Goodbye to Biddy

It is with a heavy heart that today I said goodbye to the sweetest, smartest, most curious cat. Biddy’s struggle with intestinal lymphoma came to an end this morning. Despite his frail, failing body, he was wholly Biddy to the end: hungry, talkative, and loving. Megan and I held him in our laps as the vet assisted us. It was incredibly difficult and emotional, yet also peaceful and serene. Following a long life (16+ years) of proud defiance, Biddy’s fitting final act as he went to sleep for the last time was to pee all over me.

I adopted Biddy from the Humane Society in 2007 when he was just a few weeks old. He was my first pet, and I was delighted that he latched onto me as his papa. He was so playful and bouncy–we would play chase, catch, and soccer in the hallway. Over the years he developed an immense vocabulary of chirps, chortles, and meows, and he seemed to understand quite a few English words. At my previous condo he taught himself to open doors and cabinets–he was so smart.

Biddy was particularly snuggly during meals and in the evening. He was my sweet boy for many years, and he took strongly to Megan when she came into my life 4 years go. He would perch on her leg on the couch during nearly every meal, and over the last 8 months he shared a pillow with her at night (his back to me so I could be the big spoon).

Biddy was very food motivated. One of my earliest memories was him stealing a hot dog right off my plate. His love for kibble resulted in some weight issues (at one point he tipped the scales at 20 lbs), but we got to a good place with a wet food diet. For the last few weeks he’s only been willing to eat freshly broiled halibut, cod, and tilapia, which I’ve happily cooked for him. I would take care of him forever if his body could digest the food. His last meal was a few licks of cod and some stolen kibble from Walter (the other cat I adopted years ago so Biddy could have a feline friend).

I hope I gave Biddy the best life I could. I love him like a son, and he taught me what it means to put the needs of someone else before my own. He endured a lot in his long life–diabetes, cavities, urinary blockage, ear infections, and more–but he always had a spring in his step when I called his name.

I am crushed by this loss. My heart is broken that I had to say goodbye to my sweet boy. I feel like a big part of myself is missing. But I’m so glad for all the memories, many of which are captured in the thousands of photos and videos I took of Biddy. I miss those big eyes, those hours he spent “working” with me at my desk, all the time we spent outside on the patio, the shared smells, and the affection he showed to me and Megan. I can’t comprehend waking up without him, eating without him, or sharing my weekly/monthly photos without him in them.

Biddy, I’m so grateful for you. I love you, dear boy, and I miss you more than anything. Thank you for spending the last 16 years with me and for bringing so much joy into my life. (Also, thank you to the level of compassion and tenderness of the Central West End Veterinary Hospital for their end-of-life care.)

16 thoughts on “Goodbye to Biddy”

  1. I’m so sorry to read of your loss. I hope for comfort for you and Megan as you rightfully mourn.

    Thank you for sharing him with so many: in Easter eggs, Caturday posts, and live stream cameos. He will be missed and fondly remembered with every play of a Stonemaier game.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Joshua. It’s been a very difficult 24 hours, and we’ll take all the comfort we can get. I’m glad Biddy is memorialized in so many ways–thank you for mentioning that.

      Reply
  2. Oh Jamey… I am so heartbroken by this news. Sending my best wishes and comfort to you and Megan, this must be so incredibly hard for you two. And to Walter, poor little boy, missing his lifelong buddy.

    Biddy is in the first place YOUR cat, but he’s also a celebrity cat for all Stonemaier fans. We all know Biddy from his appearances in your videos (he never asked for permission to be on camera — cat’s don’t need permission), from your stories, from his cameos in so many Stonemaier games. Well, maybe not in a space bees game, but he will live on in all those other places. He made such a difference for thousands of people in the world, but above all for you. That’s quite the achievement. He was and will always be your unique, special cat.

    Take your time to mourn. Sending hugs from Belgium. Take care.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Karel. It’s far more difficult than I even imagined. I’m so glad we could share Biddy with the world (and he does even appear in Apiary–see tomorrow’s post). 🙂

      Reply
  3. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Biddy. They are not just pets but cherished family members. Please know that we are all here for you during this difficult time. Remember the joy and love you shared, and may those memories bring you comfort. Our thoughts are with you, Megan, and Walter.

    Reply
  4. That just sucks! However, what a lovely ‘goodbye’ though, brought a tear to my eye!
    Think of it as a him moving on, to play forever in your memories, your dreams and the videos of photos you have of him. Condolences from Ireland.

    Reply
  5. A few days ago I was shopping on foot, enjoying the great weather… One of the ways I can take from the supermarket back to my house is along a church and a vet on the edge of the church square with a little wall in front of it.
    A young woman and a little child were sitting on the wall. A split second looking at them from afar was enough to realize they were there to say goodbye to a pet, waiting outside…. Instantly my eyes got wet, having felt that way a few times myself over the last 25 years …. I managed to say a few words of encouragements and compassion to them…
    A lot of your viewers asked about Biddy on the live stream, and in the last weeks your responses touched me deeply, feeling the condition was worsening.
    I don’t know you personal like I didn’t know the woman that day. But you showed us a lot about you as a pet owner, and cat dad 🙂 I am 100% certain Biddy had a great life with you. I am deeply sorry for your and Megan’s loss and wish you both all the best for those awful days right now.
    Your description of that… peaceful and serene moment…. reminded me of the last furry friend I lost. A nearly 12 year old bunny nearly blind and deaf… but cute until the last moment, one of the two first pets my daughter had….. She couldn’t manage to come with me, the vet left me alone with the little furball for …. the last minutes, peaceful and…important… minutes I will never forget. 🙂

    All the best from Germany take care Jamey
    Tim

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing this, Tim. I really appreciate your empathy for a tough situation–for me, for Megan, and for that woman and her child. I’m so sorry about your dear bunny.

      Reply
  6. My thoughts goes out to you and Megan. As I mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been through this six times over nearly 30 years with the cats who my wife, Vicki, and I have shared our lives with, so I fully relate to the grief you are experiencing. Your comment about the profound absence of Biddy from your life reminds me of something I said when we lost our first cat unexpectedly to cancer, “I have a Cleo-shaped hole in my heart.” I can assure you that the pain of your loss will subside over time, but it’s my experience that the joy of remembering the experiences you shared together never will. Biddy will remain your good boy forever, and continue to delight generations of game players with his appearances in the games that are now part of both of your legacies.

    Reply

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