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Farewell, Mr. Otto

September 29, 2007

This has nothing to do with women’s health, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want. Our dear, geriatric cat Mr. Otto died this morning. He was about 21 years old, and lived a good, long life. Toward the end, he needed a lot of meds and special care, and we’re glad he’s not uncomfortable any more.

A few Otto memories:
-We got him several years ago when The Husband’s brother married a woman who is allergic to cats. I was terrified of taking him, because I wasn’t sure how long he would live. I’ve very glad we did and were able to give him several more good years surrounded by other lively kitties.
-Otto had the best fuzzy paws, but couldn’t stand for me to mess with them.
-Otto liked to play with toilet paper, shredding it to bits. I encouraged him at this. 🙂
-Otto also enjoyed beer, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Even when his eyesight was lessened, he would sneak up and take cheese out of your hand while you weren’t looking.
-He liked to sleep on my pillow, wrapped around my head. Once, I woke up with cat poo matted into my hair as a result, which caused me with my warped sense of humor to laugh hysterically.
-Otto took what we called “camel drinks.” When he drank water, he stocked up for a trip across the desert, and you could hear it all over the house.

I’ll add more if I think of them, but it’s been a rough morning.
The more:
-Otto was the only one of our cats who would get in the trash like a dog, and actually pull over the tall kitchen can. 🙂
-I always swore Mr. Otto had a crush on our orange girl kitty, Ms. Ella, because he gave her lots of attention.
-Otto was so fast at whapping other kitties that we called him a “ninja kitty.”
-He also liked to sit with his face in the path of air conditioning vents.
-Once, The Husband and I were visiting my parents out of town, and took Otto with us because he needed medication and we didn’t want to board him. My parents live in a split-foyer house, and Mr. Otto’s eyesight had been diminished due to a blood pressure issue. He was exploring the house, and the very second I turned to say, “Let me put something in front of this railing so he won’t walk through,” he walked through. From the top portion, falling to the bottom. Never fear, he wasn’t hurt. It was very Wile E. Coyote, he stepped out, seemed to hover for a second, and then fell straight down to the bottom. Somehow he managed to turn himself so he was parallel with the steps, and landed on his feet, precisely on the bottom step. I ran down to grab him, muttering, “I’m glad The Husband didn’t see that.” Of course, The Husband walked around the corner at exactly that moment and said, “Didn’t see what?” 🙂

Also, Jag asked about how Otto got his unusual name. I can’t take credit for it, but I get a kick out of the story. My brother-in-law somehow came to be in possession of two black kittens. One of them was not pure black, but had a white spot on his throat, right about where a tracheotomy hole might be. That kitten was therefore named “Trach” and Mr. Otto took up the second half of the term. Odd senses of humor run in the husband’s family. 🙂

I used to sing to him to the tune of the Sesame Street/Ernie song “Rubber Ducky:”
Mr. Otto, you’re the one
You make nap time so much fun
Otto buddy I’m awfully fond of you

We buried him in a shady spot in the back yard, facing due east. We’ll be planting a tree for him later.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2007 10:25 am

    awwwww, Rachel…I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Amanda and I are sending *hugs* and thoughts of sympathy to you and hubby.

  2. September 29, 2007 11:15 am

    Thank you, Ginger. We ended up selecting a hydrangea for the spot, which is nice because I grew up with them and it will do okay in the shady spot. It helps.

  3. September 29, 2007 2:24 pm

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your feline friend.
    Many hugs to you Rachel.

  4. September 29, 2007 2:28 pm

    Thank you, ‘coma.

  5. September 29, 2007 3:09 pm

    Rest in peace, Mr. otto.

    21 years is a hell of a run! Kudos for giving him a loving home during his twilight days, Rachel!

  6. September 29, 2007 3:20 pm

    Thank you, Lindsey.

  7. September 29, 2007 6:42 pm


    I’m so sorry about Mr. Otto. It’s funny how you used a picture of him to announce your vacation, which shared his cuteness with all of us and now after seeing him, we can share in the sadness of losing a family member. How wonderful that he could spend his life sharing your cheese…and your pillow…oh yeah …and your hair.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Rest in peace, Mr. Otto.
    Take care, Rachel.


  8. Sharon permalink
    September 29, 2007 8:03 pm

    I’ve been there, Rachel, and I will be again (we have 2 dogs and 6 cats, all middle aged or elderly!). I know it’s tough. If anyone says, “Come on, it’s just a cat,” give them a punch in the gut! 😉


  9. September 29, 2007 8:38 pm

    It’s been almost exactly a year since I lost my kitty Sasha. I still have his brother, but rarely does a day go by that I don’t miss having the both of them here, fighting in the middle of the living room floor or curled up together at my feet.

    I can’t imagine having had a kitty for so many years and then losing him. I really will be thinking about you. My best.

  10. missedconceptions permalink
    September 29, 2007 10:10 pm

    Oh, I am so sorry about the loss of Mr. Otto. He was obviously very loved and I am sure he had a most wonderful kitty life.

    Our kitties want to sleep on our pillows, too. I think it is a real sign of devotion and even though I hated waking up in a sea of cat fur, it really made me feel loved.

  11. September 30, 2007 7:35 am

    Thank you all very much.

  12. September 30, 2007 9:45 am

    Rachel, nothing is sadder than loosing your loyal friend, companion, and animal child. Mr. Otto sounds like he had a wonderful life. 21 years old is an accomplishment! I’m very sorry to hear about his passing; my condolences to you and your family.


  13. September 30, 2007 10:28 am

    I’m so sorry about your dear Mr. Otto, Rachel. Losing a pet is so sad. (And I’m really partial to cats, myself.)

  14. September 30, 2007 10:29 am

    Oh, and I used to have a dear cat who would sleep with me the same way… It was wonderful.

  15. September 30, 2007 12:20 pm

    Awww. 😦 It’s amazing just how long they can live and I’m dreading the day when my own beloved feline friend passes (she’s already 10 and showing signs of her age). They’re part of the family and I’m sure it’s hitting you hard. Hang in there and keep thinking about those good times.

  16. September 30, 2007 1:36 pm

    I’m so sorry about Mr. Otto. Sounds like he had a good, long life with you.

  17. September 30, 2007 4:42 pm

    Otto was lucky to have a loving family and it sounds like you were lucky to have Otto.

  18. September 30, 2007 6:24 pm

    Ugh, sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you and Mr. Otto.

  19. Donna Locke permalink
    September 30, 2007 8:38 pm

    It’s a hard thing, but he may return as another kitten. It won’t be the same but you will be drawn to it and it will be comforting in a deep, deep way and will make you wonder. I have one I’d swear is a reincarnation of a cat I had in Atlanta who was killed by coyotes.

    Twenty-one years is a long life for a cat. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you. Bless y’all.

  20. September 30, 2007 9:47 pm

    Thank you, all. Your words have been a comfort to me. We’re planting the hydrangea tomorrow, and I went to the flea market today and found a stepping stone with a mosaic black cat with blue accents that we’re going to use to mark the spot.

  21. September 30, 2007 9:48 pm

    Thank you. I didn’t grow up with any kind of religion, so I asked the husband (who was raised Methodist) if Methodists believe in kitty heaven. His response was to say, “I prefer to think of a new kitten being born.” 🙂

  22. October 1, 2007 9:46 am

    My condolences, Rachel; I’m so glad that he had a great several last years with you 🙂

  23. saraclark permalink
    October 1, 2007 12:36 pm

    Good choice on the hydrangea for Mr. Otto. I like the idea of something blooming to remember him by. Sorry for your loss.

  24. Jen permalink
    October 1, 2007 12:44 pm

    So sorry to hear about Mr.Otto, Rachel.

  25. Carissa permalink
    October 1, 2007 5:06 pm

    Oooh- so sorry to hear this. This kind of thing is always hard.

  26. October 1, 2007 11:41 pm

    Pets named Otto are the absolute best. I’m so sorry for you.

  27. October 4, 2007 10:29 am

    I just saw this. I’m sorry.


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