Today I am full of sadness as I let Sophie go. She was an amazing black cat for the past 17 years even if she didn’t show her real personality to anyone but me. My little tiny neurotic thing.
We adopted her in 2001 with her ‘brother’ (they claimed at the pet store) Patches. The two adored each other. Got into things together. But our dear Patches died only after one year. Sophie was never the same. She cried a lot for him. Maybe thats what we had in common. The loss of a brother. She always seemed to look directly into my soul. I love that picture of Sophie looking at a picture of Patches on the computer.
We thought she would take to another cat after two years and adopted Gracie. In the early years they played together and chased each other through the house. Sophie had two ‘safe’ spaces that Gracie never breached. First was an old couch that she had found a hole inside and would disappear for hours. We used to imagine she had it all set up nicely like her own apartment. We had some scientist pet sitters that had feared that Sophie had disappeared or died. So they set up an action activated camera above the food dish and found proof that she existed when she went for dinner.
The other was an old office chair of Michal’s. She loved that old chair. And when chased by Gracie would run to it and it spun around. The old chair was her bed for 15 of her years. She never wanted to sleep in our bed due to any slight movements. So the old chair sat next to our bed so she could watch me. It was also her nail grooming place. In the end the chair was destroyed. Today we buried her with a swatch of material from the chair.
Sophie has gone through two evacuations because of the California fires. She has also stayed in a hotel with us when we had to tent the house. It was hard on her to leave her chair. She would usually find the smallest tear underneath a hotel bed to hide. Oh, except that one time she relaxed enough to drink wine and watch tv with me 🙂
Sophie was talented. She was the most amazing high jumper I’ve ever seen in a cat. She could catch some air like no other! She would often teeter high above me while I bathed on the shower rails high up. I once told a friend that she never gets on the counters, but he nicely pointed out that she was sitting on top of the fridge in a basket. One thing that I regret not taping is her rolling over on command. She wanted to please me so bad. So to get her to roll over I would say her name and the command. It would sometimes take her a few tries, but she did it. Sophie was bi-lingual in English and Czech. She was often called Sofinka or Sofina.
She also had trained me in many things. She trained me to get up at 5:00 (give or take) with only a tiny whisper (so Michal wouldn’t hear I assume). She trained me to hop up to let the faucet drip whenever she cried. She trained me to get the right litter by peeing in our bathtub when it wasn’t a good one. She also insisted I was in the bedroom by 10 pm. And if I was with guests she would just stand on the stairs and cry until I came to bed.
Sophie has only gone to the vet when she was tiny for vaccinations and then ten years later she had 11 teeth pulled. Her last time to a vet was to prepare for her big move to Prague. I was sorry I hadn’t brought her earlier to Prague. She did seem to love it here. She was not an outdoor cat, but found our garden to be ‘safe’ and relaxing. She sat underneath our meditation tree often. She is now resting there for eternity.
Sophie and I thank all of our dear friends that have taken care of her throughout the years. Especially the Capek family that continued to watch her for the seven years before she moved to Prague. It gave her a lot of comfort to stay in her sunny San Diego home while we travelled like crazy. They comforted her after I visited and left each time.
Sophie you gave me, Michal & Ali immense happiness (and always worry). You will remain forever in our hearts. We have a big hole in our family now.