sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 18, 2017

my very good girl
posted by soe 1:18 am

Sometimes I go days in between posts because I’m busy, and sometimes because I have nothing that seems important to say. Other times, it’s because the posts I should be writing (book reviews) require a lot of time and energy.

And then there are times like the past couple days. Since I last wrote Thursday, I’ve opened my laptop and a new post page every day, and every day I’ve stared at the cursor blinking away like a heartbeat and closed it back up.

Thursday, we thought we had great news about Posey. We brought her in to the vet’s Thursday afternoon to start treatment, and then brought her home for the night. They’d warned us that they’d given her a double dose of sedatives, so she’d probably just be groggy and want to sleep, and that was true. She turned down supper, but was happy to curl up next to Rudi in bed. Rudi got up early on Friday to take her back for the rest of the treatment, and I headed to work, so I could leave in time to pick her up at the vet that evening.

About midday, though, the vet called. Posey wasn’t responding to treatments the way they’d been hoping (although she was purring vigorously every time the vet came in), and short of some invasive and expensive diagnostics, they suggested I bring her home for the weekend, but with the expectation that unless the drugs started working soon, we’d be making a final appointment on Monday.

And then she called back half an hour later to tell me that Posey was having trouble breathing and that we should come immediately. So, we did, and after lots of pets and cuddles and loving words, we made that heartbreaking decision sometimes you have to make to let a loved one go.

Posey and Jeremiah, Chilling on the Sofa

When Rudi and I lived in Connecticut, we had three cats — Baby, who came with Rudi’s first apartment, and Della and Jacks, sibling kittens who came with his second. Jacks died after only a few years and a few years after that Baby, who was not, in fact, a young cat, died, too. Della was lost and would keen. There’s nothing that breaks your heart faster than your pet in mourning, so we resolved quickly to adopt her a kitten.

After doing some research into no-kill shelters, we went down to New Haven one Saturday afternoon in the summer of 2002. It was getting toward the end of their day, and the vet had been in, which meant that overall the cats were tired and mostly done with people. Except these two sibling kittens. The boy, a black and white cutie, reached through the bars to get our attention (surprising, the attendants said, since usually it was the girl who was more outgoing). The girl was soft, white with grey markings. We were only looking for one cat, but we couldn’t very well separate two siblings, could we?

So we didn’t. We slept on it, called the next day, and the following week went and picked up two fur balls.

Posey's First Day

Della was not pleased.

Sometime that week, we noticed Posey shrinking away from her. We assured her there was no reason to be scared, that Della wasn’t going to hurt her. And then two minutes later, we turned around to find Della thwacking her on the head — hard — bam! bam! bam! Guess we were wrong!

Posey, sans hat

Posey was a beautiful cat, and she knew it. She liked nothing more than to have you brush her. And she and Jeremiah enjoyed grooming each other (and sometimes us, particularly if I came to bed with wet hair). She was a very tolerant knitwear model and often appeared in shots wearing hats I was working on.

Cat in a hat

Closeup of Posey in a hat

Poser loved playing with lasers, getting so excited, you could hear her rear claws scrabbling to get ready to launch herself in pursuit of the dot of light. I tried to get her and Corey to play with it together, but the best we could do was to have them each “bat” the light back to the other one. She was also fond of those self-propelled cars you’d pull back to wind up. She liked other wind-up toys, too, but they were often too light for her enthusiastically furry swats. She loved any box that entered the house, and was really good about fitting herself into them, no matter how small they were. She also thought my yoga mat was a great toy, and whenever I’d pull it out, she’d be there to quickly lie down in the middle of my sun salutations.

Posey Likes Toys

Cat in a Box

She liked to go to bed with Rudi and would glare at me when I came in and wanted her to move over. Pose wasn’t much of a lap cat otherwise, unless it was cold (when she’d also drape her voluminous tail over her nose), or if you were late and just about to get up and get moving. But often, she’d curl up nearby, and was a particular fan of what we called the Snoopy position, lying on the arm of the couch or chair, legs sprawled off the sides, with her head dangling over the edge.

Four cats, one bed


She loved tuna juice and would be in the kitchen before the lid was all the way off the can. Other types of cans didn’t fool her, with the exception of chickpeas, which I suppose is fair, since that’s what they make vegan tuna with. She also liked milk and puff pastry and oatmeal, among other human food we shouldn’t have let her have.

Posey Wants a Spritz Cookie

She loved her brother. When Corey first came to live with us, we locked him in the bathroom, because it’s the only door we have in the apartment. Understandably, he’d try to escape. One day he managed to get past us, found Jeremiah and tried to pick a fight. Well, Posey was not having any of that. Our tiny six-pound cat just laid into him, hissing and baring her teeth. She just cowed him, and continued to do so, climbing to the surprising role of alpha cat after Della died, by virtue of the fact that the 18-pound pugnacious Corey would do anything in his power not to have to walk past her. Eventually, they reached a truce, and Thursday night when she came home from the vet, Corey walked up to her, sniffed her, and then licked her head.

Sibling Portrait

Rudi had weekend plans, which meant he left soon after we got back from the vet. I was feeling a little lost, but was contemplating heading over to Georgetown for a while to a restaurant where I knew I could get some vegetables. I hadn’t fully committed to the idea, though, and might have kept moping, but at that moment, my local yarn shop posted a photo of a ball of self-striping yarn and said that they’d just come in and wouldn’t last long. I love stripy sock yarn, but certainly didn’t need to buy any (particularly after all the vet bills). But it was a thing to get me off the couch, so I told myself I’d run over (they were only open for another 15 minutes) and then go get supper. I wouldn’t buy any unless it was named Posey, and, honestly, what were the odds of that?

Posey's Yarn

Sometimes, it turns out, the universe just really wants you to buy yarn.

Farewell, my good girl. We miss you so much.


Category: cats. There is/are 11 Comments.

Oh no! My heart is aching for you and Rudi. Thank you for sharing about dear Posey. Sending you all much love!

P.S. Serendipitous yarn is just purrfect!

Comment by AsKatKnits 09.18.17 @ 7:28 am

Oh sweetie, I am so sorry to hear this. You know you did the right thing, but oh how it sucks. I’m glad for Posey that she didn’t linger or suffer, but I’m sad for the rest of you that she is gone. Everyone at our house will say a special prayer.

And I hope that whatever you make with that perfect yarn, you’ll know it’s making her purr.

Take care.

Comment by Bridget 09.18.17 @ 7:51 am

When we lose a cat we lose so much . That yarn is wonderful. BIg hugs as you go on without her

Comment by kathy b 09.18.17 @ 2:17 pm

🙁 They will all purr for you today.

Comment by Emily 09.18.17 @ 4:51 pm

So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs to you and Rudi.

Comment by Karen 09.18.17 @ 5:07 pm

I’m all too familiar with the roller coaster of emotions when hope is offered briefly and then immediately taken away again. Words are so inadequate a means to express…

I wish there were words to make it hurt less when we have to say goodbye.

Comment by Grey Kitten 09.20.17 @ 10:01 pm

I am so very sorry about your Posey 🙁 She sounds like a wonderful pet and a beloved family member.

Comment by karen 09.22.17 @ 11:42 am

((Hugs))) That’s so hard, especially when it blindsides you. Poor Possy

Comment by Tasha B (heidenkind) 09.25.17 @ 12:23 am

@Tasha: Thank you.

@karen: Thanks. She was.

Comment by soe 10.12.17 @ 3:34 am

@GK: Me, too. It doesn’t matter if the loved ones are people are animals; it just sucks!

Comment by soe 10.12.17 @ 3:39 am

@Karen: Thank you.

@Emily: Thank you. Give them a pat for me.

@kathy: I appreciate that.

@Bridget: Thanks. I know we did the right thing, but still… Please give your brood a scritch for me.

@Kat: Thank you.

Comment by soe 10.12.17 @ 3:43 am