The following post was originally published by us in Nov. of 2017 …
A week ago we received a lovely, heartfelt letter from a reader named Leslie Froelich who had just lost one of her cats (Minze) to cancer and felt deeply inspired to write about it. We were so touched by her letter, and having lost one of our own furbabies in June, we decided to publish it.
Here is Leslie’s letter to her sweet cat Minze:
It’s been one week since you left us. One week since the moment that we looked in your eyes, and you told us that it was your time. We so badly wanted to keep you here with us, but we knew we had to be selfless and let you go. It was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make.
The clinic just called to tell me your ashes are ready to be picked up. Maybe that should make this all feel more real, but it doesn’t. Because everywhere I look, I see you and feel you.
And it hurts.
It’s in the patch of sunlight streaming through our front door, where you would normally be splayed out on the hardwood floors in all your 25-pound glory, purring loudly and contentedly.
It’s when I make our bed and you aren’t there, playfully swatting at the fitted sheet and burrowing underneath, then pouncing like a stealth, miniature lion.
It’s in the plush new bed I got for you to help keep you comfortable these last few months, once the cancer began waging its vicious war against your body. I can’t seem to make myself move or wash it, because it still bears some of your hairs and your scent.
It’s in the barely touched cans of wet food I just threw out, the ones that I couldn’t get you to eat because you just didn’t want to. It broke my heart to witness.
It’s in the change of vocabulary that I begrudgingly use now to say goodbye to your cat brother when I leave the house: “Goodbye Liberty, be back soon,” instead of: “Goodbye boys, be back soon.” It tears me apart every time.
It’s in our bathroom, where you would methodically lick at the toilet paper roll for God knows what reason. Or where you would always be patiently waiting for me by the door when I got out of the shower.
And it’s a thousand other things and smells and sounds that remind me of you every day, all the time.
I know I should be grateful for the time we had with you: 10 memory-filled years that included marriage, a bevy of foster cats, an out-of-state move, new jobs, our first home, pregnancy, loss of a child, and the arrival of more children.
I know I should be relieved you are no longer suffering. And yes, I am glad that your body is restored and no longer in pain from an illness that has taken too many precious lives, both human and animal alike. But I feel robbed of the years and time we thought we had left with you. It just hurts so much that you are no longer here, and I miss you so much.
I miss your long, sleek tail that twitched when you were excited or happy.
I miss how the little black mask-looking shape on your white face made you look like some sort of feline superhero.
I miss how you would always hear me – no matter where you were in the house at the time – climbing into bed and how you would jump in with me literally within nine seconds, heralding your arrival with a meow that somehow sounded like a dolphin. You always knew a cuddling session was just on the horizon.
I miss how you would shamelessly throw yourself onto my chest and headbutt yourself into me and knead and knead on me with your gigantic paws until you would fall asleep, then proceed to snore like an old man.
I miss the way you would passionately lick smelly tuna off your face after finishing eating, like you had just won the cat lottery.
I miss watching you cackle and chirp at birds and neighborhood cats outside the window. I know you must have been telling them something so important.
I miss seeing you and your brother groom each other and saunter around the house like little partners in crime.
Now, even with your dad and I and your sisters and Liberty, our house feels… empty. Quieter. Like something is missing.
Because it is. You aren’t here.
I am confident that you are frolicking in a glorious meadow, sunbathing and chasing birds and being doted on by the human sister you never got to meet. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that you left this earth on the eve of her birthday.
So I know all this, but the fact remains that I miss you more than I can adequately put into words, and my heart literally and physically aches in your absence. You were the best cat, full of affection and love and life.
For the rest of my days, I will never, ever forget the look on your face as the medicine began to work and you felt its sweet relief, and your body became free again.
Rest in peace, my sweet Minze, we will never forget you. You will always be a part of our family.
Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
Please let us know your thoughts by submitting a comment in the “Leave a Reply” box below.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France
What an amazing she had with words.
I think it is a great idea.
Thank you for writing a lovely letter to your dearly beloved kitty..
I write this with tears in my eyes, for I so can relate..
I lost my precious kitty on Mothers day of this year 2017
the vet did not know how long he had to live.. he was first diagnosed
with sugar diabetics . kept that under control for a few years
but cats react differently to this disease than most humans.
they can have a for a while and than not have.
so the time I took him for a reading,
no diabetics, great.. he was fine, no more insulin shots,
but they discovered an unoperable lump in his precious little tummy
( Cancer) .. the vet advised me to give a steriod shot when I saw that he getting a tad weak
and we did that for several months,
the first shot seemed like a miracle, he was running around and jumping
and I thought -omg — this is fabulous..
but as each month went by and he would get his shot, he was loosing weight
each time.. and than about a day or so before he passed, he just could not eat
he went to sleep in his little bed the night before he passed, and I could tell
this was coming very close to the end.
but my life was rather hectic this past summer. he usual slept in my bed with me
but this particular nite did not.. because my little grandson slept over. with grandma
in grandma’s bed..
so we woke up the Sunday morning ( Mothers day) and he sort of langed behind
But him and I always took a nap on the couch together with him napping at my feet..
so he came out of my bed room and went on the couch where he used to nap with me
his favorite comforter was there . and he lay down on it, but I used to fold it in half
and kinda made a sleeping bag out if .. so I tucked inside and he was very weak and
just lay there .. I sat beside him and stroked his precious head, and told how very much
i loved him. –but it was okay for him to go.. because my precious baby was in pain
I could never have had the heart to put him down and I discussed this with my vet
and she agreed, that is was okay, if I wanted him to pass at home.. he did manage to
jump down from the couch, I believe he needed to go to his litter box. but he could not
go any further , he lay his precious head on my foot and let out one last meow ..
it was like he was saying, good bye mom..
i picked him up and lay him down again.. and within moments his wonderful beautiful heart stopped
beating.. I wrapped him up and the next day I took him to the vet to have cremated..
so his little urn is sitting in my bedroom with picture of him and his little buddy that had passed
away almost a year earlier.. Astro was “Super special” he was the one that would greet me
at the door when I came home.. he was the one concerned if I was ill..
He would have been 21 years old ( human years) in July.. so all I can say ..is that I was very very
fortune to have him as long as I did.. I miss him terribly each and every day.. I hope that he is
a special place , for special fur babies go.. I will love him forever and always.. and no other
can take his place.. Thank you Astro for being with me all these years.. you where super special
love to you always. xoxo
You wrote this three years ago but I’m just reading it today, July 3, 2020 as my beloved cat is lying on my lap dying. Yes it’s unbearable no matter how many times we go through it but thank you for sharing your beautiful love of your cat it really helps God bless you always
beautiful. thank you for sharing this heartfelt tribute to a dear friend.
3 weeks ago we said goodbye to our Lucky after 16 years.
I started reading, but I just can’t. It is still too painful.
Wow that bought tears to my eyes. I know those feelings with losing 3 of my own. It’s heartbreaking.
That is so sad. We lost our sweet 17 year old cat a few months ago.
That was so so beautiful. ❤️❤️😊😊🌹🌹
So heartfelt and beautiful. I’ll leave a more cohesive comment when I’ve pulled myself together. This letter struck more than one chord. RIP Minze, you clearly were a legend 🖤
Gulp…tears are rolling…been there…still there
Adorable letter to this beautiful kitty!
I know just how she feels. I lost my Ms. Mew of 18 years and one week last month. When I got her she would fit in my hand. She had big eyes like the whole world was a wonder. She was with me through cross country moves, to many fosters, or rescues. Through Mattie leaving us cancer also took him at only 15. She love to get flowers and I brought them to her all her life. Roses were favorite! I got kitty kisses everyday from her oh how I miss them. If she woke up and couldn’t find me she would go through the house calling for me till I would answer her. The last few years her kidneys started to fail her so we did the Sub_Q fluids and she would always sit still for a half a jar of chicken baby food. A few months before her 18th birthday I just ask God to at least let her make it to 18, he did one week past it. She has been in my life for so long I couldn’t remember what life was like without her. She was my baby girl. I was with her till the end telling her that it was alright to go find Mattie and I would see them both on the other side. How much I loved her and what a good girl she always was. I had hoped when I got her ashes back and she was home again things would be a little easier but they aren’t. I cried through this post and so many days since she left.
Dear Susan, the tears are rolling down my cheeks as I read the stories.. I still miss my precious kitty – it has been 6 months already, but my life with him… is just not the same.. there are times I call out for him, knowing full well he is no longer with me… just that there are times I so would love to hold him and have a little conversation with him again.. is this normal. ? — to love a kitty so very much and miss him so terribly..
but I will go for now.. and thank you all and God bless all you wonderful people that have shared your
with some little fur baby that meant so very much to you.. Good nite.. take care and again, God bless..
Wow…she said all I’ve been feeling since losing my sweet Sammy a month ago. The pain of making that ultimate decision to let them go and free them from their pain when you’d rather still have them at your side. It took me a whole month just to throw his clean litter pan away.. I kept looking to see if their was any new footprints….I loved this poem and although I cried while reading it also felt cathartic. I think it’s a great idea to add a poem section.
so heartfelt, had me in tears ❤️
I can’t read it. But I have always told my kitties on a daily basis how much I love them. It’s a mutual love. It’s an amazing thing.
Touching! 💝 I know this pain. Just lost my “humbug” on Sept. 03, 2017 after 13 yrs.
I couldn’t finish it. My husband & I wrote one to the last kitty we had pass. Horrible sad!
Made me cry…😥
The pain is real.
I just lost my dear sweet Audrey 3 days ago. I took her to the vet because of a possible urinary tract infection. Not only did she have a UTI, her heart was failing. Her doctor said that Audrey could collapse at any moment.
I never knew her heart was bad, let alone THAT bad. She had been to the vet about 3 weeks before and lost about a pound–down to 7.5 lbs. The best weight for her was about 9.5 lbs.
Audrey and I have shared many good times. I’d dress her up for Halloween for several years. We just got Tractor Supply store in town about a month ago. She has gone 3 times. She sits in the cart and hunkers down in comfort. We have travelled together on round trips from northern Maine to Connecticut a few times. And from CT on to Pennsylvania nearly a year ago.
She would yell at me if I didn’t go to bed early enough. She’d yell at me if her food or water dish was empty.
She had the most marvelous purr. It was loud and readily started. Since she was with me 6 or 7 years she would sleep through the night. Audrey nearly always needed to know where I was. Even though she was never a lap cat, she tried. She’d stay on my lap a few minutes and then settle near me. (She did manage work herself up staying on my lap 10-15 minutes and occasionally as much as 30 minutes.)
She was an all-black cat who managed to keep a single white whisker most of the time. At one point she actually had two at the same time. That was part of her uniqueness.
She was one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. Audrey will always have a place in my heart. As I’d always tell her, “I love The Girl.”
REST IN PEACE MY DEAR SWEET AUDREY
In tears, I type this. We never, never get over them.
I knew this would make me cry. I’m still raw from the loss of my Smokey the beginning of September. Mentioning the uneaten food really got to me.
I can’t read it I know I will cry love you two babies can’t imagine losing them
Me neither, lost my old girl two years ago this month.
Having just lost our boy of 14 Stew, a glorious ginger boy, I felt like I could have written this.
Oh that was the Sweetest letter it brought me to tears cause I have a few cats that I’ve lost and it breaks my heart to not see them.
Such a beautiful tribute! I understand completely. Three weeks ago, I held my 18 year old Eloise as she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I was heartbroken, but thankful for all of the years we shared. That night, I held my remaining four cats close. Little did I know that two weeks to the day later, I would be saying a shocked goodbye to my twelve year old Simon. Suddenly, without any warning, Saddle Thrombosis struck and took him from me. Two cats in just two weeks, has left me truly heartbroken. No matter how many cats I have loved and lost, it never, ever gets easier to say goodbye.
Having just lost my 11 yr old Maine Coon to cancer Sept. 10 you just gave me great inspiration to do the same. Reading you letter made me cry but it was the most beautiful letter I’ve ever read. I still can’t wash my pillow case because thats where he slept. Thank you
Beautiful. Heartfelt. I know this pain so well 🙁 💔
My eyes welled up with one million tears as I read all through that letter. A lovely tribute to a lovely Kitty. xo Rest in Peace sweetheart.
So heart felt
Started crying at first sentence and didn’t stop….beautiful.
I am still crying that was so beautiful
Sorry for your loss RIP
Ah bless rip xxxx furbaby
This made me sad, as I was read it I was think of when I loss my Emily and Roxy. This is a Beautiful Letter she wrote to her cat.
😢 ‘frolicking in the the sweet meadow ‘ 🙂 where all kitties go to play at peace alongside chasing butterflies 🦋
The true love of a cat
I love this. From the heart.
Heartfelt writing. So sorry for your loss.
How well I know the feeling. This was my ode to my beloved Lance when he passed away many years ago: https://soundcloud.com/jera-denny/ghost
It is so hard to lose our furry friends. Whether it is one day or a thousand you never stop feeling the loss. She is right logically you know they are in a better place but that does not mean you don’t miss them. A really good letter. Thanks for sharing.
i love this ❤️ such a beautiful tribute to a life lived full of love & family – i know how it feels (every time) a cat leaves us – but – i also know how it feels when everyday is full of their company & love ! i think you should open a forum for all to post about their furbabies ! thanks 🐈🐈🐈
Wow, what a heartfelt letter which describes anyone who has had a close bond with their cat. I did cry as it brought me to the time where I comforted my BFF (Best Feline Friend) Mischa as she went to wait at the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you for sharing your letter and praying for your comfort during this time.
I think it’s a wonderful idea! I just lost my precious Spunky after almost 15 and half years together, a third of my life! I enjoyed reading 😇
WE HAD TO HAVE OUR 14 YEAR OLD CHLOE BELLE PUT TO SLEEP ON THE 25th OF SEPTEMBER.
SHE HAD KIDNEY FAILURE AND WE, AND OUR VET, HAD DONE ALL ANYONE COULE TO HELP
HER. SHE WOULD NOT EAT OR DRINK THE LAST 3 DAYS, AND STOPPED GIVING US KISSES, SO
WE KNEW WE HAD TO GIVE HER UP TO HEAVEN. SHE IS WITH HER BROTHER, ROCKY, AND OUR
OTHER BABIES HAVING FUN. WE WILL SEE HER AGAIN. WE MISS HER SO MUCH, AS DO OUR
5 OTHER BLACK CAT RESCUES.
A beautiful written tribute to a beautiful soul who certainly watches over all of his loved ones until all are reunited in due time. I think your idea is a wonderful one — and I don’t know if I will contribute, because there would be so MANY letters. But it is a cathartic way for many to endure the unendurable.
Beautiful, heart-wrenching story … I lost my precious Gretel 15 years ago and still miss her. She was a beautiful, sweet, stand-offish Himalayan tortie. I’m inspired to write my own love letter to commemorate her. Thank you!
Beautiful tribute… Reminds me of my Ambra.
It is thirteen weeks today that she, the center of my universe / soul mate, crossed over. Thirteen weeks… still feels like it happened yesterday. Her death has diminished me. Her absence is deafening. I can’t bear to remove her toys, her pillow, her favorite brush, even the cat hair I still find for fear of erasing her presence.
Holding her in my arms while the vet administered the final injection was both a relief (that she stopped suffering) and one of the most painful experiences of my life (second only to holding my dying father in my arms). Each time they left with a part of me. All I have left are memories, photos and relics our 15 years together. Her ashes, sitting in an urn on the night stand on her side of the bed, will be coming with me when I am laid to rest.
In the meantime all I can do is miss her. Her purring whenever we were together, her trill replies when I spoke to her, her paw that reached out to me when we slept, her sitting by my side while we watched TV, her attentive gaze while I worked on the computer, …. I could go on.
Till we meet again my darling.
Heartbreaking to read,, , truly heartfelt to write. . . The bit about not washing there bedding, as there smell lingers., . Really got me , as it’s so hard ..I’ve said goodbye to 3 over the years.. fortunately had 16,16 and 17 years with each,, but letting go hurts so much…
That is such a beautiful letter to her kitty. I know how much my cats mean to me and I have lost many over the years. I miss each and every one of them and each one had a very special feature about them and I have so many beautiful memories of each and every one. I think what she wrote is beautiful.
Leslie, many of us who have been through the loss of a beloved cat understand what you’re going through. Thanks for sharing. I still have the little doughnut bed my Luna slept in, set up in the linen closet where it has always been. A copy of a tribute to her rests on top.
i think it’s a good idea but not just for cats but for dogs also. Many of us have families that include both cats and dogs and they too love each other.
YES!!!! I WOULDVLOVE TO WRITE LETTERS TO ALL MY BABIES…
I’m sending all my love to each and everyone of you and everyone who post after me.
I haven’t stopped crying since I lost my pint size bf, my daughter my beloved life companion. My eyes are so puffy and I can barely see the screen. I came across this when I was looking up info on how to cope after losing a pet. I lost my baby Kukla 2 days ago. I’m shocked, sad and so lonely. I have feel a painful sense of grief, sorrow
and loss. Every keeps telling me she was an old cat which doesn’t make me feel better. Kukla would of been 20 in June. She’s been with me a few yrs shy of HALF my life. She was a firery petite black cat with a little patch of white. Most people didn’t know her as the loving cuddle bug because you had to be in her inner circle. She was a lover, talker with the loudest pur. I love her so much! I can’t be believe she’s gone. It happened so fast. I wish for one more night with her. Oh gosh, just one more night to cuddle up, give her kisses and hear her pur. I’m so heart broken. (I’m writing this on my phone and it won’t let me go up to proof read my post so I apologize if i’m All over the place and my grammar). Thank you for a space to express myself.
Love you all! Xoxoxo
Lovely. I lost my Aggie after a month long battle when she developed what turned out to be a mass behind her left eye. I took her to 4 different vets, desperate to get a diagnosis, and a hopeful prognosis. The last vet we saw gave me the bad news after keeping her for the day to run tests and observation. I watched as they sedated her, before giving her the final injection. I was in such a daze of grief, I got into a fender bender on the way home. No one was hurt, but my grief continues. Aggie was a shelter kitty that I brought home from Pet Smart. I had wanted a kitty of my own for a long time, and I wandered by the adoption center. All the other kitties were sleeping, or otherwise preoccupied. But Aggie stood up, looked up at me and started talking to me. I felt she was begging me to get her out of that cage. It was love at first sight. I bought some supplies and took her home that night. She was with me for over 10 years before she got sick. She was the love of my life and I will always miss her. Thanks for posting this letter. It expresses the love we feel and the love we receive.
That was beautiful made me cry. I’ve lost alot cats & dogs, it tears your heart out.
What a heartfelt letter which I read with tears in my eyes. I had to say goodbye to my Alice Roosevelt about 6 months ago who was 14 years old. She was quite a lady and I miss so much about her.
So heartbreaking! I have an almost 16 male Tabby that is my whole world. I’m 92 and have had to put two cats down many years ago. But Boo is Special. He follows me everywhere, knows when I feel bad, fall, he’s alway’s has to know where I am. He talks back to me when I talk to him. He knows me so well, as I do him. I don’t know what I’ll ever do without him, but just hope I live long enough to be able to care for him until when. My other cats were special too, but Boo is so different, handsome beige boy. He’s onery, but so loveable when he wants to be. He has other breed in him, we’re not sure what, but he sure let’s you know. LOL I love him so much and hope I have him alway’s.
I love you Boo.
That was beautiful…. I’ve lost 14 cats over the years, most recent was last Nov. Each passing was and still is devastating. Each one left a hole in my heart.
I have spent a lifetime with cats. If they came to my house, they were given everything they needed. They were all spayed and neutered, shots, meds. when they were sick. The ones that wouldn’t come inside or near us, were still trapped and fixed. I have 1000 stories to tell about all them. I am now 67 and I will continue to take care of any cats that come here. I have lost several to cancer, and it hurts so much every time. Someone once told me that the love I have for them, is a curse to me. This letter reminds me of my big Ginger who I lost to throat cancer 2 weeks ago. I have sat here and just had a cry for them all.
Oh my God. I cried as I read this lovely, heartfelt letter. I lost my little Katie just two months ago and have cried an ocean of tears. I understand all of the things that the writer said about the things she misses about her baby. My heart is broken and I hope one day it will heal. I have her ashes that I keep in the curio cabinet and talk to her several times a day. It helps to remind her how much I love and miss her; how funny she was; how she made me laugh; and that she will always be in my heart. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things we will ever face in life.
I lost Tawny in April (two days before my birthday) to kidney and a pair of vets who wanted money instead of helping my precious baby. He was only ten–I dreamed of the years we should have had and can’t now. He was my ‘main man’ — no matter what it was and how bad, there he was , making it better just by his presence. It was hare to read that lovely letter because I know how feel. Some of mine had cancer also–an ugly disease. May be he and Tawny are good friends by now.
So sorry for your pain,I’m sure you will see your lovely friend again, I’m sure he is with you every day, thank you for sharing.
I just read Leslie’s letter. I am an 80 year old ailurophile. I am writing this after wiping away my tears. We have lost 2 of our 4 in the last too weeks. One was diabetic and they other was 18. It has been like losing part of our family.
I watch the diabetic one’s brother who clearly wonders where his brother went. My heart aches for him as well. Needless to say, we are giving him lots of attention.
I have been fortunate enough to have lived with cats all of my life. Covid brought me closer to them than ever. When cabin fever would get to me, I would stop and play with them. That benefited all. I am a musician and they have been my audience. When I play the piano, the diabetic and his brother would come walking over and settle down around my feet. I guess hearing up to 60k hertz must make music very special.
Bottom line, I feel I have been blessed for my engagement with our feline charges. They have been a great source of laughter, affection and education for me. When one of my cats brings in a pray from outside and drops it at my feet, I know it is not a gift. It is a message: This is how it is done, dummy.
I love Leslie’s letter. My final take away is we should be grateful for our time with these amazing creatures. Dogs may be our best friends, but cats may be our best loves.