We told you about Zoe, our friend in South Africa, who crossed the Bridge. Her human mom, Sheila, told our mom Zoe's story and we would like to share it with you:
Zoe came to me at 4 days old. She was with her mom and three siblings. I was going to foster them until they were old enough to be re-homed. There were two Calico girls and two black and white boys – Mom was a Torti. Sadly one of the little boys died. The kittens quickly grew and were very playful and eventually met all of my own cats. One that was especially loving towards them was Moppett a Calico long hair who I had already rescued.
One of my German Shepherds also took the kitts under her wing and used to wash them and let them sleep cuddled up to her.
A friend of mine wanted the little Calico long haired girl and another friend took the mom and remaining boy. That left Zoe, so I decided “what was one more” and she stayed. Right from the start she always slept on my head a night and would “make biscuits” in my hair.
For some reason or other she was always a scaredy cat and whenever anyone visited she would disappear. The only people that she trusted and loved was me and my husband. When my daughters visited they would always go into the bedroom and spend some time with her making friends.
When I decided to keep her, I had just lost my 19 year old tortie, Ziggy and I wanted a “Z” name in honour of Ziggy, and so she became Zoe. Moppett was the mother figure in my bunch of 6 and they would all congregate around her on the bed and sleep together during the day. Zoe fitted in very well.
When we decided to move from Johannesburg to George, in the Southern Cape, all of the cats flew down together and went into kennels, the 3 dogs travelled with my by car. They all settled in very well.
It was while we lived in George that Zoe had her one and only adventure outside of the house. Something frightened her and she ran outside. I knew she would be terrified but there was no sign of her. She was hiding somewhere in the garden. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning with the front door wide open and a dim light shining to try to entice her back inside. At about 2 o clock she crept back inside. WOW! the relief I felt, it’s impossible to describe. She NEVER ventured outside again.
It was whilst we lived in George that my only tom became ill – Gandalf. He was a black smoke Maine Coon, such a lovely boy and although he spent a long time on a drip – sadly he didn’t make it. He was such a loss. Soon after he passed we decided to move to Cape Town and so all of the cats, once again went into a cattery whilst we moved. Once we had settled into the house it was time for the cats to arrive - I was so happy! They all spent time “sniffing out” the new place and all except Chui (my Bengal) were all happily settled in, Chui of course had to spend hours and hours trying to escape the confines of the garden. But after her adventures in George (another story) she soon became satisfied with her new garden and house.
Zoe was a great hunter and often, in the early hours of the morning we would hear her dreadful call to tell us she had something new to show us. She always took her new “capture” into the bathroom. It could be a mole, a frog, a lizard…. and sometimes a baby snake. She would stand over her prey either in the bath or in the shower – very proud! Meanwhile we had to get up and dispose of her new find – somewhere or other.
As the rest of my bunch slowly grew smaller, due mainly to old age illnesses, Zoe eventually became the only one left – my baby! As I said earlier she was a very nervous cat and when my husband became ill and I had to have carer’s in the house to help look after him – I think it all became too much for Zoe, who was already in the early stages of kidney failure. I think the stress of different people coming and going exacerbated the illness and 6 weeks after my husband passed on, Zoe went to join him. She stopped eating and although I syringe fed her she got thinner and thinner and less and less active. The last night she wouldn’t sleep with me in bed she was hiding – a sure sign that she had no long. I had to let her go. It was devastating for me – for the first time in my life I had no cat. Unfortunately it is not possible for me take on another cat, even an older one, because I have a very “prey driven” GSD and I just would not take the risk of taking in another cat with him.
And so, at 16 yrs and 2 months, my lovely Zoe is gone and I am heartbroken – as I have been every time that one of my furbabies leaves - they take a piece of my heart with them.
Fly high baby Zoe and join all of the others up there waiting for me.
Thank you, Sheila, for sharing Zoe's life with us.