Goodbye, Harleycat

This week, we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Harley. She lived a good life, and she was part of our family for more than 17 years. She was my first cat, and to me she is everything that is lovely about cats. She was strong, independent, opinionated, loving, and loyal.

Little Harley in her new home.

We found Harley in 2003 through a feline rescue service. She was about 8 months old, and had just been spayed when we met her, yet she climbed onto my husband’s lap and fell right asleep. Her name was Shadow at the time, which neither of us liked. We were sitting in bed with her that first night, and her purrs were so loud they reminded us of our downstairs neighbors’ motorcycles. So Harley it was.

Cats like to attach themselves to one person, and Harley was very much my husband’s cat. But she always let me know she loved me, whether it was sitting with me in front of the fire or leaping to comfort me when I cried at a sad movie.

In 2006 we decided she needed company, so we adopted a younger cat, Samwise. Harley tolerated Sammy like an annoyed older sister, but she let him eat her food and lick her ears. I don’t know what they talked about, but I think they were good company for each other.

Harley loved sitting in a patch of sun, burrowing her face into shoes, and curling up in a basket. She would wait for us near the front door when we came home, and outside our bedroom door each morning. She was friendly when our friends came over, and although she could be prickly when she was younger, she became a marshmallow as she got older.

I know that pet owners everywhere have to make the decision of when to euthanize a beloved companion. It’s what we sign up for. I know letting her go was the right thing to do, but it was also one of the hardest things I’ve done. I know she’s at rest now. But I miss her so much.

She left her mark in so many ways, and she won’t be forgotten. Farewell, Harley-cat.

  16 comments for “Goodbye, Harleycat

  1. February 21, 2021 at 9:28 am

    So sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing her life and habits with us, we haven’t got to this stage with our two, but your description reminds me of our cats, the one we adopted at 8 months and the rescue and the tolerance they have for each other.

    • February 21, 2021 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Claire, and I hope you have a long time to enjoy your two cat “siblings”. We’re feeling sad for the one that’s alone now, but it’s hard to tell how he’s doing. I appreciate your kind thoughts.

  2. February 21, 2021 at 10:38 am

    I feel with you, and I am sorry for your loss. My cat‘s gone less than half a year, and it got easier just recently, if that’s any consolation for you.

    • February 21, 2021 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you Andreas, I appreciate your kind thoughts. At least I feel we did the right thing, but it’s hard right now not to see her everywhere. I’m sure that will get easier, though I know we’ll always miss her.

  3. The Herbal Toad
    February 21, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Harley sounds like she was a great companion. I am deeply sorry for your loss. We have two black cats ourselves, and have suffered the loss of others in the past. It is an incredibly difficult thing.

    • February 21, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you, she was a great companion. This was my first time going through this, but I know it won’t be the last (our Sammy is 15). We love our black cats — if others don’t want to adopt them, we are happy to.

  4. February 21, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, so sorry you had to say goodbye to your dear, sweet cat. It is so hard, but definitely part of being part of a pet’s life is saying goodbye. I particularly love black cats. Take care.

  5. February 21, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    I’m so sorry. Its so hard isn’t it. I had to have my last cat put down 2 years ago as she had a tumour in her stomach. It was so upsetting that I cant bring myself to get another cat yet.

  6. February 21, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing your memories. I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved pet but glad you had so many years of her companionship.

  7. Cori
    February 21, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    So sorry for your lost, what a sweet post about her! So glad you have so many great memories! My cat is 14 and I know there will be a day in the coming years to make a tough but loving decision too. Sending Hugs!

  8. February 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Aww, I’m so sorry you had to say bye to Harley cat.

  9. February 24, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    A wonderful tribute and she was so so beautiful! I am sorry for your loss and I can see she was very loved and a happy cat.

  10. Izabel Brekilien
    February 26, 2021 at 8:14 am

    I’m so sorry you had to let her go, I can relate – happened to me too 😥 *virtual hugs*

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