In Praise of Tusse aka Tuddy

Rest in peace my beautiful boy. Maybe we will meet again one day.
Rest in peace my beautiful boy. Maybe we will meet again one day. I miss you.

Tusse was an epic cat. He lived to be well over 20 years old and the was like a kitten up to his last day when suddenly he was not and I knew it was time. When he died he had all his teeth, a glossy coat and his tattoo was just clear as day.

He was half Abyssinien and an amazing character. He taught himself to use the apartment lift. He could never figure out how to go down in the lift but to go up, he would press the button to call the lift, walk in and press the button for the right floor. Visitors to the building could never get over the cat catching the lift with them.

He used to go jogging with Mark and for walks every evening. He would sometimes accompany me to the bus stop. Whenever you were sad, Tusse knew – he would come and cuddle just when you needed it.

He had such a loud purr that he was once featured on a police two way radio by a police officer in our area. And he would purr for up to an hour from one cuddle. Everyone used to fight to sleep with Tuddy because he was like a big comfy pillow and his purr could put the most hardened insomniac to sleep. Visitors used to ask if they could have him on their bed for the night. The first time I ever came to Sweden, in 1997, Tusse slept with me every night.

The day he died he was fine in the morning. I had a very long day at work so at lunch time I went to the vet to get him his favourite dry food and went home to give him some and to give both cats a big cuddle. When I got home that night he didn’t know who I was and he was cowering under the bath. I rushed him to the vet where they told me it was time.

The night I had to put him down was one of my worst nights ever. I cried for months afterwards and I still miss him terribly. Being able to give our beloved furry family members a painless and dignified end when it is time is a wonderful gift but at the same time so difficult because that same power we have to release them is a power that hurts so badly and makes you feel that maybe you had made the wrong decision, even if your rational thought tells you otherwise.

Paddy was so distressed about losing his friend that I almost couldn’t cope with that. He hunted for him and called and wouldn’t eat for weeks. I didn’t want another cat after that but Mark insisted and a month after Tusse died we got Fluffy. It was the right decision because three days later they were friends (very unusual for cats) and Paddy was eating again.

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Paddy with a tiny Fluffy three days after we got him. Paddy was so lonely he just couldn’t get enough of Fluffy.

 

For me it was a much harder road. I battled to love Fluffy in the beginning but he crept into my heart and has been there ever since.

Tusse was born in the 1980s and died on this day in 2010. So in tribute to him some photos. I am crying as I write this which is really unusual for me – I very seldom cry at loss. At this time in my life and with the life I have had I am resigned to loss. But maybe I can love animals with all my heart which I cannot do with people.

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Tusse and Paddy. I used to adore the little tufts on Tusse’s ears. Both cats have tattoos in their ears for ID purposes but Tusse’s is clearer as he has pale ears.

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In his favorite spot one spring with bits of snow still on the ground. He used to love the sun on his face. We scattered his ashes here.

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He was so big he had to sleep in a dog bed

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A visitor sleeping with Tusse. People used to hold him round his middle so they could feel the vibrations as he purred.

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Christmas Day. He always used to get a present of toys and an edible treat.
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Mark with Tuddy, who was very definitely his cat. Mark delivered Tusse and so Tusse had been with him from the day he was born.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

19 thoughts

  1. We lost our cat just over 2 years ago (2 November) the house has never seemed to be the same since. It took me months to get out of the habit of looking for him when I went in to the kitchen in the mornings or in to the living room, he had his favourite places to sit or sleep like they all do.

    One day we will have another cat I’m sure.

  2. Thank you for sharing about Tussie. Tussie spread a lot of karma during his life and is a good example to us humans about being kind and sensitive. His story, which brings us wonderful feelings today and makes us hug our own cats a little more and with greater appreciation, is a testament that his soul lives and he is still spreading good deeds. I really believe that!

  3. Oh yes, I feel for you, Janet. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt as the saying goes… I still miss Dante, BJ and Junior, Snowy, Fluff, BT, Aggie, H, Peeps, Nina, Smudge, T’Pau… the list is endless. Dante and BJ were the worst, and Snowy – all ‘my boys’.

    Snowy was my first black cat, whom we lost to a mass in his abdomen which ruptured one Friday evening just after I got home from a week away for work – I still remember the agony he was in, and yet the silent scream of NO! in my head as I held him while the vet did that irrevocable thing.

    BJ was my beautiful tuxedo boy, 18lbs of big, muscular cat in his prime. He was one of T’Pau’s kittens, I was present when he was born. We never worked out what took him from us, he just slowly lost weight and then slipped away quietly one night aged about 11. He was my lad from shortly after his eyes opened, when a tiny kitten started following me around… and kept following me around for the rest of his life.

    Dante… maybe the most painful of all. We only had him around for a few years – he was a rehome from one of my partner’s relatives – but he grabbed our hearts with all four paws and wouldn’t let go. A Havana (think Siamese, but the colour of milk chocolate all over), he was a dedicated sun worshipper, a snuggler, a purr machine, and every night would climb under the quilt to sleep with his front paws over my arm, or curl up on my pillow next to my head. Never backward in coming forward, he was a shoulder-sitter who would interrupt his humans by sitting on their lap, putting his paws on one shoulder and rubbing his cheek against their face while purring madly until he got sufficient fuss. He had a fatal reaction shortly after coming round from an anaesthetic – we had picked him up from the vet, where he had had an x-ray (lame on one of his forelegs, which was the start of arthritis as it turned out) and about 10 minutes after we got home he suddenly started having trouble breathing and collapsed. We went straight back to the vet but he left us halfway there and was long gone by the time the vet saw him. I was inconsolable for weeks… his best friend H was moping around like a lost soul and I kept bursting into tears.

    They do have a way of getting under your skin… and a bit of them never leaves. RIP Tusse, and all those of our feline and canine friends who are no longer around. If they didn’t go to heaven I don’t want to go there either…

    1. Oh Paul thank you for that. I feel your loss. They are so much a part of our lives aren’t they? I wish I could give you a big hug.

      I decided when I was about seven after being told by a nun that animals didn’t go to heaven because they didn’t have souls, that I didn’t want to be part of anything where there were no animals. If there is a heaven, my heaven will have animals in it!

      My Paddy now is very ill with overactive thyroid (which got Tusse in the end) but he has a vet who visits him every six weeks and I am prepared. When it is his time I will let him go peacefully in his favorite place at home with me and his vet by his side. With Tusse it was such a shock because it was so unexpected. And his last experience was the ride to the vet which he hated and he was frightened. But he lived to well over twenty in good health and happiness. I guess we cannot ask for more than that. xxx

      1. We have mourned Uther Pendragon (a Manx) for two years and now have a baby tuxedo kitty named Calvin who has a gigantic purr. And if cats do not go to heaven we are in trouble, as we are mammals also. Theology is my professional background (but not Catholic) and sadly the current church (not just the Catholic part) is wrong about many things. There is a Buddhist teaching saying that when a cloud disappears, it is not gone, and we (including animals) are the same.

  4. I’ve tears running down my face. Cats steal your heart silently and once there, they never let it go!

  5. Big hugs to you, Janet, re this and also your other post about your past medical emergencies. Your darling Tusse = my late, long-missed Kemah, minus being an elevator aficionado. 🙂

  6. I’ve had tears in my eyes reading this too. I so feel for your loss Janet. Ironically, I lost my first BC-X on 17th November 1997 when he was 14 and had cancer. We knew the time had come because his breathing was so laboured but I still wanted to scream at the vet not to do it. On that day each year since we lost him I have lit a candle for him, as I have done each day on 17th March since we lost Tex in 2008.

    Their lives are so much shorter than ours so it’s so important to make every second with them precious. Cats, dogs or any other pet – it doesn’t matter.

    1. Aw Gill thanks for sharing. I am glad you understood what I mean. I knew in my bones it had to be done but a tiny part of me felt that somehow there was a infinitesimal chance that the vet was wrong. But he was born in 1986 so 24 years was more than anyone could expect.

  7. Never really been much of a “Cat”person, but I have a little blind and arthritic Maltese and I look after him. Damn corners keep trapping him, but I am here to rescue him – it’s my job :o) I will miss him terrible when it’s time.

    1. Yes we do enter into an agreement with them don’t we, to be with each other until it ends for one or the other of us. Hope you have a good while to go with your Maltese yet.

      1. I am a cat sitter and behaviourist. I am actually planning to write a post on cat loss in the coming weeks. This is me: alicechauginguene.com
        I still remember the first goodbye i have to say to a customer cat. It marked me 🙁

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