RIP Gris Gris Wilde, Cat Wisdom 101 Feline Muse

RIP gris gris

It’s with much sadness to announce the sudden passing of dear Gris Gris yesterday. Thank-you for the outpouring of love and support on Facebook.

So much happened in 24 hours, I’m reeling and not ready to write about it yet other than just the facts. In a nutshell: we enjoyed a quiet Christmas and Gris Gris was happy and friendly with our guests. The following morning we noticed his left eye was red but he was as perky as ever and no warning bells went off. Hubby went out to get cat food and Vetericyn for eye care, thinking it was just conjunctivitis.

When he returned, he gave Gris Gris some food. Normally, he’s always hungry thanks to a thyroid condition. One sniff, he walked away and keeled over with an ungodly howl. We called our vet Dr. G. who was on the road but out of our area. Plan B was our nearest vet clinic and they told us they’d see us right away. Gris Gris lay limp but responsive and five minutes later, he was being examined by a caring, young vet who said he’d had a seizure. He couldn’t stand up or walk and promptly had another seizure. He was whisked to the back and placed on oxygen. The prognosis wasn’t hopeful. They had no overnight staff that day and recommended either taking him to a specialist or putting him down on the spot.

Seeing a specialist would mean an MRI for a diagnosis but the risk of anesthesia and other invasive procedures was too high a risk. So against their recommendation we took him home. We took turns doing Reiki and energy work. He refused any food or water and yowled the moment either one of us broke contact or stopped. Finally @4 am, I’d dozed off and he slept peacefully. Something had shifted and I felt he wasn’t with us anymore. In the morning, there was no change and we decided to have Dr. G. over for a second opinion and if need be, euthanasia.

Dr. G. arrived at noon and gave Gris Gris a thorough exam. It appeared there was likely brain disease, perhaps a tumor on the left side and no hope. We were left alone to say our good-byes. I’d communicated messages of love and support to him all night long. Whatever he wanted, we would do it. If wanted help dying, fine. If if wanted to go naturally, fine. He wanted a natural death and he got it. No euthanasia was needed. The timing was immaculate and he quietly died at 12:45 surrounded by clouds of love. It was enormously comforting and valuable having Dr. G. there answering questions.

I carried Gris Gris inside and prepared an altar or something one might have for an Irish wake with a Zen Buddhist twist. He will be buried in the garden. All the other cats knew what had happened and surprisingly kept their distance. Only Odin decided to pay his respects with one last sniff.

Thank-you for your kind words, purrs and prayers. I have no plans to blog for the next while except the bare minimum but a memorial tribute is in the works. The soul of the grieving experience and tips for navigating the pet loss journey will be in my book. Call it good, bad or Divine timing, but I will have Gris Gris to guide me. Ironically, I thought it was going Merlin but the first rule about life and death is: expect the unexpected.

86 thoughts on “RIP Gris Gris Wilde, Cat Wisdom 101 Feline Muse”

  1. We just heard of Gris Gris’ transition. Tears are falling; we are so sorry. Soft purrs and gentle hugs ro you and all of your family. You did what you could,and he, proudly, went at the time of his choosing, surrounded by the love he had known for so long. RIP little angel Gris Gris.

  2. Layla, I am so very, very sorry to read about Gris Gris. The loss of a beloved family member, so many decisions and questions all at once. Reading your post, I see that you were full of grace and able to be clear and present with him during his time of need. He was able to let go of this plane and move to the next with all your love and support. It’s so beautiful and so incredibly heart breaking. I’m reminded of Joan Didion’s words at the beginning of her book, The Year of Magical Thinking: “You sit down to dinner, and life as you know it ends. The question of self-pity.” This question, she goes on to explain, is not so much pity as it is mourning, which is a very personal process. Hoping that you will take the time you need–and when you are moved to write–you write freely. Whatever you do put to paper (or digital copy) will be a mixture of a tribute to Gris Gris and a gift to others in need of comfort upon the loss of a treasured pet. Peace, lovely Layla.

  3. And one more…

    Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so does the other.
    All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place: all come from dust and to dust all return.
    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21

    (By the way, this answers the question I made when I was going to catholic school as a kid. I asked if humans go to Heaven, why can’t animals go as well?… My then teacher didn’t answer anything that convinced me.)

  4. “When tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand, that an angel came and called my name and petted me with her hand. She said my place was ready, in Heaven far above, and that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love. I thought about our lives together, I know you must be sad. I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had. If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while, I’d rub my head, purr and kiss you, just so I could see you smile. So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart. For every time you think of me, I’m right there in your heart. “

  5. I understand how you feel and I am sorry for your loss.
    Midas was 6 years old, big marmalade guy with the best character ever. He was fine in the morning, he was in real bad shape in the evening when I came from work. Emergency vet visit. Major kidney failure. I had to put him down. He died on my lap. I felt sad then mad and guilty.
    There was nothing I could do. He was an inside/outside-toilet cat. I didn’t see warning signs. I didn’t know he had this huge bladder blockage. He never used the litter box.
    Anyway, Midas was cremated. I made a tattoo of an ouroboros with his ashes. He is under my skin and forever in my heart and memories. Nobody knows how much he went through with me when nobody else was there to give me inconditional love and emotional support. Midas R. I. P. 2007-2013.

  6. I am so so sorry for Gris-Gris. My human told me when she saw the news on your other blog and we were so very sad.
    It is good that you were there to surround him with love, although it must have been quite difficult and painful. He is an Angel now.
    Sending you many many purrs and the humans send many hugs too.

  7. Oh no! I am so sorry I am just reading this, we were away from blogging the past few days. I feel so sad to hear this and am so sorry for your loss and pain. He was well loved.

  8. Oh NO! How awful for you. Sparky and I are most heart broken. I am sure, beyond a shadow of doubt, that in this painful ordeal, you were the only thing that comforted poor Gris-Gris. He knew how much you loved him and it made all the difference. Hugs to you all.

  9. Oh we are so very, very sorry for your sudden and unexpected loss of your precious Gris Gris. How utterly heart-breaking. We send you our gentlest purrs and are holding you close in our hearts and thoughts.

    Be Well Sweet Gris Gris

  10. Layla, I just read this email and read of Gris Gris’ passing. i am so so sorry. I am so sorry I found out later. Please know I extend my sympathy to you and am heartbroken for your loss too. I enjoyed reading about Gris Gris everyday. He is chasing butterflies at the Rainbow Bridge and will see you again. <3

  11. May I offer for Gris Gris the Ghatti Prayer for the dead from Gayle Greeno’s fantasy books? This prayer has brought me comfort in the passing of much loved cat companions.

    May you see with eyes of light in everdark,,
    May your mind walk free and unfettered amongst all,
    Touching wisely and well,
    May you go in peace.

    And a final benediction from the same author,
    Never, never will I cease loving you, beloved! And in some other life we’ll meet and love again!

  12. Layla, Your pain must be practically unbearable right now. I am so, so, very sorry for your loss of Gris Gris. I loved your musing above, “Grief is a small price to pay for big love.” Those are my sentiments exactly so well put. Losing a beloved pet is just so hard each time. But, the love and joy they bring us while alive far outweighs our pain in times of their passing. My deepest sympathies to you and yours. May your other kitties hold you extra tightly right now… Much love, Cindy and company xoxo

  13. Oh no, Layla, I am in shock…. I am so very sorry for your precious baby Gris Gris. He sure had a wonderful life with you, surrounded by love, peace and family. Sending prayers and hugs to you..

  14. Oh that is so sad,My heart aches for you,it is never easy to say good bye to our babies,and even though your heart is broken a small part of him will remain with you alway until you see him again,Hugs and Snuggle from us both xx Rachel and Speedy

  15. My heart aches for you and your family, Layla. After we lost Gracie this year, a few people asked if the love we shared was worth the pain we experienced at her passing. We choose love, always.
    xxoo
    Maggie

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I am not that familiar with your blog, and certainly I know what it is like to lose a beloved pet. I hope your memories will be of comfort to you

  17. I am so sorry, so very sorry that you lost such a wonderful boy. I want to say ENOUGH lock the door to Heaven, leave us alone. We have lost so many close to us, and friends on the internet.

    Thanks be for his being able to go peacefully on his own terms. Dash Kitten and little kitten RIley will be there to welcome him.

    Marjorie

  18. We are so very sorry to hear about the passing of Gris Gris and that it came so suddenly. We send comforting purrs, headbutts and hugs to help ease your sadness, Layla.

    Wally, Ernie, Zoey & the mom Sue

  19. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. It is so hard to lose one that is loved so much. Gris Gris left this world enveloped in your love and that is all we can do for our precious ones when they can no longer stay with us. My heart hurts for you.

  20. I’m never sure if it’s the expected or the unexpected losses that are the hardest. At the very least, he gave you time to say goodbye to him, which you’ll cherish, I’m sure, forever. And never forget that his little soul is still near you and watching over you whenever you need him. Our heartfelt condolences. Much love and many purrs to you. With love, Alana and Crepes, Rocky, Niles, Mrs. P, and Doodle.

  21. We are so sorry for your loss. Purrs and hugs to all of you. Love, Cali, Andy, Tater and Shelly (C.A.T.S) and our Mom Judy

  22. Oh Layla,
    I’m so sorry for your loss of Gris Gris.
    I feel your pain, I don’t know what else to say, it’s 100 times more difficult when it’s sudden. You made him comfortable and he knew he was loved which made his last hours better for him. I didn’t know before, I don’t have FB so this is s shock. I have no fancy words, just sending my love and purrs to help you and your family thru the difficult mourning.
    Love,
    Connie

  23. We are so sad to hear what you went through. It sounds like Gris Gris was surrounded by a whole lot of love as he crossed. He was a very lucky cat. Our thoughts, purrs and head-bumpies.

  24. Hi Layla I’m just learning about Gris Gris now. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I’m channeling love and healing energy your way.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. Layla. I hope its of some comfort to you to know he had the best home possible, and knew what love was. So many animals never have either. I hope in time, your fond memories of Gris Gris will be of comfort as well.

    I’m not sure what is more difficult – a sudden loss or a long term illness. I too thought of Merlin, and how you expected him to pass on next, but life and death aren’t like that. My thoughts, prayers and spirit are with you, and you have my very deepest condolences. I’m sure you have better resources than me, but if you’d like to talk, I’m here for you.

  26. God speed little Angel Gris Gris. We will mourn for you and we will know joy for you because you have no more pain or need. Saint Francis truly blessed you as Da Tabbies O Trout Towne so eloquently and beautifully described it.
    We are sad as always when a little one leaves this world but we know that dear Gris Gris had Love, Peace and Joy for all the years that he was with you and the boys Layla. We know your heart aches but we know Gris Gris is and always will be near by to watch over you and the family as they all do. He has met Coco and all the others that are waiting for the day that we are all reunited and even those that had no one to love them here on earth will know a Love far greater than mortal man can provide.
    We Love you Angel Gris Gris. We love You Layla,Dad, Merlin and Domino and we send you all our Purrs and Prayers. May you find comfort in your memories of sweet little Gris Gris.

    Luvs and purrs and kitty kisses
    Skeeter and Izzy and Poppy, Sunny, Shadow, Tiger,Peanut,Twig, and Romeo. >^–^<

  27. We are so terribly sorry to hear the horrible news, we learned about it on Facebook yesterday. I am glad though that Gris Gris passed on his OWN terms. Please know we are deeply sorry and send you many comforting purrs and virtual hugs in this most difficult time. Keeping you all close to our hearts. <3 Caren and Cody

  28. Layla I am so sorry there are no words of comfort I know that will help ease the pain of loss you are feeling. As deeply as you grieve for Gris Gris you know his Spirit is in a good place. There is never a time we are ready to let them go, but go they decide for us. Gris Gris had love and comfort and a wonderful home and he still does just differently now. Once the grief of losing the physical loss eases your relationship with Gris Gris will be as strong as ever. But now is a time of transitioning for you and the other kitties. We are so sorry for the pain you are feeling, the price of love is worth all the suffering that one feels. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Oh Layla, our hearts are breaking at this news. We are so sorry that Gris Gris’ time has come so unexpectedly, and send purrs and prayers of comfort to you as you mourn the loss of your beloved muse.

  30. Life can change in the blink of an eye and I am so sorry that Gris Gris left the physical world so suddenly. As with my Jazz, you gave Gris Gris the love, comfort, and dignity he needed and I am grateful you were able to do that for him. He will always remain a part of your life and my prayers go out to you and Joe. If you need me, please do not hesitate to reach out. xoxo

  31. We read about Gris Gris on FB and wanted to come over to over to offer our comforting purrs.

    It’s never easy when we lose one of our fur children, but we hope you are comforted in some way knowing that Gris Gris knew he was loved and that you were with him until the end. There will be a hole in your heart for a long time, but it will heal. We’re here if you need to talk.

    Truffle, Brulee, and Mom Paula

  32. We are so sad to hear that precious Gris Gris has gone to the Bridge; we understand how difficult it is to part with such a dear member of your family…Our sincere condolences over this terrible loss and we will keep your family in our prayers…Wishing you all comfort at this time of great sorrow…hugs and love.

  33. ….. and St Francis said, “Come little one, there is nothing more I can do for
    you here, don’t be afraid”……and St Francis gently picked up Gris and carried him  into the kingdom of heaven…..when the little cat looked around, he realized everything St Francis told him on his journey was true….heaven was beautiful beyond what mere words could express…..

    …… and Gris saw there was no pain, suffering, fear, sickness, hunger, thirst or sorrow, until he looked down and saw the family and friends he had left behind. ……and for a very brief moment, the little cat too, was filled with sorrow.

    Then St Francis bestowed Gris with a set of gossamer wings and said, “Use them to return to your family, when their need is the greatest, as nothing can separate your bond of love.  Hold each other in your hearts and your memories, until you are reunited again at heaven’s door.”

    and when the little cat tried on his wings, he knew nothing was impossible…… when there is….love

    God’s speed to you gris Gris with love from Boomer, Dai$y, Tuna…..and Dude and Sauce too…

  34. Oh Layla……I’m so so sorry! I cannot even imagine the kind of pain or grief you’re experiencing right now, but please know that I am thinking of you and praying for you. I’m here if you ever want/need a friend to talk to.

    Many hugs and much love to you from all of us,

    Carmine, Milita, Jewel, and Mom Sierra

  35. Oh Layla, I am so, so sorry to hear about Gris Gris. I can only imagine the shock and sadness. Please know we are thinking of you and our hearts ache for your loss. Love, hugs and purrs from all of us.

  36. I am so sorry for your loss of Gris Gris! I’m relieved to know that he didn’t suffer a long and drawn out disease though. Also, I think it is wonderful that you were with him the whole time. He let you know that he was grateful you were there also. Sending love your way…

  37. I am, uncharacteristically, at a loss for words. I’m happy at least that you were with him in the end and that he went relatively quickly. I know you are all heart broken. He was so lucky to live “the life” with you and your family and his spirit will always be there. If anyone on this earth can feel and know that, it’s you Layla. The one thing that I can do is send love…..and I do.

    Pam

  38. I know I already left a comment on your Christmas post, but I’m in tears reading this. ::Sigh:: I’m not sure, truly not, that great love is worth the grief. It’s hard, so hard, especially for those of us who have thin skins and little emotional resiliency. And journeying through grief it isn’t something we learn from school or parents (not most of us) or anywhere else.

    At least Gris Gris passed quietly at home, with you and yes, surrounded by your great love.

    Sending you universal Light and Blessings and Peace.

    Kim

  39. Gris Gris was so wise to choose a like-minded family who gave him everything he could ever want or need – especially all the love and understanding, honored in life and in death. You are all so special. We send love and purrs to help ease your pain. – Jobi and Fisher

  40. I am so very, very sorry that you lost Gris Gris, and so suddenly. When it’s a longterm illness, your body and mind have time to prepare, but when it happens like this, it is such a shock to your system. Purrs to you and purrs to Merlin, Odin and Domino.

  41. Oh, Layla…
    I’m so very sorry to hear about Gris Gris. What a terrible shock. How wonderful though that you had a little time with him in the comfort of home to give him your love.

    Sending you hugs and purrs and lots of love.
    ~Glogirly

  42. Layla, Mommy is crying while reading and typing and Calista Jo is sitting with her sending both you and her purrs as comfort. The sudden loss is always so heart-wrenching, and we have experienced it here on more than one occasion. There are no right words to make the grief or shock any less severe. Just know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, and we are all sending you healing purrs. Mom is sending you virtual hugs. Our Daddy just learned of your family when we and Mom were preparing your Secret Paws gifts, and he was so saddened when we told him earlier this evening about GrisGris’s passing. May the love of all your friends surround and comfort you. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo and Mom Janet

  43. Gris-Gris, I will miss you, very very much. Layla, I am weeping for your loss. Thank you for the final picture of your gorgeous grey Gris-Gris; I think memento mori are important. Please know I’ll be thinking of you and sending you healing thoughts.

    xx Trish

  44. Gris Gris lived on his terms, and he died on them too. I am so glad you fostered and understood then adopted the cat who had lived in a basement for years and followed his own path to the light. And if an end can be nearly perfect, his choice sounds as if it was, living fully until the moment he absolutely could not. How wonderful his last few hours, surrounded by all the physical and spiritual care you could offer. I’m sure his spirit lovingly hovers, and will for some time.

  45. Oh! My,

    I am so sorry! and purrs and hugs from Ched and Mao.

    So sudden. So, so sudden.

    At least, he went in peace with his loved ones around.

    purrs, purrs, purrs,

    hugz.

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