It has been a year now since our beloved Josephine the Cat did not come home one morning last summer, 2012.
I still look for her as I drive down the last block of the street before the house, hoping she will, as she always was, be sitting on the sidewalk of the neighbor’s house watching for me, and greeting me as I come home. I still reflexively walk to the rear of the car as the garage door closes, looking to make sure the door clears the end of the car, but also hoping to suddenly see her just outside, looking at me with reproach because I am closing the door without waiting till she could come in and go into the house with me through the garage.
Losing Jo was like losing a little child, a member of the family.
She and her brother Buckaroo Banzai (Bucky) were only just weaned when we got them. I think we socialized them and bonded closer with them than any other cats we have had, and I have had cats my entire life except for the few years in grad school and living abroad. When we first got her, she was so small she would have fit in the proverbial teacup. She slept at night curled up on my shoulder when we first went to bed. The last few years she would join me in bed every night to loll across my lap as I read or watched TV. She was nearly 15 years old. She was smart, had a sense of humor, played with me, literally set up jokes on me, staked out my office chairs as her’s at certain times of the day.
The last pictures I have of her are in my downstairs office chair, stretching and cutting up for me, showing off because she was telling me she beat me to it and did not want to yield ownership.
She loved Carol, and demanded she be picked up and nuzzled at least once or twice every day, head to head.
We miss her still, and always will.
Bucky is still with us. This was a picture of him on the deck taken in January, 2012. Note his long fur. They were from the same litter, and had similar coloration, but he got the full Maine Coon dose from the father of the mix. He is the sweetest, most gentle, loving giant of a cat you can imagine. He is so sensitive to the mood of me and Carol that if we raise our voices to each other or get in an argument, he will appear out of nowhere, get between us, and start talking to get our attention and intervene.