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Rest in Peace, my sweet boy Norton, July 2000-March 20, 2013 3:30 p.m.

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Today I said goodbye to my little boy Nortie. Unfortunately, his problems were too insurmountable to overcome, and I wanted to let him go before he had to beg me to. My heart is breaking right now with grief. He was the best cat I've ever in my life had, funny, sweet, naughty, and oh so loving. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But he's resting in peace now, free from the pain that plagued him, free from the asthma, arthritis, diabetes, spinal collapse, all of it. The last three days, he couldn't walk and I had to do everything for him. I would have gladly continued, but it wouldn't have been fair for him to have to live in such pain. We can't control our own pain, but the least we can do is control our pets' pain. My friends Marsha and Nubia were there to say goodbye to him. Marsha is the one who brought him to me nearly 13 years ago as a four-week-old kitten, whose mother had bitten his leg in childbirth. The breeder had taken him to Marsha's vet clinic to be put down, and she saved him for me and we had his leg amputated. For weeks, I took him to work and bottle fed him until he got his legs under him. From beginning to end, he was the best cat friend a person could ever have asked for. I'm grateful to Marsha for bringing him into my life and was glad she was there in the end.

Please feel free to leave comments, but also please understand I won't be able to respond to them right now.


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Hi Ada, thanks so much for your condolences. Norton was just different. He wasn't like a cat at all, actually. He was more like an old soul filled with kindness and love. I've had many cats, but three stand out in my mind, and he's at the top of the list. It was so sad in the end, how quickly he went downhill. One minute he could walk, the next he couldn't. At the end, I was picking him up and bringing him to the litter pan, and holding him up while he peed. After a week of doing this, I knew that it was time to let him go. Thanks again for coming here and leaving such a heartfelt comment. I appreciate it so much, Ada.


Oh Gail! I'm so sorry, I just now see this. A recent puzzle got my attention. I haven't been on jigidi browsing puzzles very much lately. I had no idea! That sweet boy. It will take awhile for your heart to heal, but it will, slowly gradually. Fond memories you will have, and tears will come, they always do. Just let them fall and know he is now without pain, he loved you. You did all you could. - Ada


Hi Monica, thanks so much for your good wishes. Nortie was an Oriental Shorthair. You're correct, he looks like a Rex, or a Sphynx with hair. You can find more photos of Norton from March 20 onward on Octomom and Octomom2 (I'm not sure how many are on Omom2). There have been many more photos of the gang posted over the last few years, but no need to go that far back.

I'm so glad you found kitty love again with Smokey and Shadow. I couldn't live without a cat for any length of time. I still have five left, Tootsie, Schnellie, Frankie, Keeper and Charlotte. But Nortie was special. He was one in a million, and there wasn't a person he met whose hearts he didn't touch. There are cats, and there are characters, and Nortie was a character.


Oh sweety I am so very, very sorry for your loss! I've been where you are and it hurts so bad, I thought I'd die from the pain when I lost my sweet Romeo! He too was the best cat I'd ever had, after a few years the pain lessened and I felt ready to open my heart to another kitty and that's when Smokey and Shadow came into our lives! They are the absolute most wonderful cats you could ever ask for, so full of love which is what I desperately needed after losing my Romeo kitty! Your Nortie was a beautiful cat to be sure, his face looks like the face of a Rex and yet he had fur, so I'm very curious of what kind of cat he was! I'll have to check out your pics of him, do you know where exactly I need to go to find them in your puzzles? I'll keep you in my prayers my friend, if ever you need to talk just let me know as I'm a good listener! God bless!


Thank you very much, catslave. I appreciate it more than you can know.


My heart is breaking for you octomom. *hugs*


Thanks, Joyce. I won't say anything more, since you and I corresponded.

Sue, I'm so very sorry to learn about your horse. I hope you have as fond memories of her as I have of Nortie, and I hope you have many photos of her by which to remember her. It's never easy no matter what species they are. Please accept my condolences.


Gail, my heart breaks for you. I had to put my 27 year old horse to sleep Saturday as it was "time" to let her go. Know that I am thinking of you now too. Hugs, my friend.


I'm so very sorry. I wish you peace & comfort. You did right for Norton & he loves you even more for it. Hugs ~ Joyce


Thanks, Francine. I can't begin to tell you how difficult my decision was. In the end, I did it a little earlier than I might have, just because I wanted him to remember the quality of life he had and the love he received from everyone who knew him.

Aw, Cindy, that's so nice of you, but it's something you don't have to do. My star doesn't expire until August. My gift of your first star to you was just a gift, not something that needed to be reciprocated.


Hi Gail...I'll be getting my star back soon...just didn't realize it had been so long til I opened up Jigidi yesterday. I just forgot about it in December. I'll get you one again if you need me to...Just let me know.


Gail, am so sorry for your loss. The hardest act of love.


I hope so too, Dagmar. Thanks for your kind words of wisdom.


Sorry I'm late as always and everthing has been already said. It is difficult to lose a friend after such a long time and nothing I can say will make it any easier for you. I hope that after some time you will be able to look at his pictures without pain but with a smile remembering the good times. :))


Thanks, Cindy. I know Nortie and Ben and Pinky are romping around somewhere having a grand old time. If I could buy you another star like I did last time, I would. Since you work and I don't, why don't you call me when you have some time? I'd love to talk to you again.

I know, mulder32. He left a giant hole in my heart that might never heal.

Carol, it was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. Right up until the end, he was alert, eating and fairly happy. That's what made it so difficult. I knew he couldn't walk and was in pain, so I had to concentrate on that. My friends took some photos of him at the clinic, and I'm waiting to receive them by email. I'll post them when I get them, but I'm not sure how long it will be until I'll be able to even look at them. They'll be the last photos of him ever.

Laura, the honor is all mine. I'm truly blessed to have such wonderful, kind, caring Jigidi friends who are helping me through this.


Fair well, Norton.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Octomom. Thank you for honoring us by sharing your photos and giving us the opportunity to express our condolences.


RIP Norton. Your Mom gave the greatest act of kindness by allowing you to go. It took such courage. I know heaven is now an even a better place having you there.


I'm so sorry for your loss. Our sweet furries hold such a place in our hearts, it's so hard to say goodbye.


Looks like it's time to get my star back...Lost track of time.


Oh Gail...My heart is breaking for you. I just now opened up my yahoo. Please feel free to call when you feel like it. The luckiest cat in the world to have had you for a mommy!...and don't worry...Ben Ben will take care of him...:-)...and Pinky!...all my love and happy thoughts, cindy


Niccolino, that was one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read. I thank you so very much for sharing it with me. I'm sorry for your loss of Connie. She sounds like a very special kitty as well.

Petsmom and Martha, you're absolutely right. I do have such wonderful Jigidi friends. It's too bad we all can't get together for a giant group hug. I feel blessed to have so many fine friends here.

Poor Schnellie. When she's not sleeping in Nortie's bed, she's running around the house crying. I feel so badly for her. All the cats seem especially antsy lately, wanting to be around me even more than normal. I suppose we're all grieving in our own quiet ways.

Oh Gail, I am so sorry to hear that Norton is gone. My arms uphold you and my thoughts encircle you. Many beautiful wishes have come your way so mine will be brief. May you be strengthened by the thoughts of your friends and consoled with the knowledge that you had many wonderful years with a very special being whose memories will remain ever bright in your heart. Love you and praying for strength for you to get through the time ahead. Martha

I'm so very sorry, Gail. My heart is breaking for you. I hope that all the beautiful messages that are being sent to you are easing your pain a little bit. What loving friends you have.


I'm so sorry for your loss. My own cat died last year and I've only just been able to have another one now. I know it feels like your heart is breaking just now, but it does get easier, even though it feels as if it won't just now. I wrote a poem to my cat after she'd gone, and some words came to me afterwards (almost as if she 'answered' me) so I wrote down. They brought me much comfort, and I hope they do for you too. Here they are:

To Connie:
I kiss the place where you once lay -
Just enough sunshine, just enough shade,
The indent that your body made,
And cry with grief for you today.

I think of the shared times we once had-
Some of them happy, some of them sad,
Remember how my heart was glad
To feel you close and kiss your head.

I think of the time when first I heard -
I'd never again feel your fur, never again hear your purr,
How my heart was in a whirl
To think I'd lost my sweet little girl.

So I stand at the place where you're now laid -
Just enough sunshine, just enough shade,
Your life so cruelly snatched away,
And I cry with grief for you today.
Copyright: N.Cooper

These were the answering words:

From Connie:
Open your heart, let it expand, let it grow and grow -
Not in mournful grief, but Love, for there Love cannot go.
I am not here in physical sense, but you can feel my spirit -
Let your heart grow in Love - for in Love there is no limit.

Do not mourn my loss so fierce for, in truth, I have not left,
Let your hearth grow in Love - be not so bereft.
My time had come, I had to go, but there will be another -
So open your heart to grow in Love - Love like there is no other.

For that is the Love you gave to me - you Loved me like no other -
So open your heart to love again - for there WILL be another.
And they will come, and you will Love, and your heart will grow and grow -
But let not your soul be so downcast - for they too one day will go.

And so it is, that circle of Love grows and ever grows -
For it is so when you are chosen, and all of nature knows
That where He bids us we must go, so we come to you for Love -
Until such time as we are called, and then we must go home.

So be not cast down - we are all here .
We know you Love us still,
And we Love you, and so it goes -
On and on, and ever will.
Copyright: N. Cooper


Thanks very much, Heidi, Jill and Rob. He touched my soul like no other animal has. There was just something so special, so magical, so connected to me, that I can't describe. My heart aches, and I've done nothing but cry most of the day, especially whenever I think about things he used to do and places in my house that were his favorite.

Heidi, I'm so sorry for your loss of Lady.


Oh Gail - I'm so saddened to hear of Norton's passing - my thoughts are with you & your other cats. Having had a 17yo cat that had to be put to sleep - I know the pain you are going through....hugs...Rob.


Dearest Gail, I am so, so very sorry for your great loss. It is when we love the most that we hurt the most at the loss of our loved one. I know you love all you babies but it sounds as if Nortie was beyond that, he was a part of you. My deepest sympathy, dear friend!


((( HUGS )))


Lisa, Katie, GMAjANET, PamCal, Gwen, Queenbee2b and canoekaw, thank you all so much for your kind comments. I am sorry for all your losses, and hopefully the losses we will continue to mourn for future pets, because we can't know loss without love.


I am so sorry for you loss. He sure looked like a good friend giving much pleasure in the puzzles. I will keep you both in my thoughts tonight.


So sorry for your loss. Jo


Oh Gail, I am so sad for you. I know only too well how you are feeling. When I had my beloved Chico put to sleep in 2010 a piece of me died with him.
Around that time I listened to the Michael Jackson song, Gone Too Soon and thought how fitting it seemed:

"Gone Too Soon"
Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

My thoughts are with you. Gwen.

I am so very sorry for your pain. You did the right thing to help Norton in his time of trouble. You proved your love for him by being able to say goodbye. Over the years I've lost my beloved pets too. My daughter and her husband just lost both of their "boys" within 2 months. They were brothers and they were 19 years old. They were my 'grand cats'. There are no other grandchildren and our hearts are all breaking. You obviously gave Norton a good home and lots of love. I will pray that you will soon be able to rememberonly the happy life you shared.

I have an idea how you are feeling. I have had to have 3 cats and a dog put down and it was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. One is buried at the pet cemetary and the other 2 I let the vets deal with. I just couldn't do it. The cats had feline leukemia and I wasn't going to let them get to the horrible painful stage and suffer. I miss them yet even tho' it has been more than ten years. I now have 2 black cats. Moses and Squeaky Sue. Squeaky Sue hates men.


Dear Gail, I'm also so very sorry for your loss of Norton. We all love you so much and I can only hope you know how much your pain is shared. You are so special for the care you gave Nortie and continue to give all your sweet pets.
Love, Katie


I have nothing much to add Gail, everyone else has already said all of the things I might say, so I'll just leave it at an abbreviated "ditto" and tell you that if you need to talk, you're very welcome to get in touch and send you silent virtual cuddles xxx


Thank you all so much, Samantha, Lela, FATS (thank you for the rainbow statement), Pat, Edie, Faye, PurlingPony, Libby, Sherry, Deborah, Su, Cheryl, Brie, Trudy, Ardy, Plumpy, Jan, Rosie, Treker, nigeline and Kirsten. It's only been a few hours, but the hole in my heart seems to be growing. Nortie's favorite spot was buried in my jacket while I was at the computer or on my couch, burrowed in as deep as he could be, sleeping and purring. When I brought him in to the vet, the sun was out, and when I left it was pouring. The sun then came out and I looked for a rainbow but couldn't see one. Marsha and Nubia live in the opposite direction, and Marsha told me that when the rain stopped, she saw the biggest rainbow she'd ever seen. I know Norton was headed there. The fatal blow to Nortie was that he had to have one of his front legs amputated right after he was born. The stress of having to compensate for the missing leg resulted in his spinal issues, compressed disks and arthritis, on top of his asthma and diabetes (which was caused by the prednisone he had to take because of the asthma). I had gotten his asthma and diabetes well under control but it was not enough to save him. There wasn't a person who met him who didn't immediately fall in love with him. He was alert to the end and eating very well if I brought him his food. He couldn't make it to the litter box, so for the last two weeks I had been taking him there and holding him up when he went to the bathroom. If I didn't, he'd fall over on his side. At the end, he lay there in my arms, surrounded by Marsha and Nubia stroking him, and Susan, one of the other wonderful vets in Andy's office, administering the medicine. There wasn't a dry eye in the entire clinic, because he was so well loved. He died with dignity and love surrounded by the people who loved him the most. I'm almost glad my good friend Andy was out of the country in Vancouver, BC, on business so she didn't have to deliver the final dose, since it would have been so very hard on her. On the other hand, I really wanted her to be the one. She'd been there from the beginning and took such great care of him, and I'm so grateful to her for her skill and love. She'll be heartbroken when she returns to know he's gone.

PurlingPony, Libby, Sherry, I?m so very sorry for all your losses. I know people who won't get a pet because they don't want to have to grieve when they're gone. But as nigeline said, you can't know true love until you accept that there will be the loss at the end. I'm not sorry for a minute about Nortie, and I know it was the right and humane thing to do. It would have been selfish of me to keep him any longer. Even though he was alert, he couldn't get off his bed on the couch to participate in life here. I felt it was better to let him go now before he got in so much pain it would have totally destroyed any quality of life he had left. The hole in my heart will heal, but I will never forget my tiny little boy.


Oh, Gail. I know how much you had been hoping this day wouldn't come. And whilst you know that it was the right thing to do for Norton, it doesn't make it any less hard on you. It doesn't make his loss any easier to bear. I wish I could be there with you, to help you through this time. And I wish there was a way that I could take the pain away for you. I'm so very sorry. Take care.

Love, Kirsten xoxoxo


Hello, I'm new at jigidi; never heard of you or your cat before. But I'm sitting here crying, reading it all. It is so beautifull to read that the cat had you and you had him all these years in such a way. And how wonderfull that you have such friends, that write to you so lovingly! that too is a present in these days. I know it doens't help you now, but still I will write the wellknown sentence: "better to have love and then lost, then never to have loved at all". All my good wishes to you and all that are mourning a loss, of a person or pet.


Remember those Good, Fun times. Sorry for your loss today. Take care....


Gail, my heart is breaking for you and I understand your pain. Nothing anyone says can help mend the hole in your heart that can never be completely filled again. Norton is watching you with those beautiful eyes of his and saying how much he loves you and that he will be waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. I was going to post it for you but saw it has already been posted. It's wonderful you had a great friend with you to usher Norton to the other side. My prayers are with you. Rosie


Oh Gail. We know how much you loved him and he loved you. To lose such a loved companion is unbelievably hard. But you made the right decision for him. Letting him suffer would have been a poor end to such a rich life you two had together. My hugs and thoughts go out to you. I am so sorry! Jan


Peace, and courage, Gail.


Gail, I'm crying with you. ((Hugs))


I understand and feel your pain.


Oh Gail...what words are there? My tears are burning and my heart aches for you. There is a Norton shaped hole in your heart and it will always be filled with the love and wonderful memories. We are given these gorgeous furry friend to love and cherish and the greatest gift we can give in return is that when that moment comes, when we know that 'look' when they see deep into our souls, it is time to help them cross over. You did so much, we all have been with you in these final few weeks , our hearts lightened with the news that Norton was doing so well but now we all share your sadness. My love I send to you and I know all our angels on the other side of the Bridge will take Norton carefully by the paw and enfold him in their love too.


Sending you love and sympathy, Gail. I have tears running down my cheeks from 3000 miles away so I cannot imagine your pain. I know it was very, very hard for you to set Norton free. I hope your other furbabies can give you some comfort. Take comfort when you can, Gail. Many hugs, strength of the heart coming your way.


I am so sorry to hear about Norton. Although he had a rough start he has had many good and happy years with you, years that were to be denied him until you took him into your home and gave him the love and care he so richly deserved. With his failing health you gave him every chance but you made the right decision . . . he is now free from the pain. I understand how you feel and know it will be difficult for you for a while. Rest assured your Jigidi friends will be here for you when you feel up to it. In the meantime take care and look after yourself . . . Su


Oh Gail, I'm so sorry... There are no words that any one can say that will comfort you right now, just please know that I'm thinking of you...


Oh, Gail. I am so very sorry for your loss of beloved Norton. I had to let one of my cats go just three weeks ago, so I fully understand how you are feeling now. Just know that he is free now. Know that he loved you very much. And know that you will see him again--I truly believe he will be waiting for you. I shall keep you in my prayers. Sherry


Oh Gail, my heart is breaking for you right now...many of us know and understand, as you well know. There comes a time when we know we're holding on for us and not them...I was so devastated when I had to say goodbye to my Dulcie that I couldn't even post a pic, much less respond. My hope for you and the other sweet kitty's is you'll be given the strength and courage to get through this, and, that you will be all the better for having given him a life worth living and caring for and about him as you do. Tender hugs, Libby


I'm so sorry, it is so difficult to lose our fur-kids. He was a beautiful cat and very lucky to have found you. I love that piece about the Rainbow Bridge, it helps me get thru these times (I lost my old dog in Dec., reading about your dear kitty is making me cry...) take care


Thank you, Gail, for loving him so. He sounded like a real character and a survivor...with eyes that look into your soul...and then laugh at you...because even though he was dependent on you for care...he always knew you were putty in his hands! I'm so sorry for your loss but am certain he is resting in joy with the renewed energy of a kitten and the joy of having known unconditional love. Take care. Faye


Gail my heart is breaking for you. I have lost many cats but when you loose one as special as he was it takes a long time to heal. I know that the last few days had been difficult for him and that you would make the right decision when the time came. Please know that you are in my thoughts. Contact me when you feel you are able. I'm so sorry.

Norton was a special cat. So sorry for your loss.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...


So sorry to hear this news, Gail.........I think a lot of us feel we knew Norton, and he will be missed by his 'jigidi friends'.........


So sorry...but it sounds as if you loved him enough to set him free!!