I recently lost someone very important to me. My cat, Oscar.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, the fact that I’m so distressed over losing Oscar is something many people just can’t feel a lot of sympathy for. Plus, there are quite a few virulent cat haters out there. I’ve decided that cats need to chip in and hire a crack PR team, because cats have lower approval ratings than President Bush in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I’m so grateful to my friends and family who have been supportive over the last few days. But I miss Oscar so much. He was a good friend to me, and our house is empty without his friendly disposition and his playful antics.

I’m not sure how this will all work out logistically in the end, but I’m trying to find some comfort in D&C 29:24-25:

For all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof, both men and beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; And not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand.

I miss you, Oscar.


  1. not ophelia says:

    So sorry about Oscar. Cats are the best.

    We had to get rid of our cat a couple of years ago [he took a pretty serious dislike to one of the kids — and I can’t blame him, under those [repeated] circumstances I’d’ve bit her too] But I still miss him. Fortunately he was very adoptable and got snatched up right away.


  2. Aww, Elisabeth, I’m really sorry. I adore cats. I can’t have one in my current living situation, and I miss having a purring lump of fur sleeping next to my head.

  3. Elisabeth,

    My condolences. We recently had to put our Siberian Husky of 14 years to sleep and it was very very hard. A lot of people don’t really understand the bond of owners and pets, but I know what you’re going through.

    Hang in there and remember the good times. ;)


  4. I’ve met Oscar. He was a clever, expressive cat. I’m so sorry you had to lose him, E. I hope you don’t ever feel bad that you ache over losing him.

    I taught a woman on my mission who would only join our church (she said) because there was a place in our heaven for all the animals she had loved and taken care of it. Everything else was incidental.

  5. I would like to come back as a cat in the next life.

    Sorry about Oscar. I have a sad history of dead pets:

    Aged 6, Simon, cat, hit by a car
    Aged 12, Bella, cat, hit by a car,* cried all night
    Aged 14, Bambi, cat, hit by a car,* cried all night
    Aged 20, Winston, dog, died whilst on my mission, devastated
    Aged 30, Mamo, fish, Rebecca loses him down the drain whilst cleaning his tank, didn’t cry

    There is one cat left, Moses, who has got to be about 16. Last time I spoke with my mum, he was still going strong.

    *Our cats have always been neighbourhood cats. Trouble is, we live near a busy road.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m so sorry; my condolences for your loss.

    JL at Celibate in the City wrote about losing her cat recently.

    We have a 17-year old named “Playful,” but you would never know he was that old just to look at him. I’m sure sometime within the next few years we’ll have to go through this also. I’m not looking forward to it.

    Our theological speculatioons on the resurrection of animals are indeed an interesting twist for animal lovers to ponder.

  7. I still miss my dog, Taffy, from when I was a kid. She was a great, tan-colored mutt. Smart enough to untie knots and open gates, clever enough to escape from any yard. Really a great pet. She lived for a long time, too–just not long enough, right?

    Elisabeth, I’m sorry for your loss.

  8. Aaron Brown says:

    Sorry, Elizabeth. I know how you feel. When I was a kid, one of our cats was killed by a Raccoon. We held a full-fledged funeral for it, and my grandfather gave the funeral oration, making sure to comment on how we’d see our cat in the next life. I don’t much care if we do anymore, but I sure did then!

    Aaron B

  9. I’m sorry to hear that, Elizabeth. I still miss a lot of my childhood pets. This was on a “quote of the day” blog today:

    “The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.” – Doug Larson

  10. I have Ronan beat though:

    * Shannon, a collie, went lame and died
    * BlueLady, a collie, natural causes
    * Daisy, sweetest cock-a-poo in the world, hit by a car
    * Morris J Kitters III, cat, died of old age
    * Tippy, wonderful dog, my dad accidentally ran over
    * Lewis, wonderful dog, my dad accidentally ran over
    * Clark, snippy dog, lost all his hair and died
    * Porky, a huge cat (he used to drag home rabbits rather than mice), ran off into the wild
    * Princess, a sickly little cat, fell down dead at the bottom of our staircase
    * Sidney, little black dog (named for Sid Vicious), went deaf and then died of old age

    Then there were all the chickens, which we came home one weekend to find completely gone except for feathers all over the yard–and coyote footprints. And the sheep, which got loose one day and ate himself to death on the neighbor’s raspberry bushes. And the pigs, which, well, we slaughtered and ate.

  11. your dad ran over TWO dogs IN A ROW?

  12. Melissa says:

    Hi Elisabeth,

    I am terribly allergic to cats, but when I was a little girl I wanted a kitten anyway. I chose a white, fluffy pink-nosed kitten that I called Vanilla. The day we moved we couldn’t find the cat and I was beside myself. We finally had to leave without him.

    I prayed and prayed that he would find his way to our new house. Inexplicably, Vanilla did finally find us even though we’d moved more than 30 miles away. I’m sure many children have this experience and that it’s not at all unusual so if you think you can muster that little girl kind of faith, you might start praying that Oscar comes home.

  13. Seth R. says:

    I’m actually a sucker for all animals.

    Comes from my mom who once rescued and rehabilitated a mouse our own cat was playing with.

    I like cats. I like dogs.

    Who was that Catholic saint who was patron saint of all animals?

    I like that guy.

  14. St. Francis of Assisi. We used to take our dog to get blessed at the Feast of St. Francis at the cathedral of St. John the Divine. good times. Didn’t help our dog though, as he has no soul.

  15. Elisabeth says:

    Seth, I like St. Francis, too!

    St. Francis’ Prayer

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy;

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

    Thank you all so much for your well wishes. Oscar was such a vibrant soul (yes, he did have a soul!), and I miss him terribly.

  16. I grew up on a farm. Consequently, I personally killed and ate a few of my favorite pets.

    Nevertheless, I feel for those who lose loved companions.

  17. Elizabeth,

    I’m sorry for your loss–losing an animal friend can certainly be painful.

    I’ve had some great cats over the years. Tuni Tunafish Cool Cat was entirely gray and not a little stupid. He once got himself stuck deep in the woodpile–I could hear his meows, but no one believed me. It took my six-year old self two days to dig him out. He later fell down a window well and died before I could find him.

    When I was in high school I took a cat being given away in front of a grocery store on a whim. I seem to take my cats dumb, and like Tuni, Uncle Tom was not the brightest cat. It took him years to learn how to mouse–but we enjoyed watching him progress from grasshoppers (which made him sick) to mice (which he would lay on our doorstep as a trophy–and in so doing scare the bejesus out of my mother). He would suck on your ear lobe if you held him close to your face and in his later years he grew so fat that people would stop and comment. He constantly fought any and all takers–and as far as we could tell, lost to every one of them. His ears had the hammered look of a prize fighter and he once almost died of blood poisoning after a claw lodged in his shoulder. Of the dozens of pets that made their way through our home, he was the only one who ever saw a vet, because he was loved better than all the others.

    News of Tom, along with the rest of the family, was included in letters sent to me on my mission and he later greeted me when I would stop by for a day while in college. I was always his owner–as we often said “his favorite owner” although my mother, her own children leaving at a rate of one a year, loved him when no one else was there. He was a great cat–a thoroughly stupid cat–but an easy thing to love unconditionally. He died shortly after I moved to Manhattan of kidney failure. I miss the ball of fur curled up on the hood of whichever car had been driven most recently.

  18. Was Uncle Tom a house cat?

  19. UNCLE TOM?!!

  20. Elisabeth says:

    I hope Uncle Tom wasn’t a black cat :)

    Thanks for sharing your cat stories, Mathew! Hope you and Gigi (and the new baby) are well.

  21. Yeah, two dogs in a row–my poor dad. They had a habit of falling asleep under his truck.

  22. Pets are a big deal. I was sorry to hear your cat died. My wife grieved for days when her dog died and still tears up sometimes when she thinks about him. When we were at her parent’s house this past month, I kept looking over expecting to see him in one of his favorite spots. You definitely notice when they are gone.

  23. No, Tom was not a housecat. It goes without saying there was no racial undertone intended to his name.


    Thanks for asking–Gigi and Chloe are both well. I can say without reservation that a baby is even more fun than a cat, although considerably more work.

  24. Elisabeth says:

    Ronan #5 – as the Cheshire cat, perhaps? :P

    British shorthairs (the Cheshire cat’s breed) are so cute and so sweet they make your teeth ache.

  25. Boy, do I have a St. Francis story for all of you.

    When we first moved out to the Bay Area, a friend who’d moved out with us from Utah had just started at Hastings Law School. The Hastings student housing building looked out over a local Episcopal church dedicated to St. Francis, and every year on St. Francis’s feast day, parishoners took their pets into the sanctuary to be blessed by the priest.

    Our friend had grown up in Communist Russia, and his exposure to religion had been limited to Young Pioneers lectures about Christian cannibalism and blood sacrifice. He was aware that he’d been misinformed, but, well, one day he was sitting in his apartment studying when the church bells rang at an irregular time, and he looked out his window only to see people carrying cats and dogs, trooping into this church. He called me in a panic to find out whether he needed to call the Humane Society.

  26. Elisabeth says:

    Serenity – that’s a great story!! So nice of your friend to be concerned.

    (I’m brushing my teeth- it’s way past my bedtime now :)

    By the way, would it be disrespectful or against the rules to give a priesthood blessing to a sick pet? Just wondering.

  27. I’ve seen livestock blessed and have heard pioneer stories of blessing being pronounced on oxen.

  28. Didn’t help our dog though, as he has no soul.

    That’s what is strange about you. Most animals, the earth and other spheres have souls. You’ve managed to find an animal that doesn’t have one …

  29. ElouiseBell says:


    Don’t know details of the current doctrine on priesthood blessings for animals, but I do know that the sisters blessed birds and beasts from the earliest days, with great effect. Of course, they also blessed babies, men and women. Patty Bartlett Sessions, famed pioneer midwife and real estate maven, was frequently summoned BY the priesthood to bless the sick, she being known for that gift.
    Mules and horses received a good deal of laying on of hands, from one gender or t’other. Isn’t there an account of pioneer brethren blessing an ox that was deeply mired in mud?

    In any case, blessings on you now as you deal with your loss. Many of us empathize. We have a cat that is only two years younger than the vet, whom she sees regularly. She is pure white with imperious blue eyes (no, she’s not deaf); weighs under four pounds (has always been small but well formed), and has to be infused each evening for kidney problems. We can’t imagine daily life without her.