Ode to Miss Ellie

Miss Ellie on our brick wall circa 2004

Miss Ellie on our brick wall circa 2004

This evening while reclining and watching The Dog Whisperer, my beloved cat, Miss Ellie, invited herself into my lap.   She turned around about three times until she found just the right position and settled in.   Instantly she began purring which is her normal state when she comes to me.   I began stroking her soft fur and she petted me by rubbing her head on my hand and arm.   She is one of the most affectionate cats I’ve ever owned.   And the friendliest too.   Very rarely will she run away from people because she’s quite sociable.

She stayed in my lap for quite a while and took a short nap.   Then she decided it was time for another nibble at her cat food and drink of water.   I just let her outside a few minutes ago.   She’s quite accustomed to being outdoors and prefers it, especially at night.   Cats are rather nocturnal, although she will sleep with me through the night when it’s cold outside.

Miss Ellie is 17 years old.   She’s been with me since she was about 12 weeks old.   I love her dearly.   I have a feeling this year will probably be her last.   She’s lost quite a bit of weight and doesn’t groom herself as well as she used to.   Because of her age and the high cost of veterinary care I have decided not to take her to the vet.   From what I have read online it seems this weight loss and lack of grooming is typical for cats of advanced age because of thyroid and liver failure.   She is still very much interested in daily life — eating, being around me and exploring the front and backyard.   When those things are no longer possible I will take her to the vet and hold her in my arms while she is euthanized.

At that time I don’t think I be able to write about her, so that’s why I’m doing it now.


  1. Richard
    Jun 27, 2009

    I know that feeling of helplessness as we watch a pet fade away. Our beloved Cocker Spaniel, Abby, had to be put down a few months ago because of advanced Cushing’s Disease, a terrible wasting process that was heartbreaking to watch. Until her last moment, she had that look of trust and love in her eyes, and she will be missed for many, many years to come.

    It is good that you wrote about Miss Ellie now because it will be very difficult to do later. I am in your corner and will be pulling for you when that sad day comes.

    The best cure I’ve found for my sadness is to remember all the wonderful things Abby brought to our lives, not the horrible way the life was drained from her. I will always remember her “dog kisses”, her fiercely wagging tail when I would come home from a trip, her general good nature, and even the funny things she did (without knowing she was being funny).

    Pets can be wonderful gifts in life. I am glad you have had such a precious companion all these years!

  2. GrannyJ
    Jun 28, 2009

    So sad to watch a beloved pet in decline. You will miss her dreadfully.

  3. pb
    Jun 29, 2009

    You are the best part of her declining old age, and probably prolonged her life by several years. Hang in there; our pets are always worth it.