Ode to Toby Joy

Right now, this is all that I have left of Toby:


When I say all I have left, I mean this digital photo of her collar, the empty, tiny cat-shaped hole she left behind, ephemeral memories.

I don’t think she ever crossed 5 lbs. She’s always been a dainty creature:

Baby Squirrel Kitten

More Toby

When she sat, she kept all four paws together, and then wrapped the tip of her tail around them, pure elegance:

Toby Detail 1.

To those of us close to her, she was full of curiosity and play:

Toby the Meerkat.


And she had her goofier moments:

Toby's Palace of Pleasure.

For a long time, we called her CatGirl’s daemon:

Golden Compass allusion.

But over time, she let us all into her world:


The past half-year with Toby has been alternately delightful, as the drugs calmed her and allowed her to warm up to others in ways she never had before, and hellish, to watch her struggle through various attacks and seizures and turn feral and fearful. Her latest bout was so miserable that we decided that the quality of life line had finally been crossed. Today, a little after 5pm, her vet let her pass peacefully from this existence.

I’m writing this in part because we didn’t get to see her go. We wanted to so bad, but we didn’t want to make her last moments worse–each movement was inducing seizures and making her fearful.

We’ll miss you, little one. It breaks my heart to write about you like this, but I’m so glad you’re not suffering anymore.

Toby in Contemplation.


  1. I’ve been through serious illnesses, and deciding when quality of life had passed the mark, with four cats, and I know how incredibly hard it is to make the decision and say goodbye. I’m so sorry for your loss. Toby looks like a very sweet cat and I wish she had had a longer time to enjoy her life with you and your family.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a sweet friend. I am sorry for your loss but feel enriched by the sharing of your memories of her. Thank you.

  3. Dejah

    I’m so sorry, John. I love the photos. I hope Catgirl is doing ok. Little Toby is free of the body that couldn’t work right.

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m moved to tears, too. This sort of thing is never easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *