Death of my Old Cat - A Poem of Loss

Prince Albert in his final days
Prince Albert in his final days | Source

Wiping up the floors in the bathroom

So clean and disinfected.

I’m not sure I like it.

They were his things.

And he’s not there anymore.

Just trying to help out

Make it all right again

Before the old prince spent his final days

Spreading fluids on the floor

Sampling foods I pushed on him.


Prince Albert with his tongue hanging out. Was it easier to just let it hang?
Prince Albert with his tongue hanging out. Was it easier to just let it hang? | Source

His good eye looked up at me

Or did it really?

I like to think as I held him

That he looked inside me

And saw my soul as I saw his.

His soul was pure and the kindest of any

Coming indoors, blending into

A feline clan that

Mostly pushed him away

Except for one shy cat and a dog


My sweet prince napping
My sweet prince napping | Source

Resilient and trusting in my care

He peered inside, and saw the others,

And knew when to push

And when to just ignore

And sneak on by to come inside.

Finally on the couch beside me

Climbing up on a pillow

The old prince found his place

A sort of Hospice

For his last sweet years.


While maybe not appreciated

By the cats he came in on

They will love what's left behind

The gifts he could not touch

That I prayed would help him live.

All kinds of savory cat food

And even baby food jars

Cans of tuna and salmon

Sardines left in the fridge

All just opened.



Christmas photo with dog Gizmo and cat Prince Albert at PetSmart 2010
Christmas photo with dog Gizmo and cat Prince Albert at PetSmart 2010

It will hurt to even empty them

The cans to the other cats

Still reminders of him

Like the bathroom

That no longer has his pee pad.

I never knew you as a kitten

Prince Albert as a young one

Would it have been harder to lose you

If I had known you then?

Is that how it works?


But you became royalty, my prince,

In just a few short years.

I was honored to care for you

To clean up after you

Just to love you for you.

So when you looked up at me

When I held you in the blanket

Ready to rush you to the vet

As you struggled for breath

I trust you saw me there.


Prince Albert's food bowl, separate from the other cats
Prince Albert's food bowl, separate from the other cats | Source

God knows I will beat myself up

obsessed with questions

of what I could have done

to save you from leaving.

Life gets so busy.

Did I give you enough attention?

Did I miss something?

More checkups or treats

or more fattening foods.

I will torture myself.


Prince Albert's table on the screened-in patio
Prince Albert's table on the screened-in patio | Source

So I avoid the clean bathroom

and the medicines on the counter.

The vitamins and dropper

and the pills that go untouched

as I go through my day.

And I won’t look out on the patio

Where you jumped up to eat

Safe from other cats--

Old loner that you were--

to your bowl on the table..


It might stay there for a while.

The cross I made to mark Prince Albert's grave in the back yard
The cross I made to mark Prince Albert's grave in the back yard | Source

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Comments 63 comments

gypzeeme profile image

gypzeeme 4 years ago from Englewood, Colorado

oh Victoria....what a magnificent tribute to Prince Albert....i'm sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks....even more so now that i see that this happened just a few days ago...i am so sorry for your loss...and thank you for sharing this with us....


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Vicki your poem has me in tears. I know how you feel and there's nothing I can say to take away the heartache that you're feeling. This is such a sad poem but yet so beautiful. I hope in time you'll feel better. Take care. Sending you hugs.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, gypzeeme. It's the only thing I've been able to write about the last few days. It helps to write about him. Thanks for your kind comments.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Hey Victoria, I haven't lost a pet in years and I can understand what it feels like to miss one. (((Hugs))) for your loss and I hope you will always remember the best of times you've had with him. :) Nicely written. :) Voted up.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

Oh, how you must miss your prince. Thank you, Victoria for sharing your treasured memories with us.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Susan. You're right; only time will replace the pain with sweet memories. Thanks for the hugs.


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

My sweet Victoria I am so touched by your soft loving kind heart towards your Prince. Remember that he knows how you cared for him with all your love. Cat's are spirits and they know our hearts. I to have a feline, her name is Sabrina and it would be very difficult on me if I lost her. Prince will always be in your spirit, go in peace and know that you have done all you could. It was his time as it will be ours when our name is called on high. Peace and blessings to you my friend.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

CAGS!!! Good to see you. Thanks for coming by and giving hugs. I'm thinking about the good times with my old guy, which I'm sure will be more prominent as time goes on. Thanks so much.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That is so beautiful, Vicki! We all feel the pain I'm sure; who among us has not lost a beloved pet? Great job, as always.


JThomp42 4 years ago

I'm SO Sorry Victoria. Our pets become a part of our families. It came be devastating to lose them. Be comforted knowing that he is no longer in any pain. I know he will be missed. But, You have the memories. Great hub. Voted up and Beautiful.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Hugs coming from me. Prince Albert sound like a perfect cat. Your other cats will feel for you and keep you company.

Voted up and beautifully touching, Joyce.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Hi Victoria, "there is a season for all things under heaven" I too, wrote a hub, called moon eyes about the passing of my dog. We can not write such things lest they are bathed in the heart of our love. That love is evident here and I have learned, we had no greater gift to give than our love. What a wonderful way to spend ones life, in the luxury of forever love. That is how he lived and that was his comfort in going. You "did well, good and faithful servant". I pray you find comfort in the knowledge,that he lived in the arms of love.


kelleyward 4 years ago

Victoria! I just now came across this beautiful poem shared by Cagsil and now I see Prince Albert! He was a beautiful cat! I had one that looked similar to him growing up we named Sassy. I know you gave him a wonderful home. I think every caring pet owner goes through the guilt you shared wondering what else they could have done but you gave him a wonderful loving home and cared for him the best you could! So glad I saw this today! Hugs! Kelley


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Oh Victoria.. I know how you feel.. I lost my cat Muffin.. a couple of months ago. I had her for 14 years.. It hurts so bad because they are part of your family..

I love your poem.. bless you my friend

Debbie


Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

We lost our cat, Cleo, a couple of years ago from old age. She was 21 years old. She died peacefully while lying on my girlfriends chest. Just closed her eyes and stopped breathing. Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

Oh how sweet. Just knowing you a little tells me that you gave him more care, love, and attention than anyone else would have or could have. What a lucky cat.

It is always hard to lose a friend. this reminds me of my cat that passed away roughly 18 months ago at 17 years old. For the last few years I simply called her old lady because that is how she acted. She passed away quietly at home.

This year I lost both of my pet rats. One of them just last night. When I went to take her out of her cage I could just tell she was ready to go. I miss her :(

Thank you for a beautiful story of friendship and loss.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Vee....this is a sad one that tugged at my heart. How sweet to write this for your late Prince Albert. You were a blessing to him and never doubt that your love and care was the best of his life. You did everything any Mom could have done.

I have a need to go find my Little Tommy Trouble and snuggle with him now....and let him play with my yarn! UP +


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Dear Victoria Lynn. My heart goes out to you for your Prince Alber. (My Dad's name, by the way!) My childhood cat I loved was blue-gray, too. I called her Lady Blue.

George and I had two beloved cats, Toulouse and Camille, brother and sister. They were born in the bottom of my closet in August of 1985 in a litter of 5. We only intended to keep one but these two both stole our hearts. They were so healthy - we saw to it - and happy. They traveled with us - but in our RV, which we really bought for them. But in a trip without it - it was a one-day trip - we decided to stop and stay over with some family for Christmas and the cats were in the motel, while we were with our folks. It was Dec. 2002. They got a hold of some kind of deadly toxin and Camile died almost as soon as we got home, on Dec. 28th. Both had symptoms but Toulouse rallied and lived till March 17, 2003, when he suddenly exhibited those symptoms and went as suddenly as his sister. They were 17, never sick a day and we actually had become concerned that they'd outlive us and be orphaned.

They'd been with us always. The only time, not, was when we went to England and had a 'critter sitter' come to the house to care for them. They hardly spoke to us for awhile when we got back! They surely would have lived many more years. They were like two kittens at 17!

When my beloved George died in 2008, just at the moment he was slipping away, I heard the cats meowing. What can I say? I felt they were waiting to greet him.

I miss all of them so much.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

this was not (just) a cat...


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

I'm really sorry. I hope thoughts of your cat will keep you going. Must have been a really special one.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yes, Marlene, I really miss my prince. Such a sweet soul he was. Thanks for reading.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Vincent. Your words are comforting. I keep questioning myself, wishing I had done this or that, wishing I had just held him more. We never know when our time has come, and I have to believe that it was his no matter what I tried. I will find peace in time. Thank you, my friend.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Bill. Glad you think the poem is beautiful. Prince Albert deserves a proper tribute.:-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, JThomp. I do imagine Prince Albert jumping around like a carefree kitten now. Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Joyce. Although Prince Albert wasn't perfect, he had a perfect heart. I miss that. Thanks for your sweet words.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Hey, arb, "a time to be born, a time to die." Your words are so compassionate. I just hope that Albert felt that love that I felt for him. Thanks for your beautiful comments. I want to read your hub, too.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Hi, kelley! Cagsil is so good to share things. I think you're right in that guilt is often natural; what else could I have done? If only.... Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you saw this one, too.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Yes, Debbie, I know you must understand. It's so hard. Thanks for the sweet words and blessing. Glad you came by.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Angelo--Thanks for sharing that. It's nice when they live long lives, but oh how we miss them!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Aw, thanks, Dana. That's so sweet of you to say. Thanks for sharing about your cat. I often referred to Prince Albert as "the old guy." He was arthritic and blind in one eye, but he had a heart of gold. I'm curious about your pet rats. Are they affectionate? How long do they live? I'm sorry you miss them. Thanks for sharing.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Effer. I hope that he felt how much I adored him. Yes, snuggle with Little Tommy Trouble. I've sure been spoiling my other cats--and dog--since Prince Albert left us. :-)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Nellieanna--What a wonderful life with your George and RV full of two wonderful cats! I love that. I am so saddened by their untimely deaths, however. They sound like they still had more life in them to go! George has the cats again with him. I hope that you have found some peace about it; what great loss you have experienced. Thanks for sharing your special story.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

You're right, Mhatter. He was not "just" a cat. Thanks for understanding.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Vellur--Prince Albert had such a sweet spirit. I will miss that sweet, trusting soul. Thanks.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Well, one begins to see it as the way life works, Victoria, and to look at the highlights rather than the caverns. Thank you.


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

Vicki -rats are very smart and very affectionate (as long as they are raised to be handled). my girls were so sweet. loved to cuddle and play. and had great personalities. they came when called and everything. when i would pet one, the other would always be trying to stick herself in there too. louise loved to have her ears scratched and tugged. they were almost like kittens! Rats only live 3-5 years and usually pass away from respitory infection or tumors. unfortunately, i am allergic to rats, so no more for me..... i bet your "old guy" and my "old lady" woulda got along great. meaning they woulda just hung around being old and crotchety together! :) he reminds me a little of her. maybe they have met in pet heaven.

take care!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Nellieanna--I don't think I've gotten there yet, to accept that is how life works. It's too scary for me, still. Thanks for pointing reminding me. I need to get there....Thanks so much.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

So sorry you lost Prince Albert. It sounds like he was a joy to know. As with my cat, I wondered if there was something more I could have done. I believe that you did do all you could.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, how very sad. I know your pain, I feel your pain, for I have been there too. In 2008, we lost a much younger kitty to a mystery illness--I certainly know what you mean about 'beating yourself up.' Please don't--there's nothing more you could have done than what you did, which was to simply love him.

We have an aging cat, we've had her since a kitten, and though I half expect nearly every morning to find her 'gone,' no, it won't be any easier, having known and cared for her so long.

I offer you my deepest condolences on the loss of your special friend.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

I have had so many cats move on, and I loved them all so much. I still feel the pain of loss with everyone. By the way your kitty looks like one of my old kitties by the name of Tiva who ran away a long time ago.

Currently though Shyshe another grey short hair, sleeps on my head everynight. Jamie


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Dana--Interesting about rats. I never knew they could be pets like that. Yes, our old guy and old lady are probably bouncing around together in pet heaven. Thanks!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

teaches--I guess it's natural for us to wonder if we could have done more. Prince Albert was such a sweet, sweet old guy that it's hard not to have him still around. Thanks for your kind comments.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Hi, Dzy--Yeah, I always think I should have been more attentive or more vigilant and caught something. But old Albert lived out his life in relative peace in comfort in my home. I think when he did better when I took him to the vet was a quick fix that didn't last. (fluids and vitamins...) I can't keep beating myself up. Thanks for your condolences. I know they are heartfelt, and I pray that you get to enjoy our old cat for some time to come.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

A magnificent tribute.. made me moist! Loss of a pet is as grieved as the loss of one from the family...

Nice poetry my friend!!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Jamie--I still remember and miss all the cats I've lost, too, over the years. Sorry about your Tiva. I always hated not knowing what happened to them....Shyshe is a pretty name. Take care of you and yours!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, rahul. Your comments are so sweet and sincere. :-)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

So sorry for your loss, Vicki. It looks like he was such a sweetie. I've been there and second rahul's thoughts about how the loss of the pet is grieved just as much as any family member would be. *hugs*


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, randomrose. He was a doll. So gentle and non-intrusive. It's hard to look at the familiar places he used to be. Thanks for the hugs. I really miss him.


traslochimilano profile image

traslochimilano 4 years ago from USA

So sorry for prince albert. This is not only poem but it's shows your sadness. Tanks for sharing with us...


miss1magination profile image

miss1magination 4 years ago

Just looking at your pictures albert looked like a kind soul so sorry:( but he has givern you a heart of gold!I also have a cat her name is fruity, you've reminded me how much she means to me, Thankyou for sharing


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

traslochimilano--I'm glad the poem shows my sadness about losing that sweet old Prince Albert. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

miss1magination--Prince Albert truly was a kind soul. You are very insightful in saying that he gave me a heart of gold. I never dreamed what he would bring to my life, how he would open up my heart. Treasure your Fruity while you can. Thanks for reading and commenting.


dlegendre profile image

dlegendre 4 years ago from New Hampshire

I feel your pain. This was difficult to read since I am still grieving over one of my dogs, Freckles, although it has been about 3 or so years. Yes, she also was my soulmate and I miss her so!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

dlegendre--I'm sorry about your Freckles. Soulmates are meant to meet again, though. I take comfort in that. Thanks for your comments.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I can understand how you feel about the loss of cat because I too, have witnessed so many deaths.

You have captured the sadness wonderfully.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Vinaya. I'm glad I captured the sadness. Thanks for your comments.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Oh Vicki, I actually avoided reading this when you first wrote it. I felt so bad about all the feline kids moving on to a different life in such a short time. It really hit me and I fear the day when I will miss my girls. But now I read this and it is awesome. I feel like I really know Prince Albert and how much he meant to you. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

Sharyn


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Aw, Sharyn, thanks. Prince Albert was a special guy. I miss him so much. We have to love them and lose them, don't we? Thanks.


christin53 profile image

christin53 4 years ago from UK

Lovely poem it reminds me of my first cat Frisky who I had from kittenhood until the age of 19. She became senile at the end and I had to make that awful decision to have her put to sleep. It's very sad losing a pet you've had for many years.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Aw, christin. That's sad. I have a couple of sweethearts who are 12, and I can tell they aren't as spry as they used to be. Sorry for your loss. It's so hard.


onegreenparachute profile image

onegreenparachute 3 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

My tears are rolling down my face. I am such a sop. But your poem pulled all sorts of emotions and memories from down deep where I`d let them hide for a while. I just love cats.

Thanks for this Vickie.

Voted up and shared.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

onegreenparachute--Aw, that's sweet to share your tears. I miss my old Prince so much as the anniversary of his death is approaching. Such a sweet soul. Thanks for voting and sharing.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

I miss my sweet prince. It has been a year now.

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