This is Sophie the Sofa Loaf asleep on my shoulder last winter.
When we got up this morning it was a beautiful summers day, our routine was the same: I fed the cats, and prepared Sophie’s dish, but sadly it is still on the counter untouched, because Sophie died in the night last night.
Because it is summer I did not worry when she didn’t come for breakfast; we had our tea in bed and started to get ready to take the Welshies for their haircut. As Rich looked out of the window he saw Sophie lying in the road, just outside our house. He called her, and she didn’t move, and we knew, we knew that our little Nitty Nutty Nora had left us.
I ran out and there she was, with a little bright red blood coming from her nose onto the road. Her tongue was hanging out of the side of her mouth, as it often did when she was happy, but her eyes were open, and sightless. Rich came out and lifted her up so gently, my big gentle husband had tears in his eyes, he loved the pretty little cat who had such a difficult life.
I wrote about Sophie last year when she nearly got run over, and then lost in a derelict house in her panic, you can read about it Here
As I have written before Sophie was a French feral cat, and someone before us had adopted her, prevented kittens and loved her. But somehow Sophie ended up alone, someone found her, and they handed her over to Rich when we moved here.
We believe that she may have been loved by an elderly French person and when they died she was just put out into the wilds to fend for herself.
At first she was a difficult cat, but over the years she knew we would not hurt her, she loved being warm, and she loved us.
One of my favourite things to say to her was ‘are you happy Loaf?’ When she stretched out like this, without a care in the world.
More than anyone she loved her Dad, she would ride around the garden on his shoulders, she would run to greet his van when he come home, and she would hug him, tightly.
Sophie had always had a cough, we asked the vet when she first came to live with us and they did not know what was causing it. We knew it could be anything so we decided to make her comfortable and give her a good life and love. We didn’t know what had happened to her in her life, and we didn’t know how long she would live so we gave her lots of love; and what a difference that love made: She went from a cat who would claw you, to a cat that would let you stroke her and rub her belly; I said to her only the other day ‘what a difference love makes Sophie, look at you now’. And now she has gone, and we are heartbroken.
No more Sophie climbing into bed with us at every opportunity in the winter, no more Sophie meowing as she runs down the kitchen, and tonight she won’t be lying on the garden table with us trying to knock our wine over.
No more Sophie eating my chicken sandwiches, as she did last Thursday! Or taking on the Welshies (she was fearless).
No more shoulder cuddles.
This little cat, who serendipity sent our way, made a bigger impact on our lives than we ever thought, Rich is bereft. I have cried all morning, even in the shops! Being me I have looked up the circumstances of her death (there were no signs of trauma and it happened in the night, we live in a dead end road and no cars have been here in that time), and taking into account her cough, the small amount of blood and that she didn’t eat last night (not like Loafy) I believe she died from a heart attack.
We have buried her in the garden, near to where we sit, and planted a rambling rose on top of her. It seemed fitting that Sophie will make the flowers grow, and they will ramble freely just as she has.
I have found myself singing this to her, because she is no longer in pain, and she will make the flowers grow.
Don’t you fret, M’sieur Marius
I don’t feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You’re here, that’s all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow.
‘A little drop of rain’. From Les Mis
I like to think that the person who had before, was waiting to greet her and take her home. We were just her guardians for a short time.
There will be more tears, for the little French rescue cat; poor Rich, it’s his birthday on Monday.
Farewell my nutty little cat, I am glad you had four years of happiness and love. We will miss you so. But I know if you could you would tell us this.
We will miss you just the same.
Mummy and daddy.