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. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Ruby. I also lost a tortie to renal lymphoma and the hardest part was knowing there was nothing I could do to stop the progression. Just know that your heart remembers most what it has loved the best. Thanks for sharing her with all of us through the years.

  2. Dear Ingrid,

    I am so sorry to hear that Ruby has gone. I know how heartbroken you must feel. It seems to me that you made her comfort and happiness your first priority — so good that you did not put her through aggressive investigations and treatment and that she died at home in your arms. Thank you for your wonderful site and for the caring, knowledgeable example you give of how best to look after cats. Hugs, Sarah

  3. Dear Ingrid,

    We are so heartbroken for you at the sad loss of your darling girl Ruby.

    At least you can Take comfort that Ruby coukd not have had a better mom who gave her so much love and care.and you saved her from.suffering the very worst of her illness.

    Ruby will be with you always in heart , mind and spirit.

    It’s terribly heart breaking, we know and are with you and praying for you at this difficult time.

  4. We send our purrs and prayers of support. It is so hard to let a dear friend go back home to the Bridge but we must for loves sake. Dear Ruby we know you were welcomed by many angels and are now without any pain and having fun in all the great places you are being shown. Watch over us all until that day we all meet again

  5. Ruby will forever be in your beautiful heart, Ingrid. She’ll visit in your dreams and dance among your words when you’re writing. I’m so sorry for your loss. Love…Chris

  6. i am so very sorry for your loss, i know at this time of the year it can be especially devastating. I am so glad that she passed away while you were holding her, even though i know it was devastating but as she passed she knew she was loved and cherished. my oldest gal passed away in my arms, i was so glad that i was there and holding her, although i could not stop crying and asking why, telling her i was so sorry i could not save her from the devastating cancer. may you remember her as she was and to wonderful times you had together. wishing you a peaceful and healing journey.

  7. Thanks to Ruby’s frequent updates, I feel as if I just lost a member of my family. I look forward to your description of “fospice.”


  9. I have no words Ingrid, I am just so, so sorry. Your readers understand how important these two unpredictable balls of fur are to you and the transformative way they helped shape your life. Good bye sweet Ruby, run free little one.

  10. Dear Ingrid,
    My heart is breaking over the news of Ruby’s transition. Thank you so very much for sharing Ruby with us. You are a model “cat mom” and gave Ruby the best possible care so that she could cross over the Rainbow Bridge knowing in her little heart that she was loved beyond measure and that she could transition freely. Love and hugs to you and Allegra.

  11. I’m so sorry that sweet Ruby didn’t have more time with you. She couldn’t have asked for a better mom. Sending you a big hug.

  12. My deepest condolences…. it has been a sad year, but Ruby wa given all the love you had. As she drew her last breathe she knew she was loved and you were near.
    I too am ‘older’ and over the years so many have filled my heart. It seems there are some you always hold dear, although you love them all and it is never easier.
    Take your time and grieve.
    I think a post about hospice would be a great one. It is a choice we make out of love.

  13. Sincere condolences on the loss of your pet Ruby. Having two cat’s myself and also having owned and lost pet’s over the decades understand what it feels to lose your non-human companion.

  14. You did as we did in deciding to Forgo extreme measures in fighting a foe that has only ripping us in two, as its motive. We gave our Tuxedo about four months of extended life. But in the end you, and we are United in heavy hearts. Peace to your soul Ingrid

  15. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your Ruby. May she rest in peace. You’ll be reunited in heaven some day, and hoping knowing that helps you in this sad time.

  16. VALE sweet Ruby. Bast has a new angel in her Meadow…
    With loving thoughts from Me and soft wiskas kisses from Koko in Australia

  17. Rest in peace, Ruby. I know you felt all the love surrounding you as you journeyed to the bridge. May that love stay with those you left behind and help them as they mourn your passing.

    • Fly free sweat Ruby. So many more years we should have had to share with you, but you’re gone now in the blink of an eye. You will live on in our memories. Mommy & Allegra love you & so do I. You were here for me whilst Boofy St Marie battled her cancer. Please stop by and see my magnificent fluffy red girl. Tell her I still love her and I count the days until we can all be together. Fly Ruby, fly.

  18. Ingrid, I am so shocked by this news! It seems like only a few days ago that you posted the news of her illness. And now Ruby has crossed the Bridge. But she has my sweet Abby to show her the ropes over there. Ruby couldn’t have a better guide. I’ve said a healing prayer for you, as you’re the one now who needs healing.

    • I am so sorry to hear about Ruby passing.We have lost 3 of our kitty babies to cancer,so we know how hard it is to let them go.It is never easy but we console ourselves that we gave these strays a good home filled with love and care.In return,they filled our lives with joy and happiness.Ruby was blessed to have such a wonderful family.

  19. Dear Ingrid,

    I’m so sad to hear of your loss of your beloved Ruby. I pray her soul Rest In Peace in heaven, and she will watch over you and Allegra. I know it’s never easy to let go, but you gave her the best love and care.
    I pray for Ruby. Thank you for sharing your loss with all of us. God Bless you.

  20. My heart goes out to you. I know you’re missing your sweet little friend. (This is a place I know only too well.) But you were a loving and courageous friend to her. Remember the good times.

  21. My sincere heartfelt condolences. I grieve with you. Decades ago when my beloved Abby had to be put down and I couldn’t part with her, my mom said: “It’s the last kind act you will do for Abby.” That gave me the strength and I parted and grieved afterward. You gave Ruby the loving-kindness she needed when she most needed it. Ruby knew and loved you for it.

    • Your mother was such a wise woman! My first kitty was also named Abby, and she and I had such a strong bond. I only had about 10 days with her after finding out she was in complete renal failure. I tried so hard to save her, but it was no use: She had stopped eating and drinking completely. So with a broken heart, I knew I had to let her go. That was the most painful 10 days of my life, and I was not a young woman, so pain was no stranger to me. But that pain was the worst.

  22. Such a hard thing to go though. I agree it was the right path to take having gone through it myself less than a year ago.
    Sending sincere condolences.

  23. I’m here to pay my respects to Ruby. You gave her everything and the best at the end. Not putting her through tests that she would not understand and then letting her go was the most incredible gift and one I hope the peeps provide me with. Fly free Ruby. Sending comforting purrz to you and Allegra.

  24. I am so very sorry for your loss of sweet Ruby. I am a senior lady who has done rescue for over 40 years. Losing one of my babies is something I will never adjust to. The unconditional love they give to us warms our hearts everyday and the loss is just overwhelming. My thoughts are with you and may your memories of your dear baby give you some help.

  25. I’m so sorry for your loss. Their time on earth is never enough for us. Just keep believing that you did what was best for her, and for you. I’ll be thinking of you.

  26. So very very sorry for your loss of your beloved Ruby…you will always carry her in your heart and her Spirit will always be with you and Allegra…

  27. We are so sorry to hear about dear Ruby.
    We think you made the right choice,hard as that was.
    We send comforting purrs and it is never easy to say goodbye to a beloved kitty.
    Purrs,Georgia and Julie
    and mum Nancy

  28. Oh – we are so sorry to read this. She is no longer suffering , but you and Allegra will be sorrowing for a while. Our Oscar is battling CKD too, so we have identified with Ruby’s struggle. We know she will never be forgotten, but she will be watching over you too. Purrayers and POTP to you two and all who love her.

  29. What a terrible decision to make, but you made it with love and wisdom; it couldn’t have been done better. Ruby will always live in your memory, just as she will always live in the life beyond this one. Godspeed, Ruby.

  30. Ingrid… I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s so heartbreaking to lose a family member. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  31. Dear Ingrid, I’m so sorry to hear that Ruby lost her battle with kidney disease. Your post about treating the patient rather than the lab report was very inspiring to me, as I’m going through a similar situation with my 18-year-old boy. Your community loves you and I hope you find comfort in that.

    • If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to the rainbow bridge and bring you home again, Dear Ruby.
      I’m so sorry for your loss. She’ll always be with you, near you and in all of our hearts!

  32. I am so sorry and shocked that your sweet girl is gone so soon. Words don’t express how I feel for you. Remember the fun times , take care. With our love and prayers , Nancy , Dottie, Amira

    • Dearest Ingrid, I’m so very sorry to hear about your beloved Ruby. Your narratives of Allegra and Ruby throughout the years have always brought a smile to my face.

      Sending a ton of healing wishes your way.

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