On the scene: “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” | News, sports, jobs

Lucy sleeps in a staircase. (Photo provided – Ng Wyckoff)

(Editor’s note: Bring a box of tissues before you read this. It’s a tearjerker.)



On Wednesday, July 27, with great sadness, I put my 17-year-old cat and companion Lucy to sleep. It was a difficult decision, but one made out of love.

Lucy’s life began as a feral cat on Brooklyn Street seeking food wherever she could find it or could get it. One day, I followed another cat into someone’s house. They were initially amazed at the softness of her fur and how beautiful it was, but once Lucy discovered that feeding indoors meant sharing food with the couple’s cat, she immediately tried to force their cat out of the house. Her instincts in the street were affected. Now the couple faces a dilemma. They didn’t want Lucy back on the streets, where her chances of survival were bleak, and they couldn’t keep her, because she was fighting with their pet.

Their friend Abby, a fellow Brooklynite, learned I had lost my kitty cat, my longtime companion, who passed away a few months ago. She and our mutual friend Jerilea, who splits her time between New York and Ken, decided that Lucy would be perfect for me. As a result, I came home one day to find a kitten hiding under my bed and a tray of cat litter in the kitchen with a bag of dry cat food.

Lucy watching the Wyckoff escaped sketch. (Photo provided – Ng Wyckoff)

In time, Lucy appeared cautiously, mostly to eat and rush back under the bed, but soon began to explore my house, terrorizing the mice at night and checking me out. Any attempt to bring it in resulted in scratching, squeaking, and the like. Lucy eventually came to appreciate being scratched and scratched behind her ears. It was surprising to realize that it contains no fat; Caressing her, one could feel that each muscle was clearly defined.

Her first trip to the vet didn’t go well, as it included a hatred of being in cars that didn’t wane her whole life. But now she’s lost the water, and with all her shots behind, it didn’t take Lucy long to figure out that living in my house was a pretty good deal. I have ferocious mice that have had this wonderful ability to flatten themselves and vibrate under the stove in search of a mouse. She was relentless. It didn’t take long for Lucy to decide this was her home, and my job was to feed her when she wanted, at first dawn.

Lucy quickly devised a host of methods to wake me up in the morning; Little was used twice in a row. There she was walking up and down on me, sitting on my head, pounding me in my nose, meowing loudly from the ground to my waking up with a cat face close to mine staring into my eyes. She loved running around the house, racing the ladder to the loft or jumping from floor to chair, to the kitchen table, to a cool hop to the top of the fridge, and from there to the shelf above.

Lucy can open the desk drawer so she can sleep with the clothes in it. It was not strange to open the pantry door to find her sleeping among bags of dried peas and the like. Nothing better than that, though, as I fell asleep in front of the wood-burning stove or on whatever papers I was working on. Sitting was getting a cat who was miraculously sleeping on a chair to sleep on my lap. you found the idea; Lucy had so much personality that amazed me and my friends.

But about a year ago, Lucy had a tumor in her neck that grew slowly. Removing it will cost her an ear and possibly a leg without a guarantee of success. Then 16 years later, after going through multiple unique experiences in life, I felt like I couldn’t do that to her, and so the cancer grew slowly, and it grew, and most recently, at an increasing rate. Lucy scratched it and took medication to reduce the pain and itching. She sleeps more and more of the day and sleeps in a dark place behind the sofa.

Lucy is sitting in a box. (Photo provided – Ng Wyckoff)

Last Monday, I came home from going to the gym to find a bloody trail from where I slept driving across the kitchen floor and out the back door. I couldn’t find Lucy anywhere outside, and I was afraid she was out to die. Two hours later, Lucy is back a little limp now. I saw that she was bleeding from her ear and from her tumor. I felt I had no choice. Letting her live longer could cause her tumor to burst and die in a pool of blood.

Fortunately, my local vet, Jackie Bentley, offered to provide Lucy’s transmission at my house on Wednesday evening, the day Lucy’s ear bled and swollen again.

“I had to put down the dog Milosh, named after the poet,” Aaron Miller said. That was in August of 2015. The Milosh was a very energetic dog weighing around 24 or 25 pounds, short-haired, with a pointy nose and curly tail. He was very personal. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old until we had to leave him when he was 18 and a half. He lived a full long life.”

“We knew it was coming for a while,” Miller said. Milosz had dementia and a long-term congenital condition that we also managed to treat. I decided that I wanted Milosz to have some kind of quality of life; He was blind and deaf, and dementia made him act sporadically, walk in circles, and stay in corners. I thought Milosz wasn’t incontinent yet, and I didn’t want to because his life would be horrible. We put him to sleep in August 2015.

“Even though I grew up with pets, this was the first time I had to ditch one. I think I learned how valuable that companionship, that partnership you have with that animal; the bond is deep. There are important signs in my life that I have measured based on On that relationship.Not having that companion anymore, his end, and the need to move on and end the bond, was painful.Painful but helpful.

Aaron Miller (Photo provided – Ng Wyckoff)

“It helps you appreciate the relationships that you have. I know that some people move forward in their lives and bring other pets into their lives; I haven’t, at least with a dog. We now have a cat that has a similar personality. So there’s some continuity, but there’s no way around it; Deciding to drop Milosz was very difficult.You want this relationship to continue, like any important relationship in your life;you don’t want it to end.

“Not to become heavy, but we as owners of animals can decide to help them not suffer anymore. This is a huge gift. It is a painful gift. My wife and I were with Milosz when he passed away. Being with him, not in a sterile medical setting but in the comfort of his home, was Another gift. The experience was special.”

Lying on a blue towel, Lucy didn’t want to go at first, then left her, and snuggled tightly against me, purring to the end. It stayed in great shape for three hours, and then I carried her outside wrapped in the blue towel. By chance, perhaps not really, at that moment, two close friends called me on Facetime and they immediately changed their reasons for calling to help me put Lucy to rest. They spoke to her, then thanked Lucy for all the experiences, joy, and love she had brought into my life. Lucy was then buried to the sounds of the Beatles singing “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

(Naj Wyckoff lives in the Keene Valley. He has been covering the news for over 15 years.)