A Tribute to Rip

I intended this post to be a belated 2nd Blogiversary post and to have a contest in order to give away a couple of skeins of sock yarn.
Blogiversary Yarn-multi detailsemi-solid detail
And I’m still giving away the yarn. I’ll randomly pick two commenters to this post to win the yarn, but I have a more serious purpose. My brother requested that I tell you about my family’s cat, Rip, who lives with my brother and my parents, because as my brother, Thomas, put it, “Knitters are nice people, and they like cats.”

Here is Rip, named after Rip van Winkle, in the prime of his life, a very proud Burmese “with papers.”
Regal Rip
Rip (aka Rippy, The Ripster, and Rippity-Wippity) turned 20 last May. Sadly, now Rippy is dying. He has had a wonderful life, and he has truly been a Great Cat. He has always been playful, friendly and loving. He has been a champion lap cat.
lounging Rip
He has liked hanging with my mom (he sleeps on her side of the bed every night), and he liked to “help” her garden.
Rippy gardens
He even taught my dad, who grew up with dogs, to like cats. It may have helped that he was good at playing fetch. But his closest relationship has been with my brother. They have been best buds for 20 years. This photo captures their comradery so well.
Rip and Thomas
Rip often seemed an extension of Thomas’ arm, and they both seemed quite content with that relationship. Now Tom’s and my parent’s hearts are breaking as they watch Rip slip farther and farther away. He doesn’t seem in much pain yet, but his decline has really accelerated, and my mom won’t let him suffer in pain. So they watch and wait, knowing that time is rapidly running out.

If you could leave a comment of condolence, it would mean a lot to them. I know I don’t have to give away yarn to get knitters to do a nice thing, but I would like to. We are so seldom rewarded in this world for doing something kind and generous, and I would like to change that here just a little bit. Thank you.

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60 thoughts on “A Tribute to Rip

  1. I’m so sorry about Rip. I used to have cats before I got married and had children and a hubby who are all allergic to cats. Pets really do become a loving part of your life. Please don’t include me in the giveaway. I just wanted to offer my condolences. Best wishes.

  2. I’m sorry about Rip. It’s very hard to watch an animal decline in health like that. I love the picture of him putting his paws in the flowerpot. He looks like a unique little gentleman cat.

  3. Oh I know only too well what they are going through. But it’s clear that they have taken/will take as loving care of Rip as he has of them. And when the inevitable happens, hopefully they will take comfort in the fact that during his last conscious moments, he was surrounded by everyone he loved. (We should all be so lucky!)

    Everyone at our house (furry and otherwise) will say a special prayer for Rip, and for your family.

  4. 20 years is an amazingly long life for a cat. A tribute to all the love surrounding him that he has been able to live that long. Watching his health decline has got to be the hardest thing. I’m sure he would want to stick around another 20.

  5. I’m really sorry to hear about Rip. He seems to have a really wonderful life surrounded by people who love him. You are really lucky to have him and him you. Although I’ve never met him, give him a good rub for me.

  6. I lost my cat a few years ago, and it’s still almost too painful for me to think about his final few weeks. Rip is gorgeous and sounds like one of those special cats that we get to share our lives with if we’re lucky. My thoughts are with Rip and your family.

  7. Hugs to your parents and your brother… Rip is beautiful. We watched our aging border collie decline and come back up and decline and come back up until she declined and didn’t have the energy or will to come back up, so then we knew it was time. It’s a hard thing, but aren’t we lucky that we can share our lives with such special animals? Thinking of you all…

  8. “Hello, handsome!” As soon as I say that to the picture of Rip, my boy Nikita turns and looks. I have to explain to my Velcro buddy that, this time, I’m talking about another fellow ^-^

    I completely understand the bond between felines and their people. Because they are so very strong, dealing with the finiteness of that relationship seems more painful than we can bear. But know this: you’ve shared something special with someone special and that’s something that will never leave you!

    Hugs and condolences. May you all find a measure of peace.

  9. Your description of Rip reminds me of my cat, Pepper, who is staying with my parents while I am off at college. I miss her so much. I can hardly imagine losing her, even after 20 years (I hope she lives that long, too!). You have such cute pictures of Rip, too. I love the garden picture! Sending positive thoughts for a peaceful decline…

  10. I am so sorry for your family. We had a family cat for 18 years, he was a stray that we kids begged our parents to keep. He ended up being more their cat then ours. Our thoughts are with you all.

  11. What great pictures of Rip and your brother, and Rip checking out the flowerpot! My thoughts are with you and your family – it’s a very hard thing, watching a beloved member of the family slip away.

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  13. As someone who has known and loved me some cat, I empathize with the pain of losing that dearest of friends. May your hearts be so full in the joy of remembering and honoring Rip’s life that it overshadows the sadness of loss.

  14. Oh I SO totally understand this!!!! I had a cat that my dh brought home from a contruction job that won him over to being a cat lover as well. Sheba was with us for almost 20 years before she declined quickly as well. It is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but know that you gave Rip a GREAT life and that you were all better off having each other.

  15. I’m so sorry to hear that your family is losing Rip. It’s always hard to lose a pet , and he looks like such a wonderful one.

  16. So sorry to hear about Rip. Pets become such a big part of a family and they are missed for so long after they are gone. I love the pictures of Rip with your Mom and brother.

  17. Oh Rip, what a wonderful life you’ve had! You’re so lucky. But I’m sorry to hear you’re not so well these days, and your humans are very sad because of it.

    Please be happy in your final days, and know that you and your human family have many friends on the Internet, and that they are thinking of all of you!

  18. The only thing positive to say, is that Rip has had the best life, and will continue to romp around up in Kitty heaven.

    And make no mistake, there IS a kitty heaven.

    Did you know that Burmese are the only true “brown” cats?

  19. I hate that kitties don’t get to live as long as we do…Your sweet Rip has given so much to his people. I’m sure my BB will be waiting to take Rip “in paw” at the Rainbow Bridge…she’s show him around, help him find his own special place to wait for his family to arrive.

    My heart goes out to all of you. May Rip slip away peacefully.
    (((hugs)))

  20. Rip looks so handsome and dignified; I love the photo of him on the leash! Remember that as hard as it is to let him go, he’ll always be a part of your family – as we say in our house, “Charlie was the cat that spoiled us for all other cats.”

  21. What a gorgeous black cat Rip is. He truly is part of a caring and loving family for 20 years. One of our cats
    is about 15 years and he is truly a part of the family. Please know that I’ll be thinking about you, your Mom and Thomas. May the good memories be a comfort to all of you.

  22. As someone who has gone through the loss of a beloved pet, I sympathize with your pain and as much as I would like to be able to lessen that pain somehow…I know that I can’t. Rip was a very lucky cat to have been part of a family that obviously loved him very much. Hopefully, in time, you’ll be able to think of all the happy times without sadness.

    Please don’t include me in the giveaway-I just wanted to offer my condolences.

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  24. I’m sorry to hear about the impending loss of Rip. It sucks that cats don’t live as long as humans do, especially pets who become such integral parts of your life.

  25. Oh, my heart breaks for your family. Twenty years is a long life for a cat, but not long enough for someone you love. My three kitties send Rip some of his favorite snacks and some of theirs to share, as well. And I send them years of good memories to look back on after the pain isn’t as fresh.

  26. A truly heartfelt story of feline greatness and a loving family. I am so glad that both Rip and your family had so many loving years together… both parts seem to have had the best of deals.
    I wish the blessedness of loving remembrance for Rip in the future, and a peaceful sleep to end his long and happy life!
    Loved ones, remembered by those left behind, have never truly died!

  27. So sorry to hear about Rip. Twenty years is not nearly long enough to be loved by such a wonderful cat!

    I know it will be difficult to lose Rip and you will miss him dearly. Sending you lots of hugs and keeping you in my thoughts.

  28. Losing a pet that has been a constant companion for so many years is so hard. Some people don’t understand the depth of the grief, and nothing really makes it feel any better. Remembering all the love and good memories that RIP shared with all of you, and knowing that the depth of the grief is a sign of how deep the connection is between your family and your beloved pet. I hope that these last few days with RIP are filled with peace, joy, and scritches, and also pain free.

  29. No matter how many furry friends come and go during our lifetimes, each one’s passing is devastating. They are all special, unique, and magnificent. May the memories of the 20 wonderful years shared with Rip be of comfort to them and may his passing be peaceful and surrounded by those he loves. My condolences, and my prayers.

  30. Rip sounds like an amazing kitty and a wonderful member of your family. I’m glad that Thomas and Rip have enjoyed so many great years together and that they can savor Rip’s remaining time too. We have a failing kitty who is almost 21 years old now. She too is in no pain, but it’s obvious that she isn’t well and seeing a member of the family turn so frail is frustrating. Hugs to you all.

  31. Rip is a handsome fellow and he’s lived an amazingly long life. Those are great pictures, especially the one where he’s helping your Mom! You, your family, and Rip will be in my thoughts.

  32. Hugs to you and your family and especially to Rip. It sounds like Rip has had a wonderful life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. My thoughts are with you all.

  33. I’m so sorry to hear about Rip – he sounds like a truly wonderful kitty. I lost my lovely Lucy a couple of years ago and they are like family. We have an elderly kitty called Ariel who is also poorly and I know how heartbreaking it is to watch them get older and poorlier.

  34. I’m so sorry to hear about Rip. I also have a 20 year old cat, Babs, who is failing. I know there’s a special bond that deepens over time between humans and their cat – especially one like Rip who seems more part of the family than just the household pet.

    Cats leave pawprints on our hearts.

  35. I am so sorry to hear about Rip’s decline. We all know we will eventually lose our pets, but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Your touching post makes me feel both sad and blessed, as I remember loving, unforgettable animal companions who have gone on before me.

  36. 20 years is unbelievable for a Burmese. We got to 15 with our blue Burmese boy.
    I know how it’s hurting your folks watching him go down hill but they’ll know when the time has come.
    This is what we get for giving our hearts to creatures who are so much shorter lived than us but who would want the impoverished existence lived without that love?
    hugs to your family and to the Ripster too – gentle hugs – and purrs from my three.

  37. We lost a kitty around this time last year, and are still healing. They are part of your family and nothing can ever replace them, but one day you will heal enough to remember Rip with lots of laughter instead of tears. Enjoy your last moments together, and savor each one.

    No need to include me in the giveaway. I just wanted to let you know we care and grieve with you.

  38. I’m so sorry about Rip. It’s so nice to see pictures of him in his youth. I have an 18 year old orange tabby, who is diabetic and has had a runny eye lately. Their reserve is amazing, but I feel like I’m losing ground with him not being able to get his eye to heal fully. They become such special friends.

  39. Sorry to be late to the game, but I wanted to say my thoughts are with you. I’ve had many wonderful pets over the years, so I understand. Rip looks just beautiful and he seems to have been very loved.

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