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Elsie With Her Wild Heart Runs Free

Our sweet Elsie passed away Monday night at 9:45. She was 18 (we think) and had been a special part of our family since 1999. Elsie was semi-feral, deaf with some ongoing medical and behavioral issues. She loved cuddling with other cats (especially boys), playing with her toys, and enjoying family life at a comfortable distance.

Elsie was originally part of a trap/neuter/release effort, but because of her hearing issues she could not be released. She was never a lap cat or ever very affectionate with humans. But in her later years, she mellowed and would sometimes join us on the couch or bed. She was an early riser like me and would often keep me company during my pre-dawn writing/blogging sessions. And when she was feeling really brave, she would sit under my desk with her head resting on my feet and purr.

We loved Elsie as she was and never forced her to socialize with us. About a week before she passed, she started following me around everywhere, purring loudly and steadily. She wanted to be close at all times and even started letting me pet her. Clearly, she knew (before we knew) that she was nearing the end and this was her way of thanking us for accepting and loving her as she was. We adored Elsie and her beautiful wild heart and will miss her forever and always.

Thanks to Ann at Zoolatry for the lovely badge.

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91 Comments

  1. The Menagerie Mom
    September 7, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    I want to send my heartfelt condolences to you and your family over the passing of Elsie. At the same time, I sense in this beautiful post that you already know and understand that Elsie has graciously moved on to grander things beyond our comprehension. While on this earth, she indeed had a wonderful life with your family, and she knew that. Now she can watch over all of you from the comfort of her new resting place. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Valérie Desmet
    September 7, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    I'm so sorry you lost your dear friend :(! You were lucky to have her in your life for such a long time!! I hope you feel better soon.. Elsie is beautiful!!

  3. Marg
    September 7, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Oh we are so sorry about Elsie. I know from experience, cats like Elsie are very special in our lives. I have one here that is very much like Elsie and it is so rewarding when they trust you enough to come close to you. We are so thankful that you took her in and let her live the life she wanted to live. She was a very lucky girl to have you all as her family. Lots of hugs to you and your family.

  4. Zoolatry
    September 7, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Bye, bye sweet girl. Rest well beyond the rainbow.

  5. Three Chatty Cats
    September 7, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    RIP, sweet Elsie. Sending your family lots of love and hugs.

  6. Juliet Chelton
    September 7, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss, it's so horrible as pets really do make a family complete. You and your family have some beautiful memories of gorgeous Elsie to cherish forever.

  7. Nichole Burke
    September 7, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. Elise is beautiful…. may she run free!

  8. Marie Symeou
    September 7, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    So sorry for your loss. She was beautiful.Sending purrs and hugs xxAthena and Marie

  9. Mark Muller
    September 7, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    Hugs to you …. it's so sad to let them go….

  10. The Florida Furkids
    September 7, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    (((hugs))) Elsie was lucky to have a loving home that accepted her the way she was.The Florida Furkids

  11. Dragonheart, Merlin, and Devi
    September 7, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    You have our deepest condolences on the loss of Elsie. She was lucky to have a wonderful forever home with you. Sending you purrs.

  12. Random Felines
    September 7, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    we are so sorry….and heartened that you gave her a chance to just be herself and be loved for that alone. purrs….

  13. Jans Funny Farm
    September 7, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    We left a comment on FB yesterday, but we came by to leave one here because we know how hard it is to lose a devoted old friend. Hugs, Purrs and paw taps.

  14. Team Tabby
    September 7, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    It is wonderful that you loved Elsie on her terms and she gave so much in return. Rest in peace sweet Elsie and our purrs to her people.Mindy, Mike and mom Nina

  15. meowmeowmans
    September 7, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    We are so sorry that Elsie had to go to the Bridge. Thank you for loving her, and being patient enough to do so at her pace. What a wonderful and blessed life she had with you all. Hugs, purrs and prayers.

  16. Rosa Silva
    September 7, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so beautiful that she let you pet her in her last days.

  17. Murphy
    September 7, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    Aw, we are sorry for your loss. So glad you had time with her.Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  18. Susan Friedland-Smith
    September 7, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is so sweet and sad at the same time. What a beautiful cat. I am sorry for your loss.

  19. Hannah and Lucy
    September 7, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    Thank you for taking care of Elsie when she was not feeling well. We know you will miss her very much.

  20. Madi and Mom
    September 7, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    Oh no we are so very sorry….to read about Elsie…she was a beautiful tuxie lady.We just saw Ann's email and will post on the POTP too!!Hugs to you all,Run free and may sunbeams always follow youHugs madi and mom

  21. Tails from the Foster Kittens
    September 7, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    it is a special relationship with a formally feral kitty, one that warms your heart with every interaction. My heart goes out to you at her loss.

  22. Colehaus Cats
    September 7, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    We are so sorry Elsie was needed at the Bridge. We are sure she knew great love. Sending lots of hugs and purrs.

  23. LA Paylor
    September 7, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    Cole became closer and more loving to me near the end. It's been one month, one week and five days. Love furever, like you said. I'm sorry for your loss and happy she had the courage to share life with you for years. LeeAnna

  24. Yamini MacLean
    September 7, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Hari OmBlessings and Love to you in this time of loss… YAM xx

  25. Montecristo Travels
    September 7, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    so very very sorry for your loss. a deaf cat… aw….She had a safe heaven and you are the reason. that's gold.

  26. The Swiss Cats
    September 7, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    We're so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Elsie. We send you comforting purrs and gentle headbonks. Purrs

  27. Tweedles -- that's me
    September 7, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    We are so sorry.. You loved her so muchlovetweedles

  28. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    September 7, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss of Elsie, but she had so many wonderful years with your family. It was so sweet of her to try to let you know at the end how much she appreciated all that you did for her. Soft woos and gentle hugs from all of us.Woos – Ciara and Lightning

  29. Ruby
    September 7, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    Oh noes. I am so sorry to hear abouts your Elsie. Sendin' lots of love and {{{hugs}}} and AireZens. She sure did loves you!Kisses,Ruby ♥

  30. Bocci
    September 7, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    Oh, we are so sorry to hear about your sweet Elsie—our sincere condolences on your loss. Your family was the perfect match for her big wild heart, and we know she had the best life possible with you!

  31. Two French Bulldogs
    September 7, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    We are so sad to hear about sweet Elsie. Run free sweet peaLily & Edward

  32. Julie
    September 7, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    So sorry to hear your sad news. Sending you lots of luffs and hugs from over the PondLoves and licky kissesPrincess Leah xxx

  33. Flynn
    September 7, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss of beautiful Elsie. You gave her a wonderful life that she was able to live under her terms.

  34. Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs
    September 7, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    they always seem to find a special way to say goodbye – we know you will miss her but she had a wonderful life with you

  35. Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady
    September 7, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    She is so lucky to have found you. She was beautiful! Run free sweet Elsie, run free.

  36. da tabbies o trout towne
    September 7, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    Godspeed your journey to heaven Elsie; you are and always will be a beautiful girl. We send our sympathies to your whole family; we aretruly sorry. We agree that your behavior your last week, was your way of saying, thanx mom…and dad…for everything….I love you all too ~~~~~~ hugs and loves from boomer, daisy, tuna, dude and sauce….. we hope pip greeted you at heaven's gate ♥♥♥♥♥

  37. Spencer the Goldendoodle
    September 7, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    So sorry for your loss! The rainbow bridge just got brighter.

  38. Sketching with Dogs
    September 7, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    So sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose a beloved member of the family but even harder when they have been a part of your life for so long. Elsie had a wonderful home with you and I'm sure, loved you all dearly. Run free little beauty.Hugs, Lynne x

  39. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    September 7, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    So sorry to hear about Elsie, but we know she had a good life. We had a friend who was part of the trap/neuter/release in RI. We just have feral cats who produce more feral cats…

  40. Jackie Bouchard
    September 7, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    Oh, I'm so sorry to see this. It's so hard to lose furry family members. What a beauty she was. Sending big virtual hugs your way!

  41. ANGEL ABBYGRACE
    September 7, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    What a beautiful girl your Elsie is. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. We give them our hearts and then they break when they leave our lives, but the love in between is so worth the cost.

  42. Amber DaWeenie
    September 7, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Furbabies like Elsie always seem to eventually show their love and gratitude and when it happens, it's even more special. I'm so sorry for your loss. Run young and free again, pretty girl….

  43. Jane H
    September 7, 2016 / 10:59 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell that Elsie has such a beautiful soul. TNR cats leave special paw prints on our hearts. Hugs to you ❤

  44. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    September 7, 2016 / 11:08 pm

    We are so terribly sorry that you have lost your special baby. I know Cotton will give her a big welcoming party. You are in our thoughts and prayers

  45. Ruth Epstein
    September 7, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    We are so sorry to read about Elsie's passing, run free over the Rainbow Bridge, as we always say gone but never forgotten.

  46. Robin Mudge
    September 8, 2016 / 12:12 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Elsie was a beautiful girl and you gave her a wonderful life. She is in great company at the Rainbow Bridge with my Cinco. *hugs*-Purrs from your friends at http://www.PlayfulKitty.net

  47. Raising Your Pets Naturally
    September 8, 2016 / 12:25 am

    Elsie was lovely. I am so sorry for your loss.

  48. Sweet Purrfections
    September 8, 2016 / 12:47 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Elsie had a wonderful life with you. My thoughts are with you as you grieve.

  49. The Island Cats
    September 8, 2016 / 12:50 am

    We are sorry to hear about Elsie. She had a wonderful life with you. We send you comforting purrs….

  50. LBJ
    September 8, 2016 / 1:12 am

    We are so sorry to hear this but are glad she lived to 18 surrounded by all the love in your home. Wags and Hugs.Abby Lab and her family

  51. MattieDog
    September 8, 2016 / 1:16 am

    What a beautiful tribute to Elsie – loving her on her terms, a truly loving way to interact with all creatures. Your special one shared herself with you, and that was a very real blessing. I am so sorry for the loss of your family member, and the hurt that you must be feeling – I pray that you will settle in to celebrating Elsie's meaningful contributions to you and your family, and the impact she made in your lives (and you in hers). Sending you love and blessings.

  52. THE ZOO
    September 8, 2016 / 1:20 am

    We are so sorry for our loss.

  53. Groovy Goldendoodles
    September 8, 2016 / 1:36 am

    So sorry for your loss. Your description of her was so special I feel as if I've always known her. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us.

  54. Nancy
    September 8, 2016 / 1:58 am

    Look at those beautiful green eyes! What a gorgeous kitty! I am so very sorry for your loss!

  55. Caren Gittleman
    September 8, 2016 / 2:18 am

    We are so deeply saddened to learn of Elsie's passing. My Bobo had also passed at age 18 and when he passed he was deaf as well 🙁 He also had other issues. Elsie was so blessed to have you, as you were to have her. Our hearts go out to you. Sending our deepest sympathy, love and (((hugs))) catchatwithcarenandcody

  56. Idaho PugRanch
    September 8, 2016 / 3:38 am

    So sorry to hear of Elsie's passing. You loved her for who she was and she let you know she loved you in return hugs and prayersMr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  57. KB Bear
    September 8, 2016 / 4:11 am

    My deepest condolences. It's never easy. She was lucky to have you and vice versa. So much love.

  58. Cathy Armato
    September 8, 2016 / 4:24 am

    Elsie was so beautiful, I'm sorry she has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. You gave her a wonderful long life in a loving home.Love & biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv

  59. Cathy Armato
    September 8, 2016 / 4:24 am

    Elsie was so beautiful, I'm sorry she has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. You gave her a wonderful long life in a loving home.Love & biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv

  60. M Dawson
    September 8, 2016 / 4:37 am

    Elsie was a great cat. Don't her photos look so special – such personality! I am sorry you lost her – yep 18 is one heck of an age! Well done Elsie, Ave et Vale, see you at the Bridge.

  61. Molly Mednikow
    September 8, 2016 / 6:06 am

    Thank you for sharing this poignant story. She knew before you did….that breaks my heart and warms my heart at the same time. Your words say it all. She wanted you to thank you. She will always be in your heart, and now a little piece of her is in my heart too.

  62. Tenacious Little Terrier
    September 8, 2016 / 6:52 am

    I'm so sorry to hear about Elsie. She had a good life with you. I'm glad she got braver!

  63. Jeanne Pursell
    September 8, 2016 / 8:09 am

    We are so very sorry to hear about Elsie…may she rest in peace. Hugs to you all…it is so hard to let them go.

  64. Pawesome Cats
    September 8, 2016 / 9:20 am

    Sorry for your loss, she was a beautiful girl. May she rest in peace.

  65. Molly and Mackie
    September 8, 2016 / 9:24 am

    What a beautiful girl. We are so very, very sorry♥

  66. Emma
    September 8, 2016 / 10:43 am

    We saw this on FB. So sorry for your loss. She was such a pretty kitty. Mom loves b/w kitties.

  67. Talent Hounds
    September 8, 2016 / 10:54 am

    So so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful photo of Elsie – sounds like she had a good long life with you. RIP Elsie.

  68. WherePetsAreFound
    September 8, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    So sorry to see this. #RunFree Elsie, a life well lived…. lots of boy cats well loved 😉 xox

  69. Danielle Sullivan
    September 8, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. We lost our sweet cat, Lily, last year and it surely takes time. Elsie was a beautiful girl! xo

  70. Aimable Cats
    September 8, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    The only time I got to pet Old Mister Gray was his last week alive. He meowed when I was in the shed, and I don't know if he could see me or not. (The cat in my google Avatar is not him.)September 8th was the birthday of my cat who lived 20 years and change, so I am feeling the pain of older cats today as well. When they live a long life, it's never long enough.

  71. Bobbi and Gracie
    September 8, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    How sweet and what a beautiful way to say goodbye by thanking you in a special way. I am so sorry for your loss… Elsie was a true beauty!!

  72. McGuffy Ann Morris
    September 8, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. 18 is wonderful…but, they are never here long enough…even though they are with us in our hearts forever. Hugs.

  73. John Bellen
    September 8, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Please accept my condolences on Elsie's passing. What a cat she must have been, and she was undoubtedly grateful to you that you let her be what she was. She knew you loved her and loved you in return. Godspeed, Elsie.

  74. pilch92 15andmeowing
    September 8, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. XO

  75. The DIY Dog Mom
    September 8, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    RIP Elsie. I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved kitty 🙁

  76. KitKat
    September 8, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    So very sorry Elsie has left for the Bridge. She knew she was loved. Sending hugs and love.Angel Normie, Angel Mika, Sasha & Grady Lewis

  77. Bouncing Bertie
    September 8, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    Aw. Bless you for taking in Elsie and accepting her as she was. We are so sorry she is now departed.Sending hugs,Gail and Bertie.

  78. Anonymous
    September 8, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Such heartbreaking news 🙁 We're so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl Elsie. Sending Soft Pawkisses to comfort you <3 <3 <3

  79. The Flynnigans
    September 8, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    What a beautiful and bittersweet story. I'm so sorry for your loss, she may never have been a cuddle bum but she was still a part of your family. Thank you for giving her a life that she would have otherwise not have had. My deepest condolences. xo

  80. stellaroselong
    September 8, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    She was a gift to you and you to her. We are so sorry. stella rose

  81. Mickey's Musings
    September 8, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    What a beautiful kitty.Sounds like she had a wonderful life with you.We send comforting purrs as we know you will miss her.Purrs Georgia and Julie,Treasure and JJ

  82. Mickey's Musings
    September 8, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    What a beautiful kitty.Sounds like she had a wonderful life with you.We send comforting purrs as we know you will miss her.Purrs Georgia and Julie,Treasure and JJ

  83. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    September 9, 2016 / 7:41 am

    What a beautiful tribute to Elsie and the incredible-ness of the feline spirit. I'm so sorry for your loss and Bear and I send you love and wishes for peace and healing.

  84. Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs
    September 9, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    Elsie , sounds like a wonderful cat, we are so sorry for your loss. She was a lucky girl to have found a family that would accept her as she was and love her so much. We are so very sorry for your loss purrs of comfort and paws of sympathy from all of us here at ATCAD.

  85. Lovable Lily
    September 9, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    We are so very sorry to hear about the ever beautiful Elsie. We're sure she left beautiful paw prints on your heart.Hugs,Lily Belle & Muffin

  86. Jean Dion
    September 9, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of sweet Elsie. I love the idea that she reached out to you as she was leaving, telling you how thankful she was for your love and kindness. I can see how much she trusted you in your photos. She was beautiful. Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  87. Club-Doggie
    September 10, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    So sorry for your loss. We've had multiple losses in our family this past year, so I understand how your heart is breaking right now.

  88. Anonymous
    September 11, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    All tho wee not know yur Elsie wee are berry sad shee went off to Pure Land!! You sure gave her a furabuluss Life an wee finkss shee WAS say FANKSS thee last week of her Life….May Elsie run free inn Pure Land….***paw patsss*** an purrayerss, Siddhartha Henry an LadyMum

  89. Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows)
    September 11, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for loving her and taking her such good care of her for so long. {{{HUGS}}}

  90. Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101)
    September 15, 2016 / 8:34 am

    Checking up again and send more purrs of comfort in the time of transition.

  91. Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101)
    September 15, 2016 / 8:34 am

    Checking up again and send more purrs of comfort in the time of transition.

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