Ru (2001-2015)

Ru and AnubisThis afternoon, I picked up a tiny cedar box from Inland Valley Emergency Pet Clinic. On its lid is a simple brass plate inscribed “Ru.” Inside are a handful of rose petals, and a container with the ashes of my beautiful little boy, the elder of my two cats, who left this world on Monday. It was not an easy decision to make. I spoke to three members of IVEPC’s staff and the incredible staff of the Heavenly Pet Resort kennel in Upland, and concluded that it would be too cruel to ask Ru to wait for me to get a flight back to California to be there with him. The kennel’s owner went to be with him on my behalf. I am deeply grateful to her, to Ru’s “girlfriend” on the kennel staff (Sandy, who adored Ru and he adored her back), and to the IVEPC staff, who were very understanding over a series of distressing phonecalls and eased my own suffering considerably during the awful process.

The kennel staff called Sunday night to say Ru was acting strangely, and that they were going to take him to the vet Monday morning. When Monday arrived and they called at 6am to say they weren’t going to wait for my vet to open, I braced myself for the worst. Unfortunately, it came a couple of hours later. A few weeks ago, Ru had also been acting strangely, but I’d chalked it up to the triple digit heat. Once the heat passed, everything was fine again. Ru had an aggressive form of diabetes, and various things all went wrong over last weekend. By Monday he was in critical condition, and not expected to last until morning, let alone until I could convince Southwest to get me home earlier than I expected to be. So I had to make the terrible decision, far from home, far from Zigzag, who remained in the kennel crying for his brother until I was able to get home Thursday evening. I am heartbroken. I had 14 years with Ru, and while I knew the day was coming when such a decision might have to be made, I never would have imagined it would be while I wasn’t even able to be with him when he left.

Maybe he was trying to spare me. Maybe he knew how difficult it would be for me to make that decision, how hard it was going to be to say goodbye. Maybe he wanted to be the center of attention still, like he always managed to be as the friendliest, most outgoing and loving cat I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with. By Monday afternoon, Ru had an entire veterinarian staff and the kennel staff in tears, along with me and many of the people I was teaching at the New Year’s retreat workshops in Chicago that day. Maybe that was his plan. Maybe it surprised him as much as it surprised me. Maybe he didn’t even realize what was going on; the vet indicated that what had gone wrong had probably caused significant brain damage. I only know that he did not suffer any longer than he already had by the time we understood what was wrong. Small comfort, but at least it wasn’t worse.

I will miss Ru terribly. We had so much fun together. He liked traveling – strange for a cat – and we went many places together. We moved three times: twice by car and once by plane. He was my companion through easy and difficult years. I wrote about him here and shared photos and videos of him in many places. Most of my friends and family met Ru at some point, and he made everyone smile. Zigzag keeps running around the house looking for him, as if we expect him to emerge from one of his many sleeping spots and look at us as if we’ve lost our minds. It will be hard not to have him sleeping on the pillow next to my head, a habit he kept from the day I brought him home (when, of course, he fit on the pillow far better than he did later in life…). It’s going to be difficult.

Ru is the first cat I have not been able to bury. It’s strange to look at the little cedar box, sitting on the edge of the shelf in the living room where he liked to climb up and sleep. I hope that wherever he is, he is in good company and has many people to play with and bring joy to, as he did for me.



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10 responses to “Ru (2001-2015)”

  1. Duffi McDermott Avatar
    Duffi McDermott

    I am so sorry. It’s very difficult to handle. I’ll pray for all three of you. Poor Zigzag. Hugs to you, Tamara.

    1. tsiuda Avatar

      Hugs right back, and thank you, Duffi. Zig is adjusting slowly, and so am I.

  2. Setken (@WingedPhysique) Avatar

    I am sorry to read this and very sorry for your loss. May Bast welcome Ru into the next world.

  3. KhemaySekhnet Sat Bastet Sat Nefertum Avatar
    KhemaySekhnet Sat Bastet Sat Nefertum

    Lady of cats, mother protector and beautiful one who keep a palace in the summer lands. Welcome your Son Ru back into his eternal home. Bastet, as you wake in peace remember those that your servants protect in this created world, know that Ru has given his all to keep her safe and keep the unamed one at bay. Let him sit on your right side to purvey your kingdom and guard it has he guarded the BA and KA of the Nisut. DUA Bastet DUA!

    Ru, though your journey has come to an end in this realm, the journey into the next has just begun. You have come from a place of love and are charge to go forth with that same love into the palace prepared for you. Tell your mother of the wonderful earth mother you had, sing her praises so that all the Netjeru may hear.

    Nisut, you are charged with his remembrance, as you give the cool waters and sweet milk to your Ankhu, so you must remember the water and sweet milk to your earthly son, who stood by and watched over you. Do not cry dear sister, for even in passing, Ru will always be watching over you.

    May Sekhmet take your pain and cast it into her fires.

    1. tsiuda Avatar

      Thank you so much, Khemay.

  4. Tim Rosenbaum Avatar
    Tim Rosenbaum

    So sorry to hear of your loss Tamara. My suggestion to you is to set up some sort of memorial spot in your house for Ru incorporating the ash container and pictures along with his personal items(collar if any, food dish, toys) and maybe a photo album. I have done this for 3 dogs now and it really helps soften the loss.

    1. tsiuda Avatar

      Thank you, Tim. I have already placed him in such a space. He liked to sleep amongst the things on top of my rootworking/magician’s table, so now he has his own shelf overlooking the work. Unlike other beloved pets, he wants to be where the work continues, rather than resting among ancestors, it seems!

  5. Linda Gibson Avatar
    Linda Gibson

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost you beloved Ru. He’s beautiful. Each of our furbabies take a piece of our hearts with them, I know only too well. I’m thinking of you. I hope you can find some comfort and peace, sending much love and hugs.

    1. tsiuda Avatar

      Thank you so much, Linda.

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