Loki’s six months on earth ended today when vets at the Virginia-Maryland Regional School of Veterinary Medicine put him to sleep.

Our neurologically-challenged kitten started going downhill Tuesday, suffering seizures even while under medication.

For the first time since he came into our lives last November, he appeared to be in pain. We made the decision Tuesday but it wasn’t easy, even knowing that in his condition this was the best thing for him. Amy and I both broke down several times. At the vet hospital, I had to excuse myself and retreat to the men’s room where I sat in a stall and cried uncontrollably, the sobs sweeping over me in uncontrollable waves.

Afterwards, we said our goodbyes to our beloved kitten and left before they put him under.

Loki touched everyone he met. Even in his impaired condition he was a loving cat. Towards the end, he could neither walk nor see but still accepted love openly and affectionately.

The doctors at Virginia Tech will study his brain to see if they can determine what robbed him of any chance at a normal life. Maybe they can find something that will prevent future kittens from suffering the same fate.

If studying Loki will help others it will be a fitting legacy to a kitten we loved and will miss.


  1. Doug and Amy,
    You have my deepest sympathy. During our 38 years of marriage, my husband and I have had to make the difficult decision that you had to make four times. It is never easy to let them go. Each cat was precious and loved like your Loki.

    You were blessed to have this special little kitten in your lives. And he was so lucky to have had such loving people to care for him. I truly believe that you will see him again in the next life.

  2. I was just thinking about Loki and came over here to see if you had posted about the lil guy..I am sorry his life was so short Doug. But I am glad he had you and Amy for the time he was here. Take care and comfort in your memories however short they were.

  3. Heartfelt condolences for your loss. Loki’s story touched me through your ability to share it. His spirit lives on and I am glad to have known of him and your and Amy’s loving care.

  4. I have stray cats (7 or 8 right now) and when one goes missing for a few days I get very upset. This is the longest we’ve had these particular cats and kittens. I cried when I read your post. I do hope they find what caused it. My sympathies to you both.

  5. Thanks for allowing us to love Loki via this media. To give his body for science is a noble act. Please keep us informed of any findings.

  6. Doug:
    SO sorry for your loss of Loki…your writing on his ups and downs were always very tender and I am sure that Loki is now running free in kitty heaven!! Your site is one that I visit every day for the wisdom and breath taking pictures…thank you for moving back home!

  7. Peace to you and Amy. It will come eventually as you remember Loki with the love he gave you.

    May your Loki now be playing with my partially blind Freckles who died of an unsuspected heart defect at an early age. She, like your Loki, brought much joy & love to my life while with me and I hope to see all of my beloved critters again someday.

    Family members often have four legs. My parents’ ashes were interred along with the ashes of a couple of their pets which had been waiting for them.

    The rest of our family goes on and we find comfort and often laughter in reminiscing about the antics of our parents and pets.

  8. What you did was ‘For the Love of Loki’…from the moment of giving him a loving home, all the medical help possible, being patient with his special needs, all the way to making that difficult decision. We just went through the same decision ‘For the Love of our Tigger’. Thank you for sharing your journey with Loki.

  9. Sorry about your loss.I am the one who got one of the three kittens and so far his health is good when you do find out what the problem was please let me know so if I should need to tell the vet. sorry again.

  10. Dear Doug,
    I live on a Blue Ridge Mountain in Clarke County. I had a very precious kitten, about a year old, die in my arms about a year ago, of starvation. He had had 2/3 of his intestines removed, after eating dental floss. The surgery was done, because a lot of his intestines were shredded. He survived the surgery, but in the course of time, he just couldn’t absorb enough nutrients. He was constantly dribbling diarrhea, but he was very sweet and loving. I cried straight for a week when he died. You see, I was the one who had used the dental floss that gave him the problem to start with. After all this time, I still haven’t gotten over it. A few months later, actually on Easter day, my husband and I drove about 3 hours to rescue a new mommy cat, and her week old kittens, from West Virginia. We still have the whole family, minus one kitten, who is in a good home. I am on constant ‘litter box’ detail, but my heart is still broken.
    When I read about your little Loki, all my pain was again unleashed. I cried so much, I think my nose is permanently red. I checked your blog four or five times a day, to see if there were any updates. I was freaked out when I learned your kitty was black, because mine (named ‘Yoshi’) was also black. Your wonderful writing ability was a blessing to me and a curse. You made it so real, I was right there (in the stall)with you. When I say I’m sorry, I truly mean it. The tears are streaming down my face, as I type. I said a prayer on Tuesday, that Loki and Yoshi are playing at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for us to come, you and Amy and me, to play with them, too. I see the same mountain.. The same sunset. The same birds. And there’s an empty place in my heart, throbbing and sore, just like yours.
    My daughter, Shawn, who lives in Rhode Island, has a cat named Loki.
    I’m really sorry, Doug. If you’re a little angry, and out of sorts, that’s OK…I hope you get back to normal faster than I have.
    All. Ways. Jeanie

  11. Dear Doug and Amy:

    Doug, I have been a fan of yours for years, although I have never written. But I wanted to write and tell you that when I read the stories of little Loki, my heart broke for you and Amy.

    Damn. Damn, damn, damn!

    Even when our four-legged friends are with us for years, it is never long enough. They depend on us for love, food, shelter, and care, and we grow to depend on them, too. Life just isn’t the same without a hungry howl waking us up before the alarm; a warm greeting at the door when we come home; or a ball of fur snuggling in our arms, gently raising a paw to caress our face.

    Your love for Loki knew no bounds, and I know it was the same for him. You will never be the same for having loved him. He has changed your perspective a bit, awakened a special love in your heart, created an even stronger yearning to help make this world a better place. This is Loki’s gift.

    In time, you’ll pass his gift along to someone else, and in this way, Loki will live always.

    Please accept my deepest sympathies.

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