lola james necklace

– this diamond necklace from Lola James that hasn’t come off since I received it –

white bust

– a new place for Diana (dining room details here) –

black and gold lamp

– updating our den with a modern floor lamp I’m kind of obsessed with –

black tripawd cat

– a very tender moment with two of my favorites –

pink flowers

– flowers from a thoughtful friend –

This week felt like a long one.  Christian caught a bug and has had to be quarantined as to not get the baby sick… which has meant single mom status.  And WOW – this has been my first time without any help from him.  Shoutout to all the single moms out there – you are iconic, incredible, resistant, there aren’t enough adjectives.

I haven’t had the courage to share the biggest news for our little family as of late.  Two weeks ago we said goodbye to our precious Lula.  She has been on a steep decline since we moved to Georgia, and I think I was in a little bit of denial.  Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as an adult.  To make that decision when it’s “time” is honestly excruciating.  I asked Christian to take a photo of us on one of her last days, and after seeing it, I held her and sobbed in that very spot.

She has been by my side since I found her in a parking lot almost ten years ago.  She has survived cancer and an amputation.  She’s moved all over the country with us, sat in my lap purring day after day while I worked on this blog until I was 8 months pregnant and had run out of space.

I strolled her in a pet stroller in San Francisco so she could get fresh air when we didn’t have any outdoor space.  I would clean her face every day because in her last few years she had trouble doing it with only one front leg.  I gave her four beds throughout the house because getting around had become difficult.  I would wear her in a pet sling (not even joking!) and she loved it.  She was my first pet of my own and one of a kind.

I haven’t been able to talk about it, and I have tears strolling down my cheeks as I write this.  We buried her in the backyard next to a baby magnolia tree so I can see it from the kitchen window and think of her.  It will be a while until I can talk about it without getting emotional.  She knew I needed her and held on as long as she could.  I’m forever grateful that I found her that night and her companionship has been everything to me.

With Bailey being in double digits also, I’ve tried to be extra conscious of spoiling her lately.  Having two geriatric pets and a newborn has been a little more than I expected but I will do everything I can to give everyone their special time!

Thank you so much for your love for Lula over the years.  If you have the opportunity to rescue an adult pet, I’d urge you to explore it.  She’s the first adult pet I’ve adopted and her gratitude and appreciation was unlike any other pet relationship I’ve ever had.

And if you meet a black dog or cat, please consider giving them a chance.  They are the least adopted at shelters and have so much love to give.

Love you guys – XO –

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77 thoughts on “Friday’s Five | My Lula

  1. So sorry to hear about Lula. You gave her the best life and you could see how much she loved you. Making the decision to put an animal down is so incredibly difficult. Know that you did the best thing for her and now you have a Lula angel to watch over you. Sending thoughts your way.

  2. What a beautiful post and tribute. So very sorry for your loss. Saying goodbye to a pet is absolutely gut-wrenching. Thank you for giving an adult cat a chance, and for urging others to do the same.

  3. Lifting you up in prayer Kathleen. Our fur babies are such an important part of our lives and I know how important Lula was to you. Find comfort in knowing that she enjoyed every single day on earth with you and Christian. What a loving home(s) she had!

    She will be waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge!
    xoxo- Tanya
    http://www.TanyaFoster.com

  4. I fell in love with Lula when I started reading your
    Blog and following you on IG several years ago. Her stories cracked me up (loved the stroller!), and she showed her love for you so openly (those purrs were unreal). Cry it out, girl – she was indeed such a special cat. Pets hold a special place in our hearts. I am heartbroken for you. Wishing you peace.

  5. My heart hurts hearing about the loss of Lula. I am so sorry to hear this. What a beautiful life you provided for her and for Bailey as well.

  6. Oh Kathleen, I am so sorry! Losing a pet is one of the worst things in the world. Sending you lots of love ❤️ This was a beautiful tribute.

  7. I cried reading about Lula and I am not a “cat person.” I love that you said she hung on because she knew you needed her, ugh heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. You two finding each other was fate. I hope you find solace in your cherished memories. I personally think the loss of a pet is the hardest because they are ALWAYS there. Husbands go to work kids will go to school, parents live separately but our pets – always there.

  8. I have tears streaming down my face reading your post. Saying good bye is the absolute hardest thing to do. I am so sorry. I have had three black dogs and a black cat. I never thought anything about it until I started reading recently how they are the least adopted. So silly really.

  9. When going through the loss of a pet under these circumstances, I found the most comfort in reminding myself that I did what was best for the pet and trying not to think of it as a loss for myself. It is hard, but you know you did the right thing for her.

  10. So so sorry to hear about Lula! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and my heart dropped when I read that. I lost my first dog two years ago. To remember him, I still have his picture as my background on my phone and have his clay paw print on my desk at home. Having her next to the magnolia tree is a perfect touch, and a perfect way to always look outside and think about your Lula memories. Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

  11. Sweet Lula, she was a queen of queens for sure! One of her lasting legacies is that SHE is the reason I adopted an adult black cat, our Piper, whom your father and I adore. (He might not admit that he adores her…..but I know he does!) You gave Lula a wonderful life and took amazing care of her. She moved coast to coast twice and made friends with a yellow lab that she cuddled up with in her later years. I loved seeing the closeness the two of them shared. I’m grateful she held on so long because you needed her, especially that last year in SF. I loved the insta -stories in her stroller with the classical music in the background, the best! 🙂 Another favorite memory is that when Christian would ask you to get her out of the bed you would reply, “But Christian…….SHE HAS CANCER!!!” That worked ever time. 🙂 She was quite the diva and you treated her as such. I’ll miss my grand cat but know she is in a much better place. Thank you for rescuing her in the parking lot, I loved her too.

  12. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Lula. I loved your stories of pushing her around SF. We also said good bye last week to our rescue kitty Lucy . It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do and we miss her terribly ❤️❤️.

  13. Kathleen –

    I’m sobbing. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s crazy how you follow someone for so long, you feel like you know them personally and I know Lula meant the world to you. You gave her an amazing, amazing life. I’m so sorry – thinking of you! ❤️

  14. I am so sorry to hear about Lula! Saying goodbye to a pet (especially if it is a choice you have to make) is so tough. But how sweet her spirit is still there with you and your family. And she got to meet Hudson! Wishing you all the peace through this hard time.

  15. I am so very sorry for your loss. The pain is like no other but I try to have gratitude for the time that I had with them. She was tremendously lucky to have found you. RIP beautiful Lula.

  16. Sweet Lula! Oh Kat I’m so so so sorry!! I remember when you found her in that parking lot. God knew that you would need a little companion to snuggle with while Christian put in those long hours. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she held on until you had Hudson. Much love to you, Christian, and that precious angel baby!

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss Kathleen. I know those words are said often, but I truly feel your pain. The loss of a four (or three 😉 legged family member can leave such a hole in our hearts. Their expression of unconditional love without the use of words or based on expectations is a unique frequency of companionship that just can’t be summed up in words. You gave Lula a life full of so much love. Her spirit and bad assery will always be with you. Thank you for giving a nod to shelter pets, especially black cats, they still get such a bad wrap! I’ve loved following Lula and Bailey’s adventures with you through the years, the adventure continues just in another dimension.

    Much love,
    Bronwen

  18. I am so sorry about Miss Lula. I lost my last cat, Tigger Mario LaMew in July 2018.He was just shy of 24 years young. I still miss him, everyday. I thank God that I was able to be his caretaker. You will find, Miss Lula will be around you and your family, for a very long time. Love never dies. So very sorry for your loss…

  19. Kathleen,
    I am heartbroken for you to hear of sweet Lula’s passing. I have followed along for years and loved watching your love and dedication to your fur babies. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. We have said good bye to our 17 year old cat and 13 year old golden, it is so difficult and they are missed every day. May each day get easier. Sending a virtual hug. Karen

  20. Kathleen – I am SO sad to hear about Lula! Seeing her in your blog posts, Instagram feed and stories over the years has been such a treat. She was an utter kween and I know she felt so loved with y’all. Thank you for making the point about black dogs and cats in shelters, too – a local Humane Society was one of my clients back in my marketing agency days and they always had a hard time finding homes for those sweet animals. They deserve a loving home as much as the next pet, and they do have so much to provide to a family. Sending lots of love and good vibes to y’all as you adjust to life without sweet Lula. XO

  21. Aww, I’m so sorry about your cat. We just moved from the south to the Midwest and I’m going through the exact same thing. My cat has been with me for almost 18 years. He’s been on a rapid decline since we moved to our new house in December and I just can’t bring myself to take him back to the vet. I know it will be best for him but he’s been my first baby for so long. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a pet, they are for sure family. Hugs to you!

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about Lula! What a special bond you two had and I know losing that bond is gut wrenching. Heartbroken for you and sending lots of love and prayers your way! She’s still around watching over your sweet family ❤️

  23. I’m so sorry about Lula! I totally understand how hard it is and not being able to talk without crying. I lost my almost 20 year old cat the day after Christmas. She knew it was her time and spent all of Christmas day being close to us. She knew she was loved and from what i’ve seen, Lula knew how very loved she was. And yes, I’m totally crying as I write this. xoxo

  24. My heart is aching for you, Kathleen. Having a pet is wonderful, but sadly, this is the worst part. No matter how long they’re with us, it’s never long enough. We’ve had 7 Greyhounds and 3 Pharaoh Hounds (all rescues) in 23 years. Seven of them are no longer with us and it was horribly devastating each time. And, YES, please adopt a black dog/cat when you can! Two of our Greyhounds were the sweetest boys ever.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. Lula was a special part of CBL and I am sure that all of your readers felt the same fondness for her that I felt. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  26. So sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Lula ❤️ I have loved following her journey with you throughout the years, especially as I adopted my own black cat. My black cat passed a few months ago and it is the hardest thing, but know that you gave Lula such a wonderful, loving life. I have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers during this time.
    And thank you for shedding light on black cat adoptions! We just recently felt ready to adopt another kitty, and I knew she would have to be a black cat because of how overlooked they are in shelters. These cats have so much love to give too

  27. First off I wish I had read this before I put my make up on. I am sitting here in tears for you! I’ve had my cat for 11 years now. I don’t know how old she is because we got her as a rescue. The minute I saw her I knew I wanted her. Not one of the cute little kittens. I wanted her. She’s been my sidekick for all these years and it breaks my heart that you lost yours. I am no joke sobbing over here. You gave Lula a great life and for that she was thankful. I wish there were more I could say, but right now I don’t think anything could be good enough. I’ll send you a huge hug! Hope your heart starts to feel better soon.

  28. Oh no! You are an incredible mama to your beautiful boy & your pets, I have tears in my eyes reading your post & I’m so sorry for your pain & your loss. You inspired me to rescue a black cat & although mine isn’t entirely black, I never knew how much I would love a cat! Much love to you guys.
    XO

  29. I’m so sorry to hear about Lula. She always seemed like the best pet and I loved the pictures you shared of her with Bailey.

  30. Kathleen, I want to reach through the screen and hug you! Uhg, losing a pet is such a tough thing. I’ve been through it a few times and it’s just one of the worst feelings and the heartbreak lasts. Let yourself cry and be a mess, no shame. As soon as I saw your post I had tears streaming and read the rest through tears. Lula was a great gal and you were both so lucky to have each other. #catstrollerforlyfe So much love to you Kathleen.

  31. I am so sorry to hear about Lula! The love you had for each other came across so clearly even through the internet. You blessed Lula with the best 10 years and I know she appreciated that. I’m sure she held on to make sure you and Christian were finally settled in your long term home and you had a new baby to concentrate on. It’s crazy how our fur babies know what we need when we don’t even speak the same language.

  32. This post brought me to tears and I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my cat years ago too and I still think about him and get emotional. You did so much for Lula; what a wondeful life she had with you. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  33. Tears for your sweetheart. How lucky you both were to find each other. I have a geriatric dog myself and every day is a blessing. Hugs to you all and darling Bailey as well.

  34. I just want to say thank you for sharing this. I know it must be devastating and very emotional to talk about it. I’ve been going though having to care for a geriatric pet and can’t bear to think of the day when the day comes. I’ve been looking for words on a pet loss. These situations are talked about enough. Given that pets are our family! Stay strong and please know that the things you share help others go through their own hard times. Always loved you and your page!

  35. I can 100 percent relate. My kitty passed away 5 years ago now amd he was my first in my own pet. For so long it was just him and i. And i would have carried him in a pet sling proudly unashamed! I am so a cat person! I am still unable to get another pet even years later. Im just not there yet. The knowing when thing is awful and i have regrets about that personally. I would say. Take ur time. Feel the loss and dont let anyone make u feel bad for feeling bad about losing a pet. There r truly some idiots out there who will say dumb stuff. Pay them know mind and do u.

  36. I am so sorry. It’s heartbreaking. Thank you for giving her such a wonderful life & sharing her with your followers. Sending you all good thoughts & virtual hugs

  37. Oh my gosh I honestly cried reading this, I am so sorry for the loss of Lula. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things. Thinking of you!

  38. So sorry for your loss! It’s truly incredible the bond across species…”pet” does t begin to due justice to the relationship. I hope your heart heals.

  39. I’m sorry for the loss of your precious Lula. We had to make the devastating decision to put our dog down when our daughter was 7 months old. We struggled with the decision but our vet told us it was our last act of love for our dearest Dolcee dog. Hugs!

  40. Oh, Kathleen. This just completely gutted me – I was sobbing while reading it. I am so sorry; I know Lula was such a big part of your life for so long. She had the very best life with you and your family. Praying that the days ahead get easier for you.

  41. My heart goes out to you for loosing sweet Lula! We lost our sweet dog this past summer. He would have been 17 in November & it was just his time. As prepared as I thought I was, I was not, & he still brings tears to my eyes to talk about him. Our 6 year old little boy still prays for him every night when he says his prayers! He knows he’s not with us but says he can still say prayers for him! Pets truly do hold a special place in our hearts & families!!

  42. I said goodbye to my beautiful 21 year old Maine Coon mix almost 1 year ago. She saw my through my first job after college, medical school, residency, two fellowships and my first job as an attending physician. Not to mention four apartments, three cities, and countless bad dates. Despite numerous health problems towards the end, she was resilient and ever loving. I also felt that she stayed until she could sense that I’d be ok without her. Caring for a geriatric cat was tough, but absolutely worth it.

  43. Tears in my eyes for you, pets are SO special. No matter how long you have with them and how prepared you are for when they’re gone, it’s still hard. Every time. Much love to you. I saw on Instagram you had her paw prints imprinted in clay. My mom did this for my siblings and I when our childhood dog passed. I turned it into a Christmas ornament so it’s hung on my tree every year. My husband and I are nuts, we make our Aussie pup “hang” that ornament every year and he always gives the most extra eye rolling faces in the pictures while doing it.

  44. Tears rolling down my face while I am at the office. I had to say goodbye to my Frenchie who I loved and adored and reading this brings back all those memories from the past year. Where she is at now is beautiful.

  45. Man, I’m sitting here tears rolling down my face, Our pets fill such a special place in our hearts and they will forever remain there. Lula had a beautiful life because you found each other. Much love to you all!

  46. I applaud you for taking the time to share such an important message about animal rescue, especially older animals and animals with black fur, during this trying time. You were both such lucky girls to have one another and we are so grateful you shared her with us. Lifting you up in prayer and hoping you find peace and comfort knowing what a wonderful life you gave your gorgeous girl!

  47. Kathleen – I have tears in my eyes. I love that you said she hung in there with you. I remember my dad telling me that my 14 year old English Springer was only staying alive because of me. I said “thanks Dad,” and he replied, “no, I didn’t mean it that way, you need to start letting go so she can.” Animals know when we can’t bear to lose them. Making the decision was, like for you, the toughest thing I’ve had to do. I’ll be thinking of you both. xoxo.

  48. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Having to put down our nearly 15 year old golden retriever 2 years ago was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I still have moments of tears over it. Take care!

  49. If I lived in Georgia I’d drive over and give you a hug. Losing that first pet is by far the hardest, saddest feeling in the universe. My girl Kodi was my rock through college and through my first child and when I finally realized I had to say goodbye I couldn’t talk about it for MONTHS. We celebrate her annually still and she died in 2012 (and I still cry thinking about her). Point being, we all get it who did it and are crying too. Virtual hugs.

  50. Kath – my heart is broken for you, and as the mom of a geriatric pup, this is something that weighs on me more these days. But what an amazing little life you gave your girl. You were both lucky to have found each other. Sending lots of love!

  51. So very sorry for your loss! I truly believe that we will be reunited with our pets in heaven. So know your sweet Lula girl is running around in a perfect heavenly body now.

  52. Girl I am so terribly sorry!!! Pets our such a huge part of our lives and it is tragic to lose them! Two weeks ago, my husband and lab of 5 years were in a tragic hunting accident where my husband accidentally shot my dog when he was going to retrieve a duck! Luckily, he is healing well now and will ultimately be okay, but those moments of the unknown were the worst in my life! Praying for y’all as you try to deal with life without Lula!

  53. Heartbroken for you. So hard to lose a pet you loved so much, especially one like sweet Lula! You were lucky to have each other.

  54. I don’t know you besides following you and I’m crying for you! I can’t even adopt a cat for this fear of the pain of inevitable loss. So good for you for being open to loving like that. I LOVED Lula’s SF buggy strolls to stately Queen- like processional classics. You give a great life to those that depend on you!

  55. My heart aches for you! That choice and that loss is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Thinking about you and your sweet Lula.

  56. Oh Kathleen, I’m sitting here sobbing… a complete mess after seeing your Instagram post and reading your blog. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I’ve followed you for years and know how much Lula meant to you – you’re such a special person and I’m sure Lula is so grateful for the life you gave her. I’m thinking of you sweet lady, sending prayers and the biggest hug. All my love! -Paige

  57. Sending you love and hugs from a fellow black cat mama. Black cats are the best! I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets are family! Xoxo.

  58. Sending you much love… those rescue pets become the companions of a lifetime! I had a wonderful dog I adopted that was with me through the births of 2 of our 3 kids, a move, a divorce, a remarriage, high school graduations, etc. How fortunate we are for those years! I hope you find peace in knowing how well you loved her… she certainly knew. xoxo

  59. I’m so so sorry about Lula Losing a fur baby is one of the hardest things to have to go through. You were such a good mama to her! Sending you so much love!

  60. So very sorry for your loss of Lula. I could tell how much you loved her with your heartfelt words. My deepest sympathies to you.

  61. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am an animal person but a cat person specifically through and through. The pain of letting them go is excrutiating but the love they give is beyond measure. Bless you for taking her in and showing her such incredible love.. She obviously was an amazing girl. She will meet you at the rainbow bridge.

  62. I’ve been on holiday so I’m just catching up and reading this news, and I am so so sorry. I don’t comment often, but I read every word and love your Insta stories so I know just how much you loved your Lula. She was so special and you were both so lucky to have each other. I hope you have some peace in spite of your sadness knowing you provided her with so much love and the best life she could have.

  63. This is such a horrible pain and I’m so sorry you’re going through it. Lu was so sweet and you clearly loved her with everything you had – she knew that.

  64. I am so sorry to hear about Lula. Crying as I read this. Such a sweet tribute. She was beautiful and obviously very loved. The love and bond we have for our pets is immense and uniquely special, and that never goes away, even when they do. Wishing you peace and heart healing ❤️