It’s always sad when a friend’s cat dies. My heart hurts for what I know they’re about to go through as they mourn their loss. We’ve all been there, and even though everyone grieves in their own unique way, we all know how hard it is. And when the cat is one I’ve come to know and love, I feel the loss, too. I always had a soft spot in my heart for Squirty, my “feline nephew.” He lived with my friends in New York City for 18 years – New Year’s Eve would have been his birthday. He passed suddenly and peacefully on Christmas Eve morning.

I first met Squirty 12 years ago. When I first met him, he lived with gregarious and portly Tudy, a beautiful torbie, and shy and sweet Yummy, a pretty tabby with white markings. Tootie and Yummy passed away within a few months of each other a couple of years ago. When my friends adopted now 2-year-old Rudy and Fanny, Squirty initially wasn’t thrilled, but true to the gentleman cat he was, he quickly came to accept and even love his little brother and sister.


Squirty had a strong bond with both of his siblings. Fanny, who is a super intuitive little cat, acted more like a big sister to him, always watching out for him. Rudy adored his old man. I really think he looked up to him, and I suspect he’s going to miss him very much.

Squirty could be a bit aloof, but he and I really bonded when I spent a few days cat sitting for my friends when their regular cat sitter wasn’t available. In the past, Squirty had occasionally gently hissed at me (something he did with other visitors, too) and this time, I was prepared. Whenever I approached him, I always had a couple of treats in my hand. It didn’t take long for him to decide that if mom and dad couldn’t be there, I was the next best thing.

My friends left detailed instruction on how to feed everyone, but Squirty didn’t read the fine print. He rarely emerged from his favorite spot, a basket on a small cabinet in the bathroom, so he got “room service.” At first he seemed a bit confused, but he quickly adjusted to getting breakfast (and dinner) “in bed,” and of course, he expected (and got) that service from me at every subsequent meal.

Squirty appreciated his “room service” meal

This past summer, Squirty had a couple of odd seizure-like episodes, and my friends thought for sure that they would lose him then. Vets weren’t able to determine the cause of whatever was going on, and he never showed any other signs of any kind of illness and lived a happy and full life until his quick and peaceful passing. At almost 18 years, he lived a good, long life – but of course, it’s never long enough.


Rest easy, sweet Squirty. I’ll miss you.

27 Comments on A Tribute to Squirty

  1. Awwww, I am so very sorry that Squirty has gone to Heaven. He will be sorely missed. We have had cats for years, and my husband was not used to them, whatsoever. It didn’t take long:) He treats them to be one of his kids:)
    Losing them is truly painful, as much as we want the best for THEM, our kitties. I enjoyed reading about sweet Squirty. I do feline-sitting for friends too, and they are just as much ‘mine’ as they are, their owner’s cat(s)!
    Rest in peace, darling boy. Thank you Ingrid, for telling about and saluting Squirty’s little life with, and for us readers. You take care, Ingrid. I know how very difficult, and how much it hurts, it is to lose a kitty. Di

  2. As a grown man who cries whenever he so much as reads about a beloved pet passing away I want to offer my deepest condolences to Squirty’s family. I’ve often felt sad and angry that cats will only be with us for twenty years when birds and reptiles can live so much longer. I’ve had many furry friends throughout the years who I’ve had to say goodbye to and thier loss is still painful. If you have an elderly cat please hug them and let them know you love them while you can. I’m thinking of my 18 1/2 year old Bear cat and how this will probably be his last Christmas with us. I’m crying again.

  3. I lost 2 cats earlier this year; both were sudden (found them in the morning). It’s just not fair that we get so attached to them, and then they pass away. Guess the good, they die young, but still. so sad to lose them around Christmas. Take care!

  4. RIP Squirty, and my condolences to all those who loved him..It is so hard to say goodbye.I have a beautiful tuxedo named Jack, who is now 17 years old..He is now my oldest cat and seems to be in good health, but as we all do as we get older, slowing down..I love him up every day he is here with me..

  5. So sorry for your and your friend’s loss, especially at what is supposed to be a happy time of year. I read your recent post about that very thing. That he passed suddenly and peacefully is a small consolation I suppose and something that I ask the Universe for our guys.

  6. Very sorry for your and your friend’s loss. Now that my kitty is almost 19 it is always in the back of my mind that someday she will have to leave me, like all the others before her. I dread that day and appreciate every moment with my sweet fur baby.

  7. I have loved, and lost, four beautiful and wonderful cats; the last (latest?) way too early, and in a way I wouldn’t have anyone else lose an animal, misjudgement by a veterinarian. The Guinea pigs, rabbits and gerbil were heartbreaking for me, as a child to see gone, and my parents lost a dog and swore they would never get another animal. Twentynine years later the took care of, and saved, a very tiny five weeks old kitten that was about to be killed by a farmer. Lives are never long enough, and I do feel for Squirty’s ‘humom’ and for you Ingrid. I am sure he was loved and pampered all his life, and is missed by many people and his cat family. But loss is loss, we need to mourn in ur own ways. Sending love.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, Ingrid. He was such a handsome boy – and that white spot under his mouth! Be at peace, little one.

  9. Their is a time for every living creature to die. As a cat lover, I have lost several over a 50+ year interval. It is very diffcult when they must be put down, so, what I have done over the years is to bury my prized possession and immeditely bring a new prized possession into my life. That happened recently when I brought Liddi a magnificant Tortise Shell into my lfe the same day that Chole was put down. She now i the prize of my life.

  10. And May Chancy also be blessed with happiness and free from all pain and suffering. I can’t help but picture Squirty, Frodo, and Chancy together.

  11. I’m so sorry for your and for your friend’s loss, Ingrid and also for yours, Lilo. I know how hard it is to loose beloved cats and it always makes me sad when I hear that a furry family member passed away, even if we had never met.
    Sending you a big hug,

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s so wonderful how each cat has such a unique personality and Squirty was obviously no exception <3

  13. Sorry you had to lose Squirty. It always hurts, but it will get easier. I hope the good memories overpower the grief.

  14. I’m so sorry for their, and your loss. There just never seems to be words … safe Journey Squirty. You surely made a mark in the hearts of many, and now you’re going to be on the lips and in the hearts of so many more.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Ingrid…

  15. Yes, it is so sad to lose one of our feline children. We buried our Chancy today. It took all the “merry” out of Christmas. Chancy was a white cat, and as almost all white cats, he had had health problems throughout his life. Chancy had jumped death from the shovel several times, but this time, he did not make it. We had him euthanized to shorten his suffering. Chancy was 15+ years old.

    My condolences to Squirty’s “mom” and to all those who mourn him.

    • I am so sorry. I lost my Frodo tonight too. 17 years old and died from a sudden accident. We rushed him to the vet but it was too late. I found this page because I can’t sleep, trying to find a way to cope. One moment I was cooking Christmas dinner and play scolding him for being underfoot in the kitchen, and the next he was gone.

      • Oh Jessica, I’m so sorry. Such a devastating loss at any time of the year, but having it happen on Christmas Day just makes it so much worse. My heart goes out to you.

    • Jessica,

      I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Frodo. It is never easy to deal with the pain of loss of those you love. I am confident that your dear Frodo had a wonderful life filled with love and the best care.

      May your dear Frodo rest in peace.

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