Some very, very sad news today, I'm afraid. Our beloved cat, Zoe, passed away in our arms last night. Her health had been declining since she'd had emergency surgery and then a subsequent stroke. We think she may have had another stroke, but this time, didn't survive it.
She was a friendly cat, with a great sense of curiosity and a very regal bearing. To illustrate, here's a cell phone clip of her looking around a vet's office.
She'd started out as a feral cat, and as a result, always kept her claws at full sharpness, much to the chagrin of our couches. Although smaller than our other cat, Jelli, she let him know exactly who was the boss, and would not put up with his attempts to become alpha cat.
Dana wrote an elegant eulogy for Zoe. I'll quote it in full here:
Zoe passed away just before midnight on Saturday, 11/20/2010. I’ve taken care of her since October or November of 1997, and known her for two years prior to that, when she (pregnant) followed me in to Andy’s house in Greensboro, NC. When Andy needed a place to stay in Nov. ’97, he moved in with me and brought Zoe. When he left, I kept Zoe. Her full name is Zoetrope Sugarsmack Rose Kepple Pietromonaco. She had lost massive amounts of weight and fur, and had become very frail.
I’m so glad her last few moments went quickly. I’d just seen her 15 minutes before and she was fine, and then Paul passed by her and heard her wheezing between long pauses. I held her, then Paul held her, and then he passed her back to me. She took a breath, shuddered, and relaxed, stretching her paws out just a little, as if getting comfortable for a good sleep. And that was it. We said our goodbyes, had Jelly touch her paw and see her without life in my arms. We then woke Rose and told her Zoe was having to go away and she should say goodbye, because Zoe wouldn’t be coming back. Rose woke up just a little, enough to put her hand on Zoe and say goodbye. I doubt she’ll remember that moment, but perhaps, if there was any thought left, Zoe heard it, and maybe Rose will internalize it somewhere deep down to know she was able to say goodbye to her kitty.
I'll add one more story. This morning, I was looking for these pictures of Zoe:
Rose toddled in to my office, and when she saw them on my screen, she said, simply: "That's Zoe. She's my friend."
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.