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We lost Shep this morning

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Shep hasn't been good for a long time now. She quit grooming herself about 6 months ago. Her life in the last month has consisted of being carried from the washing machine to the kitchen counter and back. Her back legs were weak and she was having trouble even walking, let along jumping up and down from the areas where she spent her time (even with the chairs we placed in front to help her). This morning Steve picked her up to carry her to the washing machine and she lost all bladder control. We called the vet and rushed her in.

Our vet thought that she was having either small strokes or had a brain tumor (for probably a year now). We had the quality of life discussion with him - her only good moments were when we would pet her and groom her and those were not as good as they used to be. As Steve came to put it, with the vibrancy of her life in her prime, her life now is like putting Tarzan in a nursing home to waste away his days. My guess is that she had another stroke this morning (or the tumor is growing again). We had her euthanized (Steve held Shep as I held Steve), and both feel relief for her. I don't think it was overdue, but we weren't helping her by having her hang on. Our gut feelings are that this was what was best for her.

Shep - probably 17 years old was named after George of the Jungle's faithful "doggie" Shep. In her prime we called Shep the mighty huntress. She strayed into our lives about 12-13 years ago and until the last few years she had always been an indoor/outdoor cat. She loved hunting in the fields around our house where she would catch a field mouse and play with it for hours before she would kill it. As she aged she loved to simply sleep away the day in a sunny spot outside. She confined herself in the house more and more in the last 2 years with the last year spent inside.

She hated other cats and they hated her in return. She was the house pariah which is why she loved the outdoors so much and it was very hard on her to live inside all the time, but for her safety, she chose to do that. She loved our dogs and often slept with them.

We buried her in the field where she spent so much time hunting, next to her dog buddies Jethro and Tyler.

Shep - you will always be the mighty huntress. Sweet as sugar and as tough as any cat I've ever met. We will miss you my sweet little girl.

Let loose the chains that bind my soul
That I may soar as meant to be
From darkened paths emerge to light
Be free......
(written by my brother)
post #2 of 26
i'm so sorry to hear of this, i know no word's can ease the pain, just know i'm here if you ever need to talk
post #3 of 26
Oh no, Amy. What a way to start your vacation time. I'm so sorry. It was better this happened now though instead of while you were away. Her picture with the puppies is just lovely. I'm certain she is happily romping in the meadows at The Bridge. Bless you for all the caregiving you give to all your animals.
post #4 of 26
What a lovely tribute...I am very sorry for your loss.
post #5 of 26
sending a hug your way .. so sorry..
post #6 of 26
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss
post #7 of 26
so very very sorry for your loss. what a beautiful tribute you have written for her
post #8 of 26
I'm so sorry to hear about Shep, Amy. Your tribute to her is very touching.
post #9 of 26
So sorry to hear of your loss. May Shep hunt butterflys at the bridge until you are reunited with her again. Hugs.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone! My emotions are on a roller coaster right now. This was not unexpected at all, in fact when the vet went thru her records this morning he noticed that we had boarded her 2 years ago while on vacation because she wasn't in great shape back then and we didn't want to leave her alone (as pariah) with the other cats. We were going to board her while away this vacation also. So actually 2 years of watching her so closely and preparing for this day.

My husband cried at the vets and I didn't get to release until I shared her story with all of you earlier (Shep was more Steve's cat than mine - she picked him not me). Shep needed Steve and Steve needed me to be strong for him. I don't cry lightly.

TCS is truly a great place to share your emotions about your furbabies. The compassion of cat lovers overwhelms me at times......
post #11 of 26
Amy what a sweet photo and a touching tribute to a stray that stole your heart-
post #12 of 26
Oh, Amy! I'm so sorry to hear that you lost Shep. Just the other day in the "Favourite Names" thread I was admiring his name. Thinking of you at this hard time.
post #13 of 26
My heary goes out to you! RIP sweet Shep!
post #14 of 26
Amy, I'm so sorry, hon. It's never easy, no matter how "prepared" we are for it, they still take a chunk out of our hearts, don't they? {{{{HUGS}}}} hon, for you and Steve both.
post #15 of 26
Amy -

I'm so sorry for your loss, and for Steve. Shep was a beauty, and that picture is so precious. A lovely tribute for a sweet soul. You'll both see her again one day.

Jill and Candy
post #16 of 26
I'm sorry to hear about your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

RIP Shep
post #17 of 26
Amy and Steve, I am very sorry about your loss of Shep. Remember the good times until you are reunited again.
post #18 of 26
I am so sorry for your loss.
Please try and find comfort in knowing that Shep has crossed rainbow bridge and is as vibrant as the day he was born.
post #19 of 26
What a lovely tribute, Amy. So sorry to hear of your loss.

RIP Sweet Shep
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
We called our out of town friends last night and had a long talk about Shep - celebrating her good times. When we first moved here 12 years ago, I had just took in a stray that was the male version of Shep. Rocky was a 10 year old unneutered tom when I found him (quickly snipped) and the 2 of them would hunt the fields. He was also grey and white but with long hair.

Their hunting styles could not have been more different. Rocky would find himself a mouse trail and sit stone still for hours (low energy) until a mouse came by. One pounce, bite, kill, eat and it was over. Shep would pace constantly (high energy) on the edge of the tall grass and look every which way for movement. When she saw a mouse, it was a pounce, drag it up closer to the house where she play with it for hours. Once in a while Rocky would get disgusted with Shep, walk over to her and grab the mouse and kill it for her. Shep would glare at him then go find another.

If Shep ever had a cat friend in her life, it could have been Rocky. She may not have liked him but I think she respected him for his hunting skills. Rocky left us a few years after he strayed into our lives and I've wondered what their relationship would have been like had he been with us longer.

We always debated her origins. She never ate her kill but would leave them by the house as presents for us. She was spayed when we found her but I suspect that she probably had a litter when younger with her strong drive to deliver food to us.

Cat dinner time was weird last night. Shep always got her own can of food in her own bowl in her own place on the kitchen counter. *sigh*
post #21 of 26
Sorry for loss
post #22 of 26
I am so sorry to hear about Shep.May she R.I.P.
post #23 of 26
Amy, I'm so sorry to hear of your and Steve's tremendous loss. Shep is happily hunting and playing with mice again, with her buddy Rocky and her canine friends.
post #24 of 26
Oh Amy i'm so sorry! What a precious picture that is

RIP Shep sweetie
post #25 of 26
I am so sorry! Shep
post #26 of 26
I am so sorry to hear about Shep. The photo is such a lovely way to remember her - together with her buddies.
She is strong again and you have many wonderful memories of her until you are re-united
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