Stellaluna Marie…

As long as I am going to share something very personal here in a blog post, I might as well go all the way and tell you this: Our cat Stellaluna was my potty pal. I generally start my day somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00AM, and the first thing I do after I drag out of bed is head to bathroom down the hall. I have to warm up to the idea of vertical, so I have a seat. That’s when Stellie (if she isn’t snoozing away with one of the kids) stops by to say good morning. She rubs and chats and brumbles. So I pick her up for a good skritching, and it isn’t long before she stretches her possum nose up to give a few kisses. Along about this time, our other cat Cassie (aka, Poo!) strolls past the door and throws us a “that’s disgusting and unsanitary” look, but then gets close enough for a few touches. After a minute or two, I put Stellie down, and she pads happily off. I take care of what I need to take care of, now fully awake. And happy because it is eminently clear: I am loved.

Stellaluna died Tuesday. She had congenital heart failure. It was sudden and horrible. I am certainly grateful for the seven and a half years of good health where she was her kind and sensitive Stellie self. (Nobody could enjoy a summer day quite like Stellie.) But you know what? I still feel cheated. I guess that’s normal when something or somebody goes too soon.

It’ll be okay. I feel bad — my whole family does — but we’ll work through it. It’s always difficult to lose something good, but it’s even more difficult to lose something special. I don’t expect that it will be very easy to find another potty pal.


  1. Jane said,

    October 8, 2010 @ 9:12 am

    I loved that furry little person. She brought much joy and happiness to our family. I miss her so so much.

  2. Chris Willis said,

    October 8, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    I am truly and deeply sorry for your loss. Those of us who give our hearts to companion animals know that pain all too well … and when our best friends are taken from us suddenly in their prime it is even more poignant. Because their time with us is so brief and so dear anyway, their passing evokes so many recent memories and reminds us not only of times we will never share, but of so many landmark events in our lives that are gone forever.

    I know no companion will ever replace your Stellie, but over time, if and when you find that you have room in your hearts and home for another feline, please check in with my friend Michele: She always has a ready supply of fosters and adoptables looking for loving homes.

    As a side observation, if you have trouble finding a feline potty pal, dogs tend to really enjoy that time of day in overt and intrusive ways that only dogs can. To be blunt, when it comes to all things related to elimination, dogs really dig it. Just sayin’.

    Hugs! ~cfw

  3. Tyler said,

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    So sorry John. I always looked forward to seeing how she would appear in your comics. Hope you all are doing well!


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