own cats.

Not that mythological status helps right now, of course. Right now it's all about Zoe as she is, and you all know that and are doing the right thing. Later it will mean something.

At 19:41 Blogger AletaMay said...

I forget what I have already said, here and elsewhere, so forgive me if I am repeating myself.

As I have followed as Zoe's story has unfolded over the past week or so I have been struck by how much love this little one has inspired, literally all across the world. As people have mentioned above even if they have never met Zoe or her people face to face they feel that love, that connection.

It is a rare thing to have this moment when we can actually see the threads that connect us all. The legacy of Zoe, for me, will be the reminder that all of life is connected and love is the thing that matters in the end.

Bless Zoe and the people who love her.

At 19:48 Blogger Me, Myself and I (and all my other personalities) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 19:50 Blogger Nikki said...

The love you all have for her is a thing to behold. I've cried every time I've read anything from anyone who's known Zoe, and I'm better for it. I cannot even think of how hard this is, but thank you, and Neil, and Olga, and anyone else who's shared with the wide world about Zoe, for doing so. I hope she rests easy tomorrow.

At 19:54 Blogger vampi said...

my thoughts are with zoe and all her loved ones *snugs*

At 19:54 Blogger Me, Myself and I (and all my other personalities) said...

It's amazing, after all the love she has given , I can still see even more love on her eyes.

My cat and I send you and your family lots of love and hugs.

At 19:57 Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an amazing story, sorry for your loss...we too, had to say goodbye to our dog, he was 17 years old...a calm old soul.

At 20:03 Blogger gaypet said...

A beautiful tribute.

At 20:15 OpenID vincenthiekamore said...

I'm sorry.

I just got through burying my cat. I know exactly how you feel. It's really hard to let go of. I never take a pet's death very well.

I know I don't know you or anything, but I just wanna say, from the sounds of it, I'm sure you were very good to her, and I'm sure she was good for you. I wish you both the best.

At 20:24 Blogger SeriousCat said...

My heart has been breaking, following Zoe on Neils blog and Twitter and now here.

Some cats just touch us in ways we never expected or fully understand, Zoe is one of those cats.

Much much love sweet lady, swift passing.

At 20:33 Blogger Wicked said...

Simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing Zoe with those of us who didn't get the chance to meet her in person. Much love.

At 20:59 Blogger Julienne said...

My lovely Marina (age 12) looks exceptionally like Zoe and prior to Marina, I had n identical cat named Rhajah. Poor Rhajah was born with Feline AIDS and being a vet tech's daughter, he had a long and lovely life for such an ill cat. But when the time came, he told me. He still purred and cuddled but his eyes showed me it was time. I made that decision and held him as he passed. Putting a cat to sleep is never an easy thing, but keeping them around for our benefit is selfish. God Bless Zoe and her journey and all the love that she has passed on to others in her lovely life. Thank you for sharing her with us!

At 21:00 Blogger Stacy Hurt said...

My wishes of strength to you and the excruciating but necessary decisions you face in the near future. Know that we are all with you; and Zoe and you are so not alone. Your tribute to her is lovely. Thank you for sharing this bit of your life so openly.

loves & big purrs to you

At 21:03 Blogger Lioness said...

Ah, so very sad, for you all who have loved her. I can only say how sorry I am.

At 21:03 Blogger Phiala said...

You know, you and Boss have both already demonstrated your ability to make good choices and difficult decisions. Why do you continue to have to do so? Sucks, that does.

At 21:40 Blogger Lia said...

Love is all that really matter, isn't? :-)
She was a lucky girl, gave a lot of love and received so much in return.

I hope one day you'll all meet her again, on cat's heaven.

Hugs and love,
Lia

At 21:57 Blogger Na said...

zoe is life is love is
zoe is life is love is
zoe is life is love . . .

At 22:04 Blogger One Sock Short said...

This little cat's memory will indeed be eternal. Love like that has to be. Wishing all of you the comfort of her love when it's time to help her go in peace.

At 22:07 Blogger Elizabeth Heir said...

I too had many cats through my whole life. Highly allergic, with my eyes puffy red as soon as I touch them, never held me back from mushing cats in my face if I could. Outdoor and indoor they all come by and I had a few leave this world young and old. They don't want to go, they are mad, they growl inside, they find shade under a tree or bush, they want to be alone and spare you. They give love like no other animal, they choose us and I think, they think, they are superior. Even when they need us the most, they still remain with dignity. If you are with them at their time of passing they will take away your pain and sorrow; us humans are such weak creatures. We will mourn and cry and call out their name as we had every day, but something strange happens, and really soon...we remember the unconditional companionship, the sweetness, the sleeping calm of fluff, the love, and those eyes piercing through, and we feel their strength adding inside us and letting us know its ok. They never leave us, its not infinite, their seventh life grows within us and we think of them daily and pet the others, with as much love as we have given to the one who left. Zoe, say hello to Russell, Sylvester Groovin' Shoes, Pe-Pe, Monday, and Prince and Princess. peace

At 22:28 Blogger Beez said...

She has been a small cat of great heart.

Love and kindest thoughts to you and Neil, Olga and the rest of her people.

A gentle passing for her tomorrow, and joy in your memories of her.

Love-

At 22:34 Blogger Sharon K said...

Letting go is never easy, even when they are ready. You are doing the right thing for her, but it is so hard on you.
She will be waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge. Happy, healthy and full of love. It seems like a long until we are able to see them again, but to them it's only been a blink of an eye. She will always be with you, you will never really be apart, for she will live on in your memories and your heart.

At 22:55 Blogger Chantrelle said...

My heart goes out to you Lorraine, Neil, Maddy, and the whole gaiman clan, Olga, and especially Zoe. How one cat can affect so many through pictures and online writing is amazing. What a special creature she truly is and will always be. Her energy will carry on to do good things in the world.

Love to you all.

At 23:13 Blogger Elizabeth said...

Like many others, I've been following Zoe's story since the first tweets as if she was a cat I knew. It's hitting me hard because my cats don't live with me at the moment and I have no idea when that will change. They're in good hands. My ex-husband adores being able to keep them for the foreseeable future and lets me visit as much as I want but it's not the same.

That's a roundabout way of saying that cats like Zoe who are pure love are special indeed. It's cruel that by tomorrow Zoe won't physically be with you any more, but it would be even more cruel to make her suffer longer.

In spirit and in your heart, she'll always be there.

The Death meets Zoe sketch just did me in the other night.

Maybe Zoe's illness is also being cathartic for many of us. 2009 was a difficult year for many. Maybe in crying for Zoe we're also releasing other pent up pain.

I wish had something comforting to say. I don't. Just that my heart goes out to all of you who know and love Zoe. I wish I could have met her but through your postings I feel as if I have.

Hugs,
Beth

At 23:14 Blogger Precision Grace said...

Ever since it was first mentioned those few days ago, I have been thinking of Zoe, following the updates, thinking of Zoe.
She is A Special Spirit, Zoe is. Not just a cat, but some sort of angel that decided to inhabit a cat body for a while. A Fairie. She may very well stay on, visiting through the other cats (why and how they are able to do this don't ask me but they Can). There is just so much Love in that cat, I don't think I've ever came across anything quite like it, not even in pictures, like this.

Goodbye Zoe. You loved well and were loved well in return. Thank you for being you and rest well. xxx

At 23:47 Anonymous kali_licious said...

As I sit here and wipe my eyes all I can add is Love to you All, Fiends, Lorraine, Maddy, Boss, and dear little Zoe.

At 00:26 Blogger spacedlaw said...

A love starved leopard. She just demands love, commandeers it away.
She and I shared a bed first time I came to you and I could have got upset from the fact that wherever I would toss during the short jet-lagged nights she was there, ON my neck. But no. Because you just could not hate that purring, meeping, ball of fluff. My neck and my heart were her right due (as were my hands and lap too) and she took them gracefully, making the "loss" up to me in deliberate kneading and obstinate purrs.
She massaged her love under my skin and I was hooked.
I have never known another cat like her and in a way I hope I won't again because this is way too painful.

At 00:35 Blogger spacedlaw said...

I must say, Kimberly's picture of the mother and baby are helping a lot.

At 01:09 Anonymous michele lucas said...

i am so very heartbroken for you and neil. i know that pain. they say it gets easier as life goes on, w each fourlegged family member who moves on, but it doesnt, does it? we recently lost our beautiful little soul, pooka. i held her in my arms til the end. she was my heart and i literally felt a void in it when she died. the photos of zoe shine out the very qualities you described. one can see in her face that her soul is beautiful. from one stranger to another with one really sad thing in common, i am so very sorry. please give zoe a hug and a kiss on her sweet face for me.
@michelelucas

At 02:27 Blogger Fimbrethil said...

I'm so sorry. There's nothing worse than the death of a beloved pet (well, maybe there is, but it never feels that way). My heart goes out to you, and to Mr. Gaiman.

At 02:47 Anonymous Bianco said...

I decided earlier that I wouldn't cry over a cat I've never met, belonging to people I've never met. I failed my decision today.

It seems Zoe had a bigger heart and more love to share than many human beings do. Why, then, should we not cry for her?

Lots of strength to all of you. You're in my thoughts.

At 03:28 Blogger Marjorie said...

I am not ashamed to say I cried a little, reading this. You, and Neil, and Olga, and all Zoe's people will be very much in my heart and thoughts today, and I know that Zoe's leaving will be as full of peace and love as anyone can make it. You and she are so lucky to have had oneanother.

At 03:52 Blogger spacedlaw said...

It is a most sad day but on the other hand the poor little love is suffering. She will at least be in good company to see her off, to cuddle her fears and pain away.
As usual the living, will suffer for much longer.

At 05:04 Blogger Hellie said...

I have cried too, reading of a small cat who I never met - as Boss said, it may be the love; it is radiating out of all your words about her and every photo of her sweet face. Zoe has touched all our hearts. Thank you for sharing her with us.

A sad day indeed, thinking of you all, love & hugs.

At 05:36 Blogger Jill said...

So many of us will be holding you [and Zoe] in our hearts today. You will not be alone.

Blessings of Light and of Love to you, Zoe, as you slip through the Veil, to the Attic on the Other Side.

Blessings of Peace and Comfort to all of Zoe's people, as this special little one loved by so many receives her well-deserved rest.

Fare thee well on your journey, precious Zoe. Know that you are loved and that you will be missed.

At 07:02 Blogger EmilyLady said...

I really am very sorry.

At 07:58 Blogger d a r k c h i l d e said...

Beautiful testimony to a beautiful friend... Thanks.

At 08:10 Anonymous Morgawse said...

Ok, now I'm crying. I don't have a cat, have never had a cat, but I keep fancy rats and I know exactly how it feels. They're all loveable and special, but when one of those really special ones is sick and not getting better, the ones that make all your friends go 'oh no, not her, that's not fair' when they hear about it, it's somehow even more awful. I'm going to be at the vet's tonight with my boyfriend's special girl Bluebell, and I'm hoping so hard the vet can help her.

Sorry I'm slightly rambly here, as a long time reader but first time commenter - Zoe seems like a special kitty, too, and between that and my three sick ratlings at current, I'm feeling a little fragile. Much love and strength to you all.

At 08:48 Blogger Cecily said...

I have nothing to add but hugs and love. You have both from me.

At 09:07 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thank you all so very much. This love is amazing and you can't know how much your support, stories and hugs mean to me.

It makes this bit of good. Good to know THIS is our village. Doesnt matter if you know us, and Zoe or not. You're here and that's what matters.

I love you.

At 09:23 Blogger bengalgirl said...

Goodby Zoe, you are loved by many people, most who haven't even met you. But we feel we know you from the writings of those who have known you. Say hi to Star for me and tell her I'll never forget her.

At 09:37 Blogger Kelly McCullough said...

Beautiful old dear and so very sweet. You have our sympathy and more hugs.

At 09:56 Blogger Ali said...

Oh, crap. I need a kleenx. I didn't know Zoe, but I know the type of animal that inspires that kind of emotion. She was lucky to have you guys in her life--as you were to have her in yours. My heart goes out to you. Sending good thoughts and hugs your way...

At 10:13 Blogger Phiala said...

At times like this the Tribe comes together.

Hugs to all of you.

At 10:15 Blogger EmilyLady said...

We also love you, Quiche.

At 11:08 Blogger Karen B. said...

Oh, what good stories about Zoe, who sounds like a complete sweetie.

And just because it's time, and you know it's time, doesn't make saying goodbye easier.

At 11:16 Blogger Karen B. said...

Sorry -- doesn't make it easy. (EasiER, maybe, but not easy.)

At 11:17 Blogger Contact said...

So sorry for your loss. It's so hard to say goodbye to them. Darn animals, anyway! Our previous Bassett, Kirby had cancer so we had to let him go. He liked cats (in a good way) I'll imagine them playing and hope you feel better soon.
muy abrazos y besos!

rick

At 11:37 Blogger Mary said...

I had the honor of getting to know a bit about Zoe from Kyle himself at last year's City Kitties art auction here in Philadelphia. I am a reader of his blog and was bowled over when I saw his photographs of Zoe--for she looks so much like my girl, named...Zoe! The photo of Neil with the kitty was most definitely the most coveted item at the auction, and I must say one of the most touching visuals of a human with a beloved cat that I think I have ever seen.

I've been reading more about Zoe over the past couple of days through your blog, Neil's blog, and Kyle's blog, and I am amazed at how similar our girls seem to be--right down to their demeanor. They must be of the same spirit. Here she is: Zoe.

It could not be raining harder here in Philly right now, and the drops that are rolling down my big windows no doubt collectively represent the tears that so many of us have for Zoe and for those who love her. I don't think I have the words to express how much I know this hurts. But what I do know is that all living creatures should be afforded to pass with such dignity and love, and this world would be a hell of a lot better place.

At 12:09 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thank you again, everyone, for all of your love and support. Zoe is at peace.



Damm that sucked.

At 12:10 Blogger DataGoddess said...

*sob*

*mute hugs*

At 12:10 Blogger vampi said...

*hugs*

At 12:11 Blogger Chantrelle said...

So much love to you Lorraine.

At 12:12 Blogger Jill said...

By the way, that's a wonderful picture of Neil and Zoe. It is beautiful and heartbreaking and full of love. And haunting, because we know how the story ends.

I sent Neil a message and suggested he write a children's book [or books] about Zoe [and Pod and Hermione]. That would be a lovely photo for the inside jacket cover. Proceeds from the book could go to the Bengal Rescue or another animal shelter.

But that kind of thought can wait until another time. Today is a day for grief and comfort and love.

At 12:34 Blogger Jill said...

I don't even know where I found this or who wrote it - I believe it's a Celtic poem or lullaby - but it reminds me of Zoe.

Go to sleep, little dear
May the angels draw near and
With peace-dust sprinkle your eyes.
May the curtains of night
Banish pain from your sight
That your dreams to heaven arise.
Forsake all care
As your thoughts rise there
Through a vault of star-spangled skies.

Go to sleep, little one
Heaven's blessings you've won
By the innocence of your smile.
May the whole of your life
Heal with calmness all strife
And teach kindness, free from all guile.
Men's hearts enthrall
By pure love for all
For it's love makes living worthwhile.

At 12:42 Blogger Jess said...

I'll say it again: you done good. You were strong when it was needed, and that's the important thing. We love you, too, but you knew that. Big hugs.

At 12:46 Blogger Rick W said...

What a little sweetheart she is. Ugh, my heart goes out to everyone. I will send Zoe my very best mojo (it's powerful stuff) and save some for you and Boss and everyone who needs a little somethin.

How lucky you are to have had the extreme pleasure and joy of Zoe's company, and she to have yours.

At 12:46 Blogger Marjorie said...

Zoe was so lucky that she had you, and Boss, to be strong for her when she needed you to make the difficult decisions.

One of the many reasons we love you, y'know?

I hope ypu have time for some cuddles and featherstick with Venus & Mim, and the others whose lives you've made such a difference to. (although maybe cuddling the crabs would be a mistake)

At 12:54 Blogger Rick W said...

If it's ok with all involved, I'd like permission to use the name Zoe in a story I'm going to write. She will be beautiful, strong, kind, and maybe a little mischievous. And she will live forever.

I will remember that sweet kitty, though I've never met her. Her name is Zoe.

At 12:57 Blogger Bridget said...

Love, love, love.

At 13:19 Blogger One Sock Short said...

I hope that knowing how loved and protected you all made her feel up to the very end brings some comfort.

At 13:50 Anonymous Lysandwr said...

{{{HUGS}}}

At 13:55 Blogger Nymeth said...

*hugs*

Zoe and those who love her were in my thoughts all day. I'm so sorry for your loss :(

At 13:59 Blogger Stratos Bacalis said...

So sorry about Zoe. I have been following her last days through Neil's blog. Lots of hugs.

At 14:03 Blogger Jess said...

I have been following Neil's posts on Zoe and I grieve with you. Cats like Zoe are indeed special, one of a kind, once in a lifetime friends. I have my own Zoe. a lookalike in fact. Her name is Coco and she is my constant companion and friend, charming all that meet her with her sweet ways and her wise, human eyes. Zoe sounds so much the same, and it pains me to see her sweet face, so like my Coco's, and know that she is gone. I am so very sorry for your loss.

At 14:15 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.

I'm sitting her bawling over a cat I've never met, but she reminds me so much of my own Zoecat that it's hard not to feel it hurt now as badly as it did when my Zoe died. We lost her some years ago in a fire & it was easily one of the hardest things I've gone through.

Zoe's are a special breed of cat; they're sneaky, sneaky heart stealers. They love unconditionally and garner unconditional love from those around them. She knew you loved her.

At 14:24 Blogger Na said...

{{{Q}}}

At 14:29 Blogger pmrussell said...

I shall add, as with many others,it is sooo sad to lose a beloved animal. I think I spent over $7000 all told through the life of my mini weiner dog. It was well worth it! She eventually passed on in her old age. It was like losing a human family member. Its wonderful to see so much support for an animal who loves you no matter what!

At 14:33 Blogger Stacy Hurt said...

((((hugs to you all)))))
weeps
she was soooo lovely
I'm soooo very sorry for your loss.

At 14:35 Blogger Ani said...

Damn, I don't think I'm supposed to be crying at my desk. Many hugs to all.

At 14:37 Blogger Pamela G said...

I don't even know you, but I feel like I know Zoe through your and Neil's posts. I am so very sorry for your loss.

I donated to the Bengal Rescue for her, and for all of the wonderful cats that I've loved. We are indeed lucky to have been blessed with the love of extraordinary cats.

At 14:49 Blogger Matt said...

I don't know why this cat's story has caught
my attention so over these last days, but
it has. I'm sitting by myself for the first time
while reading about Zoe and feel real
weight on my heart. She must have been
something in the world. Thank you for how
you treated her.

At 15:09 Anonymous Sara Plays House said...

I've been watching Zoe's story. Partly because she is SO like my cat Sushi that we said goodbye to last week. The resemblance is almost eerie. There's a photo of Sushi on my blog, if you're so inclined.
Other strange thing? My daughter's name is Zoe.
All that to say--I believe the Universe gives us such coincidences to remind us how very alike we all are, especially at times such as these.
Thinking of you all--I know how hard this is.

At 15:17 Blogger Kat said...

Sorry about Zoe. I read both you and Neil regularly. Came by today to check and see the updates on Zoe. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing the whole thing with your readers. I don't have a cat story, but I do have a dog one. Sad, but wonderful memories.

At 15:25 Blogger Angela Hines said...

Saturday night my best friend came over to see Flynn(her cat that lives at my house) and we stood on the porch, holding our purring cats and sympathizing with all of ya'll about Zoe. My sweetheart Pumpkin is pregnant with her 3rd litter, and one of them will be named Zoe when they come. I hope there will be a Zoe-coloured one since Pumpkin's previous kittens have been orange or grey or spotted, but I know there will be one who is meant to bear the name "Zoe", hopefully I'll recognize her somehow.

It's amazing how our hearts can break for a cat we've never even met in person...

At 16:51 Blogger Dragonsally said...

{{{{{{{{{{Q}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
so many outpourings of love.

Thinking of you all.

At 16:55 Blogger EmilyLady said...

It must be hard right now.

At 18:06 Blogger Kate said...

I have been reading about Zoe on Neil's blog and Olga's too and feel so a sadness for all of you who knew Zoe. It takes me back to when my beloved cat Moonbeam had to be put down. It was such a sad time and I still feel the loss. wishing you solace at this time.

Kate

At 18:25 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't remember my Google ID anymore so I am submitting this anonymously because I really wanted to leave you a note. As many others have done, I felt I got to know Zoe the past few days through you, and Neil, and Olga, and all of those who were able to share a part of this precious little cat. My heart goes out to all of you as mine is breaking, too. I know she has passed over the Rainbow Bridge peacefully and will be waiting to see you again. Again, thank you for sharing a little bit of her with me, and all of us.

At 19:41 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about Zoe. I won't go into my own story but to say that I've been in your shoes and felt what you are feeling, and I know that it's a kind of pain that is also full of beauty and love and that it is the unfortunate part of the loving process. the love you feel will equal the pain that you go through. you are all in my heart and i am wishing Zoe a lovely and safe passage to her next destination. you are all very lucky- you for receiving her love and she for receiving yours.

At 20:35 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine - it sounds like Zoe had a wonderful life. I had to put my 18 year old Sebastian down tonight. His kidneys had been failing for about 1 1/2 years. I have been given him the subq fluids too. Perhaps he and Zoe are meeting tonight. *hug*

At 20:59 Blogger Jane said...

All these stories of pets...we love them and when we lose them it is so hard. But we keep on having them and loving them...

I lost a cat to kidney failure, too. A year ago and still miss her.

At 21:09 Blogger dabbler said...

Sniff. Hug. All I've got tonight.

At 21:46 Blogger ariandalen said...

{{{Lorraine}}}
{{Neil}}
{{Olga}}
{{EVERYBODY else}}

Know this: sometimes, after a well earned rest, they come back. I am not entirely certain that Tangwyn is not an incarnation of Crystal, though she died 18-19 years ago. She suffered from FIP, and I could not keep her in a state where she wasn't herself. She had earned her rest, even though she was only 8.
Tangwyn will be 13 at vernal equinox. Their personalities really aren't the same, but there are times I definitely wonder.

At 23:43 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

I was actually at work today, and I passed out when I got home, but I just wanted to let you know my thoughts were with you all day.

At 01:01 Blogger Sonia Michaels said...

I'm so sorry. I've been reading the various blog posts and getting all teared up, remembering my own similar experiences with my dog, Eeyore, and with other well-loved pets over the years. I'm so very sorry. You all did what was best, and you did it with great love.

At 02:39 Blogger Kimberly said...

Perhaps a little cuteness will be a tiny balm on the collective hurt hearts. Tonight's photo of Mama and Baby Bengal shows what a fighter Baby is.
These are the paws o CUTE working mama over!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlyjennery/4306203490/

And of course there are several more if you click around :)

As I said after the last difficult loss (for me - sighs, Dusky) "Tiny kittens don't fill the hole in the heart, but they line it with fuzzy goodness and it does ease it a tiny bit."

At 02:40 Blogger Ailsa/Ailsabat said...

Reading that really touched my heart. I know you've had hundreds of messages, of people telling you their stories, about their "Zoes". But I wanted to post a message with theirs. My cat Dolores has been with me through my falling into a coma and being diagnosed with a rare and incurable nerve condition, but now her health is failing. I don't know what I'll do without her, but following your's and Neil's stories have helped me realise sometimes when you love someone so much, the most loving thing is to let them go.

I'll be thinking of you both, and for Zoe, who is now pain free. (And can now eat all she wants). xx

At 03:35 Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Kimberly...

Thank you. She is a good little mama, with all her scars and bumps and bruises....and it does help, seeing her. Along w/hugging our own furries.....

{{hugs to Calvin, too}}

At 05:25 Anonymous Elise said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Zoe. I'd love to say something profound and amazing to help you all in your grief, but we all know that isn't possible, and now is not the time to think it is.

Condolences.

At 07:08 Blogger Jane said...

Thanks Lys. Calvin is on his way to the vet as soon as we can get him there. He had a great 9 weeks, then started to go downhill a little last week. In the last 2 days the downhill slide became more rapid. We have a chemo appt for him tomorrow but don't think we can wait. I spoke to the vet yesterday when his symptoms were still kind of - well, see if you can get him to eat a little more - kind of thing.

Anyway, wish us luck. Not ready to say good-bye.

Kimberly - thanks for all the photos! Good news is welcome :-)

At 08:32 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

New post is up! Moving on to happier things...

At 08:51 Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a cat lover, I join with everyone else who has posted here to say how much I have been touched by this little blind cat I have never met.

Wouldn't it be lovely if we could be as kind to our human loved ones when it was time for them to go? If we could gather and say goodbye properly, then give them something that would make their passing easy? I have watched both my mother and my aunt die horribly of breast cancer, and I am bitter about the fact that we seem to know when it is right to 'play God' with our beloved pets, but won't do so for our beloved family members---even if they desperately want us to--because it is illegal to do so. And why? Because of our outdated ideas of morality.

At 10:14 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Love to Zoe and to you all. It's so sad. It's horrible to lose a member of the family. (((Hugs)))

At 11:06 Blogger Phiala said...

Hm. I'll put this here on the sad post, though it is an unrelated sadness, rather than on the newer happier post.

The friend I mentioned recently lost the battle with breast cancer today, less than a month after her diagnosis. Sometimes there's just nothing.

At 11:10 Blogger DataGoddess said...

{{{Phiala}}}

I'm so sorry. And if you still haven't gone to the office yet, screw it, don't go. You need a break.

At 11:13 Blogger spacedlaw said...

So sad, Phiala. My condolences to you and her family.

At 11:38 Anonymous David W. said...

I am so sorry. There's never, never enough time with our pets, and when they give us their love, they do it so simply, and so completely, that they change our lives. And there is nothing that hurts so much as having to do what our vet says is "the bravest thing possible." May the love you have known from Zoe stay with you all your life.

At 12:26 Blogger Marjorie said...

My condolences, Phiala. I am so sorry for your friend and her family and friends - the swiftness kust make it so much harder to bear, with so little time to prepare, and say her goodbyes.

At 13:37 Blogger Jane said...

Phiala, so sorry to hear about your friend. It seemed like she and her family and friends must barely have had time to assimilate the news and then it's over.

At 16:34 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Oh Phiala, I am SO sorry.
((((((((P))))))))))

At 20:13 Blogger elionwyr said...

Continued love to you, Neil, Olga, and all. Hugs where acceptable/appropriate; kitty headbumps from a shy but well-intending Lurk.

*love*

At 22:28 Blogger Na said...

{{{Phiala}}} I'm so sorry! And sorry I didn't get a chance to respond when you posted about her previously.

A little over two weeks ago, my guy's mother passed away. She was diagnosed with bladder cancer less than a year ago, but it spread rapidly in the past few months. She was in tremendous pain for a long while. The term "at peace" here, it rings true.

Take care, Phiala, Jane, Q, all...

Anyone else walking around with the feeling that it's temporarily wrong to feel happy about anything?

I can haz February now?

At 00:15 Blogger AletaMay said...

Phiala: Thinking about you and your friend and her circle.

At 13:21 Blogger One Sock Short said...

Just caught up on the sad thread.

Phiala, I'm so sorry about your friend. The suddenness seems so much worse. Thinking about you and her family.

And, Na, I'm so sorry about your guy's mom. I know what you mean about it feeling wrong to feel some happiness, but I don't think happy moments at such times means you miss them any less. There were many happy moments when my grandmother died, since our family doesn't get together much. Being happy together was a way of remembering her too.

{{{Hugs}}} to all who need them.

At 16:40 Blogger dabbler said...

Many hugs all around....Hugs for Zoe's passing, hugs for Phiala's friend, and Na's guy's Mom. Sometimes the sadnesses overpower the joy, but it is never inappropriate to feel both.
Remember the world is always turning toward the morning....

At 13:17 Blogger Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

Every cat should have a companion as loving as you. I just stumbled upon your blog and I am 100% better for it. Thank you thank you for restoring my faith that humans do love animals and care for them and do what is right. Sometimes I think I belong to too many animal help groups and it terribly depresses you to even open the post daily. Zoe IS a beautiful cat - gorgeous really. you never forget or lose that special feeling they give you. Not all cats are the same this way - I have had many (and lost many as is the case with cats) she is probably going to hang around for a little while - I still have a cat that past 6 years ago that sleeps on the back of my sofa (I catch a glimpse of her every now and then) I'm not even surprised anymore. I don't know when she'lll move on - she doesn't need to - I love her very much. Im so sorry for you and I wish you all peace. Adrian

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