Goodbye, Yul

By Karen

I’m sad beyond words to report that Cats Working lost Yul on Saturday morning, August 13. Yul had been living with a diagnosis of chronic kidney failure for about four months, cheerfully putting up with daily injections of subcutaneous fluid.

In addition, for the past year he’d been suffering frequent respiratory infections that injured his inner ear, rendering him almost totally deaf and unsteady from a lingering case of vestibular disease, a form of kitty vertigo he contracted shortly after Christmas.

In spite of all those infirmities, Yul’s spirits were always positive and he got into mischief whenever he felt the urge, although the vertigo kept him from ever exploring the top of the new fridge.

Last week, Yul lost his appetite, and since he was down about half his weight from his 20-lb. peak, he just didn’t have the energy to go on.

Yul was the most intelligent cat I’ve ever known and his unfailing joie de vivre kept the house hopping. He was especially close to Adele and good friends with Cole. We are all left rattling around in an eerily quiet and empty place without our Yul’s commanding presence.

The vet said Yul’s right kidney was enlarged to double the size of the left, and felt like a tumor had formed. So instead of prolonging Yul’s nausea and discomfort, I decided it was time to let him go.

I’m sorry I can’t write any more about it right now. Yul had just turned 15, and losing him only 2 years after Fred is almost more than I can bear. They were both my furry rocks.

But I know Yul would hate for us to mope around in grief when his departure has created an opening for another unwanted cat to have a good home. So we will be adding a new member to the family — or as Cole says, “springing one from the joint” — momentarily.

Yul would have demanded nothing less than prompt action.

Yul as he would like you to remember him


23 Responses to Goodbye, Yul

  1. Gizmo's mom says:

    Gizmo, Kiki, Mojo, Gonzo and I send our condolences and respects. Your story resonates with me in particular, as I live with an 18 year old with a worsening case of arthritis in his hips and burgeoning liver problems. My babies are all rescues as well and Yul’s philosophy gives me heart…. now there’s a place for another cat to get relief and have a great life. RIP Yul. You’re a class act.

  2. catsworking says:

    Gizmo’s mom, thank you for the kind words, and good luck with your own cat’s medical problems. I’ve had several cats live to 18 or 20, and Yul was such a big, strapping guy, I fully expected him to be one of them. Fred, too. Fred’s kidney failure came on suddenly and took him down within a month.

    I really think it’s their diet, and I’ve got all mine on dry Blue Wilderness with the highest protein and fat content I can get without a prescription, and Fancy Feast Classic because it’s got the most pure meat (they only get the Gravy Lover’s and other junk once in a blue moon as a treat). I hope I switched early enough to spare Cole and Adele this misery. Cats aren’t built to ingest or digest carbs, and they don’t need fiber because they have short digestive tracts. In the wild, they eat MEAT, and you don’t hear of lions dropping dead all over the place from kidney failure.

  3. MorganLF says:

    😦 Bye Yul RIP.

  4. Since Karen can’t go on with the eulogy, I would just like to add that, though he never performed his greatest tricks for the extended family, I do believe he was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (he was very strong) while wearing a stylish plastic cape–made from a grocery bag– a cape that he designed and put on all by himself! Yul was wont to fetch and carry (on his own terms of course) and he was majestic to look at while doing so–both pre- and post-tail removal. “A furry behemoth astride even the scariest beam in Karen’s house.” The Wormald family has lost two beloved cats in as many weeks… and at fourteen, I can only hope Keri loves me as much as Karen and my parents’ did their cats. This is a sad, sad time indeed!!!!! — Noel

  5. marilyn says:

    Dear Karen,
    The cats of Lakeview Point and I have sad hearts for you at this time of sorrow. Yul will live forever in memory. Remember this-you did your very best for him always. He was a gorgeous little man and you were fortunate to have so many happy years with him. Again, my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  6. Nina says:

    So sorry for your loss. RIP Yul.

  7. adele says:

    Dorothy and I send condolences, and Alice, because of her special relationship with Yul is pretty inconsolable right now. Yul was a cat of many talents — as his cousin, Noel points out, he had his own line of plastic bag capes, and thanks to Cole’s story of his first Christmas at Chez Wormald, we know how much Yul liked to decorate. He was a real he-man, who sought artistic expression. And no cat wore a sweater better than Yul.

    I’m sure adopting a new cat would be the way Yul would want his life celebrated, but I know his place in the hearts of CatsWorking will never be filled.

  8. Pegu says:

    Keep your spirits up Karen!

  9. Zappa says:

    Zappa and I are heart broken beyond words
    Much love to all of you


  10. catsworking says:

    You guys have got me crying again… thank you so much for all your kindness. Yul and I went through a lot together, beginning with his months-long tail ordeal, so we had a special bond that got us through all his final illnesses. In spite of everything, he lived every day with grace and courage and never got discouraged by what he couldn’t do. In fact, I don’t think he ever saw it that way. He just figured out new things he COULD do.

    For his first 13 years, he was happy to play the role of the playboy younger brother to Fred, who ruled as alpha cat. They reminded me of Humphrey Bogart and William Holden in Sabrina. Fred ran the family business while Yul played.

    But when Fred was suddenly gone, Yul stepped into Fred’s shoes as man of the house without missing a beat. He was a far more laid-back influence on Cole and Adele, and they both loved him.

    As I speak, there is a new kid checking out my office. Although my heart will ache for Yul for many months to come (if my reaction to Fred’s passing was any measure), I knew the best way to honor the end of his life was to help another cat get a good start to his. So stay tuned… as soon as he stands still long enough for me to get some pictures, we will be checking in. (Right now I’ve got a lot of shots of his butt-hole that were his face when I snapped the shutter.)

  11. saffi says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Yul. I just started reading your blog last week, so I am a newbie, but already I love your cats. I have three and more than once I have felt the pain of losing such close feline companionship. It is hard to describe. It sounds like Yul enjoyed life to the fullest.

  12. cyn says:

    My condolences to you and your cat family. We all love our “fur purr” persons as much as the “people:” ones. RIP.

  13. Gizmo's mom says:

    Hmmm… so perhaps you should get his butthole in the viewfinder to get a good pic of his face….?

  14. catsworking says:

    Welcome saffi and cyn. I had Yul for almost 15 years, so losing his presence has made the whole house feel different. Thanks for your sympathy. I know Yul is in a better place now as far as his health, but it will take a long time to get over missing his company.

  15. Imabear says:

    I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I lost BJ, who was 16, five years ago and I still feel that loss. My mom’s cat, Buddy, has advanced diabetes and his time is very near. It is heartbreaking and I know that no words can ease your pain. Just know that there are those of us who understand and grieve with you.

  16. Leslie C says:

    Karen – so sorry to hear about Yul. I know how much he meant to you.

  17. catsworking says:

    Hi, Leslie, Thanks for the condolences. Yul really was one in a million. And after 15 years, a cat sort of grows on you.

    Imabear, I’m so sorry to hear about Buddy. When they get up to that age, the only thing you can console yourself with is that you gave them a good, long life. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself about Yul.

  18. vivian says:

    having a little cat of 18, who i can’t imagine life without, my heart goes out to you….i cannot pretend to know your grief at this time….but one day, the memories will not be so painful, and you will always know how well you cared for him, and how well he cared for you….

  19. catsworking says:

    Thank you, vivian. I have a picture of Yul (and Fred and Ginger and Rex — all departed cats) right outside my bedroom door, so I still see him every day.

    You’re right. I still feel like I can’t breathe every time I think of him, but I know it will get better over time. He had a good life and lived every day to the fullest, so I have no regrets except that I couldn’t keep him from ending up with that insidious killer, kidney failure.

  20. Kathleen says:

    I’m late to the table but the Allenbaugh zoo sends condolences and hugs for Karen, Adele and Cole. And welcome to new kitty. Yul would be very proud of all of you for springing another deserving feline!

  21. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Kathleen! Thanks for the kind words. The dynamics of the whole house shifted with the departure of Yul and the arrival of Max. The cats are firmly convinced that’s what caused yesterday’s earthquake!

  22. Tuxi says:

    Myself, Mom and Aunt Terri and the rest of the crew here at the Cathouse will miss Yul’s purrsonality and sense of humor! We extend our sympathies to you Karen and Adele and Cole. And welcome Max! You will be much loved, admired, photographed and spoiled!

  23. catsworking says:

    Thank you Tuxi, Tuxi’s mom, and Aunt Terri. It’s been nearly 3 weeks and I still tear up when I think about Yul. I miss his big heart a lot.

    Max is well on his way to being spoiled. Right now his favorite toy is Yul’s old mouse on a stick. Yul carried that thing around the house all through his kittenhood, and Max is doing the same. He loves to jump and chase it. So I’m thinking Yul may have been guiding my hand when I picked Max at the shelter, ensuring that his wild and crazy spirit would carry over through his replacement.

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