It’s Good to Have Friends

Steve is making sure I am doing alright and taking care of myself. He’s a good boy like that.

I just wanted to again thank you all. Also, I have no idea where the hell the rest of the front pagers all went.

77 replies
  1. 1
    RoonieRoo says:

    Steve knows what his job is. Good cat.

  2. 2

    Steve’s a good kitty who knows a good human when he sees one.

  3. 3
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    Hugs and scritches to Steve, Thurston, and Rosie.

  4. 4
    Mike in NC says:

    Peace, bro.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    That is so sweet.

  6. 6
    opiejeanne says:

    Aw, good kitty Steve. Take nice care of the nice man who opens your cat food and who loves you.

  7. 7
    mattH says:

    They know. When my wife lost her dad, our oldest cat crawled up on her and snuggled.

  8. 8
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Who’s a good kitty? It’s Steve. Steve’s the good kitty.
    Flora is off for her sleep over at my sister’s with her dog cousins Milo& Daisy. She”ll stay a couple of days since I’m getting this miserable gallbladder out tomorrow and 4 paws landing on the incision area is not recommended.

  9. 9
    GregB says:

    I went to a coffeehouse for lunch and the house kitty came over and nestled against my love handle while I drank fresh coffee and tasty llapingachos. It made my day. Take care Cole.

  10. 10
    SectionH says:

    Maybe they’re just making space for grief, or at least waiting for your cue, now given?

    Steve is not Tunch, but he’s a wonderful cat too. I’ve never understood ppl who say that cats don’t care about their humans except that we can run can openers. My cats knew, know, when I’m really sad, or sick. And they would just rally ’round.

  11. 11
    Arlene says:

    Lurker here but I read every day, several times a day. I remember when you got Lily, when Rosie jumped in the truck and of course, Steve. So my heartfelt condolences for Lily who you gave a wonderful life to. Steve is such a good Maine Coon. I have had Coons for 30 years and my sweetest guy passed away last summer. We now have a Steve lookalike who is truly a crazy kitten who makes losing my guy easier. Each pet is unique and there’s always one waiting to be adopted and loved. Also, Thurston Howell might be one of the best dog names ever.

  12. 12
    Anne Laurie says:

    I’m tempted to stomp your post right this very minute.

    We were trying to give you space!

    (So I’ll wait the mandated half-hour.)

  13. 13
    MobiusKlein says:

    Where are the Front Pagers?
    Quivering in fear of bigfooting.

    Love to all furry and non-furry friends out there.

  14. 14
    debit says:

    Steve is a good cat. Hugs to you, John.

  15. 15
    Quinerly says:


  16. 16
    debit says:


    I’ve never understood ppl who say that cats don’t care about their humans except that we can run can openers. My cats knew, know, when I’m really sad, or sick. And they would just rally ’round.

    It’s true. My cats will climb all over me if I’m crying, will drape themselves over me if I’m hurting and purr really hard, like they’re trying to soothe me.

  17. 17
    Wolvesvalley says:

    @Gelfling 545: Good luck with the gall bladder surgery! An extra pillow over the tummy is good armor against landings on the tender area.

  18. 18
    condorcet runner-up says:

    They know, and Steve’s a good one. Much love, Cole.

  19. 19
    Mike J says:


    Steve knows what his job is.

    If only I knew what to say.

  20. 20
    Msilaneous says:

    Love to you, John Cole, and the critters.

  21. 21
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    Cats do comfort their humans. When my late lamented Coco got her diagnosis in the vets’ office, I started to cry – and Coco immediately began to snuggle in to comfort me. The thought that she was comforting me for her own bad news, of course, made me cry even harder.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    Be well. We lost our last kitty exactly two years ago, and will miss him forever.

  23. 23
    debbie says:


    I love the comforting paw on the arm.

  24. 24
    worn says:

    Just got done with an 11 hour workday here on the left coast and am just now tuning in for news of Lily, which is obviously just horrible. So I am left much without any clever words in the face of your grief – for you have made it very clear just what she means to you.

    But I have been mostly lurking on BJ (but always reading daily) since around the time of the Schavio incident. So I certainly remember the day you picked her out of all the dogs in that shelter. It’s hard to believe that was, what, nine freaking years ago? Which is just a sign of how old I am becoming, I guess.

    Nevertheless, the bottom line is that you gave her a new lease on life and showered her with about a decade of love. She had a incredibly good sitch going for her sunset years. I know this doesn’t mitigate the pain you are feeling right now, but that little hound was so very damn lucky that ya’ll crossed paths all those years ago.

    And kudos to Steve for good measure.

    Take care of yourself John.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mattH: My dad was in a nursing home for a couple of months, rehabilitating from hip replacement surgery. There was a cat in the home who knew when a resident was about to pass, and comforted them before their departure.

    They know. Bless them.

  26. 26
    dexwood says:

    Thanks for sharing Lily all these years, John. She ‘s our dog, too, because of you. Steve. He’s just fucking cool.

  27. 27

    Honestly, there is nothing in the world of politics that feels as important as sharing our love, admiration and grief today.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    Pets and friends. Necessary for the good life.

  29. 29
    Mary G says:

    My second cat, Sophie, was my bestest. I had her 20 years, from when I was 35 until I was 55. She only liked me and had no use for the rest of humanity, including my mom when we moved in together, which my mom bitterly resented because my first cat was a cuddlebug. Mom turned on faucets for her and gave her all the foods she liked, to no avail.

    Until Mom got sick nine years later. I came home one day and they were snuggled up on the sofa, Sophie letting Mom pet her and purring up a storm. Mom had her last hospitalization and came home for hospice. I had her hospital bed in the living room and the minute Mom was settled Sophie jumped up and stayed by her side for the four and a half weeks, even when the house was full of visitors.

    I think they know when you need them and they step up. I got weepy again when I saw the picture of Steve’s paw on your arm. Such a good boy.

    A neighbor came by yesterday and I was looking through a box of business cards in my desk for a handyman, as we are splitting the cost of replacing a section of fence that is falling apart. In the bottom of the box was a little tuft of hair about a half inch square. It is a small mat I cut off Sophie years ago and I have been rubbing it between my thumb and fingers on and off all day. It makes me smile remembering how pissed off she’d get because MOM, I WILL DO IT MYSELF!

    Ordinarily I would just throw it away, but because of Lily I just can’t. I think of the Victorians who had brooches made from the hair of their deceased loved ones and wish I was a person who wears jewelry, because I could see having it inside a locket. Instead I just put it back in the box.

  30. 30
    J R in WV says:

    The first thing I thought when i saw you say “I have no idea where everyone else is!” was that they are giving you space on your blog. And so they are.

    This worrying about big-footing each other is just odd; everyone here knows how to manage multiple tabs, lots of them! Although if I have enough stuff running alongside the browser, FireFox can crash if too many tabs are open. Rarely. And it recovers with grace.

    Lots of love here today. And all the grumpy folks are, well, being easier to get along with, for some reason.

    Take care, John!

  31. 31
    MLC says:

    Regular reader, infrequent commenter, but I always appreciate the quality of this site and the community’s care for wonderful animals. Peace be with you and dear Lily and the rest of your brood. You have given this sweet baby all the love she deserves.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    That’s the sweetest picture. His paw on your paw.

  33. 33
    Jude says:

    Oh John, I’m so devastated for you. I loved Lily all the more because she made you so happy. It’s always been obvious she was in her own stratosphere, a dog beyond dogs. Many kind hugs from far away…

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Ugh. Hope it’s an easy surgery and a comfortable recovery. Will be thinking of you.

  35. 35
    coin operated says:

    My last pet, Fredo, was a humongous Maine Coon that behaved like this when I’d had a shitty day. Steve could be his doppelgänger.

    If so, you’re in good hands Cole.

  36. 36
    Timurid says:

    I’ve been reading the Lily threads with my 12-year-old cat sitting on my lap, knowing that one day, maybe not that soon but sooner than I’ll ever be ready for, it will be her turn. So this is what it’s going to feel like when the Best Cat in the World is gone. I haven’t posted because I’m shit at platitudes and am infuriated when they’re handed to me when I have a problem. So all I can say is… good thoughts… at least the best thoughts possible at a time like this… from me and Manjula.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    For about eight years, age 12-20 or thereabouts, I had terrible godawful painful debilitating periods. A succession of cats made them marginally less awful, by curling up next to my tummy and purring the cramps away.

    They know.

  38. 38
    The Moar You Know says:

    My last cat would pat my face when I was sad or tired. I miss her to this day.

    I now have an insane two year old golden retriever. He requires an incredible amount of love, and somehow, I am equal to that task.

  39. 39
    randy khan says:

    Losing a deeply-loved pet is so hard. I’m terribly sorry about Lily. It’s obvious you both were lucky to have each other.

    But the ones who are left will be there for you. As others have said, they can tell what you’re feeling, and will do what they can.

  40. 40
    danielx says:

    Ever so sorry, John. Haven’t been around much in the past few days and am grieved for you and Lily.

  41. 41
    Jay S says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    There was a cat in the home who knew when a resident was about to pass, and comforted them before their departure.

    I am not sure I would be comforted by a visit from a death panel cat:-)

  42. 42
    stinger says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Seconded.

  43. 43
    Elie says:

    John, I was very late to the downstairs threads and just want to send you my heart felt love and hugs. There aint much to say. You know everything and feel everything and that is that. Love is timeless and eternal…but we all suffer the loss of those we love. … You are kind and have a big heart. May it always be filled with love, even as it means you will bear pain. Aint nothin better than lovin from the bottom of your heart… no matter what the cost — it is a gift…

    Hugs and kisses to you and your family critters…

  44. 44
    mai naem mobile says:

    When I saw the comments on the other thread about John having Lily 9 years I thought that it absolutely was not that long. I thought it was more like 5 years. I even wasted time looking it up. My method with dealing with the loss of a pet is to go out and get another one quickly. Preferably one that’s going to require a lot of attention from you inutially. That way,you’re too busy with the new pet to be depressed about the one who you lost. I know plenty of people wouldn’t do it that way,it’s just my way of dealing with grief .

  45. 45
    devore says:

    Funny how Kitty’s seem to know.

  46. 46
    Manxome Bromide says:

    Count me in as another left-coaster who’s been working too late, lately, and who hasn’t gotten to comment until just now. There really aren’t any words.

    I’m still struggling with it having been nine years.

  47. 47
    McMullen says:

    John I’m a lurker but wanted to say how sorry I am. You gave her a good life. It’s hard to do better than that.

  48. 48
    SectionH says:

    @TaMara (HFG): So much this. Tomorrow will be 4 months since I had to make That decision for Ziri. She was a 12 yro traumatizied rescue cat we adopted because she was being considered unadoptable otherwise. We had her for nearly 5 years and I fell so in love with her, in the way I’d never thought could happen again after I woke up to my apparently healthy 9 yro Jesse boy dead. Both scenarios suck dead Repub remains, or well, almost that bad.

  49. 49

    Because Lily is your golden girl, here is the Frost poem – Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

    We are all thinking about you and her tonight.

  50. 50
    Betsy says:

    Hey John, I missed a few threads. So sorry about Lily and the suddenness of it all. She had you.

  51. 51
    Yarrow says:

    Awww, Steve is a good kitty. That paw on your arm. So sweet. You better feed him, though. We all know what happens when you don’t. Heh. Take care of yourself, John.

  52. 52

    It’s tough. It sucks. It still hurts months after it is done. Take comfort in the things you can. Cry as often as you need to. And know that your doggie, your good doggie, would want you to give another animal the same loving home and life that you gave to her.

    And if there is a deity somewhere out there, we will all have words one day about why he made our best friends with a lifespan just a seventh of ours.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    Poignant and a little funny: G (my hisband) doesn’t read the blog, but I show him pictures, keep him updated on big events, he’s been to meetups, etc.

    When he got home from work tonkght, I said, “I know this is silly, but I’m upset that the favorite dog of someone I’ve never met is going to have to be put to sleep.”

    And he gasped and said, “Not Lily?! I remember when John Cole brought her home! And her little tail curled back up, she was so happy! She had such a great life with him.”

    So even non-regular readers are sad for you tonight, JGC.

  54. 54
    frosty says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the news about Lily. I know how devastated you must feel, losing a friend like her. I don’t have any words to help, other than my condolences. You and she had a great life together even as short as it was.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I feel ya — I definitely have to have ACL surgery, probably in August. I am NOT looking forward to it, to say the least, but it’s either surgery now, or ever increasing pain leading to a full knee replacement in 10-15 years. Better to do it now.

  56. 56
    Honus says:

    My heart is breaking all over again for you. I lost my precious Maya eight years ago this month, much the same way. She was nine years old and I’d had her since she was nine weeks. As a puppy she took care of me while I recovered from a brain injury suffered in a car accident, and became my inseparable companion in the ensuing years. I haven’t cried in a few years until tonight I’m crying for you, maya and lily. It’s the cost and manifestation of love. It’s what Faulkner meant when he said, “between grief and nothing, I’ll take grief”

  57. 57
    3am says:

    Similar to a prior commenter, I’m mostly a lurker and I think that i started coming here around the Schiavo case. Remember when TimF and DougJ left and came back. Also remember you getting Lily. I sure as hell would be pissed if someone told this to me under the same circumstances, but it’s true: in a world as big and awful as this one it’s a gift you found each other and that you got to spend all this time together. You clearly never took her for granted. I have seen the side of animal rescue that is not public facing and your continued support of rural shelters and adoption is one of the reasons I’m pretty sure you’re a good egg. Fortune has smiled on Lily during this life. Sorry for what your are going through.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I’m assuming that, once everything is settled and John’s had a little time to grieve, there will be a memorial fund that everyone can contribute their bit to. We jackals love that shit.

  59. 59
    Run, Lillian! says:

    Long time mostly lurker who has been around since before you brought Lily home with you. I am so sorry to hear the news, I remember so many of your posts about just how much you love her and how you sleep with her in the crook of your arm every night. I am so sorry for your loss. Love like that comes around so rarely in life. My thoughts are with you and everyone here who feels like they are losing a cherished pet too. My deepest condolences, John.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I was sitting on my dad’s bed holding him when he died. There were about 6 or 7 other people in the room and I told them that he died. They didn’t believe me and asked me how I knew and they were standing right by his bed. There is a sound and a relaxation when every thing stops. It’s faint but it is there. All the life just leaves them. I understand why people think that you have a soul that leaves you. I don’t but I understand why someone would. If you are paying attention it is plain as daylight. There is also a palpable difference with breathing, heart rate and a smell when someone is close to ending and I’d bet animals can sense that easy. I also bet that animals do the same when they are close so they know something is happening. We also telegraph our emotions and that can be sensed by sensitive people. Most animals are quite sensitive to that.

  61. 61
    JohnMCinNc says:

    This long time lurker is sending positive vibes your way.

  62. 62
    Arclite says:

    Just read the news about Lily. I’m so sorry John. I remember the blog post when you got her. She is the sweetest most adorable soul I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Thanks for sharing her all these years.

  63. 63
    nighthawk tonight says:

    John – I am mostly a lurker, but this blog has been a big part of my daily life for many years. You’re a good man, and you and Lily are in my thoughts tonight –

  64. 64
    JustRuss says:

    Glad to see Steve has your back. Or, uh, forearm. Whatever.

  65. 65
    Aleta says:

    I think of my dog as a very cool individual, but his point of view seems to be that it’s the pack that matters. He’s always trying to convince other people and dogs who he likes to join us. It could be that for dogs, survival means the group, not the individual the way we see it. At least, that’s how wolves organize and defend, they say — for pack survival.

    He’s actually taught me how to be in a pack. I showed him the ropes about living in a house and walking on a street, but he’s socialized me according to (he is sure) what is natural (interdependence) and what is not (me off alone; and also me shutting him off in a different room).

    I think what he expects is the pack to continue on, because to him that is the most important thing; that is where the life exists.

  66. 66
    oldster says:

    Cats do more than Milton can to justify god’s ways to man.

  67. 67
    Don K says:

    John, I feel for you, because we lost our kitty Pepper yesterday. She had been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that attacked her skin, and didn’t respond to the standard treatments. My husband and I both knew where this would end, and yesterday was the day when we knew it was time because she was in too much pain.

    So I guess today is when I will start looking around for us to get back on the kitty merry-go-round.

  68. 68
    Cat48 says:

    Thank God for Steve. I’m so sorry about Lily, she is such a sweet dog. Hang in there John and know Blog Lurkers are very sad too.

  69. 69
    barb 2 says:

    Empathy — yes dogs and cats have empathy. My cat just came over to see why I was so sad (about Lily). Our furkids often have more empathy than some humans.
    Dogs socialize us and ground us, helping us to live in the moment.

    Steve is such a good boy. You both are lucky.

    Back to lurking.


  70. 70
    zhena gogolia says:

    They always know.

  71. 71
    Locus says:

    I’ve been a lurker on your site for a long, long time & I wanted you to know that I’m sending you love, support, thoughts, & even some prayers to help you get through this time. We all know how much Lily means to you. Stay positive, sir!

  72. 72
    Sis says:

    @debit: My kitties greet me at the door every day when I come in from work, just like dogs. And they’re incredibly affectionate.

    Also, sending hugs to John on this most difficult of days. I thought about Lily and John as soon as I woke up this morning.

  73. 73
    Sis says:

    @Don K: I’m so sorry. Every pet lover knows just how difficult that day was for you both, even when you know you’re doing the right thing, the unselfish thing, for your pet.

  74. 74
    Aleta says:

    @Don K: My sympathy for your loss.

  75. 75
    KS in MA says:

    Hugs to you, John.

  76. 76
    Andree-Desmedt says:

    My dear John, this a lurker who has not paid attention i the past few day. As soo as I heard that Lilly was so ill, I started to weep. You two were i love love with one another and you gave Lilly a magic life. My heart goes to you and Lilly.

  77. 77
    Jay in Oregon says:

    It’s been a while since I was a regular here but I saw your update about Lily, and I wanted to offer my most heartfelt sympathy.

    I remember when you first got her and how happy you made each other. I know she was a well-loved and cared-for dog. That’s all we can do for them, and she knows you gave her the best life.

    (Dammit, I’m getting teary-eyed just writing this. Just… losing pets hurts, OK? Take care of yourself, John.)

Comments are closed.