Saying Goodbye to Ruuo

If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll have noticed that we post just as many photos of our studio cat, Ruuo (pronounced ROO-OH), as we do of our work.

Throughout the past two and a half years, she’s been a constant companion during rough times, and softly coercive taskmaster keeping us pinned to our desk chairs.

On monday, July 12th 2021, Ruuo lost her battle with Chronic Kidney Disease and passed at home in the comfort of her bed. We are devastated as we have lost someone we consider as dear as any friend.

Unfortunately, her life before us wasn’t the happiest of stories. At one year old she found herself at the West End Animal Shelter in Ontario, CA, where she stayed for the next ten years, waiting for adoption. We don’t know why she never found a home. Even Petfinder had no information on her. By the time we met her in early 2019, she was a timid, tiny senior cat named Trista that had all but been forgotten. 

Still grieving for our last cat Pandora, we were not ready to have her in our lives, but that didn’t matter. A decade in the shelter had taken its toll on her health and we probably were her one and only shot at knowing anything else in her life. As became clear later, she must have been in pain for a very long time: half her teeth were rotting— one was entirely shattered— she had breathing problems, and chronic kidney disease.

Her adoption was a rocky start: being almost feral, she led us on a chase when we tried to wrangle her at the shelter, and spent the first few months hiding in closets and under furniture.

But then, as time passed and her health issues got treated, things changed. She came out of her shell and gradually shed her skittish shelter-cat exterior to reveal a sweet, bright, playful, and cuddly personality. 

After moving away from the pollution of Southern California to the natural beauty of the Pacifc Northwest, she even regained a voice we’d assumed was permanently lost. Now she wouldn’t shut up!

Over the last year she became a constant companion, from greeting us in the morning, to helping us work in the office, to purring and “merf”ing on people’s chests/laps/hips/legs at night.

Though despite all her changes, she never did quite lose her awkwardness.

Ruuo was only able to spend two and a half years with us, dying at the young age of 13, and our one wish would be that we could have had more time with her. But they were really, really good years.

For the past few months, however, her lab values got worse and worse. We did all we could to stave off the inevitable. An blood transfusion helped reinvigorate her briefly— she played with toys again like a kitten! 

But despite our efforts, her kidney disease worsened with time to stage 5.

Her health issues and our grief at her sudden loss pale in comparison to the amount of happiness we brought her. For Ruuo, that short time was more important and meaningful than the entire lifetimes of other cats. She finally got her chance to love and be loved in a safe home, which every creature deserves. 

We would like to ask of anyone reading this: if you are in need… not of a pet, per se, but a friend or companion: please consider adopting a senior cat or dog. Maybe one of the awkward, old, or “unadoptable” ones that have been forgotten. They may not be the most playful or photogenic. They might even be a bit ornery and scared. Not all animals flourish in a shelter environment, and many more like Ruuo are still waiting for someone to give them a chance. 

We did, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

Thank you, Ruuo, for allowing us to help you and be your friend. We’ll miss you. 

Merf.

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