My dear Sophia is now purring on the lap of God

by CynthiaYockey on February 24, 2010

Brown tabby cat named Sophia.

Sophia, 10/27/2009

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.

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Peter February 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm

My pension does not, unfortunately, stretch far enough for a donation but know you, and your furry pal Sophia, are in our thoughts tonight, even as we cope with our own problems.
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Surgery Was A Success, Medics Allege =-.

Cynthia Yockey February 25, 2010 at 8:47 am


I’m sorry I’ve been in such a fog of sleep deprivation that I didn’t know Linda Lou fell on Sunday and broke her leg. I am grateful to be in your thoughts as you cope with your own crisis and my prayers are with you.


Stinky February 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

I’m so sorry. What my husband always tells me, when I think about how I will deal with the passing of the furry members of our family, is that the great life we gave them will be of comfort to us. I’m sure that you gave Sophia a wonderful, loving home.

richard mcenroe February 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

I’m sorry for your loss; I’ve had two cats pass on me in the last few years. It leaves a hole.

I’ll see what I can do come payday.
.-= richard mcenroe´s last blog ..More Great Photos from Sean Linnnane! =-.

Ad rem February 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Please accept our love and prayers for the loss of your family member. There’s a hole in your heart that only time will heal. We lost our beloved “Stoltzpus”….yes, a play on the Amish name Stoltzfus….over two years ago. He was almost nineteen! Not a day goes by that I don’t miss his gentle purr and constant affection. Please take my donation and buy the other kitties some special treats…they grieve for their companion too.

Cynthia Yockey February 25, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Ad rem,

Thank you for your kind donation and condolences.

Have you adopted another kitty since the loss of dear Stoltzpus?


Attmay February 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm

The death of a loved one is always a tragedy, but there’s something exceptionally so about the death of a pet. Perhaps because it’s like a family member you chose yourself.

Kelly February 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Oh Cynthia, I’m so very sorry to hear about your kitty. I still miss my kitty and she passed nearly 15 years ago. I can still remember what it felt like to have her sitting on my lap, to hear her gentle purr, and how calming it was to pet her soft fur. It’s traumatic and deeply sad when beloved pets move on. But you clearly sent her on in the most loving and peaceful of ways. She’s now reunited with your late partner, no doubt. And a very happy and loving reunion I’m sure that was.

I hope you can get some rest. It sounds like you had quite a weekend, and now an emotionally heavy week. Take good care.

Lots of Love,

Ad rem February 26, 2010 at 12:39 am


Haven’t been able to face that as yet. Our neighbors got a cat about six months ago, and for some reason it spends most of it’s day at our place. It sits on the back wall waiting for my husband to get home….and then he feeds it dinner and plays with it. I think that cat knows we need a little TLK….tender, loving, kitty!

Lori Heine February 26, 2010 at 2:33 am

My two oldest feline friends were litter-mates. Late last year, at the age of eighteen, Buster quietly passed away of old age. His brother, Punkin, stopped eating and died twelve days after that. I told him we still needed him, but he could not be consoled.

It was the clearest case of love between two animals I have ever seen. I buried them together — as they should be — under my little lemon tree in the front yard. I had an explosively huge crop of lemons this winter. I like to think of it as their final gift to me.

My sincerest condolences, Cynthia, on the loss of your friend. Cats have a special connection to us. And I really do believe they go to Heaven, just as we do.
.-= Lori Heine´s last blog ..Tea Party in the Cafeteria =-.

Cynthia Yockey February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am

Lori Heine,

Thank you for your condolences, and please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of Buster and Punkin. And yes, our kitties go to Heaven.

I know very well that no other kitties will be like Buster and Punkin, but I also know shelters try to place animals who are siblings or friends together in the same home and they will die without someone to give them a home. Have you considered adopting new kitties?


Lori Heine February 27, 2010 at 12:23 am

Actually, I do have four other cats (and a little dog). Yes, my cousins have taken to call me “the crazy cat lady,” but I don’t mind.

I started out with Buster, Punkin and Catwoman when I moved in with my dad after his heart attack. Then a young female kitty showed up hungry and homeless, and I started feeding her. When she began getting plump, I thought “wow, I must be a good mommy!”

Then one day I came home from work to find her sitting on my back patio, surrounded by four tiny furr-balls, with a totally astonished expression on her face. Turns out SHE was now a mommy.

To make a long story short, she freaked out when the kittens started getting big and she didn’t want all that responsibility anymore. So she ran away, leaving me with Buster, Punkin, Catwoman and four half-grown kittens. I found a home for one of them, but still have the other three.

I know. It’s enough to make you dizzy. Sometimes it makes me dizzy, too, but I love them all. They’re very good company.

My condolences again. I don’t think they ever really entirely leave us.

.-= Lori Heine´s last blog ..Tea Party in the Cafeteria =-.

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