Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Sweet Sylvester

If you've been reading our blog for a while, you know that our tuxedo cat, Sylvester, has been such a big part of this blog ever since he made his way to our homestead several years ago. I have been putting off this post for as long as possible, but I think I am finally ready to share the news.


We had to say goodbye to Sylvester on Saturday. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. He had gone missing for about five days, which is totally unlike him, so I was beginning to think something was wrong. He showed back up one night early last week looking very sick and lethargic. I took him to the vet and he had a high fever as a result of a really bad infection. He was put on strong medication and given fluids through an IV because he was severely dehydrated. I brought him home and kept him in the garage to continue his care, but he refused to eat or drink. After several days I took him back to the vet because I knew he couldn't survive much longer without food or water, and she suggested running some blood work on him. They found that he tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus and as a result, his immune system was so weakened that he couldn't fight off his infection. He had lost so much weight and was refusing to eat or drink and didn't have much strength at all. He was obviously suffering and would not recover, so I made the tough call to have our vet put him to sleep on Saturday.


I spent as much time with him as I could on Friday, and even brought him into our guest room so I could cuddle with him and say my goodbyes. I ended up sleeping with him for a few hours until he got up and went under the bed, almost like he had said his goodbye to me and was ready to go.

Sylvester was such a character, and was the most loving cat I've ever known. It amazed me the first time I saw him cuddle up to our big dog, Duchess. He welcomed our new kitty, Emma, to the homestead and showed her that it was safe here (since she had direct contact with Sylvester, we will be getting Emma tested for FIV sometime in the future).



He was a loyal companion on our walks in the woods and was never far behind. Occasionally he would get distracted by something and fall a little behind, but I'd just call to him and he would run to catch up.


Words can't express how much I will miss him. I'm just so happy that he found his way to our home and I got him to stick around. I feel blessed that I got to know him and be a part of his life, if it was only for a couple years. He will always have a piece of my heart.

As soon as I went out to my car after the vet on Saturday, church bells were ringing. It was almost like he was being welcomed into Heaven and it gave me such peace. I know he is having a blast in Heaven right now with all our other furry and feathered friends we've had to say goodbye to in the past. In his final moments on the Earth, I was petting him and telling him how much he was loved, and he went out purring. I can't think of a better way to say goodbye.

~Tammy

71 comments:

  1. O Tammy, I am so sorry. Having gone through this a few times myself, I know how hard it can be. Our pets' love and faithfulness is incomparable and irreplaceable. Decades after the death of my old Lab, with whom I grew up, I still think wistfully of him -- I can't even mention him now without feeling the tears well up! Sylvester is beautiful, really handsome, and he looks so gentle and affectionate. I do believe we will all be reunited in our real, heavenly home *hugs*

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  2. Tammy, I'm so sorry to read this. Sylvester was such a cool cat and a big part of your lives (and this blog). You gave him such a loving home, and took such beautiful photos of him. I hope Emma isn't missing him too much, and that she is clear of FIV. Big hugs from afar xx

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  3. I'm so sorry to read this Tammy; Sylvester was such a handsome, sweet guy and I know he brought so much to your life. My heart is with you.

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  4. I'm also so sorry to read this Tammy1
    RW & SK

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  5. Tammy, so sorry to see sweet Sylvester won't be part of your life. I too have been down that road many times. You posted a beautiful tribute to him and the part he played in your lives. ((HUGS)) to you Dawn

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  6. ooh, tammy, i am so sorry to read this:(
    my heart is with you.
    what a wonderful tribute to him! our pets really are like members of our family...

    (((hugs)))

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  7. I am so sorry to hear this. I know how hard it is to lose a member of your family like this and I will keep you and your husband in my thoughts. RIP Sylvester <3

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  8. So very sorry..it is so hard to lose a beloved pet.

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  9. I am saddened by this news, In the little time I have read you blog, he seemed like a wonderful cat. Losing an animal like Sylvester is like losing a member of your family. I have shared in the pain of having to have a pet (specifically a cat) put to sleep. They are never replaced and always missed. He will forever live on in the blog and in the memories of those who knew him.

    Much love,
    Rebecca

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  10. oh i am so sorry...i just want to cry for you...such a beautiful tribute to sweet sylvester...sending you hugs and prayers <3

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  11. Tammy I am so so sorry to hear this. This post made me really emotional. I feel like I have gotten to know Sylvester over the course of reading your blog the past year. Pets really do become family don't they? You were lucky to have him and he was lucky to have you, for you gave him a loving home and made his life happy :)

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  12. Tammy, so sorry to hear about Sylvestor. He came back home because he knew you would take care of him. You did the best you could for him, and he knew that. There is a special bond between
    fur babies & their parents, he was where he wanted to be, with you.

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  13. I am so sorry Tammy. Sylvester was lucky to have found you guys and you were lucky to have found him. {{HUGS}}

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  14. OK - Now I've had my morning cry! Sylvester was very Blessed to have found your home and to have been part of your life. Sounds like he had a very good life and fortuntly he did make it back home to spend his last few days in the love of you and your home. Your Faith is strong Tammy and soooo true. Animals do have feelings and emotions and Souls and you will see Sylvester again :-}}

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  15. Oh I am so so sorry to hear this. My mom lost a cat to FIV and was devastated. I hope that Emma checks out fine. ((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))) Sylvester enjoyed the time he spent with you all - I'm glad he found your home.

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  16. I should have read your post before I put on my makeup this morning. I am so sorry to hear about Sylvester. He came to your home for a reason, he knew he would be loved there. I have loved seeing his picture hanging with Duchess and he provided Emma with the training she would need to carry on in his place.

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  17. I'm so sorry, Tammy.
    As hard as goodbyes are, yours with Sylvester sounded as peaceful as possible. He was a lucky cat to have you.

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  18. Very sad news Tammy. I'm glad you were able to give Sylvester love and kisses before he passed. I feel for you. xoxo pam

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  19. i am very sorry. my barn cat, tuxedo, died last year, too. we tried to save him with antibiotics and iv fluids administered several times a day. i had to have him put down, finally, too. i understand your loss.

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  20. I am so sorry Tammy. He was a lovely cat.

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  21. I am so sorry Tammy, my heart just broke for you. Losing a pet is so hard and I know this pain. Sylvester was one lucky kitty cat in finding you guys. He had an amazing life full of love and kindness with you two and I know the feeling was mutual.

    I loved your last paragraph.... And now he's keeping the high watch over you and your place and I'll light a candle for him today ((hugs))

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  22. Sorry to hear about your beloved kitty. Losing a pet is like losing a family member. My dog Bear is approaching 12 years old and I know someday soon he won't be with us anymore. Take care.

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  23. You gave him a wonderful life and home, and you were all blessed to be together. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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  24. I have tears in my eyes after reading of your dear friend passing. I enjoyed reading about his adventures and was especially touched with his friendship with Emma. We are so lucky to have these furry and feathered creatures share their lives with us. You are a greater person for having known Sylvester and I am feeling your sadness. Thank you for sharing.

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  25. I have tears in my eye love. I am so sorry for your loss. It is never easy. I think it is because we just open our hearts totally to our animals. Sending you love, prayers and happy thoughts to a wonderful new addition up at the Rainbow Bridge. Bless you Tammy for giving your animals such a thoughtful wonderful place to call home.

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  26. Oh my goodness... I am so sorry to hear. But it is obvious how much love you gave him. My very first cat had to be put to sleep a few years ago and I still think about her all the time. Sometimes I even think I see her out of the corner of my eye, even though we've moved twice since then. It is a very special love we have for our pets, and you gave Sylvester the best gift there could be while he was with you, and when it was time for him to go. *hugs*

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  27. Aw, Tammy. :( I'm sorry about your Sylvester. :(

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  28. Such sweet words Tammy...it is always so tough to say good bye to such special little members of the family. You were a good momma to him, and will see him again someday :)

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  29. So sorry for your lost. Our pets become such a big part of our families. And nothing beats a fun, loving cat. We had to put down our black cat spooker 13 years ago for the same reasons. And every once in awhile, something will bring back a memory of her. Enjoy those memories. Take care, Rose

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  30. This is so sad, Tammy. I feel for you and David. Losing a family pet is always heartbreaking. I am thankful for my faith which tells me that you are spot on about him frolicking in heaven. And he'll be waiting for you. xoxo

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  31. I am sorry for your loss, it is so hard to lose a pet.

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  32. Oh, I have tears and my heart aches for you. I know how difficult it is to say goodbye. They steal your heart and hold you hostage and then they say goodbye much too soon. You couldn't have been a more loving and caring friend to Sylvester and I know the kitty angels are taking good care of him until you meet again. Hugs xo Karen

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  33. I cried as I was reading this. They become family members and I am so sorry for your loss but so happy for what you gained by having him in your life. HE brought many blessings to us reading about him too. I will miss ol sylvester but I am sure that GOD has welcomed him with open arms. I Know that you will meet again. GOD bless you my friend and I am truly sorry for your LOSS

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  34. Oh Tammy, I'm so sorry! It's so hard to lose a pet. I think you made the right decision though, now he is in a better place. I know he will always be a bright spot in your past. *hugs*

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  35. I am so very sorry, and understand your pain entirely. We lost two of our precious babies over the years to something called Bobcat Tick Fever. It is a very evil disease that has become more treatable, thank goodness, but that does not fill the void our Jynx and Chico left in our hearts. Both of them were the kind of cat Sylvester was, the kind that escort you through the woods and keep an eye on you when you work in the garden. Jynx and Chico never met, but the same illness claimed them and they are buried side by side. I like to pretend they roam the woods still. I will always miss them. I am so sorry for this heartache you have to endure just because I am too familiar with it. I hope one day you can find a place in your heart for another kitten that needs a special home like yours. That is what helped us through the sorrow of losing our babies. :*(

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  36. Oh, I'm am so incredibly sorry to learn of your loss. He was such an incredibly beautiful creature. Prayers and wishes to you for healing. Thank so much for having the courage to share his story with us :)

    Erin
    http://yellowbirchhobbyfarm.blogspot.com

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  37. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but i'm so glad you could be with him till the end. I think that helps to deal with losing them. Just know they will be waiting for us when we get to heaven. Peace be with you.

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  38. Oh Tammy, I'm so sorry to hear this - I can tell you are hurting through your post. Thank you for sharing, he obviously was very loved. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Hang in there my sweet friend.

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  39. Sorry to hear your sad news Tammy. I'm glad Sylvester came home for you to be able to say a proper goodbye and make his last hours as comfortable as possible.

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  40. I'm so sorry to hear about Sylvester. I'm praying for peace for you and your family; losing them is so hard.
    k @ ohh

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  41. Bless your heart, Tammy. It is so hard to have to say good-bye to our pets. I found your post so touching and I can just imagine how much you miss him. He sure did have a short life but a good one thanks to you and your husband, I can't imagine how much your little out-door cat will miss him. He must wonder... Hugs, Deb

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  42. Oh Tammy, I am so sorry to read this. Through all your stories and pictures of Sylvester, I know he was so loved, and he knew that, too! It is so sweet that you were able to have such quality time with him near the end. I lost three cats to feline leukemia, so I do understand all to well what these diseases can do to take our loved felines from us. Hugs to you, my friend.

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  43. Dear Tammy,
    I am sorry. I do understand, we lost a kitty not long ago. It is so hard, because they are family.

    You did a wonderful job sharing. I could feel how much love Sylvester gave you and you him.

    xx oo

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  44. Oh Tammy-my heart aches for you. this post is such a beautiful tribute to Sylvester. I got goose bumps when I read about the church bells. I hope the memories of Sylvester will the healing. Love and hugs through the universe my friend. Xo

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  45. Tammy, I am so sorry about Sylvester! He was one cool cat! It is always sad to lose a loved pet. You do have wonderful memories to keep. HUGS, Eileen

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  46. Tammy, I am so so sorry to hear that. It is such a sad affair to lose beloved pet because they are so much a part of our lives and family. Hope you are ok, my friend. Sending big hugs and warm thoughts your way.

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  47. Tears are falling as I read this - it's so difficult to lose a loved pet. I'm so sorry. He really was a handsome guy full of character and leaves you with wonderful memories. Hugs to you and the rest of the gang, including poor Emma.

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  48. I am so sad to read this and sorry for your loss. It is such a tragedy to lose a true friend! He looks like he was a really beautiful soul. My thoughts are with you!

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  49. Sylvester seems to be really at ease with your dog.

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  50. I have a 15 year old Tuxedo cat that has been with me since he was a kitten-I'm not looking forward to the inevitable day. I totally understand your sadness and am sorry for your loss!

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  51. Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this. Hugs.

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  52. So sorry Tammy. Sylvester found his way into your life and it sounds like you gave him a wonderful home while he was with you. It's always hard to say goodbye to our beloved pets.We had a cat for over 18 years that we had to put down, it was one of the saddest things we ever had to do.

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  53. :-( I am so sorry for your loss. But what joy he brought to you and what a wonderful home you gave him.
    **hugs**
    diane

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  54. I'm so sorry for your loss. You and Sylvester were lucky to have each other. <3

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  55. Tammy....I'm so sorry and tears are filling in my eyes as I'm reading this. Losing a pet is just like losing a family member here, so I feel for you, David, and the rest of the gang. :( I hope Emma's test come back negative, and hope she's doing okay with the lost of her buddy. ((Hugs!))

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  56. Tammy my heart goes out to you .
    It is so hard to loose a a buddy. I am glad you were with him when he passed on.
    He had a wonderful life while you had him for the time you did and it was evident he enjoyed it.
    Hugs to you .
    Willow

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  57. My condolences Tammy; I also had a cat and know how bad you must feel. May he rest in peace.

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  58. Oh Tammy, I'm so sorry. I don't know how you worked up the courage to write this. I still haven't mustered the courage to write about our Harley...and that happened in July. Hugs.

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  59. I'm sorry Tammy. Reading about Sylvester hurt my heart.

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  60. Just reading this made me tear up. It's never easy losing a pet especially one that's been so close to you for so long. I've come to know him through your pictures and it feels like he was part of my family as well. I'm going to miss him as I have for the past couple of posts. Madison loved pointing him out. She's too young to understand that she won't see him anymore. My condolences to you and your family. :'(

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  61. I am so sorry. He was the best and I know your heartache. I love those tuxedo cats. Ours is 13 and just such a good boy. Sending big hugs your way. So glad to see you on the blog hop today.

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  62. I am so sorry Tammy and very sad to read this today. He was a wonderful little cat and so very happy and friendly . He had a loving home with you both and I bet he was so thankful for that.x

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  63. I'm so sorry Tammy. I love my kitties dearly and have had to say goodbye to several over the years. It never gets easier to lose one, but be comforted that you gave him a good and loving home for many years.

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  64. Oh Tammy, I'm bawling. I am so sorry for your loss. Sylvester was an amazing cat and will live on here in this space... in pictures and postings highlighting what amazing little friend he was.

    Wishing you comfort, love, and hugs.
    xoxo

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  65. I'm so sorry for your loss, Tammy. He was a special cat and was so lucky to be in a such a loving home. It's so hard to lose a pet. I totally know that feeling. Hugs to you.

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  66. SO very sorry you have lost your lovely Sylvester. It's so hard!! Hugs.

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