#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Losing Button

I adopted my long-haired gray cat, Button, last year, after the death of his original owner, now affectionately referred to in the Triple L family as First Mama.  He was twenty years old when he came to bide a while with this outfit, and frankly, I didn’t expect him to last long.  I also hesitated to take him in at first, mostly because–well–he was twenty, for heaven’s sake, and I had lost two kitties and my beloved Yorkie in the previous year, and I figured more pet-grief was about the last thing I needed.  Fortunately, though, I came to my senses, realizing that this wasn’t about me feeling sad at some point (boo-hoo, sucks to be me, NOT), it was about an elderly cat, confused and missing someone he loved, in need of a warm and welcoming home.  And so it was that Button, aka Buttingo and just plain ‘Tingo’, joined the family.  He proved to be a stately gentleman who assumed he was entitled to the best of everything, and soon enough, we all agreed–so he’d trained us all handily to do his bidding.  :)  I can’t count the times he made us laugh, or touched our hearts, or dug his claws into our thighs because he wanted up, and did not take ‘no’ for an answer.  Alas, time and a nasty respiratory infection finally caught up with our beloved visitor, and yesterday, we had to say ‘good-bye’.  Yes, there were tears, and there will be more, I know, but there is no tragedy here–Button was cherished all his long life, unlike so many of God’s creatures, and, as my old daddy would have said, he cut a mighty wide swath, that cat.  He was a gift, the kind one accepts and eventually releases, with gratitude.  I’m so glad I knew Button, and I’m at peace, knowing he’s with First Mama again.

On a happier note, there are winners in our ongoing win-an-autographed-book contest–to enter, simply comment, and you’re in.  Winners are selected at random, notified, and announced here on the blog.  Congratulations to Kelly Driver and Prairie.  How great is that name, ‘Prairie’??  There’s a story there, I’ll bet, and if we’re lucky, we might get to read it in the comment section.  :)  If you didn’t win, no worries whatsoever.  There’s a new round underway now.

The weather in the Northwest is Winter Wonderland Run Amok–snow, snow and more snow.  I’m essentially homebound, which is fine, because I have my writing, my pets and my new furnace to keep me warm.  :)    

76 comments to “Losing Button”

  1. Andrea Lammly
      · January 10th, 2017 at 3:15 pm · Link

    Sorry to hear the news about Button but he sure had a long and wonderful life. He’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is with all our furry friends. We have a 17 year old orange cat named Landry and he is slowing down but he still spends his evenings sitting in my lap while reading or watching television. Send some of that snow our way here in Vermont. We sure could use it.
    Congratulations to the winners from last week. Stay warm!

  2. Sharon Rackham
      · January 10th, 2017 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Dear Linda and other family furry people,

    I am so very sorry on the loss of Buttons. What a lucky cat he was to have found you in his later years and that he was so loved.I hope that he is in a place with his First Momma.

    Stay warm and look forward to more of your novels.

    Your northern neighbour

  3. Renae Kinsey
      · January 10th, 2017 at 3:39 pm · Link

    I’m sorry for you loss. Pets are family so I know it’s painful.
    hope we hear the story about Prairie-)
    Keep warm and we love u!

  4. judy (jep)
      · January 10th, 2017 at 3:45 pm · Link

    Dear Linda,

    So sorry to hear about Button, but sounds like he had a really great life with you for his remaining years. Happy to hear about your cozy home with all the snow. Having a working furnace is a very good thing!

  5. Dixie Hadley65th
      · January 10th, 2017 at 3:50 pm · Link

    Dear Linda
    Such a bittersweet time. Loving someone, (including our pets)enough to let them go when the time comes is truly an act of love, loving them, wanting whats best for them over our own desires. I pray that soon the besutiful memories will replace your grief.
    Thank you for sharing your heart

  6. Margaret
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:03 pm · Link

    So sorry about your older kitty,I have one who is 18 and so skinny,he eats like a horse and loves to sit by the heater. He was always a barn cat but has been inside for the last couple of years. He has had a good life and is probably ready to move on also but for now is ok. Gloriously beautiful day outside but the wind is coming up. We like you Linda are practically snowbound or it feels that way.

  7. Linda Wilson
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:08 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear it. I adopted an older dog this summer and he is such a love, but don`t want me out of his site as I guess he is afraid he will loose me too. I have a cat that way too, poor animals don`t under stand

  8. Sandra fincel
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:28 pm · Link

    I am so sorry for your loss. We had a cat for twenty years, and still miss him. In New England the weather sounds like yours, looking forward to spring and summer but that is like wishing your life away. Sandy

  9. Kathryn Riley
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:29 pm · Link

    Bless you for taking Button in. You really were blessed to enjoy him for a while, and you blessed him by giving him a loving second home.


  10. Virginia Horton
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:44 pm · Link

    So sorry to here about Button but he had a nice life. I have had a bad case of Bronchitis and it has been very rough. I finally went to the doctor so am feeling a lot better now. All last week we had snow and very cold weather and now it is up in the forties with rain and high winds. Its like they say about Kentucky, if you don’t like the weather give it a day or two and it will change. Believe me I would rather have to warmer weather then the cold but give it a few days and we will be back to the cold again.

  11. Diana E.
      · January 10th, 2017 at 4:52 pm · Link

    So sorry for your loss, Linda. I admire you for adopting a older cat like that. Your pretty special.
    Stay warm and safe. I saw some little bulbs starting to sprout before we had ice and snow here in Eugene. Spring will come. Blessings.

  12. Barbara Kennicutt
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:13 pm · Link

    So sorry to hear of your loss. It is always so hard to lose a pet. I have lost alot I now have a little 3 lb. Yorkiepoo and love her to death. Have a great day. Thoughts and pray with you. Love all your books that I have read so far. A Big Fan Barbara

  13. Clarita Goodspeed
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:27 pm · Link

    My condolences on your loss of Buttons, but like you said he brought many happy hours to you and I’m sure he appreciated the fact that you took him in. All my pets have been strays and they all give their love without question. You are one special lady in my book!

  14. Deborah Nelson
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Sorry for your loss :(

  15. Peggy E Casey
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:32 pm · Link

    RIP Button… Cyber Hugs Linda, it is always hard to say goodbye, I am fearing the upcoming passing of my sweet dog Lucy. I adopted LuLu Bell from the humane society when they had an abundance of older dogs…at that time she was 7. She is now 14 and I am not sure how many more mornings I will wake up to her snoring next to my bed… I fear that first silent morning…..

  16. Sandy
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:42 pm · Link

    Sorry for your loss. Stay warm and be well.

  17. Linda
      · January 10th, 2017 at 5:50 pm · Link

    I feel left out with no snow. I think just as you were getting all that snow, ours was melting. Today we had rain and it is very windy.

    We might get that snow.

    Sorry to hear about Button.


  18. Barb volker
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:05 pm · Link

    Button was loved and he knew it. A great life.

  19. Lois
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:08 pm · Link

    Sorry to hear of your loss of Button. Glad you were able to give him a home when he needed one. Stay warm and again sorry for your loss.

  20. Barb O'Neill
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:26 pm · Link

    Sorry, about Buttons!!! He was well loved!!! I lost my cat (Pancake) a few years ago. She was almost 18 yrs old! Now I have two cats, that I bottle feed. Very spoiled!! And I feed every stray cat in the neighborhood!

  21. Pamela Devereux
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:29 pm · Link

    Sorry about your loss of Button. It is never easy to say good-bye to a friend. As you say, Button is on his way home to his first Momma.

    The way this weather has been changing, just keep warm and stay healthy.

  22. Roberta Giordano
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:31 pm · Link

    So sorry for your lost.

  23. Alisha
      · January 10th, 2017 at 6:42 pm · Link

    So sorry about Button, but you did such a wonderful thing by taking the older gentleman in. I saw too many older babies abandoned at the shelter when I worked there after their family passed or even moved. The confusion in their eyes just about killed me.

  24. Donamae Kutska
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:03 pm · Link

    Sorry about button, happy he had a good life and ended up with you.

  25. Sally Sweet
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:10 pm · Link

    I’m volunteering at a pet shelter but am adding on volunteering for 100 refugees settling here in coming months. In one way or another they all must adjust to being rehomed and I’m glad I can help.

  26. Terri Shortell
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:33 pm · Link

    Sorry to here about Button. I’m glad you opened your heart and home for him so he’d feel loved after First Mama passed. Hope everyone stays warm. Our snow melted but expecting freezing rain starting Friday.

  27. Diane Sallans
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:34 pm · Link

    that’s so nice that Button had a good final year – I know they say a dog year is like 7 human years – is that true for cats?

  28. Gloria Herring
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:35 pm · Link

    Congratulations to Kelly Driver and Prairie!

    Linda, I’m sorry about the loss of your cat. My son’s cat has been sick and under the vet’s care for months, now, which is rather expensive for a disabled person, but Bucky is my son’s companion. Please, would you all say some prayers for Bucky’s healing. Reading your Blog gives me hope that if a cat can live for 20 years, maybe my son will have his companion for a lot more years. I didn’t realize they could live so long.

  29. Patricia McLeman
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:43 pm · Link

    What a kind girl you are Linda. You gave Button so much love and care and saw his pain and confusion when he waas left behind and didn’t know why. He was a lucky boy to have you as second Mama to give him the love he was missing. He is home now. X

  30. Linda
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:55 pm · Link

    So sorry about Button. It’s never easy losing a pet, but when our family gets together and current dogs get our attention we still have plenty of stories and tales to share about all out pets who have gone on. Thinking of you.

  31. Virginia Jones
      · January 10th, 2017 at 7:58 pm · Link

    My sympathies to you. I lost my sweet baby just after Christmas. She was 15 and my best bud.

  32. Melaine
      · January 10th, 2017 at 8:05 pm · Link

    Sorry about your loss, Linda, and what a good heart you have to give that senior cat a home until his spirit could reunite with First Mama.

  33. Barbara Callihan
      · January 10th, 2017 at 8:40 pm · Link

    Love your blogs! Keep ‘Em coming

  34. Tammy Carter
      · January 10th, 2017 at 8:41 pm · Link

    Rest peacefully in heaven dear Button. We appreciate the joy and peace you brought to us through Ms Miller.

  35. Leanna
      · January 10th, 2017 at 8:41 pm · Link

    My family has three dogs, but we have always said we would be open to taking an older dog. It is so hard to get them adopted and you set yourself up for heartbreak knowing they will not live. Knowing this try to enjoy every day with your pets.

  36. Barbara Callihan
      · January 10th, 2017 at 8:56 pm · Link

    Love your blogs. Keep them coming.

  37. Zina
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:31 pm · Link

    Very sorry to hear about Buttons, pets are family. It was a wonderful thing you all did taking him in and letting him make you his.

  38. Deborah Anderson
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:31 pm · Link

    What a wonderful gift you gave Button, some place warm and loving to live out his final days. Be that we all are so fortunate.

  39. Martha McKenna
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:39 pm · Link

    Sorry for your loss of Button. He sounded like a very special gift. I hope you open your heart and home to another special kitty when you are ready. Sometimes they adopt us before we realize. Thanks for sharing.

      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:45 pm · Link


  41. Marge
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:53 pm · Link

    No snow here in Florida but dang cold. I am looking for sun and warmth. Having pets is always a two way street. They give us so much comfort and pleasure while they are with us but also such sadness when they have to leave. Having six boys we always had a pet or two or three. Kitties, puppies, ferrets, hamsters etc. and always my responsibility to handle the bad stuff.

  42. midge watkins
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:55 pm · Link

    I’m so grateful that God chose you to share Button’s last
    chapter. As the saying goes, “it’s not how we start, but how we
    end.” I’m sure he had a happy life before and you didn’t break
    that chain. As I live in the same area, I’m dealing with the
    snowglobe effect also. Roughly about two feet now. I’m
    passing time perusing the seed and plant catalogs. Take care. :-?

  43. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 10th, 2017 at 9:57 pm · Link

    How wonderful of you to give Button a good home in his last days. We lost our 17 year old Cocker in Dec. Maybe they are running and playing together in a grassy field right now.

  44. Tina H.
      · January 10th, 2017 at 10:43 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your Tingo. What a compassionate family you have to take in the little ‘ole guy & give him love in his last years. Prayers for your family.

  45. Teresa W
      · January 10th, 2017 at 10:43 pm · Link

    Blessings to those who loved Buttons. Love is never in vain and never ends. As one who has said “goodbye” to many furry or feathered loved ones, the love we shared lives on. Sending hugs and best wishes for you and yours.

  46. Ruby Norwood
      · January 10th, 2017 at 10:53 pm · Link

    Congrats to the winners, enjoy your signed book. Linda, so sorry to hear that you lost Buttons. I know that he had a good home and was well loved.

  47. Doris Brooks
      · January 10th, 2017 at 10:58 pm · Link

    Linda thoughts are with you on losing Button. Four years we adopted a rescue dog, Matt, who was ten to prevent him from being put down. We drove 4-1/2 hours to another town to get him. He was such a sweet little guy and brightened our lives daily. Our vet would say, “Matt, so you know what a lucky dog you are” and would thank us for taking an older dog. We lost Matt a few weeks ago, but feel he was given a good life with us. However, that did not keep it from hurting and we still miss him. We also adopted his cage mate Chico at the same time and we still have him. He was only 2 when we got him. He even misses his brother.

  48. Kelley Vollmar
      · January 10th, 2017 at 11:00 pm · Link

    Button’s story brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful thing that you took in an elderly kitty and loved him til the end. Sorry for your loss.

  49. Jeannette Ruddell
      · January 10th, 2017 at 11:15 pm · Link

    Linda I’m so sorry for your loss of Button. We love our animals and losing one is like losing a child. We foster animals for a dachshund rescue in Lubbock Tx. We have 4 seniors that are pretty much ours. They bring us so much joy and laughter. We lost a beloved dog Candy Christmas Eve 2015 and some of the dogs we have now still look for her if we say her name. I know Button was loved and loved you for what was remaining in his life. He’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge no more suffering or sickness. He’s happy and will be waiting for you on the other side. Sending prayers to you and your family. Stay warm looking forward to a new book.

  50. Teresa G
      · January 10th, 2017 at 11:27 pm · Link

    So sorry for your loss.

  51. Pat Mitchell
      · January 10th, 2017 at 11:43 pm · Link

    Congratulations to the winners! Sorry for your loss of Buttons. He knew he was loved.

  52. Louise McCourt
      · January 11th, 2017 at 12:14 am · Link

    So sorry you lost Button. My Missy was 22 years old when I had to let her go.
    Hope you stay well and warm, sorry, but the weather in Texas was in the 80’s today, but a few days ago it was in the teens.

    Thank you for years of great reading and rereading…Louise

  53. Pam
      · January 11th, 2017 at 12:48 am · Link

    So sorry for your loss, our pets are family, & it hurts to lose them!:( Our dog, Ozzie, is 7, but has arthritis in his hips, & just isn’t doing all that good anymore. But we’be had him for 3.5 yrs, & spoil him rotten everyday!:) Can’t imagine losing him, we’ll be torn up & so will our other 2 chi rescues, Suki & Harley.

  54. Rita Crofoot
      · January 11th, 2017 at 1:23 am · Link

    Gosh, no wonder you are such a great writer, I am so amazed at your gift to express your self so elequently. I love reading what you gift us with your thoughts, I am sorry for your loss, but lucky Kitty he was.

  55. Caryn Horn
      · January 11th, 2017 at 2:39 am · Link

    So sorry for your loss Ms. Miller. Losing a long-time pet or one that is older than dirt is as difficult at losing a child, or an arm, or a leg. Congrats to the winners and yes, I would love to hear that story. Glad the weather in your neck of the woods is bad cause I love your writing . . . or should that be you’re? Hmmm you decide.

  56. Bonnie Kewitsch bonnybun17 {username}
      · January 11th, 2017 at 6:31 am · Link

    R.I.P. Buttons u are where u want to be probably with your past owner and I bet you could’t have found a nicer 2nd owner…I have a cat that is 20 yrs old this August, she is mostly fur & skin and bones. She is so precious, each year we think she isn’t going to make it through the year, but she does..Her hips have just about given out on her but I swear she is has my Norwegian/Irish and half German/Russian like my husband is..She still has a great left..even as old as she is u piss her off u better look out….I thank god everyday we have her she is the best… bonnybun17 {username}

  57. Susan Craig
      · January 11th, 2017 at 8:44 am · Link

    I am sorry for your loss. It was kind of you to take him in. Stay warm.

  58. Teresa Fordice
      · January 11th, 2017 at 8:54 am · Link

    so so sorry for your loss – it is never easy – I know I lost my horse Maxx, on sunday – found him dead in pasture – probably from colic – was such a shock as he was only 22!

    • linda
        · January 12th, 2017 at 2:48 pm · Link

      I’m so sorry. What a sad experience.

    • Lorelei Sawtelle
        · January 13th, 2017 at 5:53 pm · Link

      I know losing a dog or cat hurts. Losing a horse hurts worse I think because they aren’t just pets, they’re partners. My condolences.

  59. Eugenia Riddick
      · January 11th, 2017 at 9:22 am · Link

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your kitty. January, it seems, is the worst time to experience loss. Maybe it’s the cold weather; maybe it’s the short days and long nights. My good friend is in the hospital on a ventilator. She had a stroke. The uncertainty is difficult. I’m afraid of losing her.

    • linda
        · January 12th, 2017 at 2:48 pm · Link

      God bless you. You are such a good friend!

  60. JoAnn Baker
      · January 11th, 2017 at 9:45 am · Link

    I know cats have a way of getting in you heart. I had my Pugs for 18 years fro. The day he was born. So much fun to watch. They do some silly things. I still miss him. So sorry you loss another pet. They are our kids.

  61. Eriko
      · January 11th, 2017 at 10:06 am · Link

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh….. I am so sorry to read about Button. Thank you for sharing your story. Next time I look to adopt a cat, I will adopt an older one. Thanks to you and Button…

  62. Alison B.
      · January 11th, 2017 at 10:41 am · Link

    So sorry for your loss. It never gets easier no matter how long they are in our lives.

  63. Janet Hurt
      · January 11th, 2017 at 11:53 am · Link

    How kind of you to take in an elderly cat. How sad for you to have lost him, but you know he is now better off. Have a great day full of fond memories! Jan

  64. Nancy Rieks
      · January 11th, 2017 at 7:11 pm · Link

    So sorry for the lossf your “buttons”..

  65. Sharon Sovereign
      · January 12th, 2017 at 2:02 am · Link

    I’m sorry for your loss. We had snow in Oklahoma but it only stayed a couple of days. It was over 70 degrees today and will be in the 50s today. I’ll think of you in all the snow.

  66. Evelyn Baldwin
      · January 12th, 2017 at 11:03 am · Link

    Condolences to you! What a great person to take in an elderly pet! I’m sure the kitty gave you much joy, as you gave ou! Always love hearing about what’s going on on the Triple L! Congratulations to the winners! I’m not very lucky at winning anything! Never have been! I still love all your books! Keep the stories exciting! I cannot put them down until I finish! Very few Author’s I can say that about! Would love to have one autographed by you! Thank you for taking time out, to keep us informed! God Bless! Evelyn

  67. Marilyn Costich
      · January 12th, 2017 at 1:11 pm · Link

    We inherited my mothers cat when she entered a nursing home. She was eight at the time and we had her for another 12 years. At first I tried to find her another home but by then she had grown on us and my husband, who was reluctant to keep her, became her buddy. She also was a spoiled but good cat.

  68. Linn Carlile
      · January 12th, 2017 at 3:11 pm · Link

    Sad times when we lose one of our critter kids. It was wonderful of you to give him a loving home for his final year. I wish more people would do this for older animals.
    May you enjoy your winter wonderland and be safe.

  69. Pat
      · January 13th, 2017 at 12:26 am · Link

    What a nice surprise to have won this week. Thank you! Been down with a nasty sinus infection so this really cheered me up. I often use the name Prairie to honor my Scottish great-great-grandmother who homesteaded in the Dakota Territory in the 1880’s. North Dakota’s state flower is the Wild Prairie Rose which blooms no matter the conditions. Prairie is a reminder that even through hardships and loss my 2nd great-grandmother was a survivor. Hopefully, I’ve inherited some of her traits.

  70. Trudy Wilson
      · January 13th, 2017 at 11:18 am · Link

    Sad to hear about the passing of Buttons. Thanks to you and First Mama, it sounds like he had a long and wonderful life. Stay warm!

  71. Debbie Bleege
      · January 13th, 2017 at 1:36 pm · Link

    Sorry about buttons but you let buttons enjoy the time he had with a great pet family. You are awesome. There is something special about people you love animals

  72. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · January 13th, 2017 at 5:57 pm · Link

    I love the name Prairie. I may just have to name a character that in one of my books. Like Midge, I’m perusing the seed catalogs.

    It is so very heartbreaking to lose a pet. I’d never thought about what losing an owner would be like for an animal. Thank you for being there when Button lost First Mama. I hope you two live close together in heaven so he can visit back and forth!

  73. Sharon Guagliardo
      · January 14th, 2017 at 11:57 pm · Link

    I am so sorry about Button. We lost our mama cat a little over a year ago, Sabrina. We still have two of her babies tho, who are now almost 20. These darned animals give us so much joy, and like you, we have wonderful remembrances of them still. My best to you.

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