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.