Farewell to Ralph the Cat
We lost a good long term member of the crew today. Ralph the cat passed on to the other side in our house. He went as good as any of us can hope to. On his own terms, a VERY old man while being pet by Dorothy. How old? We don’t exactly know but we first found him in 1996 and he was at least four years old at that time. By that estimate which might be low he was 23.
Of those years we had 19 good ones with him. He lasted though six houses and apartments, moved from Texas to Pennsylvania, back to Texas, up to Arkansas and back to Texas one more time. He lived his last few years in real happiness. He had three acres to patrol and in is old age senility probably didn’t realize it was the dogs that kept all other competitors away.
He killed many a mouse in his day. He was a fighter and though declawed by a previous owner held his own, though we had to deal with a few bad battle wounds a time or three. To drive home how long this guy was with us, his death was preceeded by the following pet contemporaries, Alice One (cat), Victor (cat), Lakota (Siberian Husky) and Blackie (Black Lab Mix). We are talking almost two decades folks.
The place won’t be the same without him. I will miss the old man, but again not many of us get to die so well loved, cared for and under our own terms at such an old age. He was looking thin and you could tell he was on his way out for quite a few months, but even just a few days ago he was eating like a king, still able to jump up onto the chairs and tables and was in pretty good spirits.
We shall miss you buddy! Hope you are enjoying shrimp on the other side!
A note of advice, if you love your pets in this day and age where everyone has a camera and video camera on their phones, take lots of pictures and videos. Because Dorothy thought to grab the camera one night, we will also have this video from back in 2009 when our buddy was still in pretty prime shape.
Note my gut, I wasn’t in such great shape at the time. So he even outlasted my gut!
VFDPrim form zello just wanted to say sorry you lost the old boy but im glad you had a good long time with him and im sure he is enjoying that shrimp on the other side
RIP Ralph. You done good.
RIP Ralph. long live the great mouse hunter.
damn… it’s hard when they go, even though you are sort of expecting it. We never REALLY expect it. That’s a long time to have a critter.. they become family for sure…..
RIP four-legged friend. Sorry for your loss Dorothy & Jack.
Saddened by your loss . Rest in Peace Ralph. Happy for you that you had almost 20 years to enjoy his love.
A cat that eats Jalapenos. 51 and I thought I saw everything…
I should live so long
RIP Ralph! You lived a very good life, and lasted longer than some marriages! Glad at the end you were with your family.
Sorry for your loss!
A touching tribute, Jack. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Sorry for your loss, but hope you will keep many sweet memories of your ol’ boy.
I’m sorry for your loss Jack…I just found a tiny kitty a few months ago that looks just like him…..It was 30 degrees outside and he jumped in my truck and buried himself in my coat LOL …I just had to take the little fellow in the house and show him to Lori…He’s lived with us ever since…He’s damn good Cat….I feel for you brother!
It’s hard to lose a pet but there is comfort in knowing that you provided him with a good loving home for so many years. Condolences to you and Dorthy and may the memories of Ralph always bring a smile to your face.
Sorry for your loss. Your video of him is one of my favorites.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. No matter how old they get, or how happy their lives were, loosing their friendship leaves a big hole.
A fitting tribute for a pet, friend or family member. Well done, Jack. RIP Ralph.
Sorry to hear about Ralph. I remember a few years ago you quoted James Kavanaugh’s dedication to “There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves,” where he wrote of “A cat named Ralph who makes me laugh and feel loved.”
You had one too.
sorry for your family’s loss…
Hard to lose a family member. Lost my dad a month ago. Cats and dogs can be as close 23 is a good old age for a cat.
I’m sorry for your loss. I really like that video that is one to cherish. His patients, being a cat that is, is amazing.
RIP Ralph. I enjoyed your company during the workshops.
I’m sorry to hear you and Dorothy lost a family member, Jack. Ralph was obviously a good friend. How wonderful that you were able to give him such a loving home and share this life with him for 19 years.
It’s going to be a grand reunion! See ya’ll over the Rainbow Bridge!
“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. ”
Sorry for your loss.
So sorry, Jack. Sounds like you and Dorothy provided an awesome life for him. I’m sure he appreciated it.
Great Tribute Jack.
I forget the year, 80s or 90s but while maintaining apartment buildings in the ghettos of Los Angeles County, specifically Long Beach.
Discovered a kitten, probably born under house nearby, and thought “OMG, if the kids around here got him they would torture him to death: So I swooped him up, put him in my 1971 F-250 work truck and at the end of the day took him home, to the High Desert, Palmdale/Lancaster CA and introduced him to my son, who was about (I think) 11 at the time.
That kitten … I was my cat’s Mom, we bonded.
I never named it, sometimes it was good kitty, sometimes bad kitty… but I swear someone was living in there, pretty good evidence for reincarnation.
He had a very interesting life. Only lived 12 years but they were intense, in a good way. Except… in the High Desert, we had a cat door so he could come and go as he pleased and there came a day when I realized he was sleeping in the same spot for 3 days so I did the Boy Scout first aid thing and realized he had a big gash on his flank. Outside running with the coyotes is my theory and I had to laugh at myself after realizing I was yelling at my catfor making the tactical error of turning his back on the enemy, he should have stood his ground and died with honor like a Klingon.
So I violated my policy about not spending $ on pets and took him to the vet.
After my amicable divorce (16 years of marriage) I gave him to my former wife and son (who was about 14 at the time) and this cat, having followed me through the changes, I had to become a truck driver so gifted him to my former family and he lived a few more years. Funny as hell: ex-wife reported that the cat (they lived in a condo and left the sliding glass door open) would let other cats in but would not let them out. Yea, I taught my cat how to be a warrior. Ex-wife came home one day to find blood all over the wall because my cat was kick ass, and maybe a little crazy.
After about 12 years of life he stopped eating, got skinny and had to be put down. He lost it, we don’t know if it was cancer or what. He had a good life. I miss my cat. But it was a good ride.
For both of us.
Thanks for the vid Jack.
We have 2 felines, don’t know what i’d do if they were not here.
They’re better friends that most people i’d rather not know.
RIP Ralph your work is done here.
When you get a Good family pet you wish they would always be in their prime.
My sister has a dog that is in failing health. Spike is his name and he is a Big black lab who.could look you in the eye if he jumped up on you. He was named after the vampire on Buffy the vampire slayer. His name fit him to, one day I was watching him while my sister was on vacation and I saw him throw in the air what I thought was a squeak toy, but was a mouse that got in the house. That was not the only mouse he ever got too another mouse had his own exit through a Crack under the front door and I was told he chased it out through that Crack and them waited right there until the mouse came back and lets just say that mouse was never a problem again I was told.
like I said he is in failing health has lost 2 toes to cancer and is a little unsteady on his paws but at age 13 he now has a girlfriend named Willow that my sister adopted last year. I am sure at his great age he is like an old man tolerant of the antics of the young with just enough Wisdom to teach her a thing or two.
When he passes he will be missed and maybe he will teach Willow a little of what she needs to know to protect his family when he is gone.
In closing their are pets and then their are four legged family members. When you get an animal it is a pet, but in time they become family members. It would be a sad day if all our animal family members dissappeared no dogs no cats anywhere it would be like chopping our arm off. Without them the world would not be the same. If we ever make it into outer space we need to make sure we bring our four legged family members with us too.
Nice tribute Jack. I had a similar relationship with a black cat we got back in 93. We named him Ozzy, but called him by many variations of the name lol. That cat had been a faithful companion for 20 long years, he was always there, doing his thing day in day out. It’s a fact that no other living thing had been an integral part of my life for as long. I miss him as much as any person I’ve ever had to say goodbye to, he lived a great life and will be forever loved.
Sorry for your loss. It sounds like Ralph lived a wonderfully full life.
It’s hard when a member of the family goes, remembering all the good times is what we have. I know he will be missed.
Hi Jack, Dorothy and other critter lovers,
Having everything from cats to cattle, I know how we come to care about them. Now, with two rescue dogs and five feral cats (“bush cats” as they are also known by here), one of those cats who is “20-something” gets somewhat special care, but not quite what is described below.
A good friend, entrepreneur and musician wrote the following poem about what he needed to do for his elder-cat.
SQUEEZING THE CAT
I take our old orange striped cat
outside to help him pee.
He’s eighteen years old,
and his back legs sprawl,
and his bladder cannot feel
or tell his brain that he is full.
Nerve damage, they say,.
So three times a day
I take him out,
press and massage his bladder
until his sphincter opens
and the cat juice flows
orange upon the ground.
His back legs kick reflexively,
he claws at leaves,
but then I take him inside
and he waddles over to his bowl,
and he looks at me,
and says out loud,
“Where’s the chow?”
I feed him one more time.
I know it’s not great to live this way.
He used to hunt rats and mice
Now he says canned cat food seems so nice.
I give him all he wants
five or six times a day.
I do love him
so I’ll squeeze him dry;
he is my orange striped cat.
When it’s time to go
he will let me know
and I will live with that.
But until then I will go on
squeezing the cat.
It stinks where I squeeze him dry,
and these days he poops wherever he is.
I never even saw him pee before.
He always buried it out in the woods.
as any proper cat would.
I know it’s not a great way to live,
but he loves to eat.
He used to be polite and quiet.
Now he wakes the house every morning
querulously demanding to be fed.
Well, he is old.
And when you scratch his head
his golden eyes squint,
and he tips his head
this way and that,
scratch behind this ear, oh yes,
and now behind the other,
underneath the chin,
around the back,
and isn’t it time for a snack?
I know it isn’t a great way to live,
but who am I to tell him that his life isn’t worth living?
When he can still enjoy these simple things,
and a sunny place on the porch to nap,
and someone to give him a timely squeeze.
The day will come,
probably not too far away,
when he tells me
that he is tired of it all
and it is time to go.
He will know.
I will know.
And as the vet
gives him the needle of mercy
I will hold him
and tell him
he is a good kitty.
Will someone someday do this for me?
Take my hand, and help me up
so I can go and pee?
And when finally
I have had enough of this sweet life,
hold me and gently
tell me goodnight,
and please then give me the merciful needle,
and tell me I was a good cat.
I’d like that.
Condolences to you Jack & Dorothy,
Deepest sympathies, Jack & Dorothy. I know you’ll miss him. I still miss the cats we had when we were first married some 30 years ago (they all lived into their 20’s) even though we have three cats now who are members of the family. You guys gave Ralph a good home and lots of love. He was one of the lucky ones!
I remember Ralph from a year+ ago when I had the mobile battery bank class at Jacks. Ralph was partly deaf and blind and he’d be sleeping and you’d go and pet him and he did not know you were coming and when you touched him he got started for a second until he realized Oh…someone is loving me and then he’d push against you as you petted and scratched him. Tabbys are such good cats. I have 2 of them at home.
I’m so sorry for your loss Jack and Dorothy. I’ve had many four-legged family members pass over the years, and even though it absolutely broke my heart every time I could never imagine a home without pets. Ralph lived his life surrounded by people that loved and adored him…we should all be so fortunate.
So sorry to hear about the passing of Ralph. He’ll be missed. For 23, it was a long and good life.
I’m sorry. 🙁 It’s hard to lose an animal who’s been with you for a long time. You can really love your fur buddies. RIP Ralph.
Great Tribute to a Great Cat. Thanks Jack.
That’s one good looking cat, be strong bruv I’m sure he’s in a better place. Always hard losing a member of the family like that. Take care buddy
My deepest condolences. 🙁
I’m so sorry to hear that Jack.
Wow, reading these posts, what a great group we have here
Kudo’s to all
RIP, beautiful Ralphie. You had a helluva good run with a helluva good family. If only all pets could be so fortunate.
Glad he chose you guys, and you had such a great life with him. My deepest condolences for your loss, and greatest cheers for the good fortune of having him for so long.
Sorry for your loss.
So very sorry for you and Dorthy’s loss.
I’m sorry for your loss Jack.
So, so sorry for your loss. It’s such a tough thing to lose them. I’m sure he had an amazing life. <3
Been there with the loss of an animal. They are like family, wishing you guys the best.
Could tell Ralph was close to the end at the workshop a few weeks ago, however he still made the rounds for some head scratchings and was able to beg some food from those in attendance! He had a good life till the end.
That’s the thing about pets, no matter how long they live it is never quite enough.
My condolences Jack and Dorothy. RIP Ralph.
Dorothy and Jack-
I am truly sorry for your loss. Ralph was a cool old cat. I have been to your property many times and he was fun around the picnic tables. He will be missed.
Sorry for the loss of your kitty! We live on 40 acres in Northern California and we lose them all the time. Just when you think you have a keeper they go missing. It’s so sad but we need them to help with the mouse population. When you get those ones that stick with you for many years losing them is really tough, I feel for your loss.
sorry to hear. my old cat died a few years ago at 19. a long life out side and independent.