A tribute to an old friend – RILEY

Good Bye Old Friend — RILEY the Kitty — 22/08/20

It is with great sadness that we had to let our dear friend go.

He had lost more than 50% of his weight after his encounter with a fox at our rear deck railing several weeks before. The encounter left him with an open wound on his right paw and possibly some bone damage to his forearm. After a visit to the VET and about two weeks of antibiotics, he seemed to lose his appetite and continued on a downward spiral.

During the time that he was with us, he provided us with a great deal of entertainment and learning.

In our busy day-to-day lives, we tend to ignore the depth of the personalities of our pets. Riley demonstrated many human traits as well as developing a sense of empathy, caring, and a genuine interest in our lives as a real family member.

‘Gma’ was his FAVOURITE. He would follow her from room to room, and she would talk to him continuously. When she was in the kitchen, he would perch on the back of a chair in the living room where he could watch her. He would lead ‘Gma’ up and down the stairs to our loft while pausing for her at each step of the way. Then he would stretch out on her footstool, waiting for us to shut off the TV and head down to bed.

Around 9:00 pm each evening, he would come up to the loft and indicate that it was time for bed. When I was ready to go off to my room in the basement, he would lead me down the stairs. I would give him his evening treat of Salmon Pate, and we would settle down for the night. During the night, when I had to visit the bathroom, often he would hear the rustling of my blankets and enter my room with a loud MEOW. He would then wait while I got moving. As I stood up, he would turn and look at my cane, as if telling me to pick it up. Then he would lead me to the bathroom, one step ahead, and wait while I did my business. As soon as I flushed the toilet, he would snap back into action and lead me back to bed, one step at a time. Often times he would then actually get on the bed beside me to make sure I was settled in. He would only stay there for a few minutes, as if he actually felt that this was part of his responsibility.

In his last years he even developed a kind of conversational capacity. He would respond to a sequence of phrases when ‘Gma’ would talk to him. He would make several responses over up to 10 second at a time like he was trying to communicate with us, which he was, of course, but we never got to understanding his vocabulary.

There are endless situations where he demonstrated so many different personality traits which we see in everyday human interactions.

We miss you Riley — Gpa & Gma                                             2006-2022 : 16 years


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