Loving and Losing Beijing

It’s been a surreal week of highs and lows. My oldest son turned 17 on Wednesday. The same day Beijing stopped eating. She moved from spot to spot, unresponsive to any attention we paid. I was so afraid she would die on his birthday, but she survived the night. My husband hoped that it was only an infection, and that a trip to the vet could heal her. She’s been on four medications for a year treating her heart and thyroid, but she was happy, ravenous, cantankerous…in short, her wonderful self.

Alas, the news wasn’t good. Her body is shutting down, and they’ve added probable cancer to the list. I’m going to see her now, and will be there with her as she eases out of this world. My youngest son graduates 8th grade in a few hours. I’m hoping to keep this news at bay till then.

Thank you for gracing our lives, Beijing.

Beijing, October 2010

Sunning herself in the garden bed

mike and Beijing

Her favorite place in the house

beijing on the swing

Keeping me company on the garden swing


The ‘Look”

Beijing on the sill

A favorite spot


Please hold all my calls.

mac with beijing

In the arms of my youngest son

56 thoughts on “Loving and Losing Beijing

  1. It’s obvious that Beijing was a much-loved puddy-tat and had a wonderful life with your family. I’m so sorry for the grief you are all feeling right now. {{{{ Alsy, Mike, Chris & Mac }}}}

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marlene, thank you so much for your loving words. I feel drained today. I’m moving about my business, but I just don’t feel the same sense of energy. You wouldn’t think it would be so obvious she is gone with our house full of cats, but of course each of them has such a unique hold on our hearts. How could you help but miss her. xox


    • Thank you so much, Cathy. We’ve all shed some tears, with the exception of my youngest son. He seems stoic about the whole thing, saying it wasn’t unexpected, but is now paying a lot of attention to our cat Lindy. That is sweet to observe. I’ve learned that we all handle our grief differently. Thanks for being here. xox


  2. With tear-filled eyes, and slow fingers, I type the words to you that I knew must someday come: “I’m so deeply sorry for your loss of dear Beijing”. My heart is with you and your family as you grieve for your beloved furry family member. I share your sadness. I think you’re right to withhold news of her passing till sometime after the graduation celebration, if possible, lest it forever taint the occasion. Perhaps there can at least be some joy before the inevitable heartbreak. Sending you hugs, much love, and sincere sympathy, and wishing you strength.


    • Alicia, I’m glad you got to meet Beijing on your visit last fall. We feel lucky to have had her in our lives these past 14 months, when we were sure we would lose her a year ago April. She was sleeping more and more of late, but you just don’t know with cats. She still had a big appetite and loved being with us. This week was the opposite in every way. She refused food, wanted to be left alone, wouldn’t respond to pets or brushing or offers of treats. It was so hard to see her go.

      Thank you for your love and understanding. You exemplify a compassionate citizen in every way.

      By the way, your lovely postcard arrived today. You couldn’t have know, but what amazing timing. Thanks so much for thinking of me. xox


      • I admire your diligence in taking the time to provide thoughtful replies to your many well-wishers. Grieving is so often experienced as a period of social withdrawal, solitude. I know, though, that it can be therapeutic, especially for us wordsmiths, to process our emotions through writing and sharing.

        I’m grateful that I got to meet Beijing, and that you’ve shared her story’s final chapter with me. I hope you’ll indulge in some self-nurturing, and wrap up in your family’s love. Please get some rest…. We all understand, and don’t expect you to keep up your usual pace. The world can wait a bit till you’re refreshed.

        Glad the postcard might’ve provided a little levity. I often think of you, far more than you probably know. XOXO


        • Thank you, sweet Alicia.

          You’re right that reading these comments, and sharing the experience is a good outlet. I cried when I wrote this, and cried again when I re-read it. I’ve learned that isolation isn’t always the best thing. I sat at my son’s graduation and cried behind my sunglasses, thinking that anyone noticing would think I was sentimental over the end of 8th grade. Funny how we often feel the need to hide, protect or justify our tears. People often worry that they ‘made you cry’ instead of realizing that we need that outlet. We need to talk about it, experience it, move through it, and make noise around it.

          Thanks for your always thoughtful, and loving comments.



  3. I am so sorry to hear about Beijing. Pets give us so much joy when they are with and that is very evident in your photos. It almost seems unfair that the time they are with us is so short.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so very, very sorry, Alys! I have never met Beijing but I’m sure you and your family gave her the best life she could’ve had anywhere in this world – because she had your love. You’re all in my thoughts and if there’s anything at all I can do you have but to ask.



  5. Alys, I’m so sorry to read this news. I’ve had many pets, but it never gets easier, whether they live a long or a short life. Still, it’s worth it for all that they give us. Just hard at the end for a while. I’m sure you know that soon the good memories will replace the sorrow. In the meantime, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs to you. ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linne. You’re absolutely right: it’s worth it. We pretend that they’ll be with us always, one of those untruths that allow us to love and let go when the time comes.

      We miss her.


  6. Aw, sweetie, you’ve been such a good mom and it helped your family have Beijing’s love a little extra longer. We’re never ready to say goodbye, this I know for certain. What a terribly hard day, but I’m glad you could be with her as she passed and not out of town, away.
    It’s nice that there were good things for Mac and Mike, so your family had something happy to share together at this time too. Thank you for sharing this and all your wonderful photo’s of Beijing ((( Alys ))). I especially loved your caption “please hold my calls”. Really, just precious. They’re with us forever, aren’t they? If not on our lap, in our hearts.
    Sending loving thoughts to all of you, we’re so very sorry for your loss. Kelly and Jim.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. We all realize that we had another amazing year with her that we might not have had. You are right though, that even though is was time for her to go, you’re never quite ready. I thought I was ready till the final call from the vet, but I sobbed anyway. C. came with me after just a moment’s hesitation, and gave her some love. He even took her picture which was very sweet. We shared our tears together, and said our good byes. He stepped out of the room at that point, but I stayed with her through the end. It was peaceful for her, sad for the rest of us.

      We told M. last night. He said he was expecting it and seemed stoic. He’s been giving a lot of attention to Lindy today.

      Thank you both for your love and understanding. You’re right: if not on our lap, in our heart. That’s beautiful.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh no! We knew it was coming but it doesn’t make it any easier. I’m so glad I got to see her one last time on Wednesday. I’m sure everyone is taking it hard. My thoughts are with you. Hugs to you all.


  8. Cats are funny creatures- I believe B adopted you for a reason.it was wonderful and hard to put her down, I’m sure of it but she loved you for being there and ending her pain. Love you Alys. Be strong, another will find you.0


  9. What a beautiful friend you had, Alys, and an untimely parting. She was obviously loved and adored–and one could not ask for a more meaningful, important gift to give an animal that joined your family. You were lucky folks, and she was lucky to have you.


  10. I’ve been traveling for the past 3 days and am just now catching up on blogs. Alys, I am truly sorry for the loss of Beijing. You said it best … a week of highs and lows for certain.
    The photos you shared reveal a love shared among family members, both human and animal.
    Thinking of you all


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