Sophie Cat, 14 years young.

 

Sophie Cat, 14 years young.

We just lost our cat Sophie at 10:30pm this evening, from liver disease, rampant in elderly cats and old age. She came in a box with 6 other siblings. Two real estate agents finally admitted to putting them at our gate those long years ago. Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Spanky, Sarah, Sophie, Maggie and Thumper. All were so tiny, under 5 weeks and starving. We fed them with a bottle and Thumper, the smallest one, with an eyedropper. All survived into adulthood, except for little Sarah who came with a case of Feline Leukemia. Sarah we put to sleep at 5 months. That was so hard, she was so young. Spanky showed symptoms but at 10 years. That was 4 years ago, and he went the way of Sarah. Spanky was my favorite. Sophie was the most loyal, and for the past 9 days we have been striving to prolong her life.

She was responsive until Tuesday afternoon, when even calling her name only evoked a slight response of her tail. She hadn’t eaten solid food since Saturday, and I probably stressed her out with my force feedings and waterings. My husband went out and bought an electric water feeder. Sophie was the only one of 10 cats that wasn’t afraid of it. Tuesday morning, in spite of all, she had survived the night and wanted to go outside. I decided that I couldn’t go against her last wishes. I found her in the water garden, the place the cats never wisely go because of our three dogs. Apparently the dogs were just in the laundry room and Sophie was waiting her chance, or didn’t care, but I found her in the gated garden sitting on the stones surrounding our fish pond. She was watching the goldfish and watching the fountain. She wanted a bigger water feeder apparently. A much bigger one.

It is so hard to let go. Fourteen years counts for a lot in a life…theirs and ours. Sophie had a totally black face with a slight strip on her bottom lip. She looked like she had a cigarette in her lip. She also was the only cat who demanded milk every morning. She would hang on the corner of the kitchen table, a “Kilroy Was Here” act…and just meow until she got the cereal milk. No other milk interested her.

It’s hard to let go, but we must. We lost Rose, our 16 year old 5 weeks ago. She, the escape artist, exited an open window, pushing out the screen, and never returned. We knew she would disappear into a house and garage up the street, but she would always limp home after a week. This time we believe the fox and her kits in the kudzu got Rose.

In a way, it was easier for this to happen. Rather classy of Rose to not put us through this in-your-face mourning, but mourning we did and mourning we do again.
I always strip the roses and flowers to line the graves. This morning there were few flowers blooming but my orchid was doing very well. Into the grave went those flowers. They will bloom again, but Sophie will not. She was a special cat…but aren’t they all?

Sophie, you took us by surprise because we didn’t think you were next in line here. You are deep in our hearts and even my husband, who doesn’t cry, is. May Lord Jizo take you into his heart.

Lady Nyo

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10 Responses to “Sophie Cat, 14 years young.”

  1. annotating60 Says:

    Jane, I have 10 cats and even that doesn’t lighten the burden of one being gone. They are different than anything-sacred animals of thought and knowledge.>KB

  2. Nick Nicholson Says:

    A touching tribute and farewell to Sophie. I wish I could have met her.

  3. ladynyo Says:

    Nick,you would have loved Sophie. She was quite special. Friendly but with dignity. The others? well, not so dignified. They all have different personalities….and that is the way it should be.

    I poured some milk on her grave early this morning. She demanded milk every morning…and this morning she got it.

    Hugs,
    Jane

  4. ladynyo Says:

    You know, KB. We have 9 now, and with Rose and Sophie gone so fast…it feels rather light around here.

    I agree. I have dogs, three of them, but they don’t hold a candle to the personalities of cats. Cats are mystical beings.

    Love your babies as long as you can, KB. They seem to be around all day, and then, one day, they are gone.

    Last night, Maggie and Thumper, Sophie’s litter mates, snuggled deep in the covers with us. Unusual because they don’t generally sleep with us. I think they know Sophie is gone. They both are sticking close to me this morning.

    Thank you so much for reading about Sophie and you’re very on target opinion about cats…they give something to our lives that just is remarkable.

    Hugs,
    Jane

  5. Caliban's Sister Says:

    Sophie. Oh. Following so soon on the heels of Rose. This is very sad. I’m not a ‘cat person’ but only because of allergies. I’ve always found them fascinating creatures, and I know many people who would swear that their cats are more loving, warm and loyal than their dogs were. The death of a beloved creature, especially when you got them very early and nursed them to health, is much harder than people without pets understand. I too prolonged the life of a beloved dog who was, I know now, trying to just die, by ‘force’ feeding her, balls of mashed rice, turkey basters full of Ensure, Pedialyte, etc, for two weeks. She started dreading my approach and I knew it was time. It’s odd to those who haven’t experienced it, but you never “replace” a beloved pet. I will miss my girl for the rest of my life, even though I have two dogs now that I love. Tonight I will light two candles, one for Rose and one for Sophie. May their molecular dispersion enrich the gardens, the air, the water. love CS

  6. ladynyo Says:

    I haven’t really cried yet, CS, until your compassionate email. Thank you. I’m in shock right now as you can understand. You know what Sophie has gone through, with your own doggie, and you know what we humans go through.

    Thank you. I can’t write anymore right now.I have a dental appt. and I am trying not to fall to pieces. I poured milk on her grave as she isn’t here to demand her morning allotment.

    Love,
    Jane

  7. Caliban's Sister Says:

    One of the things that’s hardest about having these creatures in our lives is that when we adopt them at, say, 10 weeks old, we grow the relationship with them from ‘scratch,” and what’s on our mental hard drives interacts with what’s on theirs, eventually in perfect sync. The relationship doesn’t happen overnight–it takes a few years, and we work at it. Then, we have to watch them grow older, then ill, then if we’re lucky, really old, when we nurse them again as we may have when they were little. Then we bury them. So we see our passage through life in accelerated form, in theirs, and the hardest thing, for me, was feeling like it was only “yesterday” when I’d first adopted Josie; then, 15 years later, an entire lifetime for her, felt like just a short while for me. Holding the puppy or kitten in our heads while cradling the elderly version and helping them to die is excruciating. The sadness excavates us. xx CS

  8. ladynyo Says:

    Exactly. She entered our lives with us feeding her KMR and ended it with me force feeding her KMR. I was so aware of the irony of all of this. And I watched her change over the past few days: Sophie was never a cuddler..she would approach and then she would never lie down in your lap…she would stand. Rarely sit. Over the past week or so? She would crawl up into my arms, on the bed, allow me to carry her all over, lay on my chest, etc.

    It broke my heart, CS. It was such a change, but from independence to total dependence. Sophie, like your Josie, was an remarkable personality.

    They never die in our hearts, they just…well, the pain lessens…but it’s so hard. Especially in the beginning. She suffered the last few hours, she was in pain, and convulsed. I took some measures for that, and I think she was comforted, but it’s hard to watch and it’s hard to let her die in some privacy. I have this phobia of things dying alone. It makes it hard all around I think.

    Thank you, CS…as we make our way to some acceptance of Sophie’s death. It’s just…well, she was so punk! So healthy even 9 days ago, and then…bang.

    Love,
    Jane

  9. TR Says:

    Hugs.

  10. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, TR. Last night was the third week of Sophie’s death. July 16th. I miss her so much, and didn’t realize how this would go. One week later we found a stray, Sasha…who is a little 14 week old male, who also looks exactly like Sophie. He even demands milk in the morning like Sophie did for 14 years. Although Sasha is his own little personality, looking at him just reminds me of my dear Sophie.

    He helps with the pain of her loss.

    Hugs,
    Jane

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