Hazel 2006 – 2018 RIP

After boasting that I had no cat losses in 2018, Hazel got ill last weekend. She was hacking with what I thought was a hairball off and on for a few weeks but stopped eating. I took her to the local emergency veterinarian on Monday. She had advanced congestive heart failure and a large tumor in her abdomen. The prognosis for either one was not good and combined…really not good. She was ready to go.

Hazel was a planned cat. I decided to get a young companion for Mollie as Jake was older and not into playing. Hazel was one of those cats that was less likely to be adopted. She was part of a feral litter and wasn’t socialized as a kitten. She was somewhere between 6 and 9 months old and looked like a homely adult cat. She cowered in the back of the carrier at an adoption event and was a drab gray color. Nothing about her said “Adopt me please.” That meant I had to adopt her. Fortunately, she grew into her over sized ears and turned out to be a beautiful tabby.

An old photo of besties Mollie (left) and Hazel shortly after adoption.

She spent the first two weeks under a bed. I credit Mollie with coaxing her out. Mollie gave her a tour and showed her the ropes (which included how to get anything you want out of the humans).

Hazel chilling out on the dining room table, where she wasn’t allowed.

She never was a lap cat but eventually she was content to sit next to me quietly. She fit in very well. Jake liked her (a miracle!) and she claimed the toys she liked best. When Morgan and Gracie joined the team, she welcomed them without a hiss.

Hazel at her largest, before diets.

She was the hardest to crate for the trip to the vet. She challenged me to come up with all sorts of tricks but the best was to get the first appointment in the morning and swoop her up when she came for food.

She loved to eat. We discussed diets all the time. She rolled her eyes. We tried different foods. She ate them all but some of them weren’t her favorites and she let me know. Although she was a large cat, she could fade into the wall and slink around to steal the other cats’ food without anyone noticing. She was very stealthy.

She hadn’t been here too long when she leaned on an upstairs window screen, pushing it out of the window and falling out the second story window. I heard the screen snap (I was in the room next to it) and the beloved husband, who was having coffee on the porch, saw the screen fly out followed by a cat.

She fell into a bush, extricated herself, walked to the door and went back up to the same window. What a cat! She had a soreness in her leg but nothing was broken.

Aside from weight issues and battling chronic diarrhea in the past year or two, she has been a healthy and trouble-free cat.  She enjoyed watching Morgan catch mice (rather than catch them herself). Her idea of exercise was to use her paw (and not her whole body) to catch something. If it was out of paw range, exercise was over. (Yes, there are a lot of us like that!)

Synchronized gazing with Morgan

The picture in Sunday’s post was the last picture taken. She was loved. We all miss you Hazel! A lot!

141 thoughts on “Hazel 2006 – 2018 RIP

  1. Kate, I am so so very sorry. You’ve written such a beautiful tribute to beautiful Hazel here. It’s made me cry. She had a very special life and place in her household, thanks to your kindness in adopting her. There is something about an easy cat that is so appreciated by anyone with multiple cats. But who could have known? She could have been a terror. So thank you so much for giving her a wonderful life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been very lucky. Hazel was incredibly easy except for eating too much. Had I know she was so ill, I would have given her all her favorite things to eat. Morgan, also adopted because she was less desirable, is a perfect cat too. Gracie can be a handful but it’s her attention craving and not anything truly bad. None of this crew is aggressive or unfriendly to each other. No bites or scratches although Mollie will give Gracie a warning hiss if she smells her butt too long.


  2. I’m shocked and heartbroken for you, Kate! How quickly things change! What more can I say except I’m really so sorry. We all know a pet’s life is brief, but there isn’t a one of us who doesn’t mourn when they leave us. Bless you all! Give my hugs to her “siblings.” They must miss her, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Kate I am so sorry for your loss!! She was a beautiful cat and I will miss her pictures and hearing about her. Thanks for sharing her with us and my thoughts are with you all!! ❤ How are Mollie and Gracie handling it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been away from the blogging world for the holidays and just saw this subject heading pop up in my email.

    I know what you mean about wishing you had known sooner (in your comment). I think we all feel that way when it comes to our pets. They can’t talk to us, so we don’t know what’s going on in their systems. By the time the symptoms show, it can be too late.

    I know how difficult it is to make that decision and then have to miss their large presence in our lives. My heart breaks for you. I always get teary when a friend has to go through this kind of loss. Comforting hugs, Miss Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s such a large emptiness when you lose a cat.
    She was obviously waiting for yo as a kitten – knowing her perfect home would only be with you and those who were lucky enough find your home…some have GPS built in.
    Selective eater, and one who exercised by paw – what a great gal.
    We’ll miss you Hazel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely memorial “essay” you write about Hazel here. I can feel her rubbing against my leg, meowing in a beautiful way. Of course, she’s still there around you and yours – just a shadow in the corners at times. Sending you a hug of love and sorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh Kate, I am so sorry for your loss! I know how hard it is to lose one of your babies! She had a wonderful life with a great human and the rest of her cat pack – though I know that doesn’t make it any easier for you. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. RIP indeed, Hazel.
    We’ve just been through all that with Tess, a member of our Pooch Pack. All are aging. On the Kitty Klub side, they keep adding themselves. The latest black has now progressed from under house or bed to coming fairly close and getting on beds at night. No hands to come anywhere near, though! Unless under a blanket when they get pounced on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awww, Hazel! So sorry to hear this. What a wonderful cat she was, and THANK YOU for being a woman after my own heart and adopting one of the underdogs (or cats). How lucky Hazel was to find you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh. I’m so sorry. From all of your stories, I identified with Hazel most.
    I love that window story. She was Not going to let ANYONE think that was a mistake. Totally on purpose. Act Cool and no one will know. I love that in cats.
    It’s so painful when they leave us. It’s so unfair that they can’t live longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t lost a cat to illness at such a youngish age so it was a shock. She was a cool cat. She went wherever she wanted but very quietly so we didn’t know she was where she wasn’t supposed to be. She was a smart cat.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So sorry to hear about the loss of Hazel. Though I haven’t been following you long, it is easy to see how much you love and adore these kitties and the feeling is mutual. I’m sure it is not just you and your husband feeling the loss, but the other kitties as well. I remember Carol told me that after Harley June was gone – it made her sad to watch them looking lost and prowling around the house looking for her or gazing up at the cat tree as if they hoped to see her materialize. You’ll always remember this loss at the holidays going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The holidays are the worst time for a loss of any sort. We had the decorations up but there was no happy. The first thing I did when I came home was to throw the poinsettia in the trash. Everything is down and boxed now and surprisingly that feels better. I don’t want twinkling lights when my heart is hurting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean Kate. I live alone and work from home and have no family – I lost both my birds, just before Christmas. I did not have them at the same time either, so sad timing. Both of them sang their hearts out to Christmas songs – I have not listened to Christmas music in two years -I just don’t want to be reminded of my loss. And when I lost Buddy two years ago, I decided no more pets – too much pain.

        Liked by 1 person

          • That’s what people tell me is that I need a pet again, but I am so reluctant – that is why I spoil the squirrels so much … I figure I can interact with them and spoil them and no ties (though I worry about them between the hawks and the coyotes, both which seem to be absent at the present time). I am soft-hearted and actually wanted to become a veterinarian, except my grades were not good in maths and sciences, so I had to abandon that dream. I’m not sure I’d have had the stomach for seeing animals in pain though, so maybe it is best that was not my chosen career.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Our vet says that feral cats that didn’t have enough to eat often overeat if they can to protect them for when food is not available. In all her years here, that never happened but she continued to eat anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so sorry, Kate. So many things you shared to love and smile about with Hazel. I loved that she loved to sprawl out on the dining room table.. you know, where she wasn’t allowed. Love the picture of the synchronized gazing with Morgan. You have so many great photos and memories. She will stay close to your heart. A very sweet tribute to your Sassy Cat. I am so happy she had a home with you to the very end. All kitties deserve that kind of love and respect… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I’m so sorry and so sad to hear about Hazel. She was lucky to have had a good life with you and the rest of the gang. Hopefully she is somewhere where the word “diet” will never be spoken again.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OH NO!!! Not Hazel! Yes, I’m all welly too 😢

    What a little sweetheart to give you no trouble right to the end. She had a very good life, thanks to you, and I believe she knew it … the proof was laying on the dining room table 🙂

    We shall all miss her 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh Kate, so very sorry to hear of your loss. Hazel looks (and sounds) a lot like my tabby girl Jazzy that I lost this past August. 2018 was a bad year for cats in my circle of friends this year. My best friend lost her tabby kitty (Millie had symptoms like you described for Hazel) just two weeks before Christmas and I know of 4 other cases of cat loss this past year. I have decided not to get another cat but I won’t say never…..I still do miss her presence. Enjoy your other kitties for as long as you have them Kate – in my experience there are no two alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is me seeing the notification for this post in my inbox: “NO! NononononoNO! NOT HAZEL!”

    This is me reading your post: “Sniffle, sniffle, of course you had to let her go. The right thing to do…sniffle, HAHAHAHA, out the window, so awesome…HAHAHAHA, diets, yeah, that’s me, too Hazel, sniffle…”

    This is me typing my comments: “Waaaaah, damn it, I need more tissues.”

    What a great cat, and what a great cat mom. So sorry for your loss.


    Liked by 1 person

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