Friday, 17 November 2017

Dear Sophie

We adopted you from the SPCA nearly five years ago. You climbed up on to my shoulder, and, I like to think, chose us.

You were tiny, eight weeks old, black and white, and you looked like someone had spilt a bottle of black ink down your front.

You did all of the normal kitten things - playing, pouncing, sleeping ... but as you grew, we realised we had a rather ... unique cat on our hands.

I don't know if it was that you never learned how to meow properly, but you sounded exactly like a seagull. You were scared of everything, and when you went outside, you did nothing but hide until we called you back in, and you would loudly proclaim your distress at the OUTSIDES until you got back inside.

Even though you only ever went outside voluntarily.

You were not a traditional lap-cat. You did, however, crave attention, and somehow worked out that one way to get that attention was to land on a human and start chewing clothing. We never could break you of that habit.

One of your favourite spots to get the attention you believed was your due and right (and it was), was on my desk, between me and my keyboard, so I often had to type or game with my arms carefully stretched around you. For you, this was the best of all possible worlds. Attention, a place to stretch out, AND a human to inconvenience, all at once.

Playing Dragon Age now just won't be the same without you. I'll be able to reach my mouse, and see the keyboard keys, and not have my arm scratched, or my cardigan slobbered and chewed on.

I can't imagine it.

Week before last, you were in pain. On the Thursday night, you growled if we touched your stomach. J took you out to the emergency vet, who gave you painkillers and sent you back home.

By Saturday you weren't eating or drinking, and we were worried but more, "how much will this cost to make you better" worried and not, "I hope this isn't life or death for you" worried.

The vets admitted you, and did x-rays, and took blood samples. You were constipated. Uncomfortable yes, but surely an easy fix.

Last Monday morning, the vet rang as spawn and I were leaving for school and work. "Oh, good," I thought. "She'll be ringing to say we can bring Sophie home." You had perked up the day before, and starting eating.

But. It was not the conversation I ever imagined having. The vet was calling to say that you had passed away just that morning in front of her - unexpectedly. I was in shock, and went on autopilot, so I could get through my day. I called J at work to tell him, let spawn's teacher know that he would likely have a rocky day, and asked the vet if they would do a necropsy so we could find out what happened.

Dear Sophie, you had a twisted intestine. With the best will and most amazing vets in the world there would have been nothing that we - or they- could have done for you. It's a rare condition in cats, Sophie, and you were most certainly a rare cat. Scared of everything, and not quite sure HOW to cat, but you were loving and sweet in your own weird way.

There is a gap on my desk where you should be right now, rolling around and squawking at me if I dare to move the wrong way, and there is an even bigger gap in the centre of my heart where your spirit lives now.

The cold consolation with your cause of death is that I'm not left with any "if-onlys". Taking you to the vet earlier wouldn't have helped, nor would any level of attention or care we could have given you changed this outcome. It's not something that will show up on an x-ray, dear Sophie, and I am very, very sorry.

You should have lived to be old and curmudgeonly, taking your rightful place on my desk, between me and my keyboard for many more years, but it was not to be.

Know that, wherever you are now, Sophie, I will miss you forever. Even as I'm sitting here typing this out part of me is waiting for you to jump on my desk and insist I make room for you.

I will always have room for you.

Rest well, Sophie. Rest gloriously.

You were loved.


  1. That is si beautifully written Maree She was indeed a beautiful cat and I am sorry for the loss of Sophie

  2. Ohhhhh I'm so sorry!!!! What a beautiful, unique kitty!!!

    As I type this I am waiting for word about my neighbor's kitty who may or may not have been hit by a car. His x-ray results are in and my friend has gone to pick him up and take him home. I kind of feel like he's a little bit my cat because he comes over often and naps on my bed.

    I can tell by the pictures that Sophie felt all your love and had a happy, content life.

    Thanks for sharing her story.

  3. Oh I’m so sorry. I’m crying right now. I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing. I know it was hard for you to write this. ❤️❤️❤️