My late life partner Margaret and I were living in a high-rise condo in Silver Spring in September 2000 when Sophia and her boyfriend, Ivan, came up to me in the parking lot. “Nice lady,” Ivan said, “we have just been abandoned and do not know what to do. Will you help us?”
I promised to give them a home, but they were gone when I came back with cat carriers and food. My neighbors and I were not able to capture them and their kittens until the week after Christmas. We found a home for the kittens that had arrived by then, and I kept Sophia and Ivan because their months outside had de-tamed them so much that they were too shy to be adoptable. Since they adored each other and did not bother my other cats, I welcomed them.
On Sunday evening the day after CPAC, I saw my dear kitty, Sophia, stretched full length on the back of the sofa. Her breathing was very labored. And I knew my dear kitty was dying.
I tried for hours to catch Sophia and failed, even after she ran into my bedroom for the night. I was passing out from sleep deprivation from attending CPAC, so I stroked her and prayed she would last the night. She did and in the morning I was able to pop her into a cat carrier. Our regular veterinarian couldn’t work her in, so I took her to one of our local animal ERs. The X-ray showed advanced heart failure. Death was very near. I blessed Sophia and explained to her what was happening and that she would be going to God. I put the “Hallelujah Chorus” on my cell phone’s speakers, so she would feel like she was being sung into heaven by angels. And I held her and comforted her as she died.
For those of you who feel inspired to do so, if you are willing to express your condolences with a donation (see the coffee cup illustration or the PayPal button), it would be extremely welcome, most consoling and VERY helpful.