See those wise and wonderful eyes peeping out in my header? That’s Miss Sophie, my daughter’s cat, who could be aloof and proud or affectionate and fussy, as the whim took her. I’m very sad to have to announce that Miss Sophie is no longer with us. She was sixteen, a good age for a feline, and finally just too tired and fed up to go on. Her end was peaceful, gentle and stress-free. Such a small animal, but such a great character, and though she was by no means a noisy cat, it will seem strange without her presence in the house.
She was clever enough to avoid the street and its traffic that passed next to her garden, and so she survived. She was also clever enough to figure out that by jumping up and hanging onto the door handle, she could open most doors that barred her way. And she was authoritarian enough to keep that pesky cocker spaniel in order: after all, Sophie was there first. Now, there will be no more disputes about who occupies the dog’s bed.
Even as a kitten, she knew she was superior to dogs. The dog in the house at that time was a big Bernese mountain dog, and one of Sophie’s favourite games when she was tiny was to cling onto his tail, flinging her to and fro as it wagged. By the time she grew too big and heavy for that, she had secured her position in the pecking order. She never, ever used her claws – the only cat I have ever known who simply didn’t seem to realise that she possessed such a weapon.
Whenever I stayed overnight at her house, she would join me when I went to bed, purring her lullaby till she was sure I was asleep, and then, mission accomplished, return to her usual place. I had to be careful when my hair was long, as she tended to roll herself up in it and then I didn’t dare move my head until she had untangled herself.
Sophie wasn’t anybody’s cat. She was very discriminating, and it was a privilege and honour to be selected by her for her attention. She attached herself very early on to my dear middle granddaughter and was the recipient of many confidences; when DMG married, Sophie was equally devoted to her new husband.
Yes, we always grow very fond of our pets and they become valued members of the family. Losing them is always hard and tears will be shed. I’m sure that even the dog will be wondering where she is.
Sophie’s staff wil miss her very much.