The day my cat died: What happened?

I didn’t know that Monday morning (April 8, 2019) would be Kilala’s last morning.

That morning upon waking, Kilala was in the basement on a self-warming mat. Her spending time in the basement without a human was a bit unusual, but with her being super thin, I was happy she was using the mat.

Kilala was offered wet food. She didn’t want it. But she didn’t want the new wet food the previous night either. As several of the other cats didn’t touch the new wet food flavor, I didn’t feel that concerned and thought she was a food snob in her old age.

By the time I was ready to give her her morning thyroid pill, she had ventured to the couch. She was in sitting next to the clean laundry, which was a little unusual for her. When I gave her the pill, her mouth seemed different in a way that I had never noticed before. Her mouth was dryer. I even opened her mouth again to double-check. It was definitely different.

I thought maybe I should stay home and watch her. But I had 5 cats in the garage to take to Humane Ohio that morning for someone that had contacted me through Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network. So, I left thinking I would take her to the vet on Tuesday if she wasn’t back to normal.

Kilala on steps

At work, I felt uneasy most of the day. Kilala was different and I don’t like change when it comes to cats as change usually isn’t good. I forced myself to eat and kept my mind busy. There was plenty of work to be done. So much work, that I decided to skip book club that evening so that I could work from home on a busy project with a tight deadline.

On the way home, I stopped at a pet store to get Weruva wet food packets that Kilala had eaten before during the “secret food” experiment I had tried with her a couple of months prior to get her to gain weight.

I saw Kilala laying stiff when entering the house. She had passed away sometime after my husband had left for work and before I came home. I dropped my bags and fell to my knees, sobbing profusely.

After a while, I placed Kilala in a box and preceded with cleaning the area. Ted didn’t ask for the exact location, but I will always know. Images of finding her still flash through my mind.

Two of the other cats peeked into the foyer to see if she was still there. Since then all eight indoor cats have acted completely normal. None of them have searched for her, so maybe they know she passed because they would have had a few hours to encounter her and smell her before she was found.

Final arrangements

Kilala was my first indoor cat to pass away. Losing Chloe a few months prior on Christmas day may have helped prepare me some. Because of Chloe dying, Ted and I discussed what we would do when Kilala’s time came.

Due to our backyard flooding when it rains, we decided not to bury her in the yard. She could have been buried at my sister’s but that didn’t feel right to us. So I took her to the vet the next day to be cremated. We choose not to get an urn for her ashes.

The Thyroid disease

She had thyroid disease for the last three and a half years (initially diagnosed when she lost 2 or 3 pounds). Her weight dropped considerably during the previous six months. Some days I would burst into tears looking at her because she was so thin. Her thyroid levels were checked more than once and her weight had seemed to stabilize at 5lbs. Any more weight loss and more testing would have been done.

The extra cat food bowl dish

Having a matching set of cat dishes is cute. Each time we added an indoor cat to the family, we got another pink or gray bowl food bowl  (Pink for the girls, gray for the boys).

Now when I open the cabinet, my eyes go right to the dish that is unused. I feel a pang of grief and remember Kilala.

Someday we will use her bowl again, but I am not ready yet.

I didn’t know her last day was going to be the last day. She had been declining for a while. Perhaps, I knew in my gut that morning when she was different, but my mind didn’t want to accept it.

Losing your pet is very difficult. I am sorry for those that you have lost. I wrote this post as I was often asked “What happened?”

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Heidi Bender is the writer and founder of the Joy of Cats. She enjoys sharing cat information and providing helpful cat tips. She considers herself a cat lady and currently cares for eight cats.

9 thoughts on “The day my cat died: What happened?”

  1. My heartfelt condolences for the loss of your precious Kilala! This has happened so many, many times in my life, and it never becomes easier to ensure. The furmily now is down to three, ages 16, 15, and 11, so it is something that is never far away in my mind. Each day is a treasure spent with them.

    <3 ((((((((^^)))))))) <3 Fly free, whole, healthy, and forever Cherished, beloved angel Kilala. Watch over your loved ones here below until reunited in due time.

  2. This is a very heart felt blog. I know you love all your fur babies as much as Kilala.She was a beautiful cat and I know you and Ted and other kitties will all miss her ,you have my sympathy and so sorry for your loss.

  3. I hate it when this happens. Such a beautiful cat. Happened to me twice. I was heartbroken. There wasn’t one day I didn’t cry. I’d be walking down the street and feeling all right, and then suddenly this tsunami of grief hit me. Once I was walking down the street, and suddenly forgot where I was going. I couldn’t think straight enough to go home. I just stopped and stared into space, completely numb for a few minutes, or more, not sure.

    It’s been years, and I’m feeling much better now. It does get better with time. So sorry to heart this. It’s awful.


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