Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In memory of Sapphire, a wonderful companion cat

My cat, Sapphire, named for his beautiful blue eyes, passed away peacefully in my arms early Saturday morning.  He was, we estimate, about 16 years old.   We don't know exactly, because he was a stray who showed up in our yard in January 2000.  He was an adult and not kittenish when we found him, so we assumed  he was about 2 years old then.

It was actually my sheepdog, Grett (now deceased) who found him.  When I went out to do chores one morning, Grett kept trying to lead me to the old garage we use as a shed.  He would look back at me, take a few steps, then look back again.  I followed the dog and there was Sapphire, sitting up on a shelf.  He was lost and afraid, also cold, hungry, and thirsty.  I began putting food and water out for him, and soon he came down to greet me each day.  He began letting me pet him, but it was a long time before  I could hold him.

"Brotherly Love Cats"
A favorite photo I took of Sapphire (left)
and his friend Patches (right)
Eventually he did get to where he would come up to the house, then later inside.  From then on, he was a loving cuddle kitty who liked to sleep on the bed.  He was also a "nurse cat" in that he sensed when another cat or a human was sick.  He especially liked to lick and groom the other cats, and was often the first to welcome new cats when the arrived on our little hobby farm.  (We have taken in a lot of strays over the years.).

You may have heard of dogs that can smell tumors and such?  Well, Sapphire kept insisting on putting his head on my wife Caryl's abdomen where she has a hernia.  After surgery to correct this, Sapphire did not do that anymore.  We believe he knew something was wrong.

About two years ago he had what we think was a stroke.  We though we were going to lose him then, but he rallied and recovered.  From then on he was a bit uncoordinated and sometimes confused, so we kept him inside the house unless one of us was outside to watch him.

About a month ago he began to slowly go downhill, eating less, sleeping more, and I knew the end was near.  He slipped n and out of a coma until finally, around 3am on the Sabbath (Saturday), he crossed over.  (It is strange how many of my pets have died on the Sabbath.  Far more than would be mere coincidence.  Perhaps it is because the sabbath is a taste of Eden?)


On Sunday morning, as is our custom, we buried him on our land, marking the grave with stones.  Frost had already killed most of the flowers in the yard, but I found enough to decorate the grave.  He will be sorely missed, and remembered as a wonderful friend.

You can make a donation to the ASPCA in Sapphire's memory at:

https://www.aspca.org/team/Sapphire-memorial-campaign

Sapphire's grave, November 1, 2015


8 comments:

Yael Shahar said...

May his memory be a blessing to you.

Gail Pike said...

Sweet Sapphire good bye for now.

rifka said...

Baruch Dayan Emet
May Sapphire's name and memory be always for a blessing.

rifka said...

Baruch Dayan Emet
May Sapphire's name and memory be always for a blessing.

Yonassan Gershom said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Peace & blessings to all.

Ghost said...

Dear Rabbi Gershom,
I stop by your blog every so often to read your posts. Your kindness and concern for all creatures touches my heart and I love your stories as well. When I stopped by today to see if there were any new posts I saw that your little buddy Sapphire had passed over. I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. My most sincere condolences to you and your family. Be well.

Yonassan Gershom said...

Thank you, Ghost. He was a wonderful cat and is missed. But at least he went peacefully.

cipher said...

He was lucky to have you.