Willow – Ragdoll of the Week
Sir Willow Jon De Cat Eustice – AKA “Willy Lo-Lo”
9/10/09 – 3/12/18
How BLESSED are we to have loved a kitty so well that missing you hurts so much!
Willy Lo-Lo, AKA:
- Bird Whisperer
- Mirror Talker
- Hewwow Meower
- Boss of Zizi
- Milk Ring Chaser
- Napping Buddy
- Chest Cuddler
- Treat Coercer
- Protector of His Family
- Sink Sleeper
- Video Game Side Kick
- Sewing Supervisor
- Grumpy Cat
- Stranger Sasser
- Christmas Tree Lover
- Empty Box Occupier
- Sunshine Beam Seeker
- Door Greeter
- Fluffer Nutter
- Fat Fhing
- Blue-Eyed, Pink Nosed, Soft Fur Beauty
I fell in love with this soft ball of fur back in November of 2009 when we went to pick out a kitten from a Ragdoll breeder here in our home state. I always knew the Ragdoll breed was the one for me with those big blue eyes that melt your heart! He was a blue lynx bi-color and we chose the name “Willow” because of the beautiful soft coat of fur he had. He achieved many nick-names in his lifetime, most notably, “Willy Lo-Lo” or “Lo-Lo” for short as my daughter would call for him. On the day we brought him home we loved him up and played with him so much that we literally tired him out. He slept for hours on my neck, my husband’s lap, or curled up next to my son and daughter. We all took turns snuggling with him that first day! Willow quickly grew into a big boy at 16 pounds and he could rocket through the house at the sound of the doorbell, garage door opening or if you called out “treats”! When he was being called for his special treats he would patiently wait for me to caress his face and kiss him on the head before I would spill some out onto the floor for him. He would come and greet whoever was coming in through the door. If it was his people (our family) you were greeted with him rubbing the door or wall and a hello meow, if it was anyone else he would turn tail and walk away. If you were lucky enough you might even get sassed! While company was visiting he had to be in the room to make sure we were okay as he truly was protector of our family!
One of Willow’s favorite past times was sitting on his sunflower cat tree watching the birds outside. He would chatter in the funniest way when one would get close enough as though he was the bird whisperer that could draw them in for a closer look! After all the excitement he would have to take a little catnap because bird watching is tiring business! Another spot for bird watching was by our dining room table. We would have to keep a chair pulled away from the table and up to the window for him to watch the birds at the feeders outside. If the chair wasn’t pulled up next to the window he would circle around and meow at us until we met his request, we could never say no to him! He loved it when we would open the window a crack for him to sniff the outside air. In the warmer months we would open the windows and you could always find him lying on the windowsill enjoying the fresh air. We could no sooner open a window and he would hop up and contently settle in his spot.
Somewhere down the line of him growing up he chose his pecking order. My daughter was the lucky one he chose to sleep with at night, right next to her on the pillow. She would cuddle right up to him and nuzzle into his soft fur and contently drift off to sleep. You could usually find him napping on her bed at some point during the day waiting for her to come home and snuggle up to him. In the evening hours or on weekends he was my son’s Video Game Side Kick. He would go down to the cool basement theater room and lay on the sectional couch and keep my son company while he played his games. This was such a routine that his fur would accumulate in “his” spot and I would use a wet paper towel and a shower squeegee to clean it off, which by the way, is an awesome way to remove kitty fur from your furniture! I was the one he liked to supervise, whether it be my sewing, (mending popped stitches and holes) he loved watching the long threads being pulled up with each stitch I sewed! If I got into the hallway closet to pull out crafting supplies he would curiously sit near and watch me pull things out as if to say, “whatcha up to now Mom”? Laundry folding was a joint effort. I would ask him if he wanted to help Mom fold laundry as I dumped the clean clothes all over our king size bed. He would jump up and lay there watching me. Somehow I got the raw end of the stick because I never did get any help but I sure enjoyed the company as who really enjoys folding laundry! My husband was the unlucky one in the pecking order. As much as he loved Willow and wanted to hold him and love on him Willow had other ideas, he tolerated him at best, despite my husband’s efforts. Of course Willow loved him in his own way and on his own terms, he was my husband’s “Grumpy Cat”, and “Fat Fhing”.
Willow had many vocals and ways of voicing his needs and he had a crazy personality. The “Hewwow Meower” was his way of searching for Mom when everyone went off to school or work. One morning while I was sleepily lying in bed I heard him call out to find me. I was greeted by a loud “hewwow” (heww-wooah), which sounded just like hello! When he couldn’t find who he was looking for he would call out his “hewwow” to find you! The “Mirror Talker” was the strangest yet funniest thing this crazy cat ever did! For whatever reason, known only to him, he would jump up onto the bathroom counters and meow at himself in the mirror. It was always an inquisitive meow like perhaps he was trying to figure out his own reflection. He would just sit there and meow for no particular reason. I often wonder what was going on inside that head of his as he did it! It was sure funny to watch! This usually ended by him curling up into the sink to take a nap. As he got older and much bigger he had to figure out how to maneuver himself under the faucet to be able to fit into the sink! It never looked very comfortable to me but what do I know, I’m not a cat!
When Willow was 6 years old we decided to bring another kitty into our home. At the time I thought it would be a good idea for Willow to have a playmate or someone to keep him company and snuggle with. In retrospect, Willow just tolerated this strange new kitty and was probably to use to being used to being the only cat in the house. It took a good amount of time for him to adjust to her as she was only around 5 or 6 months old at the time, so full of kitten energy and playfulness! Zarina, AKA “Zizi” is a Siamese mix and the sweetest little girl ever. Her tiny meows are just precious but Willow would have told you otherwise. He quickly showed her who was boss of the house! As she grew up the playing would sometimes have to be broken up because Willow would forget his size and play too rough with her, but that changed as Zizi reached adulthood! You could hear a freight train rampage through our house when they would play a great game of chase, down the stairs, through the basement, back up the stairs, down the hall, into the bedroom, back down the hall, around the living room and back again! The sounds of their claws gripping the carpet as they made their agile turns around corners while they flew through the house, good grief! After the entire hullabaloo each would settle in for a late morning nap and while they never truly cuddled, they would lay very close to one another.
Willow loved to occupy an empty box, paper bag, laundry basket, tote, wooden basket or open suitcase. It was mere seconds before jumping in once they were on the floor! Even his carrier that we used for veterinarian visits was no problem; he would walk right into it once the crate door was opened! I think the security of smaller spaces was comforting to him in some way. It sure made for some comical and precious photos throughout the years!
Somewhere along the line it became a family tradition to get a family photo in front of the Christmas tree or at Easter with Willow, then later adding in Zizi. Everyone knew it was expected on Christmas Eve to take this yearly photo and each year we tried to get Willow to cooperate for said photo. Needless to say, unless there is someone behind a lens catching his attention, you’re just not going to get that perfect family photo. This proved true on the last family photo we took with him as you can see from April 2017!
Two days before Christmas of 2016 Willow let out a destressing loud meow in a voice we had never heard before. He began limping when he walked as if his back feet were asleep. We rushed him to the vet and the diagnoses came back as Saddle Thrombosis, which is a blood clot that lodges itself and blocks off circulation to the back legs. We were given two options, to put him to sleep or try a shot of Heparin to try and clear the clot. He received the shot of Heparin and some pain medication and we brought him home to recuperate, not knowing if he would make it or not. We kept an eye on him and by the grace of God he made a full recovery within 2 days! We scheduled an appointment with a specialist in the area for x-rays and an echocardiogram of his heart. He was diagnosed with HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). Our veterinarian followed up and decided to try a daily regime of baby aspirin to help. Willow threw two more clots, two weeks apart, both being cleared with a shot of Heparin before I knew something else needed to be done. I did extensive research online and found a drug called Plavix that I convinced our vet to prescribe for Willow. I knew our time was limited with him but the medication gave him a whole year longer with us, time we all cherished and were blessed to have with him. In March of this year (2018) Willow went for a checkup at the vet because he was acting as if he needed to clear his throat of a hairball and couldn’t. He didn’t seem to be in any pain, he would just stop and crouch down and do the motions of clearing a hairball. Our vet didn’t seem to think it was a hairball or water on the lungs but instead thought Willow might have some seasonal allergies developing. He decided to give him a shot to help open up his airways more so he could breathe better. We took him home and about 8 hours later he took a turn for the worse. We knew his heart disease was eventually going to claim his precious life and in knowing this and his temperament, we decided to keep him home and keep him as comfortable as we could, while being in touch with our vet as going there stressed Willow out terribly. We had a syringe full of pain medication (to go with the syringe full of Heparin to give him in the event he ever threw another clot and it was after normal clinic hours) that we were able to give him to ease his pain. We made the painful decision to call in Hospice to put our sweet boy to sleep so he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer. Our whole family was there until the end with me looking into his beautiful blue eyes and caressing his head, telling him how much we loved him. He passed away on a Monday afternoon on our bed, surrounded by his family. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss my sweet big boy. I miss the weight of him on my chest while I massaged his scruff and he would relax his head down to my shoulder and go limp. I miss kissing the top of his head before giving him treats and him greeting me at the door when I come home. I miss the thunder of his gallops chasing Zizi through the house. I miss him running when being called for dinner (“hungries”). I miss his tail straight up in the air as he walks down the hall at the sound of the water dispenser in the kitchen because he knew I was near his treats. I miss seeing him cuddled up with my daughter or son. I miss him every time I pull a ring off a new gallon of milk (they were his favorite toys). I will miss his begging to go outside onto our deck or each time I pull out my sewing kit and every time I fold laundry. I will miss him when we put up our Christmas tree as he would immediately be under it (he loved lying under it and we always hated taking it down because of this). I will miss him lying in a patch of sunshine as he always saught out the warmth of a sunbeam coming in through the window. My whole family is learning to cope with his loss, including Zizi, it is never easy and only time will heal. I thought long and hard about our love for him and what he meant to us. I have been fortunate enough to love many cats in my lifetime but Willow was different, he holds a special place in my heart and always will. I can summarize by saying this about my sweet big boy, “how BLESSED are we to have loved a kitty so well that missing you hurts so much”! Goodbye my sweet Willy Lo-Lo! You will forever be in our hearts!
Willow the Ragdoll Cat AKA Willy Lo-Lo YouTube Channel
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,
Thank you so much for making this tribute to Willow. I had such a heavy heart watching it coz i know whats it like to loose someone you really love. We had our first cat adopted from SPCA here in singapore and he was with us for 19 years he was really our child and the first pet my daughter knew. He would sleep with me on my feet all the time. He died due to a stroke and heart failure. I can still remember him so well. We couldn’t live without having another pet the home environment was so different and i cried all the time so we got Summer she is a ragamuffin (going to be 3 years old in July 2018) and Blaze who is a pure bred blue mitted ragdoll ( he is currently 9 months old) he is a special one he is so caring and loving and getting bigger he is now 11 pounds i know that he will still get heavier. He loves to play so much with any game. He is so into human companionship we just adore him tremendously. He is really such a character. I pray and hope that someday you will find that special ragdoll again in your life. Thank you so much for sharing your tribute to all of us!
Sharmila, how blessed was your family to have your kitty for 19 years! I pray that Summer and Blaze live an equally long life, if not longer! I think your Blaze is going to be a BIG boy if he is already 11 pounds at 9 months old! It has been so hard, I miss my Willy Lo-Lo so incredibly much and so does my little female, Zizi. She needs a playmate to keep her company and I need another big boy to love on. When I can find one, I will adopt another male blue bi-color lynx kitten. Being patient is the hardest part and while no one will replace Willow, I can’t imagine my life without another ragdoll in it.
Blessings to you and your family,
Hi Brendalynn, Thank you for your reply. I think you really NEED to get another ragdoll really soon. Your whole home environment will change for sure. I totally agree with you after having Blaze for a ragdoll there is no way i will be able to live without this type of cat breed in my life. They are just so extremely different. He has added so much joy into my family life. Thank you really for sharing your story with all of us. I hope and pray that you find a new love soon. Keep us posted! Take care.
Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful, beautiful boy. What a blessing he was for your lovely family. We too lost our beloved Blue Lynx Mitted boy, DiMaggio, to CKD in February and love your quote, “how blessed are we to have loved a kitty so well that missing you hurts so much.”
Thank you, Nancy. I am so sorry for your loss of DiMaggio as well, what a cool name! I am still mourning his loss terribly but need also look at the gift we were given, we were so blessed to have him. I thank God for bringing him into our lives every day.
Brendalynn, we felt the same way…every day was a true God given blessing and we were so very grateful for each one. I’ve watched your video several times now and have cried each time. How very blessed you were. I know in time he will lead another precious one your way, ZiZi needs a new little playmate, right?! ❤️
Thank you for the beautiful memorial video of willow, He was so beautiful and I am crying so hard listening to the beautiful song. I don’t think we ever get over losing our fur babies.
Thank you, Patricia. It is a sad but beautiful song. I have faith that I may see my beautiful boy in Heaven, I pray so hard about that. I only hope God is taking care of him for me.
I bet I’m not the only one who cried watching and reading this! This is a beautiful tribute to your Willy Lo-Lo. It brought back all of my pain from losing my Reggie at 2 1/2 years old. I too have had many kitties before but Reggie was different. We just got a new Ragdoll kitten named Favio and I love him dearly already. I find myself looking at him and hoping this one will be well and healthy. I can’t stand to lose another one.
Awe Susie, I cry each and every time I watch the video and I couldn’t even fit all the beautiful photos I have of WIllow as I took so many in his short life. I am sorry about Reggie, that is a very short life and I can’t imagine the loss you must feel. I pray Favio lives a very long life and is healthy and happy. Blessings to you and your family.
Your story is especially poignant to me as we lost our kitty, Gracie, last Saturday (5/12/18). She was in final stages of kidney failure. I feel for you and your family. What love you all had for beautiful, sweet boy Willow. And was he a beauty! I had a kitty we adopted from a shelter who may have been a Rag Doll. Sebastian developed cardiomyopathy seven years after we adopted him. We went through pretty much what you did. He lasted six months, and was on four meds the whole time. You know how difficult it is to pill a cat! We were terrified that he might develop a thrombosis in his back legs. Our vet said it is common with heart disease and is extremely painful. Finally his body gave out. So I truly feel for your loss. I felt Sebbie jump on my bed for months. I swear it was him. And, yes, that tail, always up and happy. You will never really get over your loss, but I am happy you have so many wonderful memories of your boy.
I am so sorry to hear you lost your kitty Gracie as well. It is terribly hard and I still cry almost every day at some point. I think writing this tribute to him helped a lot as I didn’t want to forget a thing about him. I have heard some people feel their kitties jump up on the bed with them and wish it were so with me but Willow slept with my daughter and she’s a pretty sound sleeper for a teenager! I pray time will heal both our hearts and in the meantime, cherish those precious memories of your sweet Gracie.
Thank you so much Jenny for featuring my sweet boy! I Still miss him so incredibly much! He will always hold a special place in my heart!
Oh, Brendalynn, THANK YOU SOOOO VERY MUCH for sharing your wonderful love story about your precious & STUNNING Willow boy!!! I am SOOOO VERY SORRY that he was taken from you way too soon due to his heart condition. Such a tragic loss and reading about his passing literally had me in tears as I know oh too well how heartbreaking that situation can be! Please accept my heartfelt and sincere condolences on losing your beautiful boy at such a young age. *GREAT BIG HUGS* <3
Your story is beautiful written and I lurved the pics and the videos! What a charming, quirky, large & in charge, lovable character Willow was!!! I fell in love immediately when I scrolled down and hit that first pic of him as a kitten!! <3
I am so very happy that you have so many years of wonderful and treasured memories with him. <3
Wishing you and your family the very best and many more years of love and happiness and good health with your precious ZiZi and perhaps another Ragdoll down the road when you are ready! <3
Big hugs & lots of love!!
Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3
P.S. When I first saw the pic of Willow when he was fully grown I was amazed at how much he resembled the father of our Ragdoll girl, Miss Pink Sugarbelle! I got to hold that big beautiful fella (her father) when we picked her up as a kitten and he was so fluffy and large and melted like a puddle in my arms and I just fell in lurve with his stripey face and big blue eyes. <3
Thank you, Patti, for the sweet comments. I loved my Willy Lo-Lo more than words can express and it has been incredibly hard on the whole family, including little Zizi girl. Since Willow’s passing, she has taken to my husband, laying in his lap each night, then going to my son’s room to sleep at the end of his bed. She still darts looking for him when she hears a sound in the house, it breaks my heart.
I know Zizi needs a playmate and yes, in time, I will definitely get another male kitten (most likely another blue bi-color or blue lynx bi-color like Willow) as I can’t imagine my life without a big fluffy ragdoll in it. No one could ever replace Willow, he was just such a character and a great beauty. I can only hope and pray that we will be blessed enough to have another one fill our home with love and companionship at some point.
Blessings & (((HUGS))) to you too,