Nochie Biickert, 1997-2016

Last night, our much-loved cat Nochie died of old age. She was a part of our lives for almost two decades, from when Tammy found her as a kitten in the parking lot of the school she taught at.


It seems unreal, after the last few days. If anything, for the last month she really had perked up. In October, I would not have bet that she would make it to Christmas. But just yesterday I commented to Dad that she was perkier than she had been when he was here in October.

The last few days, she had been turning up her nose at her cat food. She would eat some, but she would also ask for food at the table, and jump up between the kids to look for “free samples”.

Free Samples

But we were always on the lookout for a change in behaviour. And it started last night.

The first signal was when we were leaving to take Dad to the airport. Dad, Tammy and Miranda were already out in the car, and Ian and I were coming out. Nochie tried to get out of the house and into the garage. She never tried to get into the garage before.

Later that evening, she was making signs of wanting to throw up, and we were following her around to herd her onto easily-cleanable surfaces. That was when Tammy noticed that Nochie was trying to hide under Miranda’s desk and behind her door. I didn’t take the report to heart, but when Tammy brought it to my attention, I commented that “I know what I’m thinking.” I believed that these were the signals we’d been dreading.

But it wasn’t until later, when the kids were in bed and Tammy was upstairs, that I saw Nochie in the kitchen, but near the oven, not at her usual spot in front of the warm air that blows out from underneath the refrigerator. I picked her up and brought her over to a chair for a hug, and she didn’t want one. She jumped right down, and then hunkered down under the Christmas tree. That’s when I lost it.

Nochie’s last photo

I went upstairs and got Tammy, and we sat with Nochie and cried for a while. Nochie didn’t want to be bothered. She was moving from place to place: tree, cat box, kitchen, dining room. We said good night to her in the kitchen and gave her pats and Tammy gave her a kiss on the head.

I was awake at 4:30 this morning, and had to use the bathroom. I went downstairs to check up on her, and found her lying on the mat under the kitchen sink. She was gone.

I woke Tammy to tell her, and eventually the kids. When the vet opens at 8:00, we’ll make some arrangements.

Good bye Nochie.


5 thoughts on “Nochie Biickert, 1997-2016

  1. So sorry Simon,Tammy,Miranda and Ian. It’s very hard to take,but she had a good life with a loving family! Love Dad,Grandpa

  2. Pingback: 2016 Retrospective | ii News

  3. I wanted to add a couple of remembrances to this. We got Nochie back before the ii News existed, and even before we had a digital camera or a camcorder. So we don’t have any recordings of these things, like we probably would if she was a kitten today.

    The first was her predilection for playing with Mr. Doos’ tail when she was a kitten. I am sure that until she grew out of it, Mr. Doos wondered what he had done to deserve this little black thing who couldn’t leave his tail alone. We have a picture of his lying on my computer desk on 15th Ave., and her underneath, attacking his tail.

    Another was playing “Pig in the Middle” with her. The apartment on 15th Ave. was long, and Tammy would sit at one end and I was at the other. We would roll or throw a ball back and forth to each other and Nochie would be in between us, trying to catch it. She sometimes made very acrobatic leaps to grab it out of the air. We didn’t have a hallway in our house on Richet, and by the time we’d moved to the apartment on the Gorge, she’d grown out of playing the game.

    Speaking of Richet, when we lived there, she started having trouble with her liver. It manifested visually in her inner eyelids being partly closed all the time. When we took her to the vet to ask about it, they ran tests that showed her liver function was bad. There was nothing we could do about it, and Tammy and I cried together, because we thought we were going to have to put her down at age two. But whatever it was, she healed herself, and lived another seventeen years.

    As she got older, Nochie got some white hairs in her coat, and her whiskers went white, but as a kitten, she was as black as night except for her yellow eyes. That’s where her name came from: “noch” is Russian for “night”. Even though she was an indoor cat living on the third floor of an apartment building, we got her a bright orange collar because I kept tripping over her in the night because I couldn’t see her. She didn’t like it, but when she was only a handful, I was sure that stepping on her might kill her.

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