Susie: May 5, 2010 - June 27, 2022

Susie passed away on June 27, 2022 after spending 12 wonderful years living with us. She was estimated to be ~4 years old when we adopted her from the local Petsmart via Last Chance Animal Rescue so she lived to be about 16 years old. On May 5, 2010, we decided to drop by the local Petsmart after celebrating my birthday dinner to look at the cats. We didn't know it when we walked in but we'd be going home to get a carrier to adopt Susie. The volunteer told us she had been here at the store for 2 months. It broke our hearts to hear that so we went home, got a cat carrier, and drove back to the store to bring Susie home. Chris named her Susie due to Calvin and Hobbes. His family already had a Hobbes and we had a Calvin, so Susie was the most appropriate name.

She was a unique cat. She had so many quirks and oddities and she made our days so enjoyable. She was a chatty cat. Always loved talking and yelling at us, especially in the kitchen. We called her "chef". She knew the sound of the lunchmeat bag. Ice was one of her favorite things and she frequently would get ice cubes several times a day. In the summertime and warmer weather, her favorite activity was either sunbathing in the afternoon light or going out on the balconies to nap in the chairs. She was a concerned cat, making sure both Chris and I made it to the bathroom at night when we had to get up. She was the world's best scratcher. Paper bags were a favorite chew toy. She would run and plop down underneath Chris while he was doing push-ups to make sure he came down far enough. She would jump up on the pedestal and tap Chris all day long, frequently enjoying interrupting his work. She had her favorite boxes. She loved to jump from the pedestal to Chris's chair - she could do some impressive distances for her age!

It wasn't all fantastic, unfortunately. Susie had her health issues - kidney disease, hyperthyroid, a slight heart murmur, and the host of issues that go with those like nausea and hard stool. They started coming to light just after the pandemic started in May 2020. She had lost several pounds over the past 2 years. On the day she passed, we were at the vet due to a hard stool she couldn't get out. That led to her downfall, through no fault of the vet. She was struggling to get it out even with an enema and we took her back to the vet to get her sedated for them to get it out. She had passed it right after we left and we were told they were as big as small peaches! We brought her home grateful she didn't need to be sedated and gave her a good bath. We believe this struggling of such a large mass of stool was the beginning of the end. She was very tired after and eventually went and laid in a box. At the time we thought she was just tired and needed rest. What happened was that her body was starting to shut down, most likely due to shock or the trauma earlier of the hard stool. After a few hours, I was planning to spend the night on the floor with her to make sure she would be okay. Her eyes never shut but she looked weak. We now know that she was in shock. I saw her have a minor seizure and I called Chris in. We both knew that Susie was not going to survive for much longer. I held her crying while Chris got ready to head the very short drive to the Pet ER. I drove while he sat in the backseat with her. She passed before we made it to the ER and the vet confirmed this as soon as we arrived. We spent a long while with her body grieving, knowing her pain was over. We both loved her very much.

Writing out about Susie's life with us is cathartic and deeply saddening to me at the same time. I had the privilege of spending nearly every hour of every day of my life with her outside of my photography trips and exercising. My sorrow runs deep and I have an emptiness, a hole of sorts, inside me. I feel like a piece of me died with her. She was a once-in-several-lifetimes cat. I make sure to tell that I love her and not that I loved her as I will always love her. I'm not a religious person but I would love to be able to see her and hold her again someday. The grief I feel has been immeasurable and I've shed tears for several days. I feel guilty, as though I didn't do enough to help her. I tried my best with the knowledge I had at the time and I hope she knows that and forgave me before she died. She was a special cat and she will be dearly missed. It brings me joy to live in a time where I have thousands of digital photos and videos of her that I can bring up in an instant and enjoy all the wonderful memories I have of her. Her ashes will be out on my desk in view so I can have her in my view every day.

Chris has been working from home the entire pandemic and still currently is. He got to spend all day, every day with Susie and our other two cats. I'm grateful he got the chance to spend so much time with her in her last 2 years of her life and we both know she loved it as well.

Lens - AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G @ 50mm on Nikon D500