4 min read

A eulogy for Goose

This post contains mentions of pet illness and loss. Please take care of yourself while reading. ❤️
Goose, a black longhaired cat with yellow-green eyes, lying on the second story of a cat tower.

With great sorrow, I’m sharing today that our beloved cat Goose has ended his journey here on Earth. He was around six years old, and we were privileged to call him ours for nearly three of those years.

Please be advised that this post is focused on the topics of pet illness, loss, and grief. If these topics are tough for you right now, I encourage you to take care while reading — and it's okay to skip this one entirely if you need to. ❤️

Goose, a black longhaired cat with yellow-green eyes, beside a vase of pink flowers and potted rosemary.

Goose Sleater-Kinney Campsinger was, is, and always will be one of the great loves of my life. My soul cat, as some say it. I am humbled to have been his companion and caretaker in this lifetime. He was my and Kal’s first baby—we brought him home from the Animal Rescue Project of Kalamazoo during the first months of the pandemic. His shelter name was Spot, although we initially mistook him for another black feline immunodeficiency virus positive (FIV+) cat named Charlotte, an event that became a perpetual inside joke. We worried about him so hard in those early days. We watched his personality blossom over months and years, especially after bringing our dog Juno into the fold. We have loved and grieved him so tenderly over these past five months since we learned that he had developed lymphoma, likely correlated to his FIV+ diagnosis.

The nearly three years we spent with Goose were the most special of my life. He was such a kind and gentle soul. He thrived in two different homes with us, especially after we brought his canine sister Juno the hound mix into our family in July 2021. He adored Juno! They were playful sparring partners and enjoyed grooming each other right up until the end. I shared a unique and sacred bond with him, and so did Kal — we loved to joke that Goose was a powerful magician and that Kal was his familiar.

Kal, a white transmasculine person dressed in black, holding Goose. Juno the hound sniffs his tail.

Last summer was such a glorious time for Goose. He enjoyed chattering at the birds and squirrels from our kitchen window, and he slept in bed with us humans and the dog most nights. When I worked from home, he relished in the opportunity to sit on my lap for Zoom meetings and strut across the keyboard. He loved catnip, gentle scritches, and climbing into the fridge to try and nibble on fresh herbs.

Unfortunately, we learned last fall that Goose had developed lymphoma. We went above and beyond to love and dote on him in that fragile time, and we were lucky to have five good months with him after his diagnosis. In his way, he let us know over the weekend that he was ready to accept his next adventure, and yesterday we made the complicated and painful choice to assist him in the death process via euthanasia. We are completely heartbroken and lost without him, especially Juno — witnessing her animal grief is a heartbreak all its own. We also take great comfort in the time we spent with him, the love he gave us, and the beautiful bonds we were able to grow together as a family. All of this will last a lifetime.

I want to take a moment to thank the Animal Rescue Project of Kalamazoo immensely for the work that they do, and for bringing our darling Goose into our lives. He changed our hearts for the better, and we will miss him every single day — we already do. I had so much more to learn from him, have so much more still, and I am undone knowing that I will have to do it without him by my side here on Earth.

Erin, a white woman with brownish hair, smiling while Goose looks up at her lovingly.
Me and my guy.

Please hug and kiss your animal companions for me! Animal companionship is a strong value of mine and has been since I was a child. As you're still reading this, I suspect the same may be said for you. It's an achingly wonderful life, isn't it?

Goose and Juno curled up together on a blue cat bed.