Ms. Watson: 2008–2023

Yesterday was a sad day for us. Our cat, little Ms. Watson, had been doing poorly, and when we took her to the vets, the diagnosis was liver cancer. As Ms. Watson had lost one pound in three weeks—a lot for a cat who only weighs twelve pounds—and had stopped eating, we decided to have her put down. Clif and I decided there was no sense in prolonging her misery, and our vet agreed.

Still, how hard it is to watch a beloved pet die, and I made use of the tissues in our vet’s office. We stayed to the very end, patting Ms. Watson’s head and talking to her. She was fourteen years old and had lived a long life, but we were hoping to have her for a few more years. We always want more, don’t we?

Ms. Watson was one of the sweetest cats we have ever had, but she came to us as an afterthought. Fourteen years ago, I went to the local humane shelter to pick up an orange kitten I had seen listed on their website. (I have a special fondness for orange cats.) In the cage with the orange kitten was his litter mate, a little black and white female.

The man working at the desk said, “I’ll give you two for the price of one.”

“Okay,” I said, figuring the kittens would keep each other company, and home I came with the orange kitten—Sherlock—and his black and white sister—Ms. Watson.

As it turned it out, Sherlock was a real handful. On a good day, you might call him “a character.” On a bad day, well never mind that. Let’s just say Sherlock was an alpha cat supreme, and he never let Ms. Watson forget who was in charge. Bullying would not be too strong a word to describe how he treated her.

Ms. Watson, on the other hand, was a sweetheart from beginning to end. Two years ago, when Sherlock was partly paralyzed and lying on the kitchen floor, Ms. Watson slowly approached him and gave him one, two, three soft licks on the head. (A little later, I took Sherlock to the vets to be put down, and, yes, I cried for him, too.) I think Ms. Watson understood how sick Sherlock was and was showing her sympathy.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Watson loved being an only cat. She became queen of the house and could roam freely without fear of being bullied by Sherlock. At night, when I watched T.V., my lap was her favorite place. She became very talkative, meowing her greetings or her displeasure, depending on the situation. In the morning, when I turned on our gas heater, she came running to sit by it and absorb the warmth.

However, the happiest day of Ms. Watson’s life was when our daughter Dee came to stay with us in the summer of 2021. Dee is a cat lover, and Ms. Watson, usually very shy, decided that Dee was her special person. Each morning, before Dee got up, Ms. Watson would be waiting by the door, and as soon as Dee opened it, Ms. Watson meowed her greeting. She often stayed in Dee’s room during the day, keeping Dee company while she worked remotely. It was a mutual admiration society, and Dee loved Ms. Watson as much as Ms. Watson loved Dee.

Ms. Watson’s passing is the end of an era for us. For the first time since we moved into this house—nearly forty years ago—we do not have any pets. For various reasons, we don’t plan on getting another cat, and this makes Ms. Watson’s passing all the more poignant.

Farewell, Ms. Watson. How we miss you. You will be in our hearts forever.




80 thoughts on “Ms. Watson: 2008–2023”

  1. Laurie and Clif, I join you in your sorrow on the loss of Miss Watson. I was a fan of all your pets I came to know on your blog, dog Liam and cats Sherlock and Miss Watson. May the good memories bring you comfort. Daffodils will go in the garden for her.

      1. It never gets any easier. A relative back east just had to put their old cat Harry to sleep. Affectionately known as “Prince Harry”, he was an adopted rescue of unknown age, and was at least 15 years old at the time of his passing, possibly older. He had strange habits, and been on gabapentin for seizures for many years, possibly having suffered some sort of head trauma in his early youth. Harry’s kidneys finally gave out. He was taken in for evaluation and the decision was made to euthanize him and end the suffering. “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

      2. Oh, beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing “Now Cracks a Noble Heart….” And, no, it never gets any easier, no matter how old you are. Through tears, I actually said this to the vet, and she suggested that we get more tender as we age. I think it’s true, and it’s one of the reasons why we have decided not to get another cat. I just don’t want to have another dear fur buddy put down.

  2. Oh Laurie, I’m so sad about Ms. Watson’s passing. Its so hard to lose a long time furry pal. I’m glad she had time being Queen after Sherlock left you, and special time with Dee. My Miss Maggie (a siamese/alley cat mix) was 18 when she died. I’d had her from 5 weeks old and taught her everything she knew! Still miss her. After a lifetime of having kitties, I determined I probably have allergies to cat dander, so sadly there is no new kitty at my house. We miss our furry friends forever, huh?

    1. Thank you so much, Ginny! It is very hard. I, too, am glad Ms. Watson had time being queen of the house. She certainly deserved it. And I am especially glad she had that special time with Dee. Your Miss Maggie must have been very special indeed. Sorry about the allergies. And, yes, we miss our furry friends forever.

  3. So sorry for your loss of this special cat. And she looks just like our late lamented cat, Samantha. You never stop missing them.

  4. Sadly, we too made the decision not to replace our pets after our last beloved dog and cat passed on. Memories of them and those who lived in our home before them continue. My heart goes out to to you all: rest in peace Mrs Watson. Love to the rest of you.

  5. Such sad news, I’m so sorry for your family’s heartbreak. 😢 Ms. Watson was a sweetie. We love our pets fiercely, and their lives are all too short. The house will not feel the same without your four-footed friend, I’m sorry that she will be your last. 😔

  6. Sorry to hear the news of Ms Watson. It is always a sad day when this happens. We lost our two cats some years ago (pre-Blog) and I still feel sad to think of them. I miss them but, to be honest, after living with them for around 19 years, we didn’t have the heart to replace them.

      1. I didn’t even realise how much they meant until the end. After we lost the second one (12 months after the first of the pair) I kept seeing the shadows of cats for months afterwards.

  7. We are so sorry for your loss dear Laurie and Clif, Ms Watson was such a sweet and kind soul and part of the family. Thinking of you all and sending love and light your way 💞💜💞 xxx

  8. I’m so sorry to read about Ms Watson, she looks as cute as pie sitting so neatly for the photo…and how nice that she was able to be “queen of the household”‘ for a few years. The house is not the same without our beloved pets, but like you, we are not going to get another one… we had our beloved dog Chockie at just the right time, she was part of our daughters’ lives until they left home, and it was extra painful for us to have no dog and grown up children! However, we can enjoy their dogs now. Best wishes, it is a sad time.

    1. Many thanks! Cute as a pie is exactly right. As you know, it’s a sad decision not to have anymore pets, but for us it is the right one. And like you, we can enjoy our daughter’s dogs.

  9. She sounds like such a sweet cat – I’m sure she’ll be missed but you did the right thing to let her go before her suffering got worse. x

  10. My commiserations, on your kind decisions each time, yet “well never mind that” raised a smile. Our son Matthew had a rat that would sit outside his bedroom door waiting for him – after it had spent the night in an unlocked cage.

    1. Thanks, Derrick! When I wrote about Ms. Watson sitting outside Dee’s door, I was thinking about Matthew and his rat. Your story made me reassess my opinion about rats, how they are capable of affection not only towards their own species but towards another species as well. A very illuminating post.

      1. It’s funny what we remember and what we forget. Anyway, that story about your son’s rat has stayed with me since I read about it. As I mentioned, so illuminating.

  11. So sorry to read your sad news. Ms Watson sounds like a very special cat, and your moving tribute does her proud. You and Clif are in my thoughts today.

  12. I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a family pet is challenging for sure. We always had dogs but when we moved cross country and rented for a while that wasn’t an option. Since that time, we haven’t had any new pets. I miss the company but must admit I don’t miss the responsibility of walking in the winter or boarding challenges if you want to leave town. I know your family will feel the loss for the immediate future, but I hope your hearts are filled with all these good memories that you have.

    1. Thanks, Judy. Yes, a pet is a big responsibility. There are many aspects to consider. One sweet memory was the range of her meows. Loved those vocalizations.

  13. A sad news and a hard day but then you chose what was best for Ms Watson. Until now I have read various posts from pet owners mentioning “to be put down/ to sleep”. I have a strange feeling in my stomach whenever i read this phrase which can’t be explain. Hugs.

  14. Thanks for sharing your story of Ms. Watson, and your sorrow in losing her. It sounds her absence will be felt by Dee when she comes to visit.

  15. So so sorry for your loss! I understand the grief and the process as we have been there. We have been without a dog now for over ten years and made that decision when our last dog had to be put to sleep. We carry all our pets that we had over the years in our hearts and tell stories about them daily. Love lives forever in our hearts.

  16. Aw, gee, what sad news. I’m so sorry for your loss, Laurie. While I’m not a cat person, I can certainly empathize with the love of a pet parent to his pet and besides, Ms. Watson sounds like a pretty nifty cat! Thank you for staying with her until the end — that’s the least we can do for our beloved critters. Give yourselves some time — perhaps another lonely animal at the shelter will capture your hearts! In the meantime, know Ms. Watson is at the Bridge, no longer in pain, and probably meowing to the angels!

  17. Awwww, poor little Ms. Watson. I’m sure she would have wanted to hang out as an only a few more years, but she’ll be around, just in a different way now. Sending hugs to you and Cliff and Dee who I’m sure is grieving too.

  18. Laurie, I am so sorry to hear about Ms. Watson. You all gave her a lot of love and she gave you, Clif and Dee a lot in return. What a beautiful post you have shared about Ms. Watson I enjoyed reading it. Keeping you all in thoughts and prayers.

  19. Laurie, big hugs to you and Clif and Dee. I know Ms. Watson was a beloved family member. I loved your story about Sherlock and her. It’s fun to watch their personalities change as they age and I’m sure it was a joy to see her take her reign as queen. You wrote a lovely tribute to her. xo

  20. I was so sorry to read this Laurie. It is such a hard decision to make. We know it is best for the pet but sooo hard for us. Sending you and Cliff big hugs.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear about Ms. Watson. (I missed this post until I read your latest on the snow.) I know she was a precious part of your family.

  22. I read in your most recent post about Ms. Watson and came over to offer my condolences. In some ways, it’s good that our pet family members pass before us since they depend on us so deeply, but it sure is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you both.

  23. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss of sweet little Ms. Watson. I’m so glad she had the chance to be queen of the house and bring so much love and happiness to you, Clif and Dee. Our beloved pets have such a presence in our homes and hearts and wish we had more years of their wonderful companionship.

  24. I am so so sorry to hear about Ms Watson. She sounds like a precious girl. Letting them go is so very hard but something we have to do for them. I too have a large orange cat, Gus, and a little Russian Blue, Kitty Kitty, Gus tends to be a bully. It reminds me so much of Sherlock and Ms Watson. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  25. Laurie, I was gone all weekend, and had poor internet connectivity to boot. I didn’t see this until this morning, and am so, so sorry. I am glad that you and Clif are wise and strong enough to have done the right thing for Ms. Watson. I sometimes have seen friends try to hold on to their pets far too long; when the time comes, it’s far more loving to let go, despite the sorrow. They certainly do leave a large hole when they’re gone. Thank goodness our memories eventually help to fill that hole.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. It was the right decision but a hard one. The house seems so empty now, so blah. We will adjust, but we sure do miss our dear little cat.

  26. Oh dear, that is very sad news. I was so happy you still had Ms. Watson when your sweet old puppy died. It was nice though to come along late and be able to read the kind and supportive comments. I like the idea of us getting more tender as we age and enjoyed the story of Matthew’s rat. Creatures are often far wiser than we imagine. But my heart sighs for you and Clif.

    1. Many, many thanks for the kind words. How we miss that dear little cat. I so appreciated the supportive comments. Expressions of sympathy really do help. Very true about creatures being wiser than we imagine.

  27. It’s such a loss when these sweet beings depart. They fill our hearts and our homes with affection and grace. I’m sorry she had to endure a bullying brother. You just never know, eh? I’m sending you both my love and a virtual, tender hug. xo

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