Happy the old papillon – rest in peace

This morning, Foster Mum called me. Her 17-year-old papillon has passed away in her arms sometime after 4am this morning. He died in the best way possible – a sudden very rapid decline which means he did not suffer in pain for long, plus he took his last breath in her arms.

It seems so sudden: on Sunday, he bounded out with his usual energy and enthusiasm to greet us when we reached the cattery. But Foster Mum has been prepared for months now. He’s a grand old thing with a history of chronic respiratory issues, especially asthma – typical of the papillon apparently. And in the last year his eyes has grown cataracts which, due to his age, were not operated on. His tongue is always lolling because he has lost the left canine long ago (We’ve always known him like this). Like an old soldier, bits of him had been lost or damaged by time, but like any veteran he has soldiered on, always more cat than dog, to the extent that he’s more cat than some cats in the cattery, with his preference for fish and kitty kibbles (which is of course not an advisable diet for a canine), and his empathy and protectiveness over kittens and other needy cats.

Together with Sunshine, his only dog housemate

Hanging out with Sunshine and Porkribs

The old gentleman shall be dearly missed.


4 responses to “Happy the old papillon – rest in peace

  1. omg — Here I was so caught up in my own stuff, I failed to notice you’ve just lost a clan member.

    I’m so very sorry to read this. He sounds like he was a real “family man.” You prepare all you can, when you know a friend’s time is near, but I’m not sure that makes it any easier.

    My condolences to you all, especially to Foster Mum.

    How are the other critters reacting to his absence?

  2. He was. We all hope he’s in a better place now. Foster Mum’s taken it really well – she has talked about being prepared for his departure for so long. But I guess part of her composure may be tiredness, she’s had a lot to do these past weeks. Happy is not the first cattery pooch to pass. 1.5 years ago, Foster Mum’s big dog whom she rescued and hand-raised from a wee puppy, Por Por, passed at age 10. Also, perhaps a bit morbidly, Foster Mum has nursed so many kitties and watched some slip away. With all these, she is able to manage the grief a lot better than most would, not that it makes it any easier like you say.

    We visited the cattery yesterday, and learnt that another kitty grand dame had passed too about a month ago from her guardian. We didn’t even notice, always thinking that she was curled up somewhere for a nap.

    Sunshine’s been rather quiet, and the kitties, like Porkribs, seemed to be mindful to be less squabbly and not make Foster Mum angry.

  3. “chao babi” will be missed! I just saw him last week only and he seems like his usual self prancing around.

  4. Yeah loh. =( Sunshine so quiet