The Death Of Brazen Steele. My cat of nine years.

The Death Of Brazen Steele

Describing the night that my beloved cat died.


It was after midnight on Friday morning and I was watching a new DVD set. Even though my bedroom was so extremely hot, I didn't mind that my baby cat-Friendly was sitting next to me while I watched the series. Brazen had eventually joined me as well.

As I was finally starting to drift off to sleep, Brazen started making this TERRIBLE noise. Usually, when he was hot, he'd pant heavily. Sporadically he'd also have episodes where he became extremely dizzy and cross-eyed and move about tenderly to ease whatever pain he was feeling. I've never heard him make a sound like the one he was making as he was in my bed that morning.

What really alarmed me was when he hind legs wouldn't move anymore. The look on his face told me was in a lot of pain. The noise he was making made Friendly come to him and try to console him.

I frantically checked my Uber and Lyft credits to see if I could get to a 24/7 Animal Hospital I knew of. When I couldn't get a ride with either one, I tried to call a cab. No answer at two cab companies. The third one was awoken out their sleep by my call and couldn't understand what I was saying.

I finally called one of my best friends to get him to order an Uber for me. By this time Brazen wasn't making the noise anymore, but I could barely tell if he was breathing.

I threw on some clothes, grabbed his carrier, and quickly cleaned it out. As I gently lifted and slide him into it, he made a small guttural and painful sounding meow. I didn't realize then that that was his last breath.

I talked to him through the carrier; assuring him that he'd be okay and we were on our way to the Vet. I waited a half hour for the driver to arrive, and assured him my cat wouldn't cause an issue in his car. I honestly thought Brazen had just passed out from the pain he was in.

We went to the address I had for the 24/7 Animal Hospital to find out it wasn't there anymore. The driver started acting like he wanted to turn back and take me back home. I had to beg him to let me call my friend back so we can find a different 24/7 Animal Hospital the driver could take me to.

After another 10 minutes of enduring the mans' insensitive driving, I found where the Animal Hospital was relocated. I don't know what I expected, but even at Two a.m. I still thought customers would be there. Only one customer was there before me; trying to not cry while leaving their precious poodle for surgery.

As soon as the Vet looked in the carrier, she told me my cat was gone. He did look very different and very still than when I put him in an hour before, but I still thought he was passed out. Or maybe, as soon as she opened the carrier I KNEW, but couldn't accept it.

She took him in the back to confirm for me that my cat was dead. I couldn't tell her what happened because even I didn't know. I showed her the video I took of his final moments. She said based on his size and how his legs stopped functioning, it was his heart. She then asked if I wanted an Autopsy to determine his actual cause of death. As much as I wanted to know, I couldn't bear him being cut open - even after death. Then I had to prepare information for his burial.

I kept thinking that this process was moving too fast. One moment it was confirmed that Brazen was dead, the next moment I had to think of dates and look at nearby Pet Cemeteries. There wasn't a moment to fully grasp what was going on. Except when she asked me if I wanted to spend time with him before she prepared him to be shipped in the morning for burial. Maybe she saw the look of anguish and defeat on my face and figured I needed closure.

I've been through sudden animal deaths previously in my lifetime. I grew up with over 15 cats in my childhood home. Their parents would eat some of them upon birth, either my brother or I would smother them overnight because we didn't realize they'd crawl in the bed with us, or our next door neighbor/bully would commit heinous acts of animal cruelty on them and end up killing some. Back in the early 2000s, I had a cat that passed away due to a fall.

Yet as traumatizing as all these instances were, nothing was more affecting than saying goodbye to my Tiger Brazen. His mouth was open as he lay on the table, and she wrapped him in a cute cartoon kitty blanket. I couldn't even speak to him through my sobbing. All I could do was say I was sorry over and over to him.

I wished I could've been a better cat mom to him. I wished I'd taken him to the vet every three months. I wish I had the money to get his fur groomed in the summers. I wished I had been able to get a licensed collar for him. None of that matters now. On Friday, June 23, 2017, my cat Brazen Steele died.

Cover Image Credit:

Kimberly Steele

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Top 10 Cutest Cat Breeds

These cat breeds are super cute and underrated.

It seems that the only breeds anyone can actually recognize are those of dogs, cats really don't get enough recognition. There is just as much of a variety of cat breeds as there are of dog breeds, almost anyway, and they deserve love and recognition as well. So, here are the top 10 cat breeds I've deemed as the absolute cutest!

1. Exotic Persian

Exotic Persian cats are one of the cutest breeds in my opinion. Theses are the squished faced cats. The cats that perpetually look grumpy and disappointed. They're also super high-maintenance and believe you're supposed to cater to their every whim. Which, to be fair, you are.

2. Scottish Fold

Scootish Folds are super adorable because they're very unique. They're ears fold over, making them always appear to be begging you for something. They also always look a little bit sad, which, of course, only makes you love them more.

3. Himalayan

Himalayan cats are just magnificent and so prestigious. These cats are fluffy, deserve the best, and expect nothing but the best.

4. British Shorthair

I'm not sure what it is about these cats that makes them so adorable, but my roommate has tried to describe them as "fat and sassy." - Delaney Pulice. She's not wrong. They're pretty chubby and look like they're just a little bit too good for you. In all honesty, what cat isn't too good for us?

5. Maine Coon

These cats are particularly wonderful because they can be giant. I mean, giant. These cats can grown into the sizes of large dogs, which, of course, if everything we could all ever ask for in a cat. Who wouldn't want a giant cat that could probably double as a pillow?

6. Persian

These cats are only a little bit different from Exotic Persians, but there's a difference. Persians tend to have less squished face than Exotics, but every cat is different. The one above is a Silver Persian. He had to eat his food off of a plate because his flat face couldn't fit in a cat food bowl.

7. Munchkin

These tiny little guys never really grow much. Their legs are perpetually short and stubby, making them the ideal cats, because, if you had a choice, wouldn't you want your cat to be either giant like a Maine Coon or tiny like a Munchkin cat? Of course you would.

8. Siberian

These cats are just generally beautiful. They have long, shiny, fluffy coats and are just pretty cats. Plus, they look super cuddly, like they might purr for hours if you brushed them.

9. British Longhair

Another just simply beautiful cat. When you see those posts online that say "This cat is prettier than I am," yeah, that's these cats. They have long, soft coats as well that they like to keep clean. And as all cats do, they look like they're just a little bit above us and we have to cater to them.

10. Ragdoll

Finally, we have Ragdoll cats. These cats look a bit like fluffier Siamese cats. Which, let's face it, Siamese cats aren't necessarily the cutest. However, if you just add a lot of fluff, because the fluffier the better, they become much cuter.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Branch

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7 Reasons That Prove Cats Are The Best Pets To Have In College

Listen, you will never be alone ever again if you get a cat.


For all of my life, I've had dogs. There are actually still two dogs back home. However, with college life being difficult to dedicate that much time to an animal that needs you there consistently, it was best to get a cat. I never was a cat person until I got my Whiskers from the Hinsdale Humane Society.

1. They clean themselves

Not having to worry about having to clean these guys is amazing. Especially since most cats are indoors, there isn't a lot they can get into.

2. They don't require 24/7 attention

When you're a college student, you have an extremely busy schedule that is constantly in flux. Therefore, being able to leave your cat alone for a few hours is a huge plus as dogs require a lot of thinking of potty needs, food, play time, etc. NOT saying cats don't need attention, but they don't need as much as dogs.

3. They are comforting

Despite the stereotype, cats are still very much comforting animals. They come over and sit with you — overall changing the atmosphere of the environment you're in.

4. They provide distraction

You still get the distraction of being able to care for this living being that needs attention in order to live. It almost adds a routine to your day which can help reduce your anxiety.

5. They are silly

Cats are just as silly as every other animal. Mine chases his tail, meows at me when he wants food, suddenly becomes a wild man, and ultimately just a big goofball.

6. They are family

Cats are still part of the family! And honestly, a pet brings so much comfort and love to your life that the cost of owning a pet is worth it.

7. They won't make you feel alone

No, seriously you will never be alone ever again if you get a cat. They follow you everywhere into the bathroom, in your bedroom, to the kitchen, and to watch TV. Overall you've pretty much got a child that needs to be with you 24/7. If you don't, believe me, I took this photo after finishing my shower because he stayed on the mat right outside it anytime I go into the bathroom.

Overall, I would say when considering getting a pet for your college years and the years after there are some things that you must keep in mind. You have responsibilities to the pet as well as a mandatory schedule you must attend to. If you do not have the time for a dog there are other options to consider when it comes to pets.

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