Lickety is an Angel.

This is my favorite picture of me with the things that make me happy here on the north shore of Long Island: our backyard in Summer, a glass of wine, a newly-found Blue Jay feather, and Lickety.

Dear Ones, you knew you’d have to read these words sooner or later:

Lickety died, here at home, on Sunday, Feb. 9. He’s buried in a spot just behind the chairs in this photo.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 8, Lickety had a seizure under the dining room table.  We wrapped our sweet boy in a blankie and went straight to the vet’s office. It was 9:30am. We were ready to say good-bye, but Lickety wasn’t having it. While the vet examined him, Lickety roused himself and seemed more alert than he’d been in days. He paced the floor, stalking the examination room as if looking for an escape.

So the vet tested Lickety with a bowl of special high-calorie food, which Lickety gobbled down and asked for more. This made the vet think that Lickety was pretty perky and had more time left, and he advised us to take our boy home. He assured us that Lickety was not in pain, but warned us that “It’s going to be roller coaster, but he might have another month left.”

We bought a month’s supply of special food and took him home.

Lickety never ate another morsel of the stuff. On Saturday night he had another seizure, and was knocked out for about an hour. The vet explained that old, sick cats take a while to recover from these neural events but we shouldn’t panic, that eventually Lickety would come back to “normal”. So we put a blanket over him and waited, and he did come back, to almost “normal”.

However, he looked weak on Sunday morning, even though he joined the other cats for breakfast, as usual (although he didn’t eat), and he sat on my lap, as usual, while top Cat and I read the Sunday paper.

After lunch, while Lickety was walking out of the living room, he fell down and couldn’t get up. It didn’t look like another seizure; it looked like Lickety was simply running out of energy. I sat with him until he got the strength to pick himself up, and he wobbled into the den.

That’s when Lickety settled in under the coffee table there, and went to sleep.

In the late afternoon, he woke up all of a sudden and had a rather big seizure, and this time he didn’t come back to anything near “normal”. He seemed to be in a daze, his breathing was fast and shallow, his eyes staring at something that was not in the room. I laid him down on a fluffy blanket that he liked and put him back under the coffee table. I was lying down on the floor next to him, stroking his head, talking to him, telling him that we loved him, and that it was OK to go.

After a few hours, he jerked awake, raised his head a little, drew himself in as if he were curling up to go to sleep, and exhaled. His body went limp in my hands, and he was dead. It was 7:32 PM.

I don’t recommend this kind of home death for every cat. Death is hard, and slow. But with Lickety, I didn’t rush him to the emergency vet when we knew he was dying on Sunday because he had convinced me that he did not want to spend his last moments of life in a hospital, having made such a show of being a strong kitty at the vet’s office and hoodwinking us into taking him home.

I believe that this is the death that Lickety wanted. I’ve had a lot of cats, and I’ve seen cats die in many ways, from heart attacks in the living room to dropping dead under my kitchen table to the preferred last visit to the vet, to stuff you don’t want to know about. And you all, I know,  have a sense about what your beloved animal companions need and want at the end of their lives. So, I’m trusting my instinct on this.

Death is such a huge thing that even when a small, frail kitty dies, it rips a huge hole in reality. We had a dead cat in our den, and the whole house seemed off its axis. Top Cat and I were numb, too numb to cry, so we covered our dear boy with a linen napkin and made martinis. And then we made some more martinis.

We buried him the next morning.

This is one of the reasons that I love Twitter. This (above) came up in the tl at just the right time.

So, as you know, life goes on. And on. And on.

When I die, I want people to be absolutely miserable for about 24 hours, and then I want them to remember me and laugh. Really big laughs.



And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.

Have a great weekend, everyone.





14 Comments, RSS

  1. Maryanne in SC

    Aww man, Lickety!

    It was right and lovely of you to stay with him until he died.
    Until email can convey martinis properly, I am sending you a big old Cat Lady hug, free and transferable to all in your household.

    And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.

    Maryanne in SC
    P.S. Has anyone seen the Stromness Rock? We’re waiting for it.

  2. Kirra

    Farewell Lickety, I think you are right and Lickety went the way he wanted too. Thanks for sharing the story, even though it is sad. I hope you and top cat are doing okay.

    Ha ha, I’m glad I’m not the only one saying ‘fuck this’ under my breath all the time!

    It would be so great if some one did ask Trump ‘What’s inflation?’ I think just that one question would do him in.

  3. I know we knew this day was coming. I know you were given a great gift to have Lickety for so long — and maybe longer than you first expected. I know how much it hurts when we see them start to suffer and I know that it’s better to let go. But it still doesn’t stop me from having a big lump in my throat as I read this and knowing how different it is in your world these days. Big cyber hugs to you both. Damn, the cost of loving is sometimes so high…

  4. Casey

    It looks like the things that make you happy also make Lickety happy. He looks like he’s having fun in that photo. There is a heaven for good kitties like him. I’m sure you knew what was best for him, all his life.

    Trump gets more atrocious every day. I appreciate the laughs. Lord knows we all need to be able to laugh until we all VOTE BLUE.

  5. Casey

    It looks like the things that make you happy also make Lickety happy. He looks like he’s having fun in that photo. There is a heaven for good kitties like him. I’m sure you knew what was best for him, all his life.

    Trump gets more atrocious every day. I appreciate the laughs. Lord knows we all need to be able to laugh until we all VOTE BLUE.

  6. Oh!!! I am so sorry about Lickety. Yes, we all knew it was coming, but it still so sad when a pet died. How special that you could let him die the way he wanted to, at home. We have a whole grave yard of cats in our yard. Each one has something to mark his or her place.
    As usual I agree with all your statements about that imposter in the White House. November can’t come soon enough.

  7. Karen

    I didn’t want to have to read this even though I knew it was coming. He had a good life with you and knew he was loved. So hard to let our kitties go. Hugs to you.

  8. Your sorrow is so easy to feel when you express it so beautifully and lovingly. I’m very sorry. I think Lickety’s memory will be a blessing to you (though maybe it’s not ok to borrow this phrase).

    No comfort to anyone but I found a great quote in the spirit of your blog: “The blooming orange despot is merely the flower on top of the cactus.”

    my best to you… mae at

  9. Carol

    So hard to lose a kitty, especially a good one like Lickety, My condolences to you.
    He was lucky to be your kitty, as you were to be his person.

  10. I am SO SORRY to hear about Lickety. The passing of a pet is always so hard. But I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that he got to die at home, in familiar surroundings. All pets should be so fortunate.

  11. Margot Boyer

    So sorry for the loss of your dear feline companion. It takes a while to get used to the absent place where they used to rest in in the sun. I hope your family and martinis and good sense of humor are helping.

    & we’re going to whip trump’s ass in November, so there’s that to look forward to.

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