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February 3rd, 2013 Posted in Furballs

Quigley is gone.

Even looking at it in writing it still doesn’t seem real.  Those words don’t go together.  Quigley was supposed to stick around for the next 18 years and be my son’s best buddy.  They started it all together, but now he’s gone and it’s just not fair.  Then again, I am fond of saying that ‘fair’ is a place with rides, cotton candy and animal poop.

It’s still not fair.


Matthew has lost his best friend in the world.  As I left to take Quigley to the vet, Matthew and Quigley had one last headbutt.  I cried as I drove.

Quigley had FIP.  The vet told me that it comes on fast and there is no cure.  From Thursday when we notices some swelling in his abdomen to tonight when I took him in his breathing had become labored, he was in pain, and even just laying on his blanket was wearing him out.

He came into our lives the same way that Matthew did, and unexpected surprise that became a total joy.  He showed up on our doorstep and just invited himself to stay, literally.  I had taken the trash out on a Thursday night when I saw him next to our bin, hiding in the shadows.  He apparently saw a good mark because he came over and began rubbing against my leg.  He was thin, bony and very much in need of some food and water.


As I tried to go inside to get some for him he ran into the house, jumped up on the sofa and looked at me like “Oh, your home.  Nice to see you again.”  I’d like to say that I decided right then and there to keep him, but I hadn’t.  We already had four cats and I really didn’t want a fifth one.

It was the when he made himself best friends with Matthew that I knew we couldn’t get rid of him.  He had already become best pals with our other boys, Zane and Cooper, but when Matthew would use him as a pillow, or sit with Matthew looking out the back window for as long as Matthew wanted that I knew we had another member of the family.


If there was a cat version of Cool Hand Luke, it was Quigley.  He really was a cool cat.  The only one I know that would eat peas, carrots and green beans.  If Matthew ate it, so would Quigley.  He would nap wherever he wanted, floor, window, chair.  If he decided it was time for a nap, wherever he was would be the perfect spot for it.

I held him while they put the IV in.  I could feel him struggling to breath but I kept thinking to myself “Am I doing the right thing?”  What if I was wrong? What if the vet was wrong and somehow he could be healed and come back to us the happy, healthy tough guy that I loved?   Even as I asked myself this I knew it was just the faint voice of hope that makes us hesitate from doing what we know we must, because it is painful.  Releasing him so that he could be free of his pain hurt me, but what kind of person would I be to make him suffer more so that I could suffer less?


With the last injection he was gone.  And I cried.  I’m crying as I type this.  I feel guilty even though I did everything I could.  He was my responsibility and I failed him.  As I set him down all I could do was say “I’m sorry” over and over.

And I am sorry.  I’m sorry for the loss of a friend, and I’m sorry that he won’t get to grow up with my son.  Mostly though, I am sorry for me, because I miss him.

God bless you Quigley, he’s called home a very cool cat.

19 Responses to “Goodbye”

  1. Marnet Says:

    God’s Word tells us that He notes the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. So I have to believe He has a special place in heaven for His precious creatures, such as Quigley. Just so wish Quigley had had those many years more with you and being Matthew’s buddy that you had expected.

  2. Michele Spencer Says:

    I am so sorry that you had to let Quigley go. Blessings to you and the family. You were a hero you know, because who knows what would have happened to him if you had not made him part of your family. I will keep you all in my prayers. Shelley

  3. Lainey Says:

    Those who love animals and the joy they bring to our lives understand the pain you are feeling and the difficult but necessary decision you made for him. He brought joy to your home and to your son. I’m sorry Matthew has to learn this life lesson so young and I pray his little heart and soul won’t be pained for too long. I pray, too, for your heart. I know you “know” all the right things to say to yourself but the “feeling” sure do override that. Please be gentle with yourself. You gave Quigley a beautiful gift and he loves you from the Kingdom. Even though you have other kits, I’m sure, when the timing is right, Quigley will send another along. You saved his life when he entered your home and you saved his life from unbearable pain tonight. I pray comfort comes to your heart soon.

  4. Borepatch Says:

    That’s a fine and honest tribute to Quigley.

  5. SOM Says:

    Beautiful tribute, Instinct. . RIP Sweet Quigley.

  6. Liz AKA SM Says:

    It was beautiful to read the tribute and heartbreaking all at once. Quigley taught Matthew that unconditional love of a furry friend, and that is one of the greatest gifts ever, even with the heartbreak. Prayer are lifted for you all–Quigley will love on in memory and those photos are priceless!

  7. WWM Says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a much loved kitty. Although Quigley’s time with you was far too short, he knew and gave love. And he will live in your hearts and memories forever.

  8. Deb aka AZDeb Says:

    Godspeed Quigley, may you rest in peace. Watch over young Master Matthew, your friend and best bud. Thank you for giving Quigley the opportunity to share his love and goodness to your family. Bless all of you during this difficult time and very gentle hugs for Matthew. Your tribute is wonderful.

  9. Intuition Says:

    Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. It means so much to us. We are thankful for the time God lent a kitty as special as Quigley to us. He stole our hearts and the friendship he struck with our son will be a treasured memory forever. I admit, I had my doubts when I came down the stairs to see Instict holding a skinny new kitten while our other four were complaining to me and our new baby was crying in his crib. As a new stay at home mom I felt overwhelmed enough, and tried to resist Quigley’s charm. I never had a chance. He was a sweet little guy with the laid back attitude of a cowboy at 9 months old. Not only did he become best friends with my little boy, but he taught my other kitten Cooper how to stand up for himself. See, Cooper and Zane are the same age as Quigley and Zane was always picking on Cooper because he was smaller. Until Quigley showed him how to fight and played fair with him. Quigley was a blessing to our family and will be sorely missed.

  10. Jennifer Says:

    Beautiful tribute to a great friend. I’ve already said it, but I am so very sorry for your loss. They give us their whole lives while we only give them a piece of ours, but they leave their mark on us forever.

  11. Elene O'Rourke Says:

    Instinct, I’m so sorry for your loss of Quigley, your son’s best friend.

    On January 30th, last Wednesday, I had to let my special boy Munchie go to the bridge too, and for the same reason, FIP. My Munchie was a tuxie, almost 10 years old and the most unique cat ever. He ran into my house as I opened the door to take out the cans for trash day. He was so starved I just could not put him out. He got his name because he wouldn’t stop eating. He was my clown and the best ever greeter of company. He loved to curl across my shoulders and give ear nuzzles. Oh, I know how sad you feel, and I too am crying still. FIP is fatal, but I know I had the same last minute thoughts as you.

  12. falnfenix Says:

    i’m so, so sorry for your loss. they worm their way into our hearts, these fuzzy companions of ours, and when it’s time for them to go they take a little of us with them.

    may your heart heal in time.

  13. Six Says:

    I am so sorry instinct. At times like this words have so little meaning but I want to leave you with this. When it was trooper’s time I went through the same soul searching. I was haunted for a long time. Did I do the right thing? Was I too hasty? Did I kill my best friend? Lu got my head straight. She reassured me that I had done the right thing, indeed the only thing I could. In the end this is the last and hardest duty we have to our friends, that we see them ushered on to the next world as painlessly and lovingly as we can. That we be there to hold them and love them even as we give them up. It’s soul crushing but we owe it to them. Recognizing you have done right by your friend is hard, so very hard, but you did. It feels selfish but it’s the exact opposite. It’s love and Quigley knew you loved him. I promise you he did.

    Take some time and heal my friend. Cry and remember. Mourn for a lost friend you loved. But don’t doubt yourself or your decision. I’d put Angus’ fate in your loving hands any day. Call me if you need to talk.

  14. Instinct Says:

    Thank you everyone. It’s hard, and it hurts, but we are slowly moving forward.

    All of your comments DO help. It reminds me that I did do the right thing for a friend, and did the responsible thing as an adult.

    I probably won’t post for a bit while I regroup, but I am thankful for all of you.

  15. Rod Says:

    Poor kitty… :(

    Sorry to hear of your loss.

  16. Ailuromaniac Says:

    I was reminded of the story of Quigs adopting you today when my boss told a story of an old cartoon of someone trying to get rid of a cat.

    He put the cat outside to find it inside…
    Drove it blocks away to find it waiting when he got home.
    Dumping it farther out to find it waiting when he got home.
    After several other vinettes, the took the cat and strapped it to a railroad track in front of an oncoming train.
    The train hits and kills a cow, hits and destroys a car, hits the cat, cutting it’s bonds, and is derailed. The cat is waiting when the man got home.

    You were chosen for a brief moment to know one fine fellow.
    Your lives were enriched by his presence and though emptier now he has passed will reap many rewards before you meet him again. All because you did not tie him to that track.

  17. Lainey Says:

    Just thinking of all of you and hoping that you are feeling a little better. I know how hard it is. I can just see Quigley in the Meadow, romping and playing and every once in a while catching a glimpse of his human family and saying “thank you so much for loving me enough to end my pain and suffering… I’ll be waiting for all of you… for me it will be a twinkling of time for you many, many, many human years, but the Wolf has promised me that you know I love you and that we will all be together someday.”

  18. Emma Says:

    Nothing truly loved ever dies, as another tough guy said. You and Intuition and Matthew did a wild and wonderful and daring act: you let Quigley in. All the way in. Same thing he did for guys.

    And no, no one gets all the time he wants, but we get this time to know each other well and to love each other deeply, and sometimes that has to be enough.

    You are all in my prayers.

  19. Emma Says:

    Nothing truly loved ever dies, as another tough guy said. You and Intuition and Matthew did a wild and wonderful and daring act: you let Quigley in. All the way in. Same thing he did for you guys. (“YOU” got left out in the previous post — I am so sorry.)

    And no, no one gets all the time he wants, but we get this time to know each other well and to love each other deeply, and sometimes that has to be enough.

    You are all in my prayers.

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