Links 4/4/19

Dear patient readers,

To those of you who expressed your kind wishes yesterday about my cat’s health, I wanted to thank you and provide an update. Unfortunately, I was likely to get bad news and that’s what happened.

In yesterday’s Brexit post, I told readers my 14 year old Abyssinian Gabriel had just had two episodes of incontinence. When I brought him into the vet on Monday, they found a large mass on his bladder, so large that the bladder could barely hold any urine.

Yesterday, an ultrasound showed the mass looks like cancer and is too extensive to be operated on. Because Gabriel’s kidney readings are also now poor, at least in part due to urine backing up into his kidneys, he can’t be put on cancer medications. It might be possible to use a balloon stentto improve the flow out of his kidneys, but even if that helped, it would likely not buy that much time.

Right now, he seems fine. Aside from leaking urine if he stays in one place for a while, you’d never know anything was wrong with him. Thanks to some anti-nausea meds and antibiotics, he’s eating well and behaving normally. But this isn’t going to last long. The vet gives him days to weeks.

I know many of you have had to deal with aging and ailing pets. But I’ve never had to put one down. I am not only devastated to learn so unexpectedly that my cat is dying but even though I know I will have to do it, I am distraught at the thought of being the one who will kill him.

The transpolar drift is faltering—sea ice is now melting before it can leave the nursery PhysOrg (Chuck L)

America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert Vox (David L)

113 Year Old Machine Shop YouTube (bob)

Shrinking a medical lab to fit on a fingertip PhysOrg

Unvaccinated Kentucky teen loses lawsuit over school ban BBC

Fake Cancerous Nodes in CT Scans, Created By Malware, Trick Radiologists Washington Post

Study: Keeping the Same Doctor Can Lead to a Longer, Healthier Life MDVIP (Chuck L). My first MD was terrific and I’d still be with him if he hadn’t gone to a biotech co…:-(


Trump to Meet China’s Liu in a Sign Trade Talks Are Reaching Final Stages Bloomberg

MIT cuts funding ties with Huawei and ZTE citing US investigations South China Morning Post (furzy)

China Is Advancing Artificial Intelligence Technology to Fool US Satellites Epoch Times (David L)

Europe and the new imperialism Bruegel

UniCredit waits in wings to bid for Commerzbank Financial Times


Brexit: MPs back delay bill by one vote BBC

Whatever has become of England? Richard Murphy

Brexit: Tough on the pallet? RTE (PlutoniumKun). Remember we told you about those pallets early on..

Civil servants offered counselling for no-deal Brexit stress BBC

New Cold War

The West Takes NATO For Granted. Georgia Still Wants In. Atlantic

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hundreds of millions of Facebook records exposed on public servers – report Guardian (David L)

‘It’s Time To End the NSA’s Metadata Collection Program’ Wired

Elizabeth Warren Introduces Bill That Could Hold Tech Execs Responsible For Data Breaches The Verge

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Sanction Addicts Need a New Fix American Conservative

The False Allure of Authoritarian Stability LobeLog (resilc)

Trump Transition

Trump’s Rallies and Speeches Are Angrier Than Ever Atlantic. Resilc: “U ain’t seen nuttin yet.”

What Happened to Trump’s Promise to Rebuild America? American Conservative

A New Chinese Mystery at Mar-a-Lago – Mother Jones

Stephen Miller’s Power Over Trump Is About to Be Tested Vanity Fair (resilc)

In Rural America, Farmers Reap What the President Sows American Prospect

Trump Says Wind Turbine Noise Causes Cancer. (It Does Not.) New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump May Claim 2020 Race Is Rigged, Refuse to Accept Defeat New York Magazine (resilc)

Paul Ryan says Ocasio-Cortez didn’t really listen ‘to a thing I said’ when he offered her advice The Hill. UserFriendly: “Smart cookie.”

How Climate Change Is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis New Yorker. Resilc: “I was there 2000-2003 at USAID. With low coffee prices poor pickers had to work their kids to make ends meet. Babies couldn’t work so they didn’t get food and hundreds died each week.”


Biden Says a Woman’s Complaint Won’t Stop His Campaign Atlantic. Resilc: “So why the dnc coup of al franken?” Moi” Because some animals are more equal than others.

Joe Biden’s defense doesn’t work in 2019. Slate

Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived The Hill (Chuck L)

Is Pete Buttigieg a Political Genius? New Republic. Resilc: “Gay won’t cut it in USA USA.”

737 Max

Ethiopia calls for review of Boeing 737 Max flight controls Financial Times

What happened when one US pilot asked for more training before flying the 737 Max Quartz

Ford, GM and Toyota Collaborate For Self-Driving Safety Rules Detroit News

California accounted for nearly three-quarters of US jobs added in February CNBC

Linus Torvalds on Social Media: ‘It’s a Disease. It Seems To Encourage Bad Behavior.’ Linux Journal

Thinking Beyond Monetary Policy and Banking Regulation to Manage the Next Economic Downturn Roosevelt Institute (UserFriendly)

Amazon Quietly Removes Promo Spots That Gave Special Treatment To Its Own Products CNBC

Class Warfare

How the Pentagon Budget is a Threat to the Middle Class American Conservative (resilc)

Revealed: Amazon employees are left to suffer after workplace injuries Guardian (David L)

Bring Back Eisenhower Socialism Juan Cole

Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, other admissions scandal parents appear in court CBS

Short of Workers, U.S. Builders and Farmers Crave More Immigrants New York Times (resilc)

Antidote du jour. From Paul O, who said in comments yesterday that he’d just lost his cat Dougal the preceding night:

In response to Yves comments on her lovely cat, Gabriel, I mentioned that our old boy Dougal passed away last night. Here he is working on his memoirs

We had him for 17 good years and he had very few health issues – he just kind of slowed down to a halt. We got him for our daughter when she was very young, she cannot remember a life without him. It was his time but we will miss him.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. pedromar

    We outlive our four legged companions so we can give love and get company from so many more. Daughter just lost a fairly young cat.

    Cancer in rear leg, amputated and when it seemed all cleared up the cancer re-appeared. They don’t get mean and unlike parents don’t refuse the care.

  2. Kevin C. Smith

    Hi Yves,
    Gabriel is blessed to have such a nice, thoughtful friend like you throughout life, and to ease the end of his life.
    I hope you have such good fortune as you go through and out of life.
    Best wishes,

    1. Andrew Thomas

      Yes. Gabriel is blessed to have you as his human. Your compassion and ability to be able to do such excellent analysis and reporting under these circumstances is amazing. Thank you for all that you do for Gabriel and your readers.

    2. Susan the other`

      After I put down a dog I loved and still love, Boogie, at age 15 and too goofy to respond anymore, a friend told me she did the same but stayed through the event to comfort her dog – something I did not do because I couldn’t face it. Then the vet began offering in-home services which I used for Velcro (our dear old cat dying miserably of kidney failure at 18). That sent me off crying for the rest of the day just to watch the life leave him. My daughter and I bought a gallon of ice cream and rented 5 movies. That helped but not much. We should have bought a fifth of bourbon. And I’ve since given up owning a pet because now I probably won’t outlive one. I wonder how pets feel when masters die. Just as sad and confused, I’m sure.

    3. Superposition

      Condolences on your furry friend. Putting my cat “Cat” (stupid joke name that stuck) down was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but she had kidney failure and was in pain. She was an escape artist and loved the outdoors. I held her by the window and she drifted into sleep. I believe she was at peace. I cried for days, blaming myself for not picking up on her diabetic condition which led to the kidney failure.
      Animals hide their pain better than anything. It’s the right thing to do imo. Hold him, bring something he loves. I’m tearing up just thinking about it, this was over 10 years ago.
      I have 2 new family members now, Bananas and Fiona. I have real kids now too, they’re just not as cute ;)
      I’d like to think Gabriel played a part in all the wonderful articles I’ve read here over the years. I would not blame you if you took a nice break to mourn. Good journeys Gabriel. May the mice be plentiful and your claws never dull.

      1. Joel

        Yes, please be with your kitty when he goes. It’s very hard but you won’t regret it. Goodbye, goodbye, little friend.

    4. WestcoastDeplorable

      Ditto Kevin’s comments; Gabriel is lucky to have you as his Human. What you’re experiencing makes me dread what’s on the horizon with our two cats, both about 16, Crystal our Siamese (if you do or don’t please), and Kittyboy, our big Maine Coon. Both are very healthy at this point although Crystal throws up on a regular basis. Kittyboy just wants the window open and we play “ring toss” every morning when the bedroom door is opened and he jumps up on the night stand for me to throw him hair ties so he can catch them. He’s quite a show-off. Crystal just wants attention (and is very vocal about it!) and a nice warm lap.

    5. hemeantwell

      It’s terrible to be in the position you’re in, Yves. I haven’t yet had to go through it, but I’d like to second Superposition’s suggestion that you hold your kitty as he passes away. A friend did that with his and he was left with the feeling that he had given him the best and most consoling goodbye possible. When he first told me of what he had done it seemed beyond me, but I’ve managed to form a shaky resolve to do the same.

    6. Knifecatcher

      The (wonderful) vet who put our lovely Sophia down took pity on the 220 lb blubbering baby (moi) who brought her in and said something simple, but it helped me get through the process:

      “They let us know when it’s time.”

      All the best to you.

    7. EMtz

      Yves, I am so sorry about Gabriel. Over the past half century I have had to put down more dogs than I wish to count but…but…the joy we’ve brought to each other, the things we’ve seen and done together, the things they have taught me about themselves, myself, life…these are gifts no one will ever be able to take away from me because they have helped to make me who I am just as I have changed them, given them a home, security, a place where they are free to be themselves vs fending for themselves on the street. It’s hard to be the one left behind but you are dealing with this with grace, love and dignity and this is all any of us can do. All the best to you both.

    8. ewmayer

      Life hardest lesson is, at some point, having to say goodbye to everyone and everything you love.
      Life’s greatest prize is the opportunity to cherish them while you can.

  3. jsn

    We went through this in July last year, it is awful. We put our cat on steroids because the doctor said it would help her feel better for a while, but the effect was to prevent her sleeping and, while she was happy and affectionate in her last week, we’re pretty sure she was suffering also.

    Some vets will come to you put the cat down at home, in retrospect we would have paid a lot for that: the trip to the vet, the other animals, the chaos and distraction was all traumatic for our already suffering cat.

    There is nothing good about what you have to do except for Gabriel to go to sleep, because that is the first step, knowing you are loving him. I cry as I write these lines, it is miserable and I’m sorry, but if you can get a vet to come to you, it will be so much better for Gabriel.

    1. Shonde

      Totally agree. I am still thankful that 7 years ago a service provided by my vet called “Peaceful Passing” was available when I had to last make that awful decision. I only hope something similar is available in my new home state when the time comes for my two current loved companions.

    2. Annieb

      I would like to also suggest finding a vet who will come to your house. My family did this for our aging dog with late stage cancer. The vet was experienced and kind to both our dog and his humans. Even my 6 year old grandson was able to be present. In all, the home vet made the experience calm and peaceful, as we said our goodbyes, reliving some memorable times with our wonderful dog.

    3. Kevin

      We ended up taking our pooch to a 24 hour hospital to put her down. We went at night, 9 or 10pm. No other animals/chaos/noise at that time. Was actually rather peaceful. Might be a good route if you can’t get someone to your home.

      Also rarely advertised, but most crematoriums will let you come out for a private viewing beforehand. Costs an extra 100-200$ but was well worth the price IMO.

    4. coboarts

      I remember my best friend’s questioning eyes when I left him to be put down. The vet came to the house for my next best friend – I don’t feel the remorse at all – only the loss. Get it done at home or where you can attend. Hard typing through the tears, but they are flowing for the fact that I know now we could have done it better at home.

    5. Lois

      Yves, longtime reader who comments only occasionally. Sending all my best wishes on your cat. I have now been with 3 of my fur babies when they passed at 14, 15, and 16. They all died in my arms in a special room at the vet. It was very hard but I wouldn’t trade anything for the moment of being with them. They slipped away peacefully and had me right until the end. Just know that while it is hard it is also very special to pass peacefully in mommy’s arms without suffering mightly until the bitter end. Take care.

    6. WheresOurTeddy

      If they can come to your home, that is best. I still miss my sweet rescue dog who was abused and underweight when we got him. He died in my arms of kidney disease before he was 3. We just didn’t want him to be in pain. Never did a sweeter soul meet a less deserving end. He’s been gone longer than I had him and I still miss him every day.

      Best wishes and peceful passage for Gabriel.

  4. KB

    Am so sorry….I had the same self discovery with my previous 16 yr. old German Shepherd. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was at being the decider of when he would leave this earth until that time came. I had a wonderful older vet at the time who coached me over the phone many times, and when that time came he came to the house and put him to sleep…I so had wished my dog would pass in his sleep without any intervention by me.

  5. Steve H.

    A voice of personal experience: critters have great heart and will love through excrutiation. But I have memories of those I let go too long, Penny unable to climb stairs as her bones crumbled from cancer. The putting down is painless, I have only regretted those I wasn’t there for, the loss of the moment of reconciliation with mortality.

    Holding them, being there as they go, lets their final moments be full of love. Be there.

    1. Brindle

      I know for some this is too painful, I totally respect what a person chooses as to being there.

    2. sd

      I’ve had to let go of 5 critter family members. I felt an obligation to be there with them – if I was dying I would want them with me. It’s surprisingly quiet – they just slip away. In all five, the animals were ill and their organs we’re shutting down. Two to old age, one had a long history of kidney problems, two had cancer.

      I’ve been fortunate to have kind vets who have always allowed me time to sit with the pet after passing. I chose cremation and have their ashes.

      I miss them all and always will.

    3. nycTerrierist

      Condolences to Paul O. for beautiful cat-scribe Dougal and to Yves, my sympathy
      for your Gabriel. He will let you know when it’s time. Over the years, I’ve said goodbye to
      several buddies, in all but one case holding them in loving arms while the vet sedated them.
      (Mommie, the stray who made me a cat lady, went on the operating table.
      We’d enjoyed 10+ years together and she had become a fine housecat).

      Agreed, being there might not be for everyone, but I took comfort sending off my buddies with love.
      My only regret: when I waited 2 extra days to say goodbye to my 21 yr old cowcat soulmate.
      It was a holiday weekend and the vet was out. We all could have done without those last two days.
      Next time, I hope I have better timing…

      Right now my dear dog is getting chemo — so I’m back to treasuring every minute with him, even moreso than usual.

      Everyone says this pain is the price we pay for all the good stuff they bring us. Ain’t it the truth

  6. Lupemax

    the hardest part of having an animal in the family is having to say goodbye. Their lives are too short. Have parted with many over the years and have kept a few too long and I regret that. I still miss them – dogs and cats both. As others have said, I recommend the vet coming to you and Gabriel if at all possible. It is painless for them and better for you too. Never easy to say goodbye. Deepest sympathy.

    1. rtah100

      +100 – have the vet make a home visit, there’s no reason to add the stress of travel and the smells of the veterinary surgery to the occasion.

  7. philman

    Yves, I really feel for you as well. I had to put my dog down two months ago and that last trip to the vet with him was the hardest thing I ever did. I still miss him every day– he was my best buddy for almost 16 years. While time may not heal, at least now I tend to think of all the good times we had together rather than the last awful month and then finally holding him as he passed. Still, I am crying as I write this.

    1. Eureka Springs

      JC and Penny were my first cats as an adult. Miss Penny ended up with renal failure. The day I had to put her down back in ’01. Well let’s just say that scene from Terms of Endearment was soft anguish compared to me in the vet clinic. I cried so much as I was trying to pay the bill the check was destroyed by tears.

      Best advise was from my neighbor who told me – the vet will not tell you when to put her down, you have to make that call.

  8. Pat


    My heart goes out to you. Saying goodbye to our furry family members is heartbreaking. And the choices we must sometimes make make it harder.

    Over the next too few days with him and facing that hardest of loving decisions, please remember that Gabriel has been happy, largely healthy, and well loved. And as lucky to have you in his life as you to have him. Being the adult (human) sucks.

    My good thoughts are with you both.

  9. BobW

    Same doctor: Since the early 90s I had the same one as my parents did, but he retired last year. Fortunately, I was able to stay with the same clinic, and move to his partner, so all of my fairly meager records probably did not move an inch on the shelves.

  10. Eric Patton

    I am very sorry about Gabriel. It is not inhumane to have him put to sleep, even though it feels that way.

  11. Laruse

    Yves, there aren’t any words I can say that will alleviate your pain and sorrow. Like so many others here, I am holding you in the light and wishing Gabriel a gentle passing. May his memory be a blessing to you and bring you comfort in the times ahead.

  12. The Rev Kev

    So sorry to hear about Gabriel. Whether it is a cat or a dog or a horse, when it comes time to put them to sleep is never an easy time. But when it comes time and living longer only increases their suffering, then it is time to make the decision – but it is never an easy one. It’s hard, but we do insist being with then at the end so that they are not in their final moments with strangers. But it is always a bleak day.

  13. toshiro_mifune

    Elizabeth Warren Introduces Bill That Could Hold Tech Execs Responsible For Data Breaches

    I’m stealing the below from a post on Slashdot;

    Meet the CDBSO: Chief Data Breach Sacrificial Officer! Selected from the working peons, the CDBSO is catapulted from his labors in the basement IT room to the top floor with a plush closet and low 5 figure salary! Should a data breach occur, the CDBSO will lead the charge… sheet in a federal indictment.

  14. Kokuanani

    Having worked in dog rescue for nearly 40 years, I have often had to make the difficult choice to end a pet’s life. As other posters here attest, it is never easy, and the effects linger.

    Two thoughts:

    * remember that the pain you feel is your own — how much you will miss them, and the memories of the joys you’ve had with them. This is separate from the animal’s suffering, and it is useful to be able to distinguish these two, to be able to make a decision.

    * years ago a stray cat was hit by a car on the street in front of our house. I scooped him up & rushed him to our vet. The cat’s jaw was broken [along with other injuries], and the most humane thing to do was to euthanize him. Even though I’d only known the cat for an hour or so, I was in tears. Our older vet said to me, “you know, none of us get out of this world alive.” That realization has helped me quite a bit.

    Condolences to you, Yves.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      So true. Would that we allowed out human loved ones death with dignity.

      It is your last act of love for Gabriel, Yves.

  15. bassmule

    We’ve always had two cats, so every 15-20 years we lose them to disease or old age. It is never easy; it is always bittersweet–we hate to see them suffer, but we hate to see them go. Some are harder than others. We had a dark gray one named Miles Dewey Davis, because he was kind of blue. He was just a happy guy, loving and loved by all. But when the vet went to pull a bad tooth, a whole piece of his jaw came away, rotted by cancer, and within an hour, we witnessed his lethal injection. He was as peaceful in death as he’d been in life. We cried a lot after that one. Best wishes.

  16. Nikki

    Yves- You don’t have to put your cat down; you know that. Many years ago, for another terminally
    ill cat, I decided to make him as comfortable at home as possible. The sicker he got the closer to my head he slept. Next phase, he repaired to the closet, which I had set up for maximum warmth, and with a vase
    of tulips, which he, in better days, liked to chew and drag across the room. Our morning ritual was that I would pretend that he would be eating (kidneys too bad for that) and he would emerge from the closet to sniff the food, then walk away.

    He had little strength, so I would sit at the entrance to the closet and talk to him. When he appeared on the kitchen table in front of me- he had jumped onto it- I knew something was very wrong. The breathing had worsened. Mistakenly, we returned to the vet, who, scared of being bitten by him, gave him a calmative shot, out of my eyesight, which killed him. I don’t recall why I thought he’d benefit from the medical attention at this point. The vet apologized, the amount was miniscule, not enough to…

    Let your Abby die at home, not terrified at the vet’s office. Will be thinking of the two of you. My cat outlasted my marriage.

    1. Clive

      Having had to help my mother-in-law deal with two cats who had either a terminal condition or simple old age which meant they didn’t have a good quality of life, I can honestly say that the owner of the cat (or more correctly said perhaps the human the cat owns) is always always always best placed to make this heart-rending decision. My mother in law spent £10,000 on vets bills for one cat over 20 years (the copays got so high eventually the insurance was insurance in name only). She was willing and prepared to spend the same amount again, if it was going help her cat have a few more months or years.

      But one day she came down in the morning and the cat who’d greeted her every day for longer than she could even remember — however sick he was — could not lift his head up and look out over the cat bed. My mother-in-law knew it was time. No one could, or should, have been able to tell her it was “too soon” or that she’d left it “too long”. I, who have a big mouth and never knowingly refrains from expressing an opinion, neither offered a comment or advice nor even thought of doing so. The only thing I could give was unlimited love and sympathy and support. I know we all know Yves deserves nothing less than that, too.

      1. CitizenSissy

        Condolences to you, Yves, and godspeed Gabriel.

        Oh yes. The hardest part isn’t the death, it’s the readjustment to a normal life. The morning after my last schnauzer died I was a weeping mess, having made his breakfast on autopilot and then realizing he was gone.

  17. skippy

    YS ….

    I have a past some here know about [hard], over the years, also have talked about having pets that life spans don’t square with ours. Was in the room with paramedic wife to put down our little biddie after a fall due to advanced age and environmental conditions, which meant a poor life viability outcome.

    Rushed with wife, taking time off work, on road, to see vet, diagnostics were conclusive in reconciling how the future would unfold.

    Decision was made on humanitarian grounds to end life.

    We were both in the room when the injection was delivered whilst the wife held her, could see the eyes go white, wife who has over a decade as a para felt the body go soft and …. lost the plot.

    Then we had to go through the waiting room.

    Even had to present her to the other dog of the house for a good bye and now rests in the back yard with a head stone I made.

    Long story short – animals don’t’ exhibit pain in the same way we do and sometimes there is no escaping the conflict between personal loss and others suffering.

    1. newcatty

      Yves, We have had to, with compassion, put down a beloved dog and a cat. Allow your self time to grieve at your own pace. Even though it is time to let go of Gabriel, the time to become at peace will come. One thing I noticed in the comments, advice to be with him or not as he slips away. I could not be with our dog. We had a very kind vet, who assisted his passing. She had an equally kind tech who held our dog as he passed. Really, it’s up to you if you hold him or not. No one else can decide that for you.

    1. timbers

      Was about to post link, than saw you did.

      So, putting my Rachael Maddow hat on….

      I’d have to say this is clearly a plot by Putin to kill off all the ocean life near America and throughout the world, that is dependent upon the nutrients that will no longer flow out the Russian Arctic by the ice that once flowed from it’s Arctic nursery.

      Maddow better get on this right away. I’ve seen blurbs her ratings are slipping.

      Maybe she could special guest Karl Rove on her show, and he can explain Saddam Hussein’s massive sea armada of vessels that he hide somewhere deep in the Indian Ocean, are coordinating with Russia to choke off the nutrient carrying ice from Russia in a plot to destroy America.

      And maybe Karl can tell us that Osama Bin Laden had knee surgery in Russia, or something. That’s all we really need to know, right?

  18. Jen

    Yves, I’m so sorry about Gabriel. Making the decision is hard, and I have been very grateful to my veterinarian for gently helping me recognize the point at which my pets would have no more good days. When that point comes, you are doing the most caring thing you can do for your animal, which is to let him pass peacefully from this world loved and comforted by you. It’s very, very hard, and it’s your final gift.


    1. Down2Long

      My father was furious when his older brother had a stroke and was kept alive in a care facility. He had been a farmer as a youth and was adamant that if a person was in pain or no longer himself, they should be put down as an act of mercy, just as we do for animals.

      The day his beloved dog had pain related to a slow moving terminal illness, my dad brought him tearfully to the vet.

      It kind of broke my father without his beloved Barney. I encouraged him to get another dog, but he was in his 80’s and felt it wouldn’t be fair to the pooch since the pooch would most likely outlast him. I explained to dad that one of us kids would give his new dog a loving home. But he wouln’t hear it.

      I was involved in hospice work and it is veey clear people who do not die of accidents often choose their time to go. I think dad decided to go after Barney passed. He lasted another year, but it appeared his desire to keep going was not there.

      My aunt was in good health, but in her 90s. One Sunday shebcalled her kids and the pastor, told them she was going to die on Tuesday (two days hence) and on Tuesday died in her sleep.

      Which is all to say Yves I am devastated for you. This will be your second cat in the past several years and I am deeply sorry for you. My little Oreo passed last summer last summer and I am still consumed with guilt that I couldn’t do more. He seemed a litttle under the weather, I gave him a can of people tuna (his favorite) and some nice fresh water. He had a big dinner and passed in his sleep. He’s buried by the path to my house where he used to sun himself. He was a great joy to me. And he had a great life.

      I sometimes think I feel Oreo and Chico (another sweet cat I had who was an escape artist and one night got out and into a coyote’s clutches) on my bed. The feeling of their weight moving on the mattress. Maybe I’m crazy. They seem to be in a good placen is the message I am getting. How Chico got that locked French window open is beyond me.

      I am sure you have given Gabriel a wonderful life. You are in my thoughts Yves. I hope his passing is peaceful for both of you. My deepest, deepest sympathy.

  19. Sam Adams

    The hardest part of losing our pets is that they mark stages in our own lives. I really feel for your pain Yves. The decision of when to put down a dying pet is one of the hardest emotional decisions we have to make.

  20. jefemt


    As universal as death and dying is, the process is fraught.

    Thinking of you and your sweet companion —wishing you peace and grace with Gabriel. Big hugs to all.

  21. Matthew G. Saroff

    Micro-medical lab on a chip?

    Am I the only one who reads that, and thinks that it is pronounced THERANOS?

  22. Lee

    Condolences. I recently had to make similar decisions regarding my beloved Airedale. He had a growth on his cheek that over a period of months reached the size and resembled a large portabello mushroom. To have removed it at an earlier stage, would have cost $4,000 and there was a high probability of recurrence. At 14, he was already 2 years beyond average life expectancy for the breed, so I decided against the procedure. We cared for him at home until the end so he could die at home. He was quite game for awhile but in his final days he stopped eating and couldn’t rise from his bed, next to my own. We gave him pain killers as needed and at last intentionally overdosed him. He was a wonderful friend and we miss him.

  23. bronco

    We just lost a cat in November . Same sort of thing , she threw up and wouldn’t eat , took her to the vet and they basically said its terminal cancer she has a few weeks.

    They literally suggested we put her down right then. We refused and brought her home and she went a few days later . We needed time to say goodbye it was too abrupt and we know its a hard thing to break to a pet owner but they didn’t come across very well . I sat with her as she died and it was sad but she was at home and we felt it was better that way. Having sat with my stepfather when he died in the same room honestly it was about the same just a quiet slowing of breath then stillness.

    Thinking about it later we feel like her movement had been impaired for a few months , she was not jumping up on things but that was the only clue and we didn’t notice it at the time. Well we remarked on it occasionally but having a human family member who passed away , the house and everyone in it had been generally upset and thinking of other things.

  24. Otis B Driftwood

    Torvalds article is timely for me. For an average person like me, Twitter is a place that brings out the worst in you. I see it has value for politicians, journalists or other public figures who seek to share information with others. But if that’s not you, it’s more likely you get into stupid arguments with people, react rather than reason, and generally feel terrible about yourself and others.

    It’s also a great time sink. There are much better ways to live your life.

    Or you can follow the latest craze and ask yourself if it “sparks joy”. It most certainly does not for me.

    So, as it happens, I deactivated my account first thing this morning before heading over to NC for my daily news. Thank you, Linus, for validating my decision. ;)

    1. Skk

      Yup, a great article. It reminds me of a computing era when hmm, people cared about COMPUTING. There are some nice reminders of DEC, and DECUS there.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Right on, Otis!

      Last year, on March 5, 2018, I logged off Facebook. Haven’t been back.

      A few months later, I became a Twitter quitter. Ahhh, that felt good too.

      I’ve cut way back on LinkedIn, and am thinking about how to best handle the neighborhood social media site, NextDoor, without being driven bonkers by it.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I wish the blogosphere circa 2003 would return, but a combination of liberal decapitation and (later) social media killed it as a sphere, though many many good blogs remain (that I keep running across).

      Twitter is the closest thing to it, so…. I have cancelled Facebook, never trusted LinkedIn, and remain on Twitter (carefully curated!)

  25. Wukchumni

    Its a decision that has to be made and it sucks to be regarding a loving fur person who has meant so much to you…

    We had 2 wonderful Calicos that were about 6 months apart in age, and when they were 15/16, they both started going downhill in tandem-the usual lack of eating and resultant weight loss and more than comes with the territory of being in your 90’s in human years.

    It isn’t so much the moment when the doctor gives them a shot, but the drive there and the empty cat carriers on the way home that play big parts in your action. I’d prefer somebody came to our house and did the deed when our mostly 6 year old hair’m is nearing the last round-up a decade from now.

    That said, we held them one last time and had a good long cry @ the vet.

  26. Norb

    113 year old machine shop-

    What is striking about all this old machinery is that with knowledge and inspiration, everything can be put back into productive use. In 100 years, how many contemporary tools and objects will be still functional?- not many.

    Although very messy and haphazard in appearance, this mans shop is a treasure trove.

    My intuition tells me that people like the man making this video are performing an invaluable service for the future. What is truly hopeful is not the exploits of Elon Musk and all his grandstanding, but multitudes of citizens preserving the knowledge and tools of the past and keeping them in productive use.

    The tragedy is that once these tools and knowledge to use them are gone, they will never return.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The tragedy you foresee, the loss of knowledge and know-how, multiplies across many domains. This tragic loss of knowledge may be an even greater loss than the billions of lives that will be lost when our society collapses. If not somehow preserved I fear much of our present technical and scientific knowledge will never be re-discovered. I believe large amounts of energy and large populations with their correspondingly large numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians are critical components for creating much of Humankind’s knowledge. Neither will be replaced in any near or distant futures.

      But there is so very much knowledge to save. I don’t know of a good way to save knowledge that might last more than a few hundred years at most. Books and paper are yellow and crumble. Computer storage will be quite useless if we have little electric power and lack the technology to make replacements for our computers as they fail. The best I’ve been able to come up with so far is uv-cured adhesive ink printed on plastic papers — Tyvek.

      1. Eudora Welty

        Yesterday at the office, the printer was creating pages of partially printed documents. Us older folks had to show how you remove the cartridge & shake. Also, replacing the cartridge was mysterious to the younger ones, especially pulliny out that ribbon – scary!

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Wood pulp paper books get yellow and crumbly over time. Apparently the acid involved in getting various tree-cell chemicals out from between the cellulose fibers linger a little and slowly degrade the paper.

        Some paper is specially de-acidified and can last longer. It may be some books are printed on that paper. I remember reading that hemp-fiber paper didn’t need acid to begin with in its production and so could be innately acid- free. Hemp paper could last for many centuries. Perhaps some hemp paper is still made today? Perhaps as hemp becomes more nearly legal, a market for legacy-knowledge-bequeathement hemp paper will open up as people seek to reprint books onto long-lasting paper.

        In the meantime, people with computers and desktop printers might look into getting acid-free paper for their home desktop printers and start making ink-on-paper hard copies of the various website and netsite knowledge they feel is most worth preserving. When the internet finally goes dark and stays dark, anything printed onto acid free paper will still exist on those printed pages.

        1. wilroncanada

          A lot of archival papers are made of linen. Paper can be sulphite–breaks down easily, or various grades of linen-25, 50, 75, or 100%. We used to sell royal record, or for 100% rag, superfine linen record. It was used for all legal documents. Expected to last more than 100 years intact. Stored in Stax-on-Steel files in large vaults. Have seen pictures ofrooms of thousands of drawers of saved files.

    2. JP

      There are actually lots of older manufacturering facilities with 100 year old machines still in use. most are tooled to perform a specific task as part of a production process. It’s been a while since I have seen a working line shaft but I you look in older machine shops you will sometimes see a line shaft up on the rafters. I have seen machines in the corners of large shops that looked like they survived the civil war. My own shop still has the first machine tool I acquired, a 1909 Brown & Sharp surface grinder.

  27. Lunker Walleye

    Yves, it is so difficult to lose a friend. Abyssinians are a wonderful breed. I am sorry for what you are going through.

  28. Edmund

    The machine shop is pretty interesting — you would be surprised how much archaic stuff operated quite far into the 20th century. Anecdote: my grandfather was a tool and die maker from Austria, born in 1908. He worked in tool shops run via overhead shafts and that were powered by steam engines.

    1. Wukchumni

      I missed out on it a week ago as something else took precedence, but one of the oldest hydroelectric projects in the state is here in town, and a friend took a tour of the plant and related that 115 year old equipment is still very much in use there.

    2. bob

      The shop in the video started with the over-head shafts. Line drive is what the camera guy calls it. Some of the machines were still in use were line drive machines that were converted to electric motors.

      1. barefoot charley

        The hydro plant built to power Ukiah in NorCal (with water drained from Eel River headwaters to the Russian River on t’other side of a mountain through a two-mile tunnel) was updated in the 1920s. Since then they’ve added standing fans to cool the turbines. PG&E just filed to abandon the power plant, which loses money, but it ain’t easy–anything in California flowing water south will never be out of date.

        I share all the condolences, Yves. Our little black cat Maggie got eaten in six inches of snow after a neighbor’s cat drove her from under our cabin. We had 3 years with her, and still look for her. We will always miss her

  29. Otis B Driftwood

    Yves, you have my sympathies. As a dog owner myself, I understand how difficult this is for you. Our pets are a boundless source of unconditional love and I don’t think anyone outside that given relationship fully understands what they mean to us.

    And while I know it may be too soon to think about this, there are countless shelters and rescue organizations with cats and dogs who need homes. If you or anyone else is thinking of getting a pet, please first consider these organizations. All the best.

  30. georgieboy

    Biden Says a Woman’s Complaint Won’t Stop His Campaign Atlantic. Resilc: “So why the dnc coup of al franken?” Moi” Because some animals are more equal than others.

    Nope, ask Franken — timing…. secret of comedy!

  31. Tim

    So very sorry Yves.

    Had to do it twice. Took off work for several days each time.

    We worked with our Vet to do it outside in a garden and holding them closely.
    Which he had never done before.

    We looked at this most difficult choice as the greatest gift we could give our beloved family members.

  32. Wukchumni

    My mom gave me her checkbook register from 1961-62 (yeah, she really did try and save everything, ha!) and our family physician was Dr. Evers, and there was a series of $6 & $7 checks that were written to him, with one whopper for $14. (must’ve been brain surgery for that highfalutin amount)

    All total, the healthcare budget for a year was $88, not including my coming out party, which was a modest $190. Dr. Evers was our doctor for almost a decade.

    I asked my mom if we had health insurance and she told me, with the exception of Kaiser, really nobody had coverage back then…

  33. jfleni

    RE: A New Chinese Mystery at Mar-a-Lago.

    It just shows: Live spies can always get in, all it takes is BS and
    BRASS, way to go US secret service!

  34. Theo

    I am so very sorry, Yves, about Gabriel. I feel I know what you are going through. I’ve had to face it many times and presently have a cat, Bijou, who is experiencing some problems but seems to still have spirit and not be in pain so I am reluctant to end her life however inconvenient her behavior now is for me.

  35. lezmaz

    My heart goes out to you. A few years ago when faced with a similar diagnosis for my beloved kitty, I found a book called Going Home by Jon Katz. It’s about the end of life decisions to be made and discusses them with a great deal of compassion, not preachy.

  36. Robert McGregor

    “Trump May Claim 2020 Race Is Rigged, Refuse to Accept Defeat”

    I guess we better just let Trump stay in–install him President for Life. We don’t want to have to deal with any awkwardness physically forcing him out when he loses.

    1. Mike Mac

      This is really rich considering this exact narrative was spun before the 2016 election only to have the Democrats and “never trumpers” refuse to accept the election results. The obvious to anyone with critical thinking skills, phony Russian collusion narrative is exactly that 2+ years running. We can only get to the best ideas through honest debate. And this narrative is so obviously flawed it prevents debate about real issues

    2. bronco

      Another bullshit MSM narrative now that Mueller was a nothing burger. We get cheating at golf stories and this LOL

    3. Lepton1

      I hear this chatter, but what could he do? The newly elected president gets sworn in on schedule. At that point he becomes a private citizen. The constitution doesn’t require that he sign off anything before leaving.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > “Trump May Claim 2020 Race Is Rigged, Refuse to Accept Defeat”

      Liberal Democrats claimed exactly the same thing in 2016, and then, the day after their loss, immediately fired up RussiaRussiaRussia and, with their allies in the the intelligence community and their assets in the press, attempted a soft coup with a faithless elector strategy. And that before the inaugural, after which things got really intense.

      So I’d take this story with a truckload of salts.

  37. jfleni

    RE: Trump Says Wind Turbine Noise Causes Cancer. (It Does Not.)

    This is from the same yahoo who says dim bulbs are nicer
    and more attractive CAUTION: dim bulb warning!

  38. bob

    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enought, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

    ― Unknown Author applies to all non human animals who bring love into our lives

    1. skippy

      Concur …

      We lost one and gained two, now every morning I’m awoken by the gentle kisses from a 20kg Belgium Shepard cross Kelpie and a 60kg black long hair German Shepard. Imagine waking up to a cross between a werewolf and bear looming over you whilst delivering gentle kisses, firstly the ancestor has a flash back, then you put your arms around his deep plush mane and can squeeze as hard as you like.

      Brilliant way to start everyday … wife and doggies dog pile in bed and then our Russian blue kitty chatting away when one is on the throne.

      This is book ended by gentle play at night on the bed before settling down to sleep.

      1. RMO

        We’ve lost a number of four-legged friends in the past year. Our black and tan Kelpie, our cat, our friends who we house and animal sat for numerous times recently lost their very elderly Terrier and fifteen year old Shepherd. I find it helps to get through it to realize that they were going to live their lives and pass away, as we all are, so just concentrate on how you made each others lives better when you were together.

        Skippy: A favorite memory of the house sitting was when the big, beautiful sweetheart of a German Shepherd would come up to me, looking essentially like a full-grown Wolf, and with a hopeful look in her eyes, ears perked up with a squeaktoy in her mouth and ask for a game of “try and catch me”

  39. a different chris

    “Pets” (quotes due especially since we’re talking cats) are so wonderful. You realize that every time you lose one.

    Maybe this will cheer everybody up – or maybe not, sigh. But the sad thing is that everything we complain about here isn’t new. It does seem to have gotten worse, though.

    1. TBone

      Thanks, I used to have that one hanging in my cubicle. I’d forgotten how much I love C&H, must now dig for/find my copy of “There’s Treasure Everywhere” for cheering up. My beloved cat, Einstein (my Hobbes!) suffered feline senile dementia so I nursed her for her last six months (after also losing Mom to dementia several months prior). Making the decision to end her suffering so soon after losing Mom the same way still hurts but I know they’re now free and waiting patiently for me. Yves, if they could speak, our loved ones would ask us for peaceful, painless assistance passing from this world. I know how awfully hard the decision is but I believe if the tables were turned, Gabriel would help end your suffering if necessary and that’s how I live with that decision. Einstein would have done the same for me. Love never, ever dies.

  40. jfleni

    RE: Paul Ryan says Ocasio-Cortez didn’t really listen ‘to a thing I said’ when he offered her advice.

    Things are not working out very well for Ryan and the successor “Nancy-crats, That’s all you need to know!

    1. Wukchumni

      If I was cornered and had to listen to a Koch & bullshit story from somebody that never* mattered-even less so now that he’s quit his post, I wouldn’t feign ignoring everything he had to say, just the opposite in that i’d try and yawn as much as possible when he was talking.

      * did he pre-sell his political soul?

  41. FFA

    On a different subject: There are elections coming up in Indonesia, very big elections. Twice in a week people have told me that politics in Indonesia are very “intense” at the moment and I’m not even anywhere near Indonesia, this is in the south of England. Does anyone have a link to a good guide to what’s happening and what it means? Or just some good, interesting writing about the country.

  42. L

    Yves, I am sorry to hear that. I have had to put down, or bury after the fact several pets. Each one was a loss, my long-lived, deeply caring, and ultimately long-suffering dogs most recently of all. I fought hard, hard against doing it because I did not want to accept that they could go. In the end though I had to realize that they were in pain, they were dying, and the only difference between them and a person with a terminal incurable illness was that they couldn’t say so in words. In the end when the time came for us to explicitly put our dogs down, for different reasons, it wasn’t us killing them.

    At the time watching them go so quickly was the hardest thing I’d had to wrestle with. Then my Dad got sick, very sick, very fast. In his case as with my dogs there was nothing those of us who loved him could do but be there and care for him at the end.

    And at the end of the day that was the hardest and most important thing.

    For what its worth, I guess what I’m saying is, you love your cat, you are giving him that love. You are not killing them, the cancer is. You are showing them mercy. That is what counts.

  43. jfleni

    RE: Linus Torvalds on Social Media: ‘It’s a Disease. It Seems To Encourage Bad Behavior.’

    The same disease encourages dismal failure of computer technology, witness the march of “Windoze” as the epitome of plutocratic money-grubbing as “progress”,!

  44. Todde

    I am so sorry to hear about baby kitteh.

    You will do what is best. I have faith.

    Take care.

  45. Grant

    So sorry to hear about your cat Yves. My wife and I lost two cats a few years ago that were with us when we first go together. They become part of the family.

  46. flaesq

    My heart goes out to Paul O (handsome Dougal there) and Yves (image link againg please), and all of you who’ve been reliving the past through their words. More so today than yesterday I’m struggling to recall the love and happy times while keeping it together at work.

  47. marieann

    Yves, I am so sorry to hear about Gabriel.

    I have been there many times and it’s never easy, I have always felt that my kitties have let me know when it was time may it be so for you and Gabriel

  48. George Phillies

    Sympathies on your cat. Someday I will likely face the same issue, unless she outlives me.

    All around the world, the millions of people who knew that the film Sharknado, like ET, was a documentary are grateful to you for presenting the ultimate proof of their good sense.

  49. edmondo

    Is Pete Buttigieg a Political Genius? New Republic. Resilc: “Gay won’t cut it in USA USA.”

    I find Mayor Pete’s policy solutions a lot more icky, depraved or disgusting than his sexual orientation. Being the “Obama” in “the gay Obama” is a lot more disqualifying than the gay part.

  50. a different chris

    We’ll here’s an interesting gaffe, or it would be a gaffe if the Democrats were smart – Munchin in “Bring Back Socialism”

    “…trigger Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin to quip, “We’re not going back to socialism.””

    So even a rightwad admits that we had socialism at one time. And those were America’s golden years,
    for working class whites anyway. He better be more careful with what he says.

  51. whoamolly


    I am sorry to learn that your beloved cat has a terminal disease. We have outlived seven dogs and two cats over the years. I am always the one who takes them to the vet on the final trip. I hold them and look them in the eyes as they leave this plane of existence so they don’t have to go through it alone.

    My family and I send our condolences and sympathy in this difficult time.

  52. pretzelattack

    i went through it with my dog 3 years ago. his passing was quick, and, as far as i could tell, painless. i got to hold him as he died. i still tear up when i think of him.

  53. urdsama

    I’m so sorry that the news was not better concerning Gabriel’s condition. From the sound of it, you are now giving him hospice care. I hope you are able to spend some quality time with him.

    Hopefully Gabriel will let you know when he is ready. While I know from personal experience this is unlikely to make it easier, I know in my situation it gave me some small comfort that my cat was involved in the decision. I hope the same is true for you.

    My thoughts are with both of you during this difficult time.

  54. zagonostra

    >Reuters Forty-four percent of Russians aged 15-29 want to emigrate as their economy stagnates, according to a survey by the pollster Gallup

    I always find it interesting when the MSM focuses on a putative enemy. How many Greeks in the same age bracket would choose to emigrate?

    What is this if not a continuous massaging/messaging to prime the mind for future suggestibility. How many of our own financially strapped young would emigrate to leave behind a life of endless debt that was incurred simply to get an education?

    They never stop…

  55. Cal2

    Corporate profiteers moan about “the millions of jobs that would be lost” in medical records billing, information systems, bill sending, payment collating, collections and divvying up the profits, were Medicare For All to be implemented in America.

    Well then, corporate America and economists should actively support the creation of millions of jobs in recycling plastics right here in the U.S.A., To wit, plastics should be mandatoryly marked with their content, unrecyclables banned, or a hefty return to factory deposit on them, a decent deposit collected on all recyclables when sold, say Two Dollars for every plastic drink bottle, which would assure they they were harvested and recycled. Think of the jobs in collecting the money and hoarding and distributing the bottles. All recycling should be collected in separate containers, then cleaned, then baled for export. Or, reused here nationally. GDP baby!

  56. Lemmy Caution

    Pretty amazing how the media is helping to repackage Biden after grope-gate. The Slate and the Atlantic articles both accept his rationale which seems to boil down to: Biden’s only crime is that just cares too much, but now times have changed so he’s accepted that he has to change too.

    This glosses over several important issues. First, I’ve tried to put myself in Biden’s position and try to imagine acting the way he has. It is inconceivable to me that upon meeting a woman for the first time, I would put my hands on her shoulders, press my forehead against hers, smell her hair, rub noses with her, whisper into ear, or do any of the other things Biden has been getting away with for years. I just can’t imagine thinking I had any right to invade someone’s space like that. In my opinion, his behavior goes way beyond offering comfort and support — it’s invasive, disrespectful and just flat out creepy the way he uses the dynamics of social situations to get his hands on women.

    But the real elephant in the room — that the Slate article ignores completely and the Atlantic only touches on very briefly in the 25th paragraph near the end of the article — is how Biden interacts with children. There are many disturbing clips circulating that show Biden getting very handsy with preteen and teen girls. Frankly, some of them are uncomfortable to watch. While viewing them I remind myself to be careful of mis-interpreting them in this age of doctored videos and out-of-context clips. But something about Biden’s behavior around children doesn’t seem right. Perhaps that is why the media seems to be focusing on the adult women who have come forward — any attempt to address his behavior around children wanders into the dark side of town pretty quick.

    A quick look at some articles this morning about Biden’s video mea culpa yields zero mention of Biden’s behavior around children:

    Not in the NYT.
    Not in the Washington Post.
    Not in Politico.

    So are kids in a different category such that we don’t even need to talk about how Biden seems eager to touch, caress and kiss them? Or has the media decided that that subject is just a little too disturbing to cover? I don’t know.

    Does anybody else’s spidey sense go off when they see how Biden acts around kids?

      1. Lemmy Caution

        No question that policy-wise there is a whole lot not to like about Biden. Just seems weird that the msm seems happy to help wrap up the whole “Creepy Joe” mess with a bow. Like he’s pre-destined or sumpin’.

        1. Mike Mac

          Stick a fork in him. If he survives this, he won’t be able to explain away his Ukraine problems. The hubris and/or idiocy to openly brag about pulling US aid to Ukraine as a threat to remove the prosecutor investigating his son Hunter. I guess when you are allowed to be so corrupt for so long you just don’t even notice that you are doing anything wrong.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > I’ve tried to put myself in Biden’s position and try to imagine acting the way he has. It is inconceivable to me that upon meeting a woman for the first time, I would put my hands on her shoulders, press my forehead against hers, smell her hair, rub noses with her, whisper into ear, or do any of the other things Biden has been getting away with for years. I just can’t imagine thinking I had any right to invade someone’s space like that. In my opinion, his behavior goes way beyond offering comfort and support — it’s invasive, disrespectful and just flat out creepy the way he uses the dynamics of social situations to get his hands on women.

      Inconceivable to me, too. I am not a candidate for sainthood, but this mentality is beyond me. I don’t understand how anybody could come to believe this was OK. And of course I’m deriving considerable schadenfreude from watching the “Listen to women!” brigade of liberal Democrats contort themselves into trying to justify it.

      Of course, if you take the view that bourgeois feminists like Pelosi and Gillibrand are all about reinforcing patriarchy, then everything falls into place: Vice President Biden can extract his personal brand of jouissance from dominance display because he’s a patriarch: A powerful, alpha male, to whom they regard themselves as subservient.* We even have a parallel case: Workplace abuser and rapist President Bill Clinton, also much beloved by the same crowd.

      NOTE * For bourgeois feminists, then, the problem with ambush groper Franken and exhibitionist masturbator Louis CK would be not that their behavior was invasive, but that they were weak. Same thing with Kavanaugh: Ineffectual, and couldn’t do the deed.

  57. MeowBaby

    Oh, so sorry to read the news about your Gabriel. We just had to put down our beloved Julius in Feb due to complications from gastrointestinal lymphoma a mere 6 weeks after initial diagnosis . (He was 13. They just dont live long enough. We hear about the cats that live to 19-20 but those are definitely outliers. We spent every possible moment with him and tried ethical chemo options but he had a very aggressive form of GI lymphoma.)

    Also, this was the second cat we have had to choose euthanasia for and it doesn’t get any easier. I am definitely sharing in your heartbreak. Enjoy every moment you have going forward and don’t be afraid to make the decision if you think his quality of life is going down. Our pets have more humane end of life options than we do.

  58. Eclair

    Oh, Yves, I am so sorry. We lost our ‘granddog’ over a year ago, just before Christmas. Us four humans drove with her to her favorite park, for a last walk. Afterwards, our son dropped us off at our condo, we said a last goodbye to Hanna, stretched out peacefully on the back seat, exhausted after just a short walk. I stood in the street and hugged my son, and we both cried. Me as much for him as for Hanna.

    When we walk, we still see her. “Oh, there’s Hanna, over there under the tree, chasing that squirrel!” Alas, it is always a look-alike. But the sightings keep her memory green. And, who knows, maybe her lovely doggy soul has returned and is now giving another family much joy.

    Whatever choice you make, I know you will do it with grace and love and compassion.

  59. Schnormal

    So sorry to hear about your sweet Gabriel. He’s very lucky to have such a thoughtful human as yourself.
    My deepest sympathies.

  60. Cripes

    Yves, so sorry to hear about Gabriel. We’re actually closer to our pets than we are to most people in our lives. You can’t choose whether he will die, all of us will in the end. You can only try to help him by managing when and how well.

    I have elderly animals for several years of a decent life after the vet said they were at the end. Another time my efforts were too heroic, and in retrospect I wished I had let her go sooner.

    Spend time with him, see that he’s as comfortable as can be, and when the life force ebbs low, let him gently go to sleep, with the help of your vet.

    But take some pictures first and remember he had 16 happy years because of you.

  61. John

    How about a list of those sites that have not and do not plan to disappear behind a pay wall?

    1. skippy

      “Whatever became of England? just wow”

      Someone walked into a room with a book and said – this – is – our plan.

  62. barrisj

    Re: Mueller report——-
    Expect more of these sorts of articles per this linked story from the NYT, as the “lock-him-up” die-hards move to the “unnamed sources” phase of post-Mueller:

    Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed

    “Some say…”; “sources close to the investigation…”; “According to officials familiar with the AG’s thinking…”. Sound familiar? And the Times piece also notes that there are well-defined, codified DOJ procedures covering release of OSC reports, and that these processes apparently are being followed…so, where is the real story here, one may ask?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > where is the real story here, one may ask?

      With the caveat that I have not read the full report, and that I am in any case Mr. Counter-suggestible on this topic, the following occurs:

      1) The RussiaRussiaRussia industry is, at this point, too big too fail. MSNBC has ratings to think of, the New York Times and the Washington Post have subscriptions to think of, and the top liberal Democrats apparently honestly believe — if “honestly” is the word I want, here — that this is a winning strategy for them. We might also think of the RussiaGate true believers — the sort who refer to Maddow as “Rachel” — as an asset of millions to be exploited by these various forces.

      2) For the anonymous sources themselves, assuming them to be new, there is the lure of, ultimately, cable TV appearances and book deals. Clapper and Brennan cashed in, so why shouldn’t everybody?

      3) In a way, the whole sorry mess is a lot like 2016 and shows the same mentality. Liberal Democrats reject the outcome in both cases*, and hence attempt to delegitimize the process which yielded that outcome, one which they had previously accepted. After 2016, we heard all about the injustice of the electoral college and the sanctity of the popular vote, for example, but not a word of objection before (and for good reason, since Superdelegates aren’t exactly small-d democratic). Similarly, with the Mueller process the Democrats got everything they wanted: A Special Prosecutor, and one who turned out to be a Hero Of The Resistance™, the sort of person who, if you were a liberal Democrat, you’d name your dog after, plus a very broad investigative mandate. Now, however, since the liberal Democrats haven’t gotten the outcome they want (indictments), and their original charge, that Trump was a “Russian Puppet,” has not been supported, they attempt to delegitimize this process as well! Now, as it turns out, the real Heroes Of The Resistance™ not longer include Mueller, but anonymous sources who were his subordinates….

      Maybe the real indictments were the lunatics we met along the way….

      NOTE * America’s 10%, I think, believe they run the country by right; that’s what being able to buy your way into the right school “meritocracy” means, after all. It does not seem to occur to them that there are people who would rather vote for a crook and a buffoon than vote to give the party of the professional classes another mandate. After all, the name “Trump” wasn’t the letterhead for the foreclosure notice that took your house; and the name “Trump” isn’t on the letterhead for the surprise collection notice on your medical debt, either.

  63. lyman alpha blob

    So sorry to hear about your cat Yves. It’s really terrible to think about putting a pet down but the thing is, when it’s time you will know, and it’s hard but you can do it.

    I took care of one cat, Lucas Jackson (Cool Hand Luke), at home for several weeks when he was sick and at some point it became clear he was really suffering. My normal vet who I’d had problems with regarding his care to begin with was closed when I needed them the most, so I had to take him to an emergency vet instead since I didn’t want him to suffer any longer waiting for the other vet. Lucas had been such a great companion to me that when the vet asked if I wanted to be there for the injection I agreed – I felt being there for him at the end was the least I could do.

    I switched vets after that and the new one has a much better bedside manner. When I took another cat, Ajax, to them at the end of his life, they gave him a sedative first that made him slowly go to sleep (literally), so he just softly nodded off while I was holding him. After that they gave another injection to put him down – the vet said that was less traumatic for the cat that way.

    I didn’t know that some vets would come to your house to do this which sounds ideal so hopefully you have one like that near you.

    Sending good some good thoughts your way –

  64. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    RIP Penelope and Natalie.

    The best 2 catahoula half breeds i could ever ask for.

  65. Cal2

    Animals give us unlimited joy through their allotted lives,
    illuminating and enriching ours, their universe.
    A brief moment of parting can never overshadow that.

  66. John k

    Some women do care, some supporters are willing to ignore it. But if he’s the candidate it clearly blunts hands on charges against trump.
    I agree lack of bankruptcy option for student debt has caused more harm.

  67. barrisj

    Re: Boeing and the 737 Max debâcle —- The Seattle Times/Dominic Gates coverage continues, with some remarkable commentary by pilots obtained from airline pilot forums and websites regarding insufficiency of Boeing’s own guidelines on how to enact emergency procedures for a MCAS fault:

    Why Boeing’s emergency directions may have failed to save 737 MAX

    The pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX that crashed last month appear to have followed the emergency procedure laid out by both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration — cutting off the suspect flight-control system — but could not regain control and avert the plunge that killed all 157 on board.

    Press reports citing people briefed on the crash investigation’s preliminary findings said the pilots hit the system-cutoff switches as Boeing had instructed after October’s Lion Air MAX crash, but couldn’t get the plane’s nose back up. They then turned the system back on before the plane nose-dived into the ground.

    While the new software fix Boeing has proposed will likely prevent this situation recurring, if the preliminary investigation confirms that the Ethiopian pilots did cut off the automatic flight-control system, this is still a nightmarish outcome for Boeing and the FAA.

    It would suggest the emergency procedure laid out by Boeing and passed along by the FAA after the Lion Air crash is wholly inadequate and failed the Ethiopian flight crew.

    (And why was that?)

    A local expert, former Boeing flight-control engineer Peter Lemme, recently explained how the emergency procedure could fail disastrously. His scenario is backed up by extracts from a 1982 Boeing 737-200 Pilot Training Manual posted to an online pilot forum a month ago by an Australian pilot.

    That old 737 pilot manual lays out a scenario where a much more elaborate pilot response is required than the one that Boeing outlined in November and has reiterated ever since. The explanation in that manual from nearly 40 years ago is no longer detailed in the current flight manual.
    “The forces on the tail could have been too great,” Lemme said. “They couldn’t turn the manual trim wheel.”

    The stabilizer in the Ethiopian jet could have been in an extreme position with two separate forces acting on it:

    MCAS had swiveled the stabilizer upward by turning a large mechanical screw inside the tail called the jackscrew. This is pushing the jet’s nose down.
    But the pilot had pulled his control column far back in an attempt to counter, which would flip up a separate movable surface called the elevator on the trailing edge of the tail.
    The elevator and stabilizer normally work together to minimize the loads on the jackscrew. But in certain conditions, the elevator and stabilizer loads combine to present high forces on the jackscrew and make it very difficult to turn manually.

    (apparent confirmation on a simulator rig)

    However, a separate analysis done by Bjorn Fehrm, a former jet-fighter pilot and an aeronautical engineer who is now an analyst with, replicates Lemme’s conclusion that excessive forces on the stabilizer trim wheel led the pilots to lose control.

    Fehrm collaborated with a Swedish pilot for a major European airline to do a simulator test that recreated the possible conditions in the Ethiopian cockpit.

    A chilling video of how that simulator test played out was posted to YouTube and showed exactly the scenario envisaged in the analysis, elevating it from plausible theory to demonstrated possibility.
    Clearly this unusual circumstance of having to move the stabilizer manually while maintaining a high stick force on the control column demands significant piloting skill.

    “We learned all about these maneuvers in the 1950-60s,” the pilot wrote on the online forum. “Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Boeing manuals have since deleted what was then — and still is — vital handling information for flight crews.”

    Aviation safety consultant John Cox, chief executive of Safety Operating Systems and formerly the top safety official for the Air Line Pilots Association, said that’s because in the later 737 models that followed the -200, what was called a “runaway stabilizer” ceased to be a problem.

    Cox said he was trained on the “roller coaster’ technique” back in the 1980s to deal with that possibility, but that “since the 737-300, the product got so reliable you didn’t have that failure,” said Cox.

    However, he added, the introduction of MCAS in the 737 MAX creates a condition similar to a runaway stabilizer, so the potential for the manual stabilizer wheel to seize up at high airspeed has returned.

    Once again, for Boeing and the MAX, emergency procedures for the “runaway stabilizer” problem was an integral part of pilot training in early 737 models, but because the reconfigured MAX with MCAS introduced additional problems following stabilizer malfunction, the simple fix of merely electrically disabling MCAS was inadequate to bring the “nose-down” error under control. Lots of meaty stuff for lawyers here.

  68. monday1929

    I am very sorry about Gabriel, Yves. When the time comes, consider saving a small lock of hair.
    I still have little April’s whiskers which I had saved for some reason whenever I found one on the floor.
    I still keep her blanket at the foot of my bed.

  69. Elizabeth

    Yves, I’m very sorry to hear of Gabriel’s diagnosis. I went through this years ago with my beloved cocker spaniel who was 14. She was such a loving and sweet creature who gave me such comfort and happiness during her life. She had kidney failure, and for a few weeks the vet gave her IV fluids, and the techs taught me how to do this at home. She would always perk up a bit, but it didn’t last long, and one day she told me she’d had enough. The last day she could barely walk and wouldn’t drink water anymore, and I just couldn’t see her suffering anymore. The vet was kind enough to let me stay in the room with her for two hours after she left and I cried the whole time. I’m still crying now. My only regret is that I wish I had had the vet come to my house.

    Gabriel will let you know when it’s time. You will always have wonderful memories – as will he. You gave Gabriel a wonderful life and much happiness. Let the memories help heal you. Sending you a hug.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Yes, it’s a bad moment, one we often put off too long. It’s too bad our pets don’t live as long as their people.

      Yves, you can at least take comfort in having given him a good, long life.

      There are cats that respond to their names – it might depend on how people call them. For instance (in the story I was told), you might not want to go around the neighborhood yelling “Pickles!”

      1. Paul O

        We took in a stray recently. She is a lovely, quirky cat and has wound her way into our affection. She ended up being called ‘Worms’ as in ‘can of worms’ but she is also the most squirmy cat I have met so it kind of fits. We let her find her own way back :-)

        There was a fairly comical moment at the vet recently when we tried to collect her worming medicine.

  70. Deschain

    Yves – you gave your cat a wonderful life. The best thing you can do for him now is to give him a dignified and pain-free death. I’ve been in your shoes and it sucks, for sure. But at least you will get to say goodbye at the time and place of your choosing. That means a lot.

    He knows you love him.

  71. kareninca

    I am very sorry about Gabriel, and that you are having to deal with this. We have had two dogs euthanized, and one who died of sudden cardiac arrest at the vet’s office. It was all pretty awful, but for us it was mainly awful because they were gone. The euthanizing part was not really the bad part. Actually the dog who died of cardiac arrest was much more traumatic for us. In the case of the two dogs our plan was that we would have them put down as soon as they were in pain that we could not fix or when they stopped enjoying food, whichever came first. Without any delay. We stuck to that and feel that the timing was right. Again I am sorry.

  72. Oregoncharles

    “Study: Keeping the Same Doctor Can Lead to a Longer, Healthier Life ”
    It isn’t just the doctor; it’s the clinic. For some reason, I keep running into problems when I try to call my doctor. I already switched clinics (and doctors) once because of it. In that case, the clinic had understaffed the front desk, so when I tried to call them I waited on hold forever – this in the midst of an aggravating problem with their lab, on no breakfast and no caffeine. So I switched, and wrote the first place a letter.

    Now I’m having a similar problem with the new place: when I call in – eg, to get lab results – I face an interminable recording BEFORE even being put on hold. Not only are they telling me stuff I know or I wouldn’t be calling them, but they’re trying to drive me to their online “Portal” to get the information. No, thank you, I don’t want my medical information on the Internet, and NC is one of the reasons. By interminable, I mean if it was serious I’d be dead before they answered – and as it is, I’d have a serious temper problem. So I hang up, and try a different number, which got me to them by a back way. Not really a viable solution.

    No problem with my doctor, but I may have to switch because I don’t want to face a barrier every time I try to call him. A long struggle to get lab results – all normal, as it happens – is not acceptable. (They were supposed to mail them to me, but for some reason I didn’t get that.) It’s actually better to walk in – the front is not understaffed; but then I’m driving to the other end of town. Grrrr.

  73. jax


    You’re in the middle of one of the most heartbreaking episodes we have in our lives. After helping two dogs exit stage left, I truly feel for you. While I didn’t have a vet who would come to the house, I learned something incredibly valuable with the first dog. It is utterly necessary to have the vet first administer a tranquilizer of some sort. I didn’t know this and the vet’s first attempt to inject the euthanasia drug caused my beloved schnauzer terrible pain. Have them put Gabriel into twilight sleep *first.*

    The days leading up to the decision were gut-wrenching for me. I’m not sure we can escape that sorrow. But each time I cradled them in my arms as they departed, as I’d want someone to do for me, and I knew that ending their suffering was the right thing to do.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that their shorter life spans and the wrenching grief we feel as we help them pass is the price we pay for their love and companionship.

    But letting them go is never easy.

  74. orlbucfan

    New commenter but long-time reader here. Thoughts of sympathy to you and Gabriel, Yves. I had 5 wonderful loving silly Dobermans. Some died naturally; others required me to make the gawdawful decision. Somehow, I found the strength to do so for them. I console myself with the thought that if we can’t suffer heartbreak, grief and sorrow; then we are incapable of love. It helps FWIW. Take good care, please.

  75. ewmayer

    o “Brexit: Tough on the pallet? RTE (PlutoniumKun)” — You gotta admit, “hold on to your pallets!” has a neat kind of ring to it, it’s a nifty twist on the traditional “wallets” version of the phrase.

    o “Trump May Claim 2020 Race Is Rigged, Refuse to Accept Defeat New York Magazine (resilc)” — You mean like HillBillary et al and their media shills did for the 2016 race?

    o “Elizabeth Warren Introduces Bill That Could Hold Tech Execs Responsible For Data Breaches The Verge” — Such a law would only be useful if actuallay *enforced*. We saw how ‘well’ Sarbanes-Oxley protected us from the C-suite depredations that featured in the 2008 financial crisis.

    o “Short of Workers, U.S. Builders and Farmers Crave More Immigrants New York Times (resilc)” — No, that should read “Short of Workers Willing to Take Sub-Living Wages for Exhausting, Hazardous Work, U.S. Builders and Farmers Crave More Immigrants”. NYT probably shortened for length, because surely they wouldn’t be caught dead engaging in neoliberal propagandizing, right? /s

  76. chuck roast

    Thank you and your support staff for being there Yves.
    My cat Ace is 17 and has some health issues, but he still jets around in the morning and spends the day sun-worshipping.
    I know a day like yours is coming for me soon.
    Keep the faith sister.

  77. Reader

    Yves, so sorry to hear about Gabriel. Such a difficult decision to have to make. He’s lucky he has gotten to share his life with you and you with him.

    I have a friend who would cut a hole in a newborn diaper for her dog’s tail and then put a onesie on the tiny dog to keep the diaper in place. Don’t know if this will work with an Abby or be comfortable.

  78. pricklyone

    Jumping in a little late, been a couple days away…
    Yves, I have only sympathy and empathy to give, no advice.
    I have been thru this with more than one kitty, and one dog.
    I waited too long on one kitty. If I had it to do again, I would have helped her along.
    I have tears in my eyes now, remembering.

  79. Chip

    I’m a long time reader although have rarely posted here. The outpouring of love and support for the cat and his human companion are one of the reasons I feel like I belong in the NC community. The latest political outrage or economic crisis is being shoved into the background (where it belongs at this time) as can be seen by the large number of comments concerning Gabriel. I have had many cats in my lifetime, and have been through the euthanizing process twice and it is gut-wrenching. As one of the previous commenters said, some of us feel more attached to our pets than we do most people. I certainly count myself in that class, as it is easier to deal with the loss of a human friend or relative than for a pet. We all have to grieve in our own way and time. The last one we had euthanized, Pat the Cat, had an illness similar to what Gabriel has. Pat was given one very special funeral in our backyard, one fit for an Egyptian Pharaoh, and complete with a specially made casket which contained all his favorite toys and plenty of freshly picked catnip to see him into the next world. I’m sure Pat didn’t care, but the ceremony helped ease some of our grief. Yves, take care of ourself, this is never easy, but remember you are amongst many like-minded souls here and we understand.

  80. freedomny

    Re: Gabriel…..Having to euthanize a pet is an awful decision to make. I had to make this decision about 3 weeks ago with my cat Bowie – an amazing being! He was health challenged from the get go and I saved his life several times. This last time I was not so lucky and it happened very suddenly. I know by the time I got him to the emergency vet he was in great pain…but cats are great at hiding pain….and I, who knew him so well, still didn’t see the signs. In hindsight, if I had a few days or a week, I would have made sure his passing was better. Yes, I would have spend the extra dollars to have someone come to my house so he could pass in a familiar place. That said, my sister’s dog passed away at home, in her arms. But she and her husband are doctors. She said he wasn’t in pain. That would always be my biggest concern above all others. I am sure you will do well by Gabriel when the time comes. It’s a sad responsibility that we must carry for the privilege of having such companions.

  81. Jack Parsons

    The “sanctions addicts” are not who you think. Sanctions also include impounding another country’s money.

    We impounded (I think) over 100 million of Iran’s dollars in 1980. Who is the custodian? Are they obliged to give a fair rate of return? Or are they just stealing the float?

  82. just_kate

    Yves, this is a terrible time as so many others have said. I’m so sorry for how painful it is, years ago I lost more than one cat in a short period of time and it was crushing for me – none of them passed on their own. Take care of yourself, and as someone else said its cancer that’s killing your Gabriel not anything else.

  83. JBird4049

    Yes, I am happy with my geriatric gumpy calico Abby siting on my lap. Cats or dogs never ever live long enough, but not having them is so much worse than the grief of losing them.

  84. campbeln


    One of the hardest things I’ve every had to do, or more than that, came to realize, is that putting down our beloved Pip was the best and least selfish decision I could make. He, too, suffered for bladder issues and it was a matter of days before the poisons his body could no longer excrete would start to pain him greatly.

    It was Saturday evening when this terrible realization came to me and so we were able to have Sunday at least. The guilt of calling up the vet and scheduling the appointment based on when best to avoid traffic to/from, still hurts (“9am is better than 11am” faded to “so you’re giving him 2 less hours of life? you asshole!”).

    But… please rest soundly knowing that any other choice would be selfish, and that it would mean distress and pain for your beloved cat.

  85. richard caldwell

    It is an awful thing to consider killing someone you love out of consideration for them. When I took Cougar, male felinus cattus, 18-1/2 years in age, who I had known and cared for from kittenhoood on, to the vet to end his life due to kidney failure, it was one of the saddest and hardest days of my entire life. I tear up now remembering.

    I still wonder what was right and what was wrong in what I did. There is no way of knowing, and I miss him to this day. I wish you strength of heart and trust in your own knowing of what is best for Gabriel. It is never easy, never clear. Love and blessings to you both.

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