Farewell, Sweet Ruby


It is with a broken heart that I’m writing to let you know that my sweet Ruby girl passed away Wednesday afternoon. I needed some time to mourn her privately before being able to share the sad news with you and mourn her publicly.

Less than three months after she was diagnosed with what was most likely renal lymphoma, my precious little girl is gone. I chose to provide hospice care instead of pursuing aggressive diagnostics and treatment, and I have not regretted my choice for one moment. Even though that choice may have cut our time together short, it made up for it with love a thousandfold for what it lacked in length.


Ruby, two weeks ago

As Ruby’s energy and weight fell off over the last few weeks, she still loved her two favorite activities: being in my lap, and eating. When it became evident that the cancer was winning, I made the agonizing decision to let her go while she was “still Ruby.” I barely had time to get used to the idea of her being terminally ill before she died at home in my arms on Wednesday.


First day in her new home

Ruby joined Allegra and me in April of 2011 as a six-month-old kitten. She brought so much joy and light to our home during the past eight and a half too short years. This little cat was all about loving and being loved. Allegra and I are trying to cope as best as we can as we will be adjusting to life without Ruby.


One of my favorite photo of the girls together

Eventually, I will write about Ruby’s hospice care experience in more detail, but it’s probably going to be a while. While writing has always been part of the healing process for me after losing a cat, it’s not something I am able to do while everything is so raw and hurts so much. I’m going to need time to heal from this profound loss before I do so.

I adopted Ruby from the SPCA of Northern Virginia. If you’d like to make a donation in her memory, that would be a lovely way to remember her.

Fly free, sweet girl. I will never stop missing you.


247 Comments on Farewell, Sweet Ruby

  1. MB
    December 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so deeply sorry. We lost our girl at age 8 to stomach lymphoma five weeks ago. Sending you a hug and hopes that you find peace in your many memories of your precious girl.

  2. Stephanie B
    December 21, 2019 at 3:42 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid I am so heartbroken for you! Tears are just flowing for you and Allegra. Prayers and purrs and POTP for you both as you grieve. ❤ Grandpa Mason of Tiny kittens will welcome her home over the bridge where she can run free again.

  3. Janet Staples
    December 21, 2019 at 3:40 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you love and purrs from this cat house to yours. Thank you for sharing Ruby with us.

  4. Laurie
    December 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm (3 months ago)

    So very sorry for your loss Ingrid. I was so sad to hear about Ruby’s illness; we lost our old man this year to kidney disease and most likely renal lymphoma as well (we too, chose not to go further with testing). Keeping you and Allegra in my thoughts at this difficult time. Ruby’s memory is a blessing not only to you both, but to all of us in your extended community.

  5. Dorothy Scanlan
    December 21, 2019 at 3:34 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so very sorry to read about the loss of your beloved Ruby. I am glad she had you in her life. I lost my beloved four-year-old cat in much the same way so am very familiar with the depth of those raw feelings.

  6. Marilyn
    December 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm (3 months ago)

    Ruby will grace the heavens with her beauty & her star will shine brightly.

    May you find peace & comfort in knowing that she could not have had a better home.

  7. Mary Nugen
    December 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm (3 months ago)

    My heart breaks for you. I have been through loss of pets and I know. Each one is special. Having rescues and special needs animals my whole life and when they pass the mourning is horrible. God bless you! In my heart I believe God has Ruby now.

  8. Mary Nugen
    December 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm (3 months ago)

    My heart breaks for you. A pet passing is very difficult to go through. I have been through it enough with having rescue and special needs animals most of my life. God bless you! I pray and feel in my heart that she is with God. He knows what we need and love in this life and wants His children to be happy in Heaven. So that is where Ruby will, waiting on you.

  9. Cecilia Upchurch
    December 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so very sorry for the loss of Ruby your precious Tortie
    Hugs Cecilia

  10. Roberta Moore
    December 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm (3 months ago)

    Heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss. I believe it was the ultimate gift to provide hospice care for her. We’ve had to make these gut-wrenching decisions too many times, the price we pay for loving our fur babies. Peace and hugs.

  11. Shauna
    December 21, 2019 at 2:44 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry for your loss of this precious family member. I weep with you I so enjoyed all of the stories and photos of Ruby. May she rest, free of pain and sorrow. Take care.

  12. Lyn Eggleston
    December 21, 2019 at 2:41 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so very sorry. This is devastating. Please accept my sincere condolences at the loss of your gorgeous Ruby❤️❤️❤️

    • Nic Tatano
      December 21, 2019 at 11:49 pm (3 months ago)

      For me, there have been few things that top the love you get from a great cat, so I know this loss really hurts for you, especially at this time of year.

      Hope the great memories you have of Ruby comfort you in the days ahead. You gave her a great life…

  13. Joyce
    December 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm (3 months ago)

    Oh Ingrid and Allegra,
    Beautiful Ruby…
    My tears for the loss of your beautiful baby girl.
    As I now know, because of the advice you gave me when Casey passed a year ago… Being gentle with yourself as you grieve, for as long as you need to, is the kindest thing you can do..
    Ruby is and holds a large piece of your heart and she will .. always. You’ve shared your babies with us in a million ways and we grieve this loss as well. Thank you for bringing your baby into our lives.
    I’ve had to share your advice with others this past year and I want you to know that.
    I still feel Casey’s loss so deeply but because of you and your girls I’m a better Mama to my other babies and your encouragement helped me rescue two others. You, Allegra & sweet Ruby are in my heart.
    When Casey Jones meets Ruby, I’m sure he will tell her the same. And then they’ll run off and play together…
    Please know you have all of us here who love and care about you.
    I’m sorry for your pain… I wish sharing loss would somehow make it easier to bear..
    Thank you for letting us in. Thank you for all you and your girls do….
    Peace & Love & Prayers..

  14. Jennifer Martinez
    December 21, 2019 at 2:22 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so sorry, Ingrid. God bless you and Ruby and Allegra. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Julie
    December 21, 2019 at 2:03 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious girl, and I also want to thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life with Ruby. She was a dear and so special. I know you miss her so much and my heart and love to you and to her as she moves on.

  16. caren
    December 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid, I am choking back tears as I read this. My heart is sooo broken for you. I know how deeply you love your girls and what an amazing Kitty Mama you are. You gave Ruby the BEST possible life she could ever have hoped for or wanted. She was loved to the moon and back, fed the best food, played with, had the best spots to sun, a sister and Mama whom she adored, a lovely home with nothing but the best. While her time here may have been too short (which it always is no matter what), she led the most beautiful and loved life. She will never be gone, you know even better than I do that she is with you always. I so loved reading her conversations with Allegra…..please give extra kisses to Allegra (I know you are), she has to be hurting too. You KNOW I am ALWAYS here for you, ALWAYS. I am so deeply sorry Ingrid, Ruby will never, ever be forgotten by any of us. Wish I could give you a hug in person. Much love and our deepest sympathy, Caren and Cody

  17. Connie
    December 21, 2019 at 1:28 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry, Ingrid. You and Ruby brought a lot of awareness to the community. RIP, sweet Ruby

  18. Susan
    December 21, 2019 at 1:19 pm (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry. My heart is with you and Allegra. May you find some comfort in knowing you gave Ruby the best life she could ever have had.

  19. Khadijah Haleemah
    December 21, 2019 at 1:06 pm (3 months ago)

    My condolences to you, Ingrid. 🙁

  20. Tammy Banks
    December 21, 2019 at 1:02 pm (3 months ago)

    My deepest sympathy for your loss, Ingrid. Ruby was a blithe and playful spirit whose antics (and occasional sass to big sister Allegra!) brought joy and smiles to all your readers, and we grieve for and with you.

  21. Sharon P.
    December 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid – I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you and sweet Ruby.

  22. Amy L
    December 21, 2019 at 12:53 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid, I am so deeply sorry for your loss of Ruby. My heart goes out to you – I have experienced that heartache more times than I care to think about. Embrace Allegra and take care of yourself. Thank you for all you do for all of us cat lovers – we are better cat parents because of you.

  23. Bob Campbell
    December 21, 2019 at 12:45 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid I’m so sorry for your loss. I have always enjoyed seeing the pictures of Ruby in my Tortitude book.

  24. JaneA Kelley
    December 21, 2019 at 12:45 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so very sorry, Ingrid. May Ruby’s soul fly free. Gaté, gaté, paragate, parasamgate…Bodhi svaha!

    • Ais
      December 21, 2019 at 1:04 pm (3 months ago)

      This is such sad news. My heart goes out to you and Allegra. Ruby was a beautiful little soul and loved very much.

  25. Jane Todaro
    December 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm (3 months ago)

    Dear Ingrid,

    I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful Ruby. Please take comfort in knowing that you gave her an absolutely wonderful life with her sister Allegra, and in knowing that Ruby loved you the way you loved her. Love lives on.

    Take care.

    With love and deepest sympathy,


  26. Will Hodges
    December 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm (3 months ago)

    Heartbroken. Sending love and healing.

  27. LouiseAyers
    December 21, 2019 at 12:28 pm (3 months ago)

    Ruby spread her wings, and flew to join all our feline angels. She is frolicking without pain, and knows you love her so much. Hospice is such a hard thing but loving them and cuddling them to pass with dignity is what we strive for. Hug Allegra and her fur will carry your tears! You both need time, and love from each other.

  28. Debra
    December 21, 2019 at 12:23 pm (3 months ago)

    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your girl, Ruby.
    I cried while reading your post and I feel for you. I hope Ruby is in the arms of
    St. Francis right now- happy and without pain.

  29. Kate
    December 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm (3 months ago)

    So very heartbroken to read this sad news. My heart goes out to you and Allegra as you grieve beautiful Ruby

  30. Cynthia L Chomos
    December 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm (3 months ago)

    Sending peace and comfort to you and Allegra as you transition through the loss of sweet Ruby, your fur angel watching from above. May the blessings of Ruby continue between the physical and spiritual realms until you joyfully meet again on the other side. The grief and loss of Ruby, and any beloved cat, brings tears to my eyes as the relationship with these precious beings is such an irreplaceable gift and part of our soul. Thank you Ruby for stirring up another layer of healing on my end for the loss of my sweet Shahzae 8 years ago. I trust you are all playing, sleeping and watching over us from above. Take good care Ingrid and may Allegra’s purrs bring comfort to your heart.

  31. Lu
    December 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Peace and love to y’all

    • Kat
      December 21, 2019 at 12:17 pm (3 months ago)

      My heart aches for your loss… know that you and Ruby will be reunited and this time forever… sending you warm healing hugs ❤️❤️❤️

  32. Name*
    December 21, 2019 at 12:10 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid – my heart aches for you & Allegra. I feel like you are family. May your precious Ruby have endless blue skies & sun puddles. Take care of you. Because of you I found Sara Chauncey & p.s. I love you more than tuna. Her wisdom & the love and support of your extended conscious cat family is by your side now & always. Rest in Peace sweet Ruby

  33. Jackie Pasquini
    December 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm (3 months ago)

    Ingrid and Allegra…I am SO very sorry that Ruby made her journey to the Bridge. I am literally bawling my eyes out and feel the loss as if Ruby was part of my family….and in a way she was…you all are…Ruby passed knowing so much love and you showed that love by letting her go peacefully…RIP sweet Ruby. xoxox

    • Catherine J Stout
      December 21, 2019 at 6:19 pm (3 months ago)

      A cat is a most majestic animal..Ruby was a loving, sweet girl and I’m so happy that you shared her with me and all your readers..I feel like she and Allegra, were my own, thru your writings..I was in shock, when I read of her passing, this morning..I left for work with a heavy heart..I’m so sad for you and Allegra..

  34. Emily R.
    December 21, 2019 at 12:05 pm (3 months ago)

    So very sorry for the loss of your sweet Ruby. Can so sympathize, as I had lost my dear Sophie to a similar lymphoma at 18-1/2. I’m sure Ruby knew how much she was loved and will watch over you and Allegra. May her memory be always a blessing.

  35. Pat
    December 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I agree that hospice care is the best option in these circumstances.

  36. Nancy Faulkner
    December 21, 2019 at 11:57 am (3 months ago)

    Ingrid & Allerga,

    We share the loss of Ruby with the both of you. Eight & half years is so young. But Ruby died with her Mom & Allerga at home, where everything was familiar. That includes those Tuna cakes.

    Ruby crossed The Rainbow Bridge. She isn’t alone. Many before her will keep her company. Just recently, Lil BUB crossed that bridge too.

    Ruby will be waiting for her Mom & sister Allerga to meet her someday at The Rainbow Bridge.

    Ingrid & Allerga, take care of each other. Thoughts & prayers, along with hugs from….

    Grayson, Milo & Nancy

  37. Debi
    December 21, 2019 at 11:52 am (3 months ago)

    I literally feel your pain and am crying for you, and my own recent loss of my sweet kitty, about 6 months ago. Our babies are at peace now, but we will hurt for a very long time, and will miss them forever. Wishing you and Allegra strength to cope. I know she will mourn as well. Hoping you find comfort in the wonderful life and love you gave Ruby. Your guidance helped me greatly to give the same to my kitties over the years. Thank you. <3

  38. Victoria Witzer
    December 21, 2019 at 11:35 am (3 months ago)

    I’m so very very sorry for your loss. It’s so incredibly hard to work through! You lost a loving family member who brought you so much joy. Take your time to grieve, reflect and honor Ruby. You gave Ruby her best life! (((Hugs))) to you.

  39. Francesca
    December 21, 2019 at 11:34 am (3 months ago)

    RIP little Angel.

  40. Ernest Paul
    December 21, 2019 at 11:32 am (3 months ago)

    ,So sorry for your loss!

  41. Fran Vogel
    December 21, 2019 at 11:26 am (3 months ago)

    Ingrid, I am so very sorry to hear this news about you beloved Ruby. We are never ready when the time comes. I so know what you’re experiencing having just lost my dear Seymour a month ago. Our companions who are such a huge presence leave a large hole in our hearts and lives. It’s like the air is sucked out of the house replaced with a stunning silence that one can hear. Wishing you peace and love during this difficult time. <3

  42. Kathleen
    December 21, 2019 at 11:26 am (3 months ago)

    Ah Ingrid, I am so sorry for your loss (both you and Allegra). Their passing leaves such a hole in our lives and our hearts. You will have your memories of all the joy that she brought to your life. Take care of yourself as you move through this time of grief.

    Much love


    Say her name and let it be a blessing:



    RUBY!!!!! ♥️

  43. Dianne Casey
    December 21, 2019 at 11:25 am (3 months ago)

    So sorry, Ingrid, for you loss. Cats give us so much love and take a piece of our heart when they leave us. RIP, beautiful Ruby.

  44. Val Bate
    December 21, 2019 at 11:13 am (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry for your loss. Ruby was a beauty. I wish peace and comfort for you and Allegra as you navigate your grief.

  45. Shannon Miranda
    December 21, 2019 at 11:12 am (3 months ago)

    I am SO very sorry for your loss. Do you know the poem “The Last Battle”? Its about a beloved pet telling its human that we need to make the decision when they are fighting an illness that cannot be won and that it is ok. Time and talking to others when you are ready helps. Hold on to your memories and that you gave Ruby a wonderful happy life. Sending positive loving vibes to you and Allegra. ((hugs))

  46. Amy Peavy
    December 21, 2019 at 11:07 am (3 months ago)

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  47. Steph
    December 21, 2019 at 11:07 am (3 months ago)

    I am so sorry, Ingrid. May you feel the love from many that care deeply.

  48. Kerry Vistisen
    December 21, 2019 at 11:05 am (3 months ago)

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl.

  49. Barbara
    December 21, 2019 at 10:58 am (3 months ago)

    So sorry for your loss. RIP Sweet Ruby. It’s hard to lose a good friend.

  50. Bonnie Wagner-Westbrook
    December 21, 2019 at 10:54 am (3 months ago)

    I’m so deeply sorry Ingrid for your loss of Ruby. She was one stunning and well-loved girl. We’ve lost many in the last few years and the pain in gut-wrenching. I have to remind myself that it is the ultimate kindness, the ultimate gift of love to end their suffering. Rest easy beautiful Ruby… Love and hugs Ingrid…


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