In Loving Memory of Ruckus

PMousse

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Two weeks ago, after a two-months long courageous fight with multiple illnesses, my beloved Ruckus, aged 16, went to heaven.

In a way, I'd been preparing for this day since the day I got him. He was already 13 when I started fostering him and his now-departed older sister, Endora. They were a bonded pair and in palliative care from my local shelter; understandably, it was harder to find them a foster home. I was still grieving the loss of my cat, Ashton, and desperately wanted to do something as a tribute to Ashton, so I decided to foster Ruckus and Endora. From the moment they entered my home, they made it theirs. Within the first hour, they started rubbing themselves on my legs and demanding head scratches. And when Endora passed 6 months later, I adopted Ruckus.

So I always knew that my time with Ruckus would be shorter than the average, but that only made every day spent with him more precious to me. I always wondered how his name came to be, maybe when he was a youngster he was a trouble-maker, but as an old man, he was the biggest cuddle bug I'd ever met. Wherever I sat, in whichever time of the day, within 5 seconds I'd see Ruckus sitting beside my chair, looking up at me with his huge eyes, wanting to get onto my lap. As he settled himself into my lap, I would hear his purr loud as a lawnmower and feel the vibrations. Eventually, after having received ample chin scratches to his satisfaction, he'd settle down for a nice long nap. As I felt his warm face against my thigh and my legs slowly going numb, I felt my heart full.

Ruckus loved food, and that made him a motivated learner when I started teaching him tricks. Soon he learned Sit, Down, Paw, and High-five, much to my surprise and delight. He always performed them flawlessly, although sometimes, when he saw his favourite treats in my hands, he'd perform all these movements in one fluid motion without my issuing any of the commands, which always made me laugh.

Ruckus also loved chasing the wand toys. We had two play sessions every day, and when he was galloping after the wand toy across the house, he was a young cat, full of energy and focus. But over time, as he aged, his gallop slowed to a trot, then to a walk. In his last days, he barely showed any interest in any of the toys, nor the birds inches away from him outside of the sliding door.

If I could speak for Ruckus about what was his favourite time, I'd say it was bedtime. I placed a stepping stool next to the bed to help him get onto my bed, and every night without fail, the moment my head touched my pillow, I'd hear him hopping onto the stool. Looking over, I'd see his head popping up, and two seconds later, he'd hop onto the bed, wander over to me, and either push his head into my armpit or rest it on my shoulder. He was always the little spoon, and I'd fall asleep feeling his warmth and his soft fur. A couple of years later I welcomed another cat into the home, a youngster named Sushi, and while they got along, my bed was the one sacred place that Ruckus would not allow Sushi to be on. Poor Sushi tried to join the slumber party many a night only to be chased off the bed and out of the bedroom by Ruckus.

Ruckus had a coarse, rough growl of a voice that belied his sweet sweet nature. He was such a friendly, cuddly and gentle soul. His friendliness was extended to anyone who visited. I never once saw him running from strangers. Be them friends or repairmen or cable workers, anyone was his friend and no one could resist his huge eyes, his head bumps and his demand for scratches. I often wondered what his life was like in his first 13 years, but I believe that he had a good family who loved him and cared for him well, and for that I was grateful. I was also grateful that Ruckus got to spend the rest of his life with me, and felt really lucky that I could give him a comfortable retirement and have the financial means to meet his medical needs.

Speaking of medical, it all started with seemingly inconsequential sneezes at the beginning of July, but as they persisted and worsened, he started eating less and less. His trips to the vet became more frequent, more tests were run, more diagnoses were followed by more treatment plans...the weeks went by like a blur as I focused on doing everything instructed by my vet to care for him, wiping his nose, running the humidifier, enticing him to eat, and later, giving him multiple meds, constantly thinking of new ways to give him meds, tube feeding him. The last week was especially hard, as Ruckus spend three nights hospitalized, and I lay awake at home, missing him and fearing that I was inching closer to the question that my vet had said I should start considering, that it'd come a time when what was best for Ruckus was no longer the medical treatments...

The last few days at home was especially agonizing, as his latest diagnosis painted a grim picture and he continued to respond poorly to the latest treatments, I was faced with the impossible decision of whether to keep fighting or let him go. I had no answer even after crying many tears. Then one morning I looked at him, and it all became clear. He'd been sleeping on the doormat for two months, he'd barely move throughout the day, his breathing was labored, and his head bobbed weakly up and down as he breathed; when I picked him up, he was light as a feather. In that moment, I realized, he'd had enough; any more medical treatment would only be because I wanted to keep him longer--it'd be for me not for him. But the thing that mattered more, the only thing that mattered, was him, was to not prolong his suffering.

I lay down next to Ruckus and told him this decision, and I thanked him for all the love, joy and healing he'd brought me. Much to my surprise, with a force he had not possessed since his health went downhill, Ruckus pushed his head into my chest, and for the first time in two months, he purred. Then he surprised me even further and did something he had not had the energy to do in the last two months--he got up and walked through every room of my house. He even went under my bed and took a brief tour of the balcony. He was saying goodbye.

Life is not measured in length, but in depth. And my life is made richer by Ruckus. Thank you for filling the hole in my heart when Ashton was gone, Ruckus. Thank you for your unfailing love and constant companionship in the last three years. Thank you for all the joy and laughter you've brought me, Thank you for coming into my life. I love you. Now run free with Ashton and Endora in heaven.

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Maria Bayote

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Such beautiful tribute to an equally beautiful cat. Made me cry reading your post, as I can feel your sadness, grief and love all together.

Rest now, Ruckus. You were loved dearly. Run free on an endless field of grasses and blooms. You have earned your wings, sweet sweet boy.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Ruckus, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.

This is what I know, to the depths of my being, that love does not die, it only changes form and continues on, still Love. Ruckus' love for you, now translated and purified into Love, he has sent back to you, along with the Loves of Ashton and Endora, to walk beside you down through all your days.
 

di and bob

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To be missed and loved after death is a great honor, your tribute is another. His love will forever be a part of your soul, it is spiritual, so eternal. He came to you when your heart needed someone so badly, and his needed someone too. He was in your life for a reason, to have never known his and his sweet sister's love is unthinkable, they brought so much to your home and your heart. Though their love and companionship were measured in a shorter span of time, it was enough to enrich your life immensely. They did their job well......
Time is the only thing that takes the sharp edges from grief, try not to dwell on his last days but to celebrate the happy times you spent together. There is no truer saying than "Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened.....
My heart and prayers are with you, I know both their little souls are at peace because they carried your love within them. Ruckus thanks you for making his remaining years full of caring and love, and he leaves a piece of his soul behind to bring you comfort when you need it the most. He is forever as close as your memories and prayers.....RIP sweet Ruckus. You will always be dearly missed, you will forever hold a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again.
 

Krienze

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Though your time with him was short, it sounds so full of love. What beautiful memories you have!

Ruckus was a beautiful cat and I'm sure he has reunited with Endora, who no doubt was met by Ashton and any other animal you've loved and lost. They'll wait for you together.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.
 

les26

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The ending to this beautiful love story is sad but it does not take away from the wonderful things that you both gave to each other, and thank you for taking in an older cat, they most times get neglected because of their age but they will reward you many times in many ways as you found out.

It was his time to leave, sadly, and he let you know at the end, but you also let him know and he could understand and was not only telling you he did but also saying "thank you for what you did for me". And when you meet again one day down the line he will tell you again.

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I am sorry for your loss, I hope that your heart heals a bit more each day, God Bless.....:alright: :grouphug2: :rbheart:
 

Tik cat's mum

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I'm so sorry for your loss, that was a beautiful tribute. Ruckus was a lucky boy to have you in his life I'm sure he knew that. So sweet he said his goodbye to you. RIP sweet Ruckus :rbheart:
 

betsygee

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Oh, Ruckus was such a beautiful boy. :hearthrob: Your tribute is so lovely. It was so good of you to take in an elder kitty knowing the time together would be short. You and Ruckus were lucky to have found each other, and had a wonderful three years together.

Rest in peace, little man. :rbheart:
 
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PMousse

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Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and such kind words!! :grouphug2: I got Ruckus' paw print back today and will frame it and hang it on my wall.
 

neely

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I literally teared up when I saw your pictures and read your tribute to Ruckus. 😹 He was an absolutely striking boy. You not only adopted him and gave him a forever home but you were truly devoted to him. And in return he gave you unconditional love until he departed. RIP sweet angel. :angel:
 
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