Sophie’s cat died.
Jean Baptiste Lucido Johnson Hoar de Galvan — “John” for short — was just one year old.
I have made the acquaintance of many a cat, but I said to Sophie on Sunday, when we spoke about me getting one of my own that I was especially fond of John. He was soft and gentle. He was a fluffy, furry, purrbox. I always felt at ease with him. John loved Sophie and Luke like crazy but I think he loved Puppy even more — Puppy is Sophie and Luke’s second cat. Those two cats were in loving cahoots, you better believe it. As Sophie put it in her blog, “[Puppy and John] were always together, lying so close to each other (even in summer, when it was too hot for that to feel good) that it was hard to tell where one cat ended and the other began.”
I wonder what Puppy is doing right now, if she feels sad.
It turned out that John had a severe heart disease that caused his blood to clot. On Sunday night, he meowed and meowed and this was highly unusual because John was not a meower, according to Sophie. After being sick and meowing and meowing for some time, suddenly John’s hind legs wouldn’t work. My friends took John to the emergency vet; for the next two days, the veterinarians did what they could, but they ultimately could not save the beloved pet. Yesterday morning, Sophie and Luke made the call. John was put down.
This year, my friend Heather had to put down good ol’ Steve McQueen, her cat for many years. And when I told Heather about John The Cat, she let me know that just last week, our mutual friend Holly — a quilter I admire a great deal and a person of inestimable warmth and goodness, I’ll have you know — had to put her cat to sleep.
Good grief, that’s three remarkable women with three remarkable cats and so much heartache. How many cups of tears could be measured out as a result of these deaths? It’s too much, too much. These animals were family members.
I am certain each of these friends would say that yes, pets die eventually and that that is terrible and sad but the alternative — not knowing these creatures at all, ever — would be worse. They would each agree it’s all worth it, I’m sure.
Still. When I hugged Sophie yesterday morning and felt how sad she was, so full of grief, I thought, “I am not that strong. Maybe I should wait.” But that thought, though not meant to be a consolation, was no consolation at all.