Non animal people and non pet owners don’t understand just how animals walk into your life and TAKE OVER. They become beloved, exasperating, and adored. In other words, they become family. In a rational, very human mind, we think: how can this be? Then one day a cat or dog comes into your life and you are IN DEEP. They teach you about unconditional love in a way that not even your family can.
Sophie was Felicia’s leap of love. They were both from homes that didn’t fit them or suit their hearts. Together, they made a home. Both in their way, were shy. When you came to see Felicia, you knew you were IN when Sophie showed her face. You knew you were GOOD when Sophie came in and hung out with you. When she showed you her argyle belly, well, you were in the IVY LEAGUE of friends. Sophie had a quiet meow, but the demeanor of Mae West. Her tail was a black boa that she paraded in front of you. Felicia doted on her and loved every second of it–“letting” her steal pasta off her plate, snapping many Sophie images for her blog, and squealing at her girl on the floor with a “YOU’RE SO FOXY!”
Without saying so, you could see how clearly Sophie was Felicia’s home.
I knew when I heard that Sophie was sick that this was BIG NEWS in my friend’s life. Felicia tended to her and did what she could–even when it meant having a vet come to her home and help Sophie leave.
When I saw the last photo Felica posted of her holding Sophie before the vet came, I wept. I wept because it was clear how much love was in it–and how much pain. I was so honored when Felicia asked me to draw a portrait for her and I immediately thought of that photo and proposed a non sad version of it. I was so happy when Felicia agreed. I tried to capture the love I saw–both in the image and in the relationship. I wanted Felicia to have that to remember her companion.
When we lose someone we love, the loss is so large that it is hard to feel what is left behind. Eventually, you can feel that what they gave you lives on in the home of your heart. Is it weird to say that an animal can change your life? Not if you know it to be true. Not if you’ve had a Sophie.