It is always sorrowful to hear of the passing of one of the cats that survived the Great Kitty Rescue. And when they pass at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary it adds another layer of sadness.
Not because Best Friends isn’t a wonderful sanctuary – it most certainly is. And the caregivers are fantastic with the cats, taking such good care and loving them all. Still, it is a sanctuary and not a home.
I feel regret and guilt because the cats that pass while living there have never gotten back to living in a loving home if they had one or never experienced it if they didn’t.
Although we are not supposed to have favorites among the cats, the truth is that we do. Some bond with you more, some you’ve had special interactions with, some tug at your heart a little more for some intangible reason – there are many ways a cat weaves its way into your heart to become a favorite.
For me, Popper was one on my list of favorites and it was with great sadness that I heard of his passing.
It was all the more difficult because he was crossed just days after we had seen him during our last trip to BF and he had looked and acted fine. The first and last photographs above are from that visit.
In fact, his caregivers were surprised too and had this to say:
Popper crashed and we had to cross him this morning. He was doing fine yesterday. It happened so fast with toxins dumped into his system from kidney shut down that it affected his brain. He was neurologically affected.
Popper was one of the cats that you could tell had been someone’s pet at one time. He was tame, but scared and confused about the road his life had taken. Over the years, he became less fearful of his human caregivers and became courageous enough to come to me and lick baby food from my finger when I sat on the floor in the yurt.
He went through another readjustment when Rescue Village closed and the remaining cats were moved down to Cat World. Popper was assigned to a room in the Colonel’s. He initially reverted to being shy and running, but after a while he began to exhibit that calm confidence of his.
Popper was a gentle soul, you could see it when he stared into your eyes and gave his bashful smile. Yes, Popper had a smile for us and it touched me deeply when he sent one my way.
Bob and I traverse Cat World when we are volunteering, going from one building to another and we frequently passed the patio where Popper hung out. Each time we walked by, we would call to him, Aurora, Tootsie, Tonto and the others. Popper would come to the edge of the fence to say hello and give us sweet eyes.
When we visited with Popper and our other feline friends in his room, he would steer clear of us at first, yet still giving us sweet eyes and listening to all we had to say. Once I pulled out the treat bag, he would tentatively make his way over to me. And when he remembered our routine, he would sit beside me waiting his turn for a treat.
I will miss spending time with my feline boyfriend and I will cherish the memories of this kind and handsome boy.
Farewell dear Popper – you were truly a cat worth knowing and I thank you for blessing me with your attention.