Cats Working Loses Cole

By Karen

Apologies for taking so long to report that we have suffered another death in the family. In the months leading up to it, none of us have had the heart to post as we’ve been helpless witnesses to Cole’s brave battle with kidney failure, which took his life at only 9 years old.

Cole’s condition was diagnosed nearly two years ago, but he didn’t miss a beat in all that time. He cheerfully compensated by drinking copious amounts of water until that wasn’t enough. His traitorous kidneys began to get the best of him in late summer and he his usual joie de vivre began to slip.

I then gave Cole subcutaneous fluid at home. He was a model patient, sitting quietly and purring as a needle dripped saline solution into him. He even took his meds twice a day with no fuss.

While his appetite held up, it appeared he still had many good months ahead of him.

In late October I was preparing for a trip to Barcelona and an extended transatlantic crossing that would take me out of the picture for nearly 3 weeks. Optimistically, I stocked up on everything Cole needed during my absence and enlisted my sister to housesit and take care of him.

But the weekend before my departure, Cole’s appetite flagged and it became apparent that my shy boy wouldn’t do well in the hands of a relative stranger while I was gone. When kidney failure gets to this point, no rebounds are left. So Cole and I reached the understanding that his end should come while I could help him through it. I was the only human he ever trusted, and he counted on me.

Cole died peacefully at noon on Monday, October 26. Adele, Max, and I keenly feel the void his gentle little soul has left in our hearts.

Cole was probably a feral kitten, extremely wary, and he went unadopted for 3 years in a shelter. His big break came when I chose him to join our family, and he assigned himself the mission of learning how to be the best pet ever. He was always sensitive and eager to please, even gaining confidence to be a tentative lap cat. Cole was Max’s champion in Max’s skirmishes with Adele, and he never took having a home for granted.

I’ll always regret that I didn’t have the power to give my sweet Cole all his nine lives. My only consolation is that I know he has Fred and Yul guiding him on the other side, and he couldn’t be in wiser paws than theirs.


16 Responses to Cats Working Loses Cole

  1. Koda says:

    I am so sorry. I know how heartbreaking this is. My Princess lost her fight with cancer in May and I was devastated. She was adopted and I knew she’d want me to provide a home for another homeless cat, so I adopted Nicky. He looks a lot like Cole. He was terribly mistreated but is so gentle and loving. He’s finally realized he has a loving home. He won’t replace Princess, of course. I love them both.

  2. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Koda, and I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Princess. Lingering terminal illnesses are so wrenching. It never gets any easier.

    You bring up a good point about providing a home for another cat. Cole would definitely want that, but things are a bit tricky.

    Adele bonded lightly with Cole in the last year (mostly his doing; he finally charmed her), but she continues to see Max as prey. Right now I have an upstairs cat (Max) and a downstairs cat (Adele). Cole was the buffer.

    I know Max would love a playmate, but Adele is 15 and doing well. I’m afraid another new cat would send her over the edge.

    For the moment I’m holding tight to see if Adele and Max can work things out.

  3. Suzanne118 says:

    No words can adequately express how profoundly sorry I am for you at the loss of your sweet Cole. You two were blessed to have found each other; you loved him, cared for him, and ultimately made a humane decision for him. May your many special memories of Cole help to ease your pain and sorrow.

  4. Suzette says:

    Oh, Karen, I am SO sorry to hear. He’ll be with oyu forever, and on the other side of the rainbow bridge he’ll watch over you.

  5. adelep says:

    Dorothy has never forgotten that Cole’s was one of the voices urging me to rescue her from life on the street and give her a home. She and I both send heartfelt condolences. Cole’s life was way too short, but it was a life so much better than he ever could have imagined during his three years in the shelter.

    Dorothy and I have been together for 4 years, and she is a total housecat, with a collection of collars. This March, we learned of a 9-year-old cat, whose family’s allergies had reached a point where they could not keep him. He may be the world’s sweetest cat and he weighs in at 19 lbs. Dorothy has become his personal trainer and makes him chase her at least twice a night. It took less than 48 hours for him to come out of his shell and decide that Dorothy was all right. Dorothy was cordial from the beginning, but the second night he was with us, Whiskey (the name he came with & it seemed too confusing to change it) got a weird gleam in his eye and tried to hump Dorothy — she slugged him, but he continues to adore her. He likes nothing more than to lick her head. Whiskey is Canadian, having been adopted around age 1 from a Toronto shelter. He has a very easy going nature, and his fur is so soft it feels like plush.

    I’ve been out of touch pretty much– lots of sad things going on, but I keep taking history seminars to keep my mind active..

    Whiskey was very sad when I explained the story of Cole’s life. He would like to add his condolences. If you have the same email address, I’ll send you some pics of Whiskey. I think you’ll be amused.

  6. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Adele! I’ve been wondering how you were doing. Congratulations on giving Whiskey a new start in life. I’m hoping Max and Adele will reach some sort of détente. Since I’ve been back, I’ve noticed that she watches Max more with curiosity than murderous intent, but he still considers her a predator and keeps his distance. As the weather gets colder, I’ll try to coax him into sharing my bed with us again. He used to love snuggling under the covers and would stay all night. Close proximity to Adele without being attacked should boost his confidence. (PS: Yes, I still have the same email.)

    To Suzette and Suzanne119, thank you for the condolences. Cole would be touched to know he had friends here.

  7. FAW says:

    Quite a fond homage to Cole.

  8. Bacardi1 says:

    So sorry for your loss. As current companion & servant to three adopted felines (one that we trapped as a kitten from our local dump) – three of MANY over the decades – I know only too well how difficult it is when one has to leave us.

  9. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Bacardi1. This week since I’ve been back has been eerily quiet, with Max and Adele keeping to their own floors of the house. But this morning they had a skirmish on Max’s tall kitty perch when he jumped down to take his usual spot. Adele was the aggressor and totally in the wrong. We have 3 perches and no need for her to be hoggy.

    So now since I’ve now got 3 of everything, the house is set up to accommodate 3 cats, Max is clearly bored and lonely, and too many good kitties face Christmas sitting in a shelter, I wonder…

  10. Bacardi1 says:

    Don’t wonder. Go for it. 🙂

  11. catsworking says:

    Bacardi, just between us, I have been checking some websites. 😉

  12. Bacardi1 says:

    Tis the season. . . . not that there’s ever an off season for giving a homeless critter a loving home. 🙂

  13. MorganLF says:

    My condolences. Cole was a cat to be reckoned with…a cool cat.

  14. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Morgan. We’re really feeling Cole’s absence now because he loved Christmas, in a wary sort of way, and we thought surely he’d still be with us for this one.

  15. Donna says:

    Karen I’m so sorry to hear of Coles passing. You gave him nine lives plus-and because of you he knew love

  16. catsworking says:

    Donna, thank you. I keep reminding myself that Cole had 6 years as a pet vs. 3 years as a shelter cat, so the better part of his life was in a home of his own. Roc keeps us all hopping, but I still miss Cole every day and catch myself looking at some of his usual spots, expecting to see him.

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