Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obituary for Sarah

Siri and Sarah, 1990

Our 19 3/4 years old cat, Sarah died today. Born in the spring of 1989, her mother was Deborah, shown below, and her father was unknown, at least to us. Deborah probably knew. Sarah was a cat of at least 9 if not more lives which she proved within 24 hours of her birth. She had been born behind the bed on an old down sleeping bag in our little attic bedroom. When I went to check on the kittens a few hours after their birth I could only find one of them, Sarah's brother, James (our first James cat). I frantically felt around for the other kitten and felt a lump inside the sleeping bag. I figured she had somehow gotten inside the bag so I carefully opened it up. No kitten. I felt around, I could feel a kitten sized lump but couldn't find her. I finally realized she had somehow gotten into one of the baffles of the sleeping bag, in with the down. I figured she was probably dead, having suffocated in feathers. I couldn't find a rip or a tear that would have allowed a less than 24 hours old kitten inside so I just torn the sleeping bag apart looking for her. There she was, just fine, no worse for wear for her experience. Have you ever had a down sleeping bag rip in your house? May you never. It took me 6 months to get all the down out of the corners!

When Sarah and James were about 2 years old, their Aunt Marmalade had kittens up in our attic. Marmalade was a fierce mother and one day a couple of days after the kittens had been born there was a huge cat fight in the attic and Sarah and James came tearing out of the house and out into the bushes. That was the last we ever saw of James, but 2 months later Sarah waltzed back looking as if she'd just been around the block. By that time the kittens were old enough not to inspire such fierce maternal instinct and all was well.

A cat can't live over 19 years without using up a few more of her 9 lives and Sarah lived hers out to the end. She was always such a nice cat. Not a lap cat, she could never settle comfortably on a lap, but never misbehaving, never up on the counter, didn't shred things. etc. We shall miss her.


  1. We lost our ten year old cat, Maxie. He was run over and badly injured and a friend found him and put him out of his misery. I still miss him around the place - he was so wise. Our young cats have worked out their new pecking order and Blackie rules - but shall always remember Maxie. Your dear old cat has obviously led a charmed life - you'll miss him but he certainly sounds to have "lived". Sadly as their life span is so uch shorter than ours, we have to get used to losing our pets, but it hurts. Commiserations.

  2. Such a sweet, heart-tugging picture of your little girl and her cat, and a great story, too.

  3. I feel so privileged to have met Sarah during my visit in November. What a wonderful cat life she had, with her warm spot by the stove indoors and all the lovely woods and fields to explore just beyond. I love the story of the down sleeping bag. I got a cat when I was eight that I had for the next twenty years, so I can imagine how Siri is feeling. I felt like my best childhood friend died when that cat died.