Goodbye Keystone Gato

112 Comments

Well folks, I’m going to ask you to indulge me a bit as I make an homage to my furry little pal. Tomorrow will be one week since he disappeared, and although many cats have gone missing and come back in longer periods than that, the situation here does not look good, as I’ll explain in a moment. the loss is bad enough as is but i’m also wracked by guilt, as a little forethought and being a bit more observant would have avoided all of this.

Keystone was very affectionate and gregarious indoors, but pretty skittish when it came to the sounds and activity outside. So he tended to not want to go out in the day, opting instead for nighttime forays. I knew there were coyotes in our area, I’ve heard them at night, but he tended to stay right next to the house and seldom stayed out more than an hour. Well…the afternoon of the day he disappeared I was backing out of the garage and Nicki and I saw something odd in our lawn. Some kind of shiny black/brownish mass. I thought it was a toadstool as we’ve had a few of those pop up in the back yard. Normally I’d take a moment and see what it was, but I’ve been exhausted from the Zoe Monster arrival and decided I’d check it out later. That night, Keystone wanted out and…fuck it crushes me to say this…but I had some deep foreboding. I could have just left him in but I was so tired, and I knew I’d be getting up to deal with a poopy diaper or something with Zoe…so I let him out.

And he never came back.

When he did not wake me up to let him in I knew something was up. Many people have tried to counsel us by saying perhaps he ran in a neighbors house or was “hiding out”. I wish to God that were the case, but you could set your watch by that cat. He was totally a creature of habit…and what I found in the yard made it hard to imagine we’d have a good resolution to this. You see, the odd looking black/brown thing in my yard was the entrails of a rabbit that had obviously been killed and eaten the night before. The gut pile, ears and part of a fore-leg were all that was left. I’m not the Great White Hunter, but I managed to find the tracks of the rabbit and those of the coyote that had grabbed it. It would appear the coyote had found Keystone’s scat pile at the side of the house and had taken to hanging out there. One night the coyote obviously got the rabbit, and I’m guessing the other night it got Keystone. I’ve scoured the area, and have found no blood or remains…which makes one hold out a bit of hope, but the “crime scene” is pretty grim. So, I’m pretty well wracked with guilt that I was dumb enough to let him out at night at all…but then what type of life is it for him to be shut in all the time? And if I’d only stopped to see what was in the yard I’d have never let him out at night without at least hanging out with him, I’d still have my pal.

That little guy has been a feature piece of my life for almost 10 years and I just can’t describe how much joy and love he brought to me. The first date I went out with Nicki we were hanging out talking and Keystone made himself comfy in my lap and it was love at first sight (for both Nicki and Gato!). He saw us through growing the gym, CrossFit drama, cross country moves…we have hundreds of pictures like the one below:

Working, eating, trying to do some heavy bathroom activity (as you will see in a moment) always needed the project manager in attendance. One of the toughest things is going to bed and not simply because you now have uninterrupted time to think about things, but because Keystone usually caught wind that it was bed time and simply jumped in bed, took his place on my chest and purred as I pet him and drifted off to sleep. If he happened to be on the other side of the house napping, I’d make a chirping noise and within a minute he’d leap into bed with me, purring and seemingly ecstatic to rack out with his human.

This is the last photo I got of the little guy a few days before he vanished:

I was trying to get some “bathroom work” done and he kept peeking around the corner and provoking to me to try to grab his paw that he pushed around the door jam.

I’ll close with a few thoughts and a final photo I snapped while cleaning up Keystone’s gear we have strewn all over the house. I have to give this cat credit for much of my happiness over the past almost decade. He made me laugh, everyday, multiple times per day. He was the package deal that involved the woman with whom I’d spend my life and have a child. His unconditional love kept me hammering at the keyboard, trying to turn that love back around on the world…that little cat made me a much better person.

This last photo just crushes me every time I look at it, and I’ve titled it “Impression.” That is our spare bed in Nicki’s office and Keystone split time between there and a foot stool with a comfy blanket in my office. It is just so poignant to me, as that little cat has left an impression upon me that will last the rest of my life. Loss and change are the inevitable realities of life, but did our being here make things better? Did we touch those near us?

Did we leave an impression?

GB Keystone, I love you little buddy.

Impression

Impression

 

 

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  1. Yvette Giles
    June 27, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Robb, this breaks my heart to read. I am so truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and Nicki in this difficult time. <3

  2. Tom
    June 27, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Same thing happened to my kitty several years ago: didn’t return home from his habitual night excursion, when we lived in coyote territory in California. I had some guilt for letting him out at nightly despite the risks, but that cat wouldn’t be confined and I got some comfort from knowing that he would have died very quickly and while doing what he loved (roaming and doing whatever else cats do all night outdoors). I could have kept him inside and safe from predators, but what kind of life would he have had then?

    • Chasti
      June 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Your story saves me alot of words bc we had an extremely similar story a yr & a 1/2 ago, my kids are still upset over it. Although we didn’t have him as long as 10 yrs, it’s so easy to quickly get attached to our pets. My gato was a hunter as well & wanted out every night, he’d get an attitude w/ me if I didn’t let him out! You could set your watch by him also, he was waiting to get in every morning, ready for his domestic breakfast. Sorry to hear of your loss, Robb & Nicki.

  3. Steven
    June 27, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I am so sorry….

  4. Daytona
    June 27, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I’m terribly sorry to hear about Keystone… I have been through a similar scene with one of my cats and I know how the what ifs and guilt can pile onto already feeling miserable about losing your cat. *HUG*

  5. Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    June 27, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss of Keystone. Sounds like he was a most excellent companion and that the love you two had for each other was totally badass. He was a very fortunate kitty.

    Cats, man. They’re the awesomest. So glad you were able to have Keystone in your life because you’re right: they make us better at being us.

    Much love to you, Nicki, and Zoe.

  6. Carrisa
    June 27, 2012 at 5:42 am

    wow. :*( There are soo many messages in that one article. Sorry for your loss!

  7. gilliebean
    June 27, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I know your pain Robb. Years ago, my 14 year old kitty wanted out (and he’d been allowed outside since he was nine). I let him out and went upstairs to sew a dress. If he cried to be let in, I didn’t hear him. We found him the next morning, huddled in a window well, expired from injuries from an actual cat fight.

    It’s hard to accept still; but I know he was happier being an indoor/outdoor kitty. So I try to remember the happiness we shared instead of the guilt I felt.

    Hugs.

  8. Jim Rendek
    June 27, 2012 at 5:47 am

    That’s so sad. I know he was the evil genius behind the Paleo movement!

  9. Kelley Folsom
    June 27, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Hi Robb,

    I’m so sorry about your friend. What a beautiful memorial to him.

  10. Bill
    June 27, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Sorry for your loss. It’s incredible how much joy a fur creature can bring.

  11. Brenda
    June 27, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Big hugs to you and Nicki to help you through this raw time. As a cat lover and one who lets them outside as well, i feel your pain. You pegged it – a lot of what we feel has to do with how our cats have gone through the best and worst of times with us and that wonderful unconditional love. They are here with us while we need them and then they move on – if it helps to think of it this way – over the Rainbow Bridge.

  12. Andrei
    June 27, 2012 at 6:10 am

    There is only one solution Robb. This is coming from my 25 y experience with many cats. Get another one. Soon.:)

  13. Nikhil Hogan
    June 27, 2012 at 6:26 am

    :(

  14. Jeff Ventura
    June 27, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Christ Robb, that hit me. We own three cats, and while I blog about their dickish antics, I can’t imagine life without them. Our cats are indoor cats, and you can ask my wife about her fear about them getting out and running into the forest behind our house. It’s one of her greatest fears.

    Sorry for your loss man. Easy on the guilt, too: hindsight can put together clues retrospectively that nobody strings together otherwise. As Steve Jobs said, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

    Go easy on yourself man.

    JV

  15. Derek
    June 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Keystone is a beautiful cat. I hope and pray for Keystones return. I too had a cat that went missing for many days and he returned home. If, and God forbid, if his life has been taken, I hope it was painless and his soul and spirit is happily in place beyond this planet. Yet, I pray he returns home safely to his loving family.

  16. Jeff
    June 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    So sorry for your loss. They really get into your heart and it breaks at their leaving. I’ve had several cats and dogs that have broken mine. I feel for you my friend.

  17. Primal Kitchen's Family Grokumentarian
    June 27, 2012 at 6:36 am

    So sorry to hear of your lil’ dude’s disappearance. I really enjoyed his occasional blog and tweet appearances. I know how terribly you must miss him!

  18. Bill Strahan
    June 27, 2012 at 6:39 am

    My heart goes out to you. The relationship with a pet shouldn’t even be compared to those with people. It’s totally different yet perhaps equally strong, if that makes sense.

    When I put my dog down about a year ago, I was up with nervous energy and finally just sat down and dumped out a long post here. http://www.realfoodrealfit.com/2011/06/my-dog.html

    I couldn’t sleep until I got it out. I remember wondering if you could really dehydrate yourself from crying. I guess a blog post takes the place of the eulogy. It was cathartic.

    I assume yours was something similar, and no indulgence needed. It’s your blog, and I think it’s cool that you will share your life as well as your knowledge.

    Feel free to edit to remove the link above or just delete this whole thing. I’m not trying to pull traffic, just brought back all I was feeling a year ago. Hang in there.

  19. Ann
    June 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I’m so sorry. :(

  20. Sonya
    June 27, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I’m so sorry for this awful turn of events. I certainly believe that our furry family members leave impressions upon us and vice versa. Keystone was unique in that he left his feline impression upon far-reaching folks through you recounting his hijinks and adventures. He showed that you are also a cat lover which is a special breed of person. I hope you find some solace in your heart. My thoughts to you and Nicki through your sorrow and grief.

  21. Noah A
    June 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Oh man Robb that’s terrible, sorry to hear it.

  22. Lori Westerbuhr
    June 27, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Keystone was definitely an important part of the podcasts. Your post about him is beautiful and expresses something so genuine about the pets in our lives we bond to – a precious and pure connection that can go every bit as deeply into the human heart as any other close relationship. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard.

  23. Ann Wendel
    June 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I am so, so sorry. Heartbreaking to read. We just lost one of our old guys to cancer a few months ago. They leave an impression in our homes and our hearts. Wishing you healing in the weeks to come.

  24. Jake
    June 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Whether the Gato returns or not, he’s fulfilled his duty to enrich his humans lives. And done a great job! Thats why the Good Lord created them. Still, sorry he’s missing.

  25. Ellen
    June 27, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I am so sorry :(.

  26. Burn
    June 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Robb I’m so sorry for your loss. This article definitely brought some tears to my eyes, especially that last picture. Keep truckin’ buddy you’ll make it through. I’ve got a cat named Frank who is 4, I’ve never lost a cat but you’ve definitely made me want to cherish the time I have left with him. Best of luck Robb and thank you.

  27. Rachael
    June 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I am truly sorry for your family’s loss of Keystone. I had to put my 12 year old cat down in February due to cancer. I know the pain you are going through. Our animals are important members of our family. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  28. Karina
    June 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Hi Robb, I am very sorry….your story reminded me of my australian shepherd KC. I adopted KC from the Humane Society when he was around 2, he moved cross country with me, we vacationed, we did everything together, then my husband and I got pregnant, and when my baby was 3 months old, he passed away. We found out later, he has been sick for a while, apparently he was around 12.5 years when he passed. I believe he was just waiting to make sure the baby and us were happy together.
    I feel your loss tremendously. It reminded me of KC….My heart is with all of you <3

  29. Carly
    June 27, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I actually just read this and cried. The second of my beautiful cats died earlier this year. She was run over. I found her and literally dropped to my knees. Losing a pet is heartbreaking but you must not blame yourself. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but cats will be cats, and cats love to go out at night. Just be thankful you gave that cat ten better years than most other people could have given him. He was lucky to have you and you him.

  30. grayson
    June 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

    beautiful words, robb. so sorry for your loss. we just lost our lil’ cat maisey to cancer, she left behind a twin brother who is just totally spooked. sometimes it seems like no one gets how much a pet can mean (“you’re leaving work early?! to go to the vet?! not so fast, buddy!”), so reading your post was so helpful to us right now. you’re totally right — it’s that pure, unconditional love that we can only hope to absorb and send back out into the world. thanks and good luck!!!

  31. Suzan
    June 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Terribly sorry for your loss, I understand, having lost a couple of dogs in the last few years.

    Two small dogs I knew were lost to coyotes, and another one to a hawk.

    It’s hard to lose a pet, same as losing a family member.

  32. Stephanie
    June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. Animals make great friends and it sounds like your furry friend was right up there.

  33. Matt Lentzner
    June 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

    How terrible. Sorry for your loss.

  34. Cynthia
    June 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Robb, my condolences to you and Nicki and Zoe. I know how much our little furbabies mean to us and how devastating it is when we lose them.

    You were a good dad to him. Never forget that!

  35. Kelly
    June 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I’m crying…still keeping hopeful though.

    I can’t imagine how you guys feel. So, so sorry.

  36. linda
    June 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’m a cat person and get what you are saying. I pray you are wrong, but unfortunately given the description you’ve given, it doesn’t sound good. Focus on Zoe and in time get another pet, preferably a cat!
    Best to all of you.

  37. Jenny
    June 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Hugs and lots of love to you and Nicki. I’m choked up reading your story as I understand the love for an animal, especially such a loving, fun playmate and the best co-worker any home office could ask for. Please know that giving him the chance to go outside meant he lived a happier and healthier life. I’ve always had outside cats and have always felt terrible for inside cats that stare out the window wondering what life was like, what grass smelled like. You two have loved and cared for that cat better than a LOT of people experience, so feel proud of that too, if you can muster it right now. Know you have a huge community of people who care about you and are in your corner right now, even though we may just appear as words on a screen.

  38. Cindy
    June 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I kept waiting for your Tuesday podcast, and it hasn’t come. Now I know why. it wasn’t Zoe, it was Keystone. God Bless, and heal your family.

  39. Angela Nguyen-Tan
    June 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Robb, I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my precious dog, Sophie, when the neighborhood landscapers left my gate open while I was at work one day. She never came home and we didn’t found her. I mourned a long time for not being able to say goodbye and not knowing what happened. I still miss her and its been 9 years!

    My thoughts are with you, Nicki and Zoe.

    Keystone, you are loved and missed!

  40. Christa Valency
    June 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Robb, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  41. Michelle J
    June 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Robb and Wolf family–

    As a pet owner I understand the pain and there really are no words. Don’t blame yourself, though, that just sucks.

    Good luck in your efforts,

    Michelle J

  42. Robb Wolf
    June 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Sincere thanks for the thoughts and well-wishes. I don’t know why but I REALLY wanted folks to know how important he was to us and how much I owe the little guy.

    As a last-ditch effort we are going to flyer the area again, and have contacted a dog handler to come and try and find his scent. HOPEFULLY he is in a garage somewhere but if not, if a coyote did grab him, we should be able to find some remains and at least have closure.

    • Christopher
      June 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      I know what its like to lose cats, they can be wonderful creatures. My thoughts go out to you guys. Don’t blame yourself though, like you said, cats like to be outdoors and it’s in their nature. He’ll always be our paleo mascot :)

    • Jeremy
      June 28, 2012 at 4:20 am

      Good luck with the search Robb. With cats there’s always hope he’s found a cozy spot to chill out. Bacon may be involved. And please don’t beat yourself up–I can never say no to my cats, so if they want out, they get out, and the adventures begin. Please keep us posted.

  43. Jeremy
    June 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    *offers sad look and sincere pat of comfort on the back*

    Never know what to say other than, sorry to hear that. If I could offer my hounds nose to help I would but its a little too far away :/. They may be small and furry, but that are still part of the family. :(

  44. Amy V
    June 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Goodness, I am SO sorry. Pets are such a very important part of our human existence. There is nothing that will help the guilt you feel unless he reappears (which I really truly hope he does!). I do hope your able to find something, if only to give you closure. I’ve heard some crazy cat stories about them showing up months after they’ve been gone. My Aunt had one that was gone for close to 6 weeks and he just walked back in like he’d only been gone an hour.

    I will pray that you don’t have to wait six weeks, but get the same outcome in him coming home. Prayers.

  45. Michelle
    June 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Sending positive thoughts for Keystone’s safe return.

  46. Sandra
    June 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    As a cat lover, who has lost a few special friends, I feel for you. So sorry for your loss. Not knowing what happens makes it especially poignant. I can’t get through reading my grandaughter “Cat Heaven” without choking up.

  47. Donna
    June 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Robb,
    Truly sorry for your loss….the photo at the end (impression) breaks my heart. Deepest condolences to you and your fam.

  48. David
    June 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Our cat got lost last year and it was heartbreaking. He also never headed off for more than an hour or so without checking in. So when he didn’t come home for several hours and night closed in I knew something was wrong. I was told that when cats don’t come home they are often only a few streets away. I took the following day off work, put signs up on all the power poles in my local area, and put notices in letterboxes. He was microchipped so I rang all the animal shelters and vets within a 20 kilometer radius. Knocked on doors. Rang realtors that had houses open for inspection in my area (a neighbour’s cat had become trapped in a home that was for sale and had been open for inspection). Try all these things before giving up. There are companies that will do all this if you can’t.

    Someone saw my cat’s picture and recognised him. He had become trapped in the backyard of a refuge for homeless teenagers. The boy that rang said he wasn’t sure he had enough credit to make the call. Gave him a $50 reward, and went home ecstatic and full of love for humanity!

  49. Bryan L
    June 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Man, I’m really sorry to hear that. Several years ago we lost a great cat under similar circumstances, and felt terrible. We’ve had another cat for 3 years or so, and this one gets to wander in and out during the day. Once evening comes along, though, she’s inside.

  50. michele
    June 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    you know how you just “feel” when other people’s pets are like, the shit?

    keystone had that vibe. every time i saw photos of him, i wanted a cat again right away.

    hope you get some closure, robb. thanks for writing about your furry friend.

  51. Becky
    June 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    So very, very sorry…

  52. Sharkie Sara
    June 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Mu deepest condolences to you, nicki, Zoe and all the people who keystone
    Touched. He was loved and will be missed. You and yours are in my thoughts

  53. Brandon
    June 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I have never even been a huge fan of cats and this makes me sad enough to almost cry.
    Much love to the gato. Best wishes to Rob, Nicki and Zoe.

    Through all the blog posts and podcasts Keystone felt almost like a family member to me.

    May you and your family find peace.

  54. Ben Balzer
    June 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Sorry to hear that, I feel your pain. Prayers for you all and Keystone. Don’t give up hope. My Felix the wondercat disappeared in a storm and trooped home 19 days later, much thinner, and wiser for the wear. He lost his voice for 3 days=obviously he’d been trapped in a garage calling out. The day before I’d gone around and removed the Lost Cat signs from the neighbourhood. I’d made a rather irate prayer for his return and there he was.

    “The cat is a wild animal that inhabits the homes of humans.” – –Konrad Lorenz , Man Meets Dog

    “Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” –Robertson Davies , “mehitabel”

    “Dogs have Masters. Cats have staff.” –Anonymous Chief of Staff

  55. Jessica
    June 28, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Pets are a part of our families and I am so so sorry beyond words for you guys. It is always difficult weighing up the amount of adventure you let them have against safety, but I bet even if they knew of the risks they would choose to have the adventure.
    It is so hard, but you are lucky to have gotten to have such a wonderful friend in your life.

  56. Hayden
    June 28, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Sorry to here of your family’s loss. I hope she is in a good place, give it some time and get a new kitten. It won’t replace Keystone but may add to her memory…

  57. Arlene
    June 28, 2012 at 3:20 am

    You said it all so well, Robb. I am very sorry for your loss.

  58. julianne
    June 28, 2012 at 3:24 am

    We’ve lost 2 cats, run over. So sad, so gutting. I had ‘if only’ too for some time. But cats love the outdoors.
    One of ours was a replacement for the first.
    We adored them both, and will never forget their quirks. Harriet used to bring home banana skins from the neighbours compost, acted like she’d caught a mouse as she paraded them for us to admire.
    Sweetie liked to chew on my ear in the morning to remind me she was awake and hungry. The friendliest cat, she made friends with all the neighbours.

    Don’t beat yourself up.

    I do hope you get closure, whichever way it turns out. I hope it’s not worst case.

  59. jen
    June 28, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I’m so sad and devastated to read your story, your photos broke my heart. I hope you take comfort in the fact that you gave him a happy and comfortable life filled with love. Sending love and healing reiki energy your way with the hope he come back home to you, XO

  60. Jessica
    June 28, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Robb,

    Your words bring tears to my eyes…my sincerest sympathies to you and your family on the loss of such an important part of your world.

    Jessica

  61. Liz
    June 28, 2012 at 3:58 am

    my heart breaks for you guys. as i was napping with my dog the other day, i thought of all the relationships, cities, jobs and stages of life we’ve been through together over 8 years, and i realized how lucky i am to have her (i’m now pregnant, so all my emotional connections to things seem heightened). there will be a tremendous loss when she is no longer by my side. but don’t let the what-ifs steal your peace — you were a good friend to gato, as he was to you. thank you for sharing your insight, and know that the impression keystone had on you is reflected a million times over in the impression you have on your community.

  62. Kim
    June 28, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I’m so sorry Robb! My adore our cats – one of them we call our son’s “brother from another mother” because those two are like twins. I can’t imagine how difficult it will be when he goes. My thoughts are with you.
    ~Kim

  63. tulipwood
    June 28, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I just lost my 14 year old cat to CKD 3 weeks ago – your description of the bedtime routine was ours as well – I miss that the most.

  64. Linda
    June 28, 2012 at 5:55 am

    This is such heartbreaking news, Robb. I am SO sorry for your loss. We’ve all come to love Keystone as our own little furry friend. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Nikki, and Zoe.

  65. Karen Smith
    June 28, 2012 at 6:05 am

    As a veterinarian for 17 years, I feel that indoor/outdoor cats have the best of both worlds. Many would disagree with me, because of the inherent risks to the cat outside, and the pain experienced by the caretaker when a beloved kitty disappears. I suppose it differs by demographics, but where I practice, in a suburban rural area on the outskirts of a small city (coyotes and carsbeing the biggest dangers), I see many more cats die a slow, painful death from an indoor only, SAD diet for cats (read dry food only) existance, either from diabetes, IBD, or pancreatic disease. It is heartbreaking, because many times, despite expensive and desperate veterinary care, these cats die, and they really suffer. Most suffer in silence, and many, who just are acting as house ornaments, are victims of benign neglect, and usually only get brief palliative care before euthanasia (which actually may be more humane, because these diseases are so hard to treat and most have poor outcomes). I know many reading your blog may feed raw or canned to their kitties, which is AWESOME!…please spread that information….but like people, most indoor cats suffer from the crap SAD.
    So Rob, I think if you asked Keystone when you moved into your new home whether he wanted to be a safe indoor kitty, or have the best of both worlds with the inherent risks involved, I think I know which he would have chosen. It doesnt make the pain of losing him any less, I know. But what a lucky kitty he was to have shared his life with you, recieving awesome compassionate loving care while fullfilling his feline genetic destinty….thank you for giving him a great life!

  66. Josh Logan
    June 28, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Being a Cat lover – I understand your sadness –
    Cats can make a big difference in the LIVES of HUMANS!

    its a very steep learning curve for CATS as far
    as coyotes – There are a LOT of coyotes in NV
    and they are excellent hunters –

    Our cat stays INSIDE, unless in harness with a
    person – by the way, she can get OUT of the harness
    if NOT watched closely – they can do incrediable things
    with their shoulder girdle – as in escape artist !

  67. Ann
    June 28, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Robb & Nicki –
    Keystone’s memory lives on forever and he’s always with you. Don’t ever feel guilty or beat yourself up. Even if you had deep down thoughts in your overtired mind, you weren’t actually thinking anything would really happen to your Keystone. As you said, what’s the point of living if you’re going to be kept locked up?
    You’ve been a great dad!
    Love & prayers,
    Ann

  68. Michael Acas
    June 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Deepest condolences, Robb and Family.

  69. Brandilynn
    June 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Oh shit. :{

    I am so sorry, its hard to lose a good friend, especially when it could well have happened because they made BKD (bad kitty decisions).

    Yall loved each other well, Robb. Dont ever forget that. He was a good kitty man.

  70. Sandra Brigham
    June 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I would however go door to door looking as someone mentioned. You wouldn’t believe how many people find a dog (or cat) and don’t even bother trying to find the owner…they just keep the animal!

    If he returns or you get another cat, I recommend these outdoor cat enclosures to my clients.

    http://www.appstate.edu/~rosea/enclosure.html

    http://www.paws.org/outdoor-cat-enclosures.html

    http://tinyurl.com/cltcspv

    Best….Sandra

  71. Kam
    June 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Robb, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved gato friend. *many hugs*

  72. Krys
    June 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Positive thoughts and hugs to you, Nicki and Zoe. Mine disappeared a couple months ago, and I still hold out hope that he will reappear. At least I know he had a great life, and there was no way that I would be able to have kept him inside. You gave Keystone an amazing life. And you brought just as much to him as he did to you. :)

  73. Lynn
    June 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    So sorry Robb. My family lost a cat when I was in grammar school and reading about Keystone brought it all back. We left home for a weekend skiing as we had done many times, came home, and Whiskers was gone. An outdoor cat who had freedom – and danger. We gave him a great life, including feeding him fresh, raw organ meats from the butcher that we cut up. Certainly you gave Keystone a wonderful 10 years. R.I.P. furry friend.

  74. Penny Danner
    June 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I’m SO sorry!!!! Shedding tears with you….my kitties are as precious as my non-fur kids to us too.

  75. D Rais
    June 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Oh gosh! :( …this made me so sad. As I just loss my kitty the after 12 years. So very sorry for the loss of your family member :( He gave you 10 years of love and memories. This means a lot to all of us. Best wishes and my positive energy will be with you and Nicki during this time!

  76. Lauran
    June 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Robb and Nicki,

    I am sitting here crying. How many times have I heard this story–and have lived it myself. It doesn’t help that Keystone is a spitting image of my Elmo. Ugh. I live in Reno and will keep my eyes open at the Washoe County Shelter and Nevada Humane Society. If there is anything I can do to help, say the word. I’m there. My prayers are with you…

  77. Patrick
    June 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Robb,
    I just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about Keystone. Like many others that have left posts, I too lost a best (and first) furry friend, and felt the same guilt. He was a chocolate lab and liked to climb fences in pursuit of rabbits, etc. One day as I was packing for a friend’s wedding I let him out quickly and took my eyes off of him for a few seconds. I circled the neighborhood for hours, not knowing until much later that I had walked by the fence he had got himself caught up on many times. No matter what I always try and remember that he made my life so much better and I think I was able to do the same for him. You and Nicki gave Keystone a dream life for a gato. I’m so sorry again though.

  78. suzanna
    June 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Robb, I’m so sorry about Keystone. I always enjoyed it when you talked about Keystone during your podcasts, and this post really touched me with your obvious attachment to him. I think he had a great life with your family. Thank you for sharing your memories of him.

    Suzanna

  79. Claudia Gilbert
    June 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    HI Robb and Niki

    I’m so sorry to hear this, my heart breaks for you. I know that our family animals, whether small cats, or horses, leave a huge impression on you, I hope that he is just out doing his primal thing, and comes home all full of himself, and if not, then I hope he has some peace.

    Thinking of you all.

    Cheers Claudia

  80. Paleoslayer
    June 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    So sorry to hear. I love cats and dogs. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s tough w a little one.
    Loss is tough. It makes you reflect on life
    Our time here is short, and precious. Shorter than we think
    More precious than we think

  81. Leslie
    June 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Really feeling for you buddy. Those among us lucky enough to have experienced that kind of love also know the unbelievable pain that comes when our time with them comes to an end, ESPECIALLY when it comes earlier than expected. Take comfort knowing that you gave him a wonderful life and knowing that HE knew you loved him so much. Good luck getting through the next few weeks – I promise it does get easier with time. Know that all the love and happiness he gave you is worth what you’re going through now.

  82. Gabby
    June 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Condolences.

    I believe that we are given pets because they teach us something about love that we can not readily learn otherwise.

    Gato’s spirit, a spark off of your own, if he is indeed gone, awaits the arrival of your next Kitty. Its first nap on your chest, and bingo.

    Pets are a gift to us.

    Gabby

  83. Graham
    June 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Don’t know what to say but sorry. I had pretty much the same happen, a sucky feeling for sure. Damn foxes and bobcats around here, rotten bastids, I wanted to ‘trim off’ their population from the deck a bit afterwards but ended up just letting things go on, to move on. That’s wildlife I reckon.

  84. Ken
    June 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Empathetic tears here also. Lost my cat prematurely (leukemia at age two) a few years ago. Awful at first. All I could say to myself was “better my cat than somebody’s child”.

    Now the pain is gone but I still vividly remember her amazingly acrobatic moves, her sly humor during hide-and-seek, and most of all, her peaceful naps on my lap.

    Atheists, agnostics, believers…one thing we can all agree on is that all pets go to heaven.

  85. Dana Ross Martin
    June 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Robb,

    He loved you too.
    (you know that, right?)

    Blessings of peace to you and your family

  86. Carol
    June 30, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Dear Rob,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog/podcast since I read your book a year or so ago and I loved how Keystone was on the site banner and featured in your slide show on your main page. A feller’s gotta love his kitty a lot to feature him so prominently! It just tears me up to see something like this has now happened. Losing a cat is losing a family member and a part of yourself, I hope you can follow some of the suggestions people have given and canvas the shelters, neighbourhood, etc. If he sadly doesn’t come home, you will always have Gato in your heart and in your memories. Thank you for sharing him with all of us readers, too. Best of luck to you, and best wishes to Nikki and Zoe.

    • Robb Wolf
      June 30, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Carol. We keep hoping but each day does nto help the odds.

  87. Mady
    June 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Dear Robb,

    I am so sorry. I lost my pet three years ago. I understand how bad it can be. I watched my little grey poodle, Girdie get run over by a car in front of my eyes. She showed up at my door as a stray and we became the best of friends. I think she knew that college was a very lonely time for me. Unlike all the eighteen year olds, I started college at 25 and worked. So I was a non-traditional student. I think she even knew I am hard of hearing because she had certain body signs. The guilt was just awful. I let her out to go to the bathroom one morning. This was our routine. I usually would go outside with her and keep an eye on things. However, this particular morning I was running late for work. I let her out and then ran back to my room to change. When I came back out for her, she was across the street. She saw me and started running as fast as she could toward me. At the same time, this car going way too fast came barrowing down the street and just ran her over. I saw her go underneath the tires and everything. The guy just speed off. Oh God it was awful. I screamed and cried and watch the life go out of her. The neighbours heard me and came out to get me out of the street. I didn’t want to leave her lifeless body. Finally, the man next door picked me up and carried me over to my lawn.

    However, I spent some time an grieved. You did the right thing Robb by posting this. I told people who would listen all about what made her special. On my worst day, I told a total stranger on a bus. She was nice about it. Then one day I came across another dog in need of a home. Some ways he is different than Girdie; some ways he is very similar. I think this is all part of the cycle of life. Keep posting about it if it helps.

    Sorry Robb.

  88. Melanie
    June 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Robb,

    Oh no-I saw this blog post and felt a sympathetic awful sick feeling of loss, which unfortunately, I’ve had to go through myself a few times lately.

    The first time I visited your website I was delighted by the prominently featured kitty, and I decided right then that you must be a pretty decent fellow.

    As so many have already said here, I understand your pain. It’s hard to put into words what it really means to have a little furry buddy in your life, but you did a nice job. It’s a love that feeds your heart.

    I’m so sorry you lost your friend.

  89. Pattie
    June 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    So sorry for your loss. So many of us have experienced similar things and your story really talks to us. Hope you two are doing well…..and be so happy with all of the fabulous times you spent with Keystone. :( :(

  90. Melissa Hartwig
    June 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Rob and Nicki,

    I know how hard it is to lose a pet – it’s losing a family member. Deepest condolences, our thoughts are with you.

    Best,
    M&D

  91. Sigi
    July 1, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Vale, dear Keystone. I only hope that if you’re not coming home it’s because you’re now in some even better place.

    Sympathy and hugs to you and your family, Robb.

  92. Kerry
    July 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Sad! I think your pic “impression” could be award winning. It’s so hard to have that void in the house when a pet is gone. Sorry for your loss.

  93. Jessica
    July 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I’m so sorry Robb. As a pet owner with four cats and two dogs I understand how much happiness one little fuzzy creature can bring to your life. After reading this I had to hunt down and hug all of them. You’ve written a few posts over the years that made me tear up, but this one rendered me useless for a good thirty minutes. I’m holding out hope for you and your family.

  94. Cheryle
    July 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Robb, I’ve never commented before but have been listening to the podcast for months after reading The Paleo Solution last September.

    I wanted to say I’m so sorry about Keystone. My husband and I have four kitties and although they stay inside 100% of the time, that doesn’t keep me from worrying about losing one of them. Pets are family, and losing a member of your family always hurts.

    Hugs from Oregon,
    C.

  95. Scott S.
    July 3, 2012 at 3:03 am

    The worst feeling in the world is losing a pet. I can’t tell you how heart broken we are for you guys. Hang in there!

  96. Judith
    July 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Keystone. I always enjoyed hearing about him on the podcast and seeing his picture on your website. Peace.

  97. Jen
    July 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    This was so beautifully and honestly written. It’s really generous and brave of you to open up to the world and show just how deeply puncturing a loss like this can be.
    As many others have mentioned here, I’ve been through a similar kitty loss and never did get closure on what actually happened. It was the worst.
    Time does make the hurt infinitely better and far less intense, but that probably doesn’t matter right now while you’re going through such a painful experience.
    Sending you and your family relief and peace.

  98. Shannon
    July 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Awful news. I’m sorry for your loss. I have two of my own and they definitely have their distinct patterns and personalities which make them part of our families. It’s obvious that you had quite a strong bond with Keystone and that you took great care of him. I’m sorry your time was cut short.

  99. Ruby
    August 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

    This literally made me cry. I am so sorry for your loss and dread the day my own cat does not return.

  100. Carole
    September 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Robb

    I am so sorry for your loss. And I feel your pain. A while ago we had a beautiful cat “Tigger”. He was a joy and my constant companion as I work from home.
    One day I had a feeling that I shouldn’t let him out, but he was being very rambunctious and almost spilled a huge glass of water on my laptop (Tigger had an abundance of energy). I figured it was about noon so no coyotes should be around. Much to my dismay and guilt-ridden mind I was wrong. He was killed by a coyote a couple of hours after noon. I have a few witnesses that told me.
    I imagine feel just as guilty as you as I had a feeling that I shouldn’t have let him out that day. I am so sorry and hope you feel better soon.

  101. Zach Even - Esh
    January 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Robb – damn, dude, I understand your feelings, brutha….. I’ve grown up w/pets through stages of my life.

    The toughest loss to me was a Doberman, born in our house when I was 7 or 8 and he passed mid way through college.

    It crushed me for a while and the Dude was my best friend, ever.

    Hang tough, brutha, hang tough….

    Z

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