We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye today to our little sweetheart of a cat, Poppy Jones. We’ve been in tears all day, trying to understand what happened and how this void in our lives will ever be healed.
Poppy was born on Valentines Day 2014, and came into our lives after I picked her up at the Utah Humane Society right before Easter as a 7 week old kitten. It would be more correct to say that she most definitely chose me as she literally jumped onto my shirt and started climbing up as soon as the cage door was opened. I did not want a brown tabby and for some reason wanted a boy cat. Poppy changed all of that in an instant and immediately captured my heart. I snapped this image of her and sent it to H to see if she wanted me to bring a kitten home. The answer was most enthusiastic. Poppy was named and welcomed into our home as family.
Poppy was one of the most opinionated cats ever. She was also one of the most affectionate cats I’ve ever known. Her affection for H was particularly strong as she was H’s little shadow, insisting even as a tiny kitten on being with or around her at all times possible, especially in the evenings when Poppy would spend all time possible with H.
Poppy was a character, a total goofball, an enthusiastic and energetic member of our family and a central part of our lives. She had a fan club that spanned the globe and she made every day with us, better just by thinking of her. She was playful and insistent on giving attention as well as eagerly receiving love and affection.
Poppy inspired me for her ability to make us smile, no matter what the circumstances. This was true from when she first came home, through her juvenile days and into young adulthood. I carry a few photos of her with me on my phone and look at them from time to time, to remind myself of her, her sense of humor and what a sweet cat she was. This image is one of them and reminds me of how noble and instantly comfortable with us she was.
Poppy also had her routines. Morning times were for me. After breakfast, I’d go into the office and she’d come in and hang out with me while I took care of online meetings, email and the morning business before heading into the lab.
But before leaving the house, Poppy insisted on grooming me. I was groomed in the morning, then H was groomed when she came home from work in the evenings. Mornings for me, evenings for H. This was the order of things and Poppy insisted upon it.
What happened? Over the past week, she’d been throwing up a lot, and we assumed it was likely hairballs due to springtime shedding. She also was clearly not feeling well and just wasn’t herself. Then she stopped eating on Friday and wasn’t drinking much. She had become lethargic and weak, so we decided to take her to the animal ER this morning. After a physical, doing blood work and taking x-rays, the vet discovered she was in total kidney failure due to a genetic or congenital condition. She was in crisis and we elected to let her go rather than let her continue to suffer. There is never a good time to lose someone that you care about. We had planned on living with her well into our 60s, but losing her this soon feels particularly cruel.
Poppy was our joy. She came long at just the right time, helped us through one of the darkest periods in our lives and was the light that helped us find peace at the end of the day, particularly during this very difficult past year. She has now joined our previous cat, Otto and we are forever grateful for them.
This was Poppy’s last photograph before we heard and then understood the diagnosis. When we made this photograph, we were thinking that she’d receive some fluids, and then go back home with us to recover. 30 minutes after this photo was taken, we were in tears at what we were hearing and having a hard time coming to terms with the implications. It is hard to even look at this image and not start crying all over again.
We will miss you little girl. You touched many lives, and we are all better for having you in our family. Losing you hurts so deeply. But I would have done it all over again, even knowing the inevitable heartbreak because of who you were.
We love you Poppy…