In honor of a beloved friend

Brunette here, with some sad news.

Regular readers of Vin’s might recall Sandy, the large creamsicle (mostly white, with hints of orange) cat in Vin’s author photo.

2014 Vin Portrait


First, a bit of background …

Sandy came with the house, more or less. Vin thought it very clever of me to find us a house with a built in cat — although Sandy was no house-cat! — who eagerly adopted us. He’d belonged to a neighbor (who I’ll call Frank), who still lives next door but isn’t around much. Frank is a nice guy … he hadn’t abandoned Sandy; rather I think they’d drifted apart on account of Frank’s long (work related) absences. Sandy would still go over to visit Frank, and at one point over a year ago Sandy went missing for a week … apparently the poor cat had been accidentally locked in Frank’s house, during which time the smoke detectors began chirping. (Yow — that would drive ME nuts, too!) From then on, Sandy became extremely nervous indoors — he’d come in to eat, and to keep Vin company once in a while, but he had to keep us in sight. Sandy was a fixed male, but he’d spray, and that became a real problem once we’d adopted our kittens — so we’d get nervous too, when he was inside and wandering around.

Sandy vanished over 10 days ago — we’ve been hoping he’d show up since, but every day that hope grows increasingly futile. We saw Frank one morning and went out to chat across the fence — no, Sandy wasn’t locked in his house again (which of course we’d been hoping.) We put up a few “missing cat” signs in the neighborhood, but haven’t heard from anyone. We don’t know how old he was — almost certainly 10, at very least, if not older. He seemed to be in good health and good spirits, though we suspect his vision wasn’t 100%.

We live in coyote country, and they’re getting bolder lately. We even saw one in Frank’s front yard in broad daylight a few months ago … but Sandy had survived for years before we moved in as an outdoor cat, so he knew the risks. We had various safe and comfy spots set up for him outdoors, and would let him in on blustery nights — he’d yowl at the front door in the wee hours occasionally — although one of us had to sit up with him till he went out again.

Sandy seldom missed a meal — he’d famously come in for several breakfasts, and dash in for a snack almost any time we opened a door. So we knew pretty quickly that something was wrong, when a whole day went by with no Sandy. He was a sociable cat, with startling blue eyes and a long fluffy coat. A sweet disposition, yet fiercely independent — he seemed like a kindred spirit — we were blessed with his companionship for two full years, and our lives won’t be quite the same without him.

Sandy the cat

Sandy the cat

Isn’t he a handsome fellow?

Goodbye, old friend … we’d really love to see you once again.

9 Comments to “In honor of a beloved friend”

  1. MamaLiberty Says:

    I’m so sorry, dear hearts. I know so well how hard it is to lose friends like this. So many have come into my life, in so many ways, and so many have gone before their time as well. Try to remember only the joy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Brunette Says:

    Thanks, Mama. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although I know you’re not a cat person, I know you understand how it is to lose such a dear furry friend and treasured companion. Sandy came on his own terms, we wholeheartedly accepted him that way and are richer for the experience.

    All the same, I’m glad our (now year-old) kittens show no serious interest in exploring the great outdoors. They’ve got a large house to run around in, plus a courtyard with a tree and several bird feeders … as near the best of all possible worlds as we could hope to provide, minus the danger of coyotes.

    Sandy brought us joy — and we’ll certainly remember that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Charles Brumbelow Says:

    Not easy to lose a family member whether two- or four-legged. Have left cat cemeteries everywhere I’ve lived, but my Sylvester like your Sandy simply vanished. I mourn with you.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Best to you both. Been there, twice. Fortunately, neither time did we find a body, so we have always held out hope that the missing cat just decided it was time to move along and adopt new humans.

  5. Brunette Says:

    Charles and Tom, thank you both. It’s been two weeks today, still no sign of Sandy.

    Cats will sometimes adopt new families … or so I’ve heard. We got to know Sandy pretty well; he was a cautious cat and studied us during our protracted move-in process. He quickly figured out we were cat people, and safe to approach. It would not surprise me if he had other friends in the neighborhood, in fact — but he’d not willingly tolerate being held captive in anyone’s home. (Frank seemed to think that might be the case.)

    Coyotes are clever and sneaky predators and there are lots of them here. They tend to leave no sign of their prey, though I’ve seen coyote tracks in our back yard after a hard rain. Our property is fully fenced, but they still manage to get in. That’s not the only possibility, but it is the likeliest explanation for Sandy’s disappearance.

    Vin and I appreciate your sympathetic comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Vince Says:

    Wonderful companions, quirky and individual personalities, it’s amazing how they get into our hearts.

    I rescued a female black and white kitten in the 80s who bonded with me. If I lay on the couch for a nap, she’d snuggle between my ankles. Followed me around the house, even into the bathroom (“I have to be here, what’s your excuse silly?”).

    I hope Sandy shows up some day soon with a grin on his face saying, “Wiley can’t catch a cat either!”

  7. Brunette Says:

    Thanks, Vince … actually, I did see Sandy a few nights ago — but how does that REM song go, “That was just a dream, just a dream” … ๐Ÿ™

    We do hope he’s safe somewhere, and would be delighted to see him again!

    One of our kittens often follows me into the bathroom, too — I guess she figures it’s as good a lap opportunity as any … ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Myhrna Says:

    I just had to tell you that I have a cat his name is Angel and he is totally identical to yours he was dumped by some horrible owner with a whole litter of babies in the winter, my neighbor managed to save him and gave him to me, when it came time to neuter him and it got done the vet asked me if I knew anything about him I said no, she told me he was a very rare red point Siamese. We moved from where we lived and he disappeared for 6 days I thought he was dead, too many coyotes around here but he showed up and from that point he is not allowed to go out, he did exactly what yours did, when he wanted out at 2am or so every night but now no more. He has the same blue eyes the incredible eyes and he also has trouble seeing. Yours and mine are identical, yes you can write me at my e mail and I will send you pictures it is amazing the same tail exactly alike.

  9. Brunette Says:

    Hi, Myhrna — Interesting, I’d suspected Sandy was at least part Siamese — your Angel does sound a lot like Sandy! Same blue eyes and weak eyesight, too … I’m sure you’re right. Thanks for sharing!

    Of course we’d have preferred to keep Sandy in, but since he wasn’t “ours” in the usual sense, that complicated things … as did the spraying, and his trouble adjusting to the presence of kittens.

    How lucky you are that Angel returned! Still no sign of Sandy, and it’s been three weeks now … ๐Ÿ™