Willow, April 4th, 2000-May 4, 2010


We buried our Willow  this morning after a  6 week  illness with a staph infection.

Where this came from, out of the blue it seemed, has thrown us into confusion, but the end result was a cat that didn’t seem sick until the last two weeks.  Apparently there is a super strain of staph (which lives on all of our skin) that doesn’t respond well to penicillin or amoxicillin and we had to keep changing his meds.

We got Willow when he was only 4 weeks old, a tiny, fiesty kitten in a garage who hissed at my attempts to pick him up.  He fast became my favorite cat and he knew he was very, very loved.  He had a habit of running up on our bed and lying next to your face, putting out a paw and tapping you on the cheek or nose.  He was full of kisses, shoving his nose into yours, which I guess is a cat’s way of kissing.

This weekend we let him go outside, and he promptly went over the fence to our neighbors.  It rained heavily yesterday morning, and we found him under my husband’s truck.  He was no fool about rain and came home.  He hasn’t been able to keep anything on his stomach for two weeks and every attempt we made to feed him came back up in a few hours.  There comes a time when you know you are working against something you can’t beat, and last night was that moment.  We both said our goodbyes to Willow Boy, Fat Boy, and went to bed with heavy hearts.  I kept listening for him to groan or moan but he was silent.

This morning  at 6:oo I went looking, hoping that Willow had died in the night and was at peace.  He did, and looked like he was sleeping.  I  dug his grave yesterday evening, and the English Heritage rose is full of blooms right next to his grave.

With all the important issues in the world, perhaps this is of very little merit.  But Willow was a part of our family for exactly 10 years and he knew his worth. He can not be replaced and he knows it.

We have other cats, and they have been shuffled off to a different part of the house while Willow was so sick.  Right now they are swarming my feet, sitting on my desk, bed, wingchairs and are so full of life and love, well, Willow will be sorely missed in our lives, but the living calls to us in loud meows.

I’m posting this and going back to bed.  I need to grab as many cats that will stay with me right now because I need their warm fur around me.   I know this sounds stupid and maudlin but sometimes life throws things that just tears your heart out and upsets expectations.  Willow was the one cat  I never thought would go so young.  He was my bed-lump and I miss him already.

Lady Nyo

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14 Responses to “Willow, April 4th, 2000-May 4, 2010”

  1. Nick Says:

    Hi Jane,

    I’m so very sorry to hear this news. Willow was obviously very much loved and will be very much missed. My heart goes out to you.



  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Nick. You also love cats.

    Thank you, Nick. I miss him already. I can’t believe he’s gone.



  3. shia1 Says:


    I am so sorry for your loss. An animal gives so much love and doesn’t really demand much back. Love, food and shelter. I understand that he was part of your family and his presence will be missed. It is heartbreaking to lose an animal you loved so much. Some people don’t understand the loving bond we have with them. I do.

    My thoughts are with you.



  4. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, shia.
    I know you understand this deeply. You have loved in the same ways.

    I can’t get my head around that he really is gone. I keep stroking his picture thinking I will feel his fur.

    I stripped a rose bush of all its lovely blooms to line his grave and to put blossoms in his paws. I know this grief will pass, but right now, I am stunned.

    He was so special. I just never thought HE would go this way. Only 10 years old.

    I have to go back to bed, even though it’s late enough in the morning. I need to grab some cats and give them love. You feel so depleted when something like this happens.

    Willow is one of a kind.



  5. Berowne Says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss, Jane.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Berowne.

    You also have recently suffered the lost of your aged kitty, Tiger I think was his name? So you understand what we are feeling here. Though your kitty was much older, right?

    Our poor, beautiful Willow was only 10 and in the prime of life. These things happen and it’s hard to understand why…especially when our kitties get the best of medical attention.

    I can’t stop singing Willow’s praises because he was such a character. Full of himself, but then when your name is “Prince Willow” you should be.

    The grief will pass as it always does, and one would think at my age and experience with ‘loss ‘o pets’ I would be an old hand at this, but it never is exactly easy. It’s a shock each time, especially when these boys and girls have such personality.

    I am going over the past few days, thinking of what could be done differently, but I just don’t know. We did everything humanly possible to stop this infection. Apparently, it was so invasive that it caused organ collapse before we knew what we had on our hands.

    Thank you, Berowne. We can only, in the end….love them as fiercely as we can.



  7. Malcolm Miller Says:

    Our cats become our friends, and part of our family. Our tragedy is that we outlive them; their paradise is the love that lasts all their lives, however brief.


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Beautiful, beautiful words and sentiment, Malcolm.

    I grabbed as many as would stay on the bed for a long nap and I will keep them by me as long as I can.

    Thank you.


  9. Margie Says:

    Oh Jane, I’m so sorry for your loss. What a handsome kitty Willow was and I’m sure he had a decade full of love from you and returned the same. Hug as many cats as you possibly can, for as long as you need to.

    RIP Willow.


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Margie.

    So many people read about Willow yesterday, even in England, and wrote. I still can’t get my head around his death. I am in a fog.

    But he was so loved here. And the others are so bad this morning. They know they can get away with all sorts of stuff because I’m distracted. I hear crashes around the house and frankly, right now? I don’t care.

    Thanks again, Margie.


  11. Rose Says:

    Hi, Jane,

    So sorry to read of your little buddy’s death. Willow was a beautiful kitty with a beautiful soul.

    They all leave these little footprints all over our hearts, don’t they?

    Thinking of you.




  12. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Rose!

    So good to hear from you.

    Yes, exactly! They impact our lives in significant and profound ways. I can’t believe he’s gone because he was my #1 cat. I was comforted when I got him at 4 weeks because the first Willow was killed in front of my house and I went wild with grief. This Willow was my husband’s attempt to calm his wife. Willow became so much more to me over the years. He was a great ‘listener’ and my confessor. I took my many problems to him as he sat on the kitchen counter. I feel rather lost right now.

    You would understand, Rose.

    I have other cats to fill the void, but Willow will not be forgotten.

    Mr. Nakamura of the Anglo-Japanese Tanka Society in England sent me this lovely poem of his this morning to comfort:

    An innocent cat
    Gazing at the empty sky
    In a ruined barn;
    Could she still be searching for
    The full moon she saw last night?

    He lost his own cat and has her ashes. His beautiful tanka broke my heart but the sentiments I have received from so many people helps so much right now.

    Thank you, Rose. I deeply appreciate hearing from you.



  13. Essemoh Teepee Says:

    Hello My Lady

    I can no longer keep pets for just this reason. When a personality which one loves moves on and you can no longer interact with them except in one’s memory, the sadness can be just too much to bear.

    It is the uniqueness of their personality that we miss, their foibles and reactions to our love; the wit and warmth of their being. It matters not that they wear skin or fur, are male or female or their species. We remember their touch and there is a friend shaped hole in our universe when they move on to their next existence.

    My condolances on your sad loss.



  14. ladynyo Says:

    What a beautiful comment, E.

    I had ten years of love and affection from Willow, and he is irreplaceable. However, I would rather have those ten wonderful years than not have them with him. He taught me something…as do all our pets. Their loss is terrible, heart wrenching, but what they bring is immeasurable.

    All I have is memories of Willow, now….but I have the others who pull me towards them because they need the same as Willow. Love. And I do, too.

    It works well. You grow in compassion.



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