A Goodbye Letter to Bobo, My Beloved Cat for 14 Years

Before you all think I’ve gone off the deep end, hear me out. I’m a big believer in writing letters to people who have passed, or friends we’ve lost touch with as a means of clarity and catharsis. In this case, being that we’re talking about a cat, I feel I should at least address it and let you know I haven’t lost my mind. I’ve just lost a very special pet. My heart aches for him and I truly didn’t know how much this would affect me until it happened. So please, bear with me as I say the last words I didn’t get to say to Bobo, aka Mr. Bojangles, before he passed on 11/29/20 at 14 years old.

My dearest Bobo,

I have been crying pretty much nonstop since you have been gone. There is a hole in my heart that only you could fill, and I miss you so much it hurts. This was one of the most painful goodbyes I’ve ever experienced, and I’m having trouble finding the words to express how much you meant to me. But damn it I will try.

There are a few things I would have loved to say to you before you left, and if there is internet over the Rainbow Bridge, I hope this finds you (perhaps while you’re browsing the Arts section of the New York Times).

When I said goodbye to you, I lost a bit of myself, a grand old friend, and a family member. I couldn’t even breathe. You looked so sad, so weak, and yet, so sweet at the same time. It hurt me so much to see you suffer, I cried the second they brought you over to me. You deserved the very best life, and I couldn’t make you live this way anymore for my own selfish needs. All I wanted to do was pick you up in that fluffy bed, with those soft plaid blankets, and squeeze you as tight as I could, just one last time. But you were so fragile, I knew I couldn’t.

When I said goodbye to you, you couldn’t even walk. I was carrying you from the laundry room, to the couch, to the bed, just to make sure you had company and knew how much I loved you. But each and every time I did it, it broke my heart a little bit more. You seemed so frail and exhausted, I could feel every bone in your body from all the weight you lost. The wide-eyed, hungry, anxious little guy that I fell in love with seemed to be gone for good. I tried so hard to bring you back to me, but with every failed attempt, I felt a pain in my heart. Out of our 14 years together, this was the first time I didn’t know how to fix you, and I was afraid it might be your time to leave me. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself.

I begged you to stay with me every single night that week. I sat down next to you and whispered “please spend one more Christmas with me”, as I pet your small little head while you slept. I prayed for you, I wished on stars for you. Deep down, I had a feeling you wouldn’t make it to Christmas.

When I said goodbye to you, your eyes couldn’t even find me, and I was standing right in front of you. I blamed myself for not recognizing the warning signs, but in my defense, you were one tough little kitty. You never showed me the pain you were in, and I will never really know how long you suffered for, but I hope it wasn’t long. I will probably beat myself up for this for quite a while, but I know I did everything I could for you, and would have continued to do if it felt right. Seeing you like that didn’t feel right anymore. I would give anything to have you healthy again, sitting on my lap, begging for scratchies.

You were always by my side, literally and figuratively. Through four different apartments, countless jobs, half a dozen relationships, arbitrary illnesses, and everything else…there you were. If I was sitting on the couch, you were there next to me or on my lap. If I was in bed, you slept right in that little nook behind my knees or my stomach. You loved to just be near me, and you made sure I knew it. Anytime Chris or I would leave the apartment, you’d grab that little burger and meow like a nutcase. It was weird, but we loved you for it.

When I said goodbye to you, I remembered the first day you came into my life. A tiny little kitten crouched and quivering in the corner of a cardboard box, meowing incessantly. You were so scared, you hid in the corner of my room for hours. I don’t even remember how it happened, but your name just fell out of my mouth. I said quietly, “Bobo, look over here”, and you did. You turned slowly, walked over and sat in my lap for over an hour until my legs went numb. From that moment, I was hooked.

You were the biggest constant in my life, and I can’t believe I don’t get to see you every day anymore. I woke up this morning and looked for your little face outside the bedroom door. I went into the kitchen and expected to hear the pitter patter of paws behind me, with that hopeful face that says “a piece of turkey might find its way into my dish”. Now, I lay here in the dark writing this post, knowing that if you were still here, you’d be snuggled at my feet the whole time.

When I said goodbye to you, I thought of all the good times we had over the years, and how much joy you brought to my life. The mornings were our time together before silly old Chris would wake up, and the apartment is so much more quiet since you have left it. You were the best gift, and even though I am in tremendous pain from missing you, I will forever be thankful for you. I never thought I could love a pet so much. You were a special, sweet, and fancy gentleman, which is how you became @bobofancycat. You could always make me laugh with your silly, perma-shocked face. And your taste for the finer things in life (as well as judgmental demeanor) made you truly one of a kind. You were, without a doubt, MY cat.

When I said goodbye to you, I remembered how attached you were to me, and I want you to know I will always be attached to you. When I place my hand over my heart, I know you’re in there. I walked into that animal hospital with my little baby Bo, and walked out without you. I can’t explain the pain I felt in that moment. And still feel. If Chris wasn’t holding my hand, I probably would have never left you.

When I said goodbye to you, I wasn’t prepared for it. But I’ve learned that you can never be prepared to lose someone you love. I hope you are in kitty heaven enjoying the biggest steak, with the finest glass of Scotch, and a big bowl of gravy on the side. A crystal bowl, obviously.

Rest in peace, my adorable, quirky little Bobo. I love you always, and I know we’ll meet again one day at the Rainbow Bridge. <3


  1. i am SO sorry for your loss.. he was so beautiful! I have a cat also (around 5yrs old) and he’s my world… i fear this day so much.

    • thank you so much 🙁 it’s the worst feeling, but the memories you have live on forever. I try to remind myself of that whenever I get sad.

  2. Thank you for expressing your love for Bobo so clearly. This time is approaching for our cat, due to her illness. I want her to be with us for ever, but I know I shouldn´t make her suffer.
    As you say, the important thing is to let her go knowing you did everything possible for her and I think we have.
    Thank you again for your lovely and heartfelt tribute to Bobo.

    • Thank you for reading and sharing about your cat. So sorry 🙁 It’s something you can never fully prepare for, but you’ll be doing the right thing. And they live on in our hearts forever. Best of luck to you and your kitty <3

  3. I lost my precious Bangel Desh today. 16 years old. I lost her sister 5 years ago. I feel your pain and I’m looking for others like you to not feel so alone.

    I have more to say, but nothing is coming out.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Aww I’m so sorry to hear. It’s such a sad moment that you can never really prepare for. You are definitely not alone! Hang in there, it gets better with time and I framed a photo of Bobo in my living room and my kitchen so he’s always kind of “with me”. <3

  4. I am sorry for your loss, today my 4 Year old cat died, I hoped your Bobo will meet my Cat, Shadow in the Kitty Heaven and they become friends..

  5. A couple days ago my four year old cat crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I had adopted her from the animal shelter 3 years ago. Her name is Angel. I hope Bobo and Angel meet. I, too, wrote my cat a goodbye letter and it is an awful feeling. My kids and I miss her terribly. Take care, Joe

  6. Megan goddard

    I just found this letter as I’m grieving the loss of my own kitty, Dr Linus von Zurich Liechtenstein Kiddlywinks Piggy Piglet. He passed away very suddenly due to an undiagnosed illness. He was only 12 years old. Your letter helps me to realize that I’m not alone And I will do the same for my precious boy who I miss terribly. Thank you.

  7. My deepest condolences for Bobo. Your love for him is Heartfelting.
    Our baby was diagnosed with skin cancer 2 years ago, but Snoopy’s time has come on Saturday. His 13 years old could of made it to 14 but seeing him in so much pain its the right thing to do.
    Hoping we can all see our cats one day in Heaven. R.I.P for all the furry babies

  8. Such a beautiful letter and a farewell to your dearest companion! So sorry for your loss.
    I went through exactly the same over a year ago, but it’s still painful and I go back to those tragic events every now and then… your letter brings somewhat of a consolation today and shows I’m not alone! Hope you’re doing ok!

  9. Thank you 🙏🏾.

    Our 12 year old Prince is a jet setting cat – well traveled, loves to be the center of attention when going through TSA, but then getting shy at a moments notice. So refined, he would speak and have dialogue even to strangers that he would meet for the first time at our house. He is gorgeous and even in his illness, has that aura of I’m special and blessed, but slowly and surely, I think, his best days are coming to an end. And, I’m having the hardest time staying strong while I have to feed him medication that only seems to be a temporary bandaid. We’re gonna try one more vet but if his suffering continues then I pray for that extraordinary strength on that day to say goodbye that you had to muster to say goodbye to Bobo.

    • I’m so sorry – it’s so tough. But you will get through it and know that he is no longer suffering, if you have to go that route. It was much harder for me to watch him suffer than it was for ME to suffer, if that makes sense. Hang in there and sending love. <3

  10. I had to let my 15 yo Monty go exactly 3 weeks ago. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. 15 years of unconditional love and joy and and all I had was one hour to say goodbye. I just can’t handle that. It was that last hour that my eyes opened up and I could see his suffering. That Sunday morning he could not get up but he ate all his food and I thought he would gain some strength and I went to work thinking he’d be up when I got home but he was in the same place I left him. Oh how I wish I would have stayed home with him and cuddled and told him how much I love him. So many regrets about the way I handled some things but I know i can’t go back in time. I know he is thriving now and has a young healthy body again running around with Trixie and Ninja and all my other animals in the beautiful pear orchard. 15 years just flew by I’m so heartbroken 💔

    • I know how you feel. But hang in there. And you gave him a beautiful, long life. Nothing to regret about that. He knows how much you loved him! <3

  11. I just found this after putting my Lola to sleep yesterday. She was everything to me. We were inseparable for 14 years. Thank you, this is exactly what happened with her and how I feel. The pain is astounding, I don’t even trust myself in public right now. This letter makes me feel less alone 💔

  12. John Daugherty

    I am so sorry ,i wish we were closer to help each outher through this terrible situation.I pray to god for him to help me understand it all happened so fast after his sergery he wasn’t that sick before sergery i just sit and wait for him to come home ,i see him all the time in the house and hear his paws walking across the house Please God help us understand that your plan is the best.Dublin was a big boy with a heart of gold and long black fur 30 inches long as close to a main coon as he could get ,he really injoyed watching tv playing ball and just hanging out with us he was such a good protecher everyone loved him and adored him ,do yourself a favor and be careful in what you’re vet puts in your love one ,for some reason thay feel that thay can do what thay want and get by with it without talking it over with you this is sone real bullshit

  13. I offer my heartfelt condolences for Bobo. Reading your beautiful letter and farewell to your cherished companion moved me deeply. I am truly sorry for your loss. My cat, Marites, whom I adopted, passed away after five years together. It’s a profound pain to lose such a bond. They might have strayed into our lives, but they surely found a permanent place in our hearts.

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