We’ve lost our friend

Alley 2002 BCH

Some time in the year 2000, a little blue-cream female cat came into the lives of those of us who work at Bytown Cat Hospital. Her name was originally Claire, and she was rescued and cared for through the Friends of Abandoned Pets (FOAP) program. While we’ve helped care for many cats in the FOAP program over the years, this one was special and she came to stay. We changed her name to Alley (because we imagined she was probably born in one) and she lived happily with us until a few weeks ago.

“Alley came to Bytown several years ago and we decided to adopt her. What a good decision! She was so gentle and had such a quiet personality. She loved to be petted while curled up in her favourite bed in the treatment area of the clinic. Alley loved to come and smell your food hoping to get a small treat; she loved bacon! She is missed very much every day.”Dr. Nicholson

Many of the cat owners who came to Bytown knew Alley for she was often to be found in ourAlley Feb 08_2 waiting room, either on the reception counter or on her cat tree. She sometimes served as our ‘teaching cat’, helping us show cat owners how to give medications or administer other treatments. When Amiel came to join us, she accepted him with the understanding that the cat hospital was her home and she’d let him live there (and let us come to work there).

“Mornings were a particularly affectionate time for Alley.  Most days she would wander overto the door as soon as we came inside.  This would also be the time of day when she would least protest being picked up.  What better way to start a day at work than to be greeted by a warm, furry, purring little creature who rubs her face against you and tries to groom your hair?”Laura

Alley in her bed“In recent years, she was an old, whiny girl and we loved her that way. Alley was also a great “supervisor”, she would always sit on the counter beside the sink and watch us work, making sure everything was done to her standards. She loved when stray cats would come in, especially the unneutered males, but she was never fond of kittens!”  – Nancy

Later in life, her arthritis limited her mobility and she didn’t find it easy to be in her favouriteAlley April 07 places. Instead, she was queen of the back part of the hospital, reigning over everything from her special bed. Alley taught us a lot about caring for a senior cat, for as she aged, she decided to experience several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease in addition to arthritis. Eventually, it was the kidney disease that claimed her life.

“Alley loved spending time with us during our lunch breaks. We could never leave our plates unattended because she would sample our lunch or walk away proudly with the entire plate. We love you and miss you, Alley.”Chantal

“Every morning while we waited for our morning brew of coffee, Alley would come running for her tiny treat of milk or cream. It was the fastest she ever moved!”Cynthia

Alley in scarf

In her middle age, she struggled with her weight, like many of our clients’ cats. She was a small, finely boned little girl, and we tried to keep her slim and healthy. Given the amount of food around a cat hospital, this wasn’t always easy! Everyone remembers the day she proudly stole the sushi Dr. Little had planned to have for lunch!

“Alley was a wonderful lady, full of sass and personality. What I miss most about our “Princess” is seeing her curled up in her bed with her plastic dinosaur, overseeing the business of the clinic. It feels very different without her there.”Allison

She had a sixth sense whenever a camera was about to appear and she would quickly vanish. Alley_Laura French (1)Despite that, we took many photos of her over the years and we savour them now as precious memories.

“One of my fondest memories of Alley is taking her outside with me on my lunch break. Nancy and I would take a blanket out on the grass behind the hospital. We would eat our lunch while she explored in the grass and rubbed her head in the bushes. She loved being in the sun and would purr and purr. She was a great cat and we all miss her so much.”Erin

Alley Nov 2006_1

Alley became very sick with kidney disease over the September long weekend. While others were enjoying the last weekend of summer, we were worrying about Alley and caring for her. On her last afternoon, we took her outside again and even though she was very sick, she enjoyed some time in the sun, the scents on the breeze, and the feel of the grass. We sat with her, talked about her, and cried a little. Then we said goodbye.

“No heaven will not ever Heaven be. Unless my cats are there to welcome me.” (Anonymous)

Have you recently lost a beloved pet? There are resources to help with grief and recovery:

Making a donation to a charity in the name of your pet is a wonderful way to help others:

.   .   .   .   .

The Cat Hospitals website

Bytown Cat Hospital on Facebook

Merivale Cat Hospital on Facebook


About The Cat Hospitals

Veterinary care exclusively for cats
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6 Responses to We’ve lost our friend

  1. Gilles Verreault says:

    To my friends at Bytown Cat HospitalWhat a touching tribute to your friend Alley. Reading it, I can feel the love all of you had for her.Of course, by the time I reached the end, I had tears in my eyes. Even more so when you wrote :” Then we said goodbye.”I have experienced the “goodbye” part myself a little more than a year ago when I had to part with my dear, dear Minou with the help of Dr. Nicholson and Chantal.You all must have been so very emotional when you were writing Alley’s tribute.My thoughts are with you. I know what you are going through. Gilles Verreault and Smokey

    Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:39:30 +0000 To: jlgverr@sympatico.ca

  2. carolle caouette says:

    So sad to hear about your loss… Alley will leave forever her little pawprint across your hearts… Meow… carolle (Psipsina)

    Le 2012-09-26 20:39, The Cat Hospitals a crit :

    > >

  3. Jennifer Prevost says:

    Our sincerest sympathies to all the staff…

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