Clyde at window

Yesterday I said goodbye to my cat Clyde. The final goodbye. Clyde was 21 years old. An old man. An old cat with a big personality.

As Clyde aged, he lost his hearing, his ability to jump but he never lost his love of food, a cuddle or his sense of smell, especially if anyone was eating fish… or prawns. In younger days he had even been known to swipe prawns off an unsuspecting guest’s plate and be gone with them before the guest had even registered what had just happened. And then there were all the times we danced around Clyde, as he hogged the middle of our makeshift dance floor. Such a party animal 🙂

Clyde arrived at the same time as my newborn first son. His mother was a starving neighbourhood cat, who came to my house to have a feed. I followed her to meet her 3 little kittens and Clyde became our cat.

Clyde was a wild kitten. I have yet to meet a wilder one! He ambushed. He pounced. He scratched. He would stay out longer than acceptable at night and wake us up fighting every neighbourhood cat. He got run over and lost his tail. Nothing deterred Clyde. He was also a gentle, tolerant cat when it suited him. He accepted every other pet we brought into the family including 2 dogs, another 4 cats, 2 ferrets, numerous birds and fish. All showed him the respect he thought he deserved.

For the last 3 years, every time any of the family left home we would say gooodbye to Clyde, just in case he wasn’t there on our return. That is what happens when your pet is old – very old. Yesterday was our final goodbye.

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21 years is a long time to spend with a pet, with anyone. To see them every day. To sleep with them every night. A big gap exists when they are gone. A hole in your life and a heart that can never be whole again. Miss you Clyde. Love you Clyde xxx

Clyde Righetti  Feb 1992 - Feb 2013
Clyde Righetti
Feb 1992 – Feb 2013


  1. I’m so sorry to hear this Jo 🙁 he was famous amongst your followers – a lovely old man

  2. Sad, sad news. Sorry to hear. 21 Years is a good innings albeit it never long enough. Condolences to the family.xx

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your special boy. I am so sorry for your loss Joanne. Twenty one years is a very long time. You must all be devastated. Rest easy Clyde and wait for your mum at the rainbow bridge.

  4. Alot of love and adventures to be had in 21 years, but the end is always too soon. Thinking of you, Jo, as you adjust to family life without the handsome Clyde – although he will forever have a piece of your heart.

  5. Oh Joanne… Kaye and I are really really sorry to hear of your news. Dear old Clyde… what an amazing life he has had with you…
    Having recently been down much the same path we know that through the tears, we start to smile again remembering all the good times… Then out come the photos and the smiles turn into laughter… Remember the good times always. Thinking of you all..
    We’d love to catch up – even just for a hug… Brian & Kaye xxx

  6. HI Jo, Shedding a tear for you and the boys (including Numero Uno boy, Umberto of course!). Clyde was such a larger than life personality who thought all visitors were there just to see and pat him! We all fell under the Clyde ‘spell’. He knew he’d found the right family with you guys and stayed as long as he could. I’m so sorry for your loss and sending huge hugs. xxxxx

  7. It’s always hard to say goodbye. He was blessed to have such a loving home and family. RIP Clyde

  8. Very sad losing an old friend…commiserations…..but what a good age Clyde made! We have had cats go to 18 years, none older than that, but even at a great age it’s like it’s always too soon.

  9. So sad! He looks like a beautiful boy. I’m experiencing a similar situation with my cat Chloe right now. She’s 18 and deaf too but sadly also losing her appetite for life, including prawns – her lifetime favourite thing.

  10. Dear Dr Jo & family, So sorry to read that Clyde has gone to the bridge. Such a beautiful member of your lovely family, so cherished & wise as he watched your family grow. Remember what a wonderful life he had, now snuggling with Cherry, your special angels, A & A xx

  11. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss! I know words are terribly inadequate at a time like this but please know my heart goes out to you. Bless your heart and Clyde’s. *warm hugs*

  12. Dear Dr Jo & family, So sorry to read that Clyde has gone to the bridge. Such a beautiful member of your lovely family, so cherished & wise as he watched your family grow. Remember what a wonderful life he had, now snuggling with Cherry, your special angels, A & A xx

  13. My first cat, Thingy, was the same age when I had to have her put down. The fact that she’d lived a long life and that I’d given her comfort and security for the last 5 years of it, didn’t make the loss any easier. I still miss her.

  14. I still have a few photos in nice frames of my Silky, who died 2 years ago, and also a photo of my Molly. I like to remember them with these photos in full view and look at them every day

  15. So sad for you and your loss. What an amazing life you gave him. He was a very lucky boy to have you caring for him.

  16. Though sadly we never had the chance to meet, we will certainly miss the 21 years worth of tales that were told of him. Best wishes to the family at this sad time. Lots of Love, Craig, Noru & Luca

  17. That is so sad and can understand how you must be feeling.I lost my 16yo dog 6 months ago and I still haven’t quite got over it yet and have my crying moments. She had almost made it to 17 yo and had her from the time she was a 7 week old strange looking puppy.. I will always miss her.

  18. What terrible sadness you must be feeling. Look at some photos and remember all the wonderful days you had together. Cry for yourself, and then smile for the great joy he brought to your life. God bless you Charlie-my angels will be there to meet you! Much love and understanding to you Jo, I reaally feel for you. xx

  19. As I mentioned in my previous post, photos help in healing – agree with Hettie 🙂

  20. I know it’s been a few years since you lost Clyde, but I remember him. He was a lovely boy, and quite the party animal. Xx

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