Header Image (book)


Monday, October 9, 2017

Goodbye, Mysti (June 20,1999-October 9, 2017)

(For politics, please scroll down)

Mysti in her prime

Mr. AOW and I will miss our beloved Mysti, whose mother disappeared when the litter was one day old. All the kittens in the litter were found by an animal rescue group and had to be bottle fed.

But Mysti's rough start didn't end there.  A few days after she arrived here as a young kitten in September 1997, she had a terrible case of coccidiosis, which stunted her growh and left her with digestive difficulties.  Several veterinarians didn't expect her to live past the age of ten.  Mysti had other plans and fooled us all!

Until aging interfered, Mysti, a dilute tortie, was our mighty huntress. She was probably proudest of one particular accomplishment: catching and killing a juvenile black rat snake in our basement back in November 2011.  Of course, she brought her catch upstairs to display what she had snagged.

Mysti had been coping with chronic renal failure for over two years and, although frail, was holding her own until the last few days, when she started refusing food.  She even refused tuna!  It wasn't the kidney disease that sealed Mysti's fate, however — it was oral cancer, the same affliction that stole our beloved Cameo from us on Easter Sunday 2017, less than six months ago.

Mr. AOW and I consulted the veterinarian today and decided to do the kind thing — the last thing that we could do for Mysti.

Mysti as a senior citizen (March 17, 2016)

Mysti on my teacup pillowcase, January 27, 2016

Two photos from 1997, when Mysti was a kitten, below the fold.

Click directly on the photos to enlarge them:


  1. What a thoughtful obituary. Pets are family.

    1. BB,
      Pets are definitely family! I find that I prefer pets' companionship more that I do that of many people.

    2. To Two Departed Too Soon

      Hello, you two!
      I wonder if you ever knew
      How much we‘d miss you
      When you moved away?

      You’re no longer within reach,
      You’ve taught us all you had to teach,
      I guess, but between us there’s no breach,
      And so no need to say

      “We love you, and we always will. ––
      We’re grateful that you joined us here to fill
      Happy days and times we went downhill
      With antics that brought smiles each time you’d play.”

      No, you don’t need us now,
      Though we shall always feel a need to show
      How much we miss observing how you’d grow,
      Develop, subtly changing every day.

      But when the time for growing ends at last,
      And we start living mostly in the past,
      And wish to cling forever and hold fast
      It’s then we must let go and move away.

      Perhaps we’ll meet again someday, I hope.
      Even though there is no cord or rope
      Binding us, I feel no urge to mope,
      Because the love we’ve shared will never fray.

      ~ FreeThinke (October 10, 2017)

    3. FT,
      Thank you so much! I so appreciate that you've written this poem for Mr. AOW and me -- and for Cameo and Mysti.

  2. Aw Hell. So Sorry. You did the right thing.

  3. I am so very sorry to receive this sad news. I was always especially attracted to your little Mysti, and hate to see her go. She was dainty, fragile, wistful, and very beautiful like my little Priscilla who had to be put to sleep in mid-January, 2015 after we discovered she had cancer. Priscilla only lived ten years, seven-and-a-half months. I shall always miss her.

    Your Mysti looked a great deal more like Mr. Pussy, the blind, still young starving who was found lost and alone struggling to survive. Mysti and Mr. Pussy shared the same coloring and similar markings –– but temperamentally Mysti had more in common with Priscilla affectionately known as "the Little Gray One."

    I feel the pain of your loss, but am glad you had the decency to do "The Kind Thing" –– something I often wish we were free to do for each other when the pain of existence as an invalid becomes too much to bear.

    1. FT,
      It was very hard to let Mysti go. But, really, not doing so would have been irresponsible pet ownership.

      I remember seeing photos of your sweet Priscilla. You must still miss her!

  4. My sympathy, AOW.

    Although 18 years is a good life.

    1. Duck,
      Mysti was a huge part of our lives.

      And she earned her keep!

      As long as Mysti was the primary huntress here, we were free of mice. Amber, too, is a good hunger. As was Mysti, Amber is a spayed tortie, and torties are avid hunters.

  5. It's been a few tough days.

    We realized on Friday afternoon that Mysti was seriously ill.

    Mr. AOW and I stayed with her as much as possible from Friday evening through this morning -- including skipping the veterans' picnic on Sunday.

    Amber doesn't know what has happened and is searching the house for Mysti.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ed. This is a miserable time for both Mr. AOW and me.

  7. It's always nice when you can be with them to comfort them as much as possible. Sometimes we could and sometimes not. I always felt we added something if we could brush them or put water into their mouth as they passed. Then again, animals choose to go off (like American Indian) when they know they are passing, so maybe it was just better for us,

    1. Kid,
      Mysti started hiding only a little bit the last two days. Still, that hiding was out of character for her because she was so companionable, so we knew that something was wrong. We were hoping it was something as simple as a dental problem.

  8. So sorry for your loss. I bet she gave you much love in return for all you gave her. Animals seem to love unconditionally and can teach us much.

    1. Linda,
      Thank you for taking time to comment.

      Yes, Mysti was a snuggler. She also sat on the arm of the recliner so that she could be near us almost the entire day long.

  9. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful life you gave her. Having the last one searching ... that's hard, I know.

  10. Our morning routine is now so different! No more rolling out of bed with Mysti in arms to give her the Azo supplement, which helped her kidney problems. Along with special diet from either Royal Canin or Science Diet.

    I've never before had a kitty that lasted so long after a diagnosis of chronic renal failure. Mysti was diagnosed with CRF over two years ago.

  11. I am so so sorry to hear. I lost one of mine a few months ago and it was a heartbreaker. Sadly this is what we sign up for when a pet joins the family.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Sadly this is what we sign up for when a pet joins the family.

      But we rarely think of that at first, do we?

  12. My sympathy. Losing a pet can be traumatic. So sorry.

    1. Mark,
      This has hit Mr. AOW and me quite hard. Rationally, we know that Mysti was old and ailing. But the heart isn't logical.

      All of us are moping around today -- our tortie Amber, Mr. AOW, and I.

  13. My dear AOW, such sad news. I am not a cat person but understand full-well the coveted place in our hearts our furkids hold.

    Many years ago I had a Lhasa Apso named "Chequers" who suffered a massive heart attack. I found him near the steps leading to the backyard. I was devastated at the sudden loss. It took three years and the pleading of my dearest friends to get another pup.

    The loss of a beloved pet brings much sorrow and many happy memories of the funny things they did in life.

    I'm sure you've got plenty of those. Mysti is in kitty paradise located just to the left of Heaven with all the tuna a kitty could ever want.

    Take care.

    1. Curmudgeon,
      Thank you! I know in my head that Mysti needed to leave. She was suffering, and the suffering was going to worsen rapidly.

      The way you lost Chequers is one of the rare traumas that pet owners sometimes have to endure. No warning! Then, the relationship is over. Sad.

      Before we had to make the kind decision for Mysti, I had a line on a kitten. I found her through a former piano student of decades ago.

      I wasn't really looking for a kitten -- merely scrolling through my former student's Facebook page when, suddenly, this little kitten face "jumped out" at me.

      My former student was fostering a mother kitty and her babies. But this one kitten! She was calling out to me. Figuratively, of course.

      Prior to the loss of Mysti, I was scheduled to see Norkie (No Name Kitten) this coming Sunday. She's about one month old and -- Amazing coincidence! -- our veterinarian is the doctor overseeing the foster care of this litter. In fact, even before yesterday's decision, he was encouraging me to see "this litter that will melt your heart." But I'd already found them on my own. LOL!

  14. _________ Feline Valentine _________

    A cat can offer much bound to enchant. 
    Felines, ever charming, but capricious
    Eventually –– no matter how you rant ––
    Lenient, strict, indulgent, or judicious ––

    It seems the little fuzzball will prevail.
    No worthy feline ever lets you win.
    Even so, the smartest never fail,
    ‘Tis certain, to enchant you while they sin. 

    So easily do cats cast spells beguiling
    Foolish folk enraptured by their antics
    Only laugh when cats deserve reviling 
    Letting felines prove their fans romantics.

    Letting pussy get away with mischief
    Yields ire-dissolving mirth, and thus a missed tiff.

    ~ FreeThinke

    ~ § ~

    Nothing can break up a human spat
    Faster than a charming household cat!

  15. ________ A Tragic Irony ________

    Caught abandoned on suburban ground
    Relying on pure instinct to survive
    Using wits miraculously found
    Sneaking in you wished to stay alive.
    How you came to me I’ll never know.
    Early in the evening I heard cries ––
    Demanding, plaintive –– sounds of infant woe ––
    Touching needs no decent man denies.
    Often heard, but still unseen for days
    Droppings on the floor a tiny inkling you’d
    Eaten food put out for you to graze,
    And then I saw you in the sandbox tinkling. You’d
    Trusted me. I loved you more each day.
    How could Fate let me crush your life away?

    ~ FreeThinke

  16. Going to heaven!
    I don 't know when,
    Pray do not ask me how, —
    Indeed, I 'm too astonished
    To think of answering you!

    Going to heaven! —
    How dim it sounds!
    And yet it will be done
    As sure as flocks go home at night
    Unto the shepherd's arm!

    Perhaps you 're going too!
    Who knows?
    If you should get there first,
    Save just a little place for me
    Close to the two I lost!

    The smallest "robe" will fit me,
    And just a bit of "crown;"
    For you know we do not mind our dress
    When we are going home.

    I'm glad I don't believe it,
    For it would stop my breath,
    And I 'd like to look a little more
    At such a curious earth!

    I am glad they did believe it
    Whom I have never found
    Since the mighty autumn afternoon
    I left them in the ground.

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

  17. Sorry for your loss AOW. Pets are part of the family.


We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective