the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Goodbye Dear Friend

PatchIf you are a regular follower of my blog, you know that Tanya and I are animal lovers. For years we loved our Newfoundland, Carson, and our two cats, Patch and Sugar. In June 2013, we lost Sugar to cancer. Later in that year, Carson passed away as well. Last Saturday, it was Patch’s turn. While Carson and Sugar both died of natural causes, Patch was struck by a car as he was crossing the street to come see me as when I came home from shooting a wedding. As he lay stricken in the street, I petted him, hardly containing my tears, and called Tanya, who had just left the house on an errand.  She was able to get back home in a few minutes, and we were glad we could be there comforting Patch in his final moments.

Patch was the best cat I’ve ever known. He was loved by everyone in the neighborhood. My neighbor across the street, Brad, who confesses to not liking cats, told me yesterday that even he loved Patch. Patch was about as friendly as a cat can get. He loved being around people, any people. We often heard stories about how he freely wander into other people’s houses. Before we moved to Tacoma, we had a neighbor who left his door open and a bowl of cat food in his dining room just because he like to have Patch come in to visit (he later stopped this after opossums came in for the food). We often thought we would lose Patch someday because he would visit someone we didn’t know and they might adopt him (he didn’t wear a collar – it was impossible to keep one on him for more than about 2 hours). Besides investigation other people’s houses, he would also jump into cars if someone left a door open. One of Tanya’s favorite Patch stories describes how she once answered the door for a repairman and as they were talking, she saw Patch checking out the cab of the repairman’s truck from the inside.

Patch was totally at ease with dogs, probably from growing up with Carson (they were best buddies, often sleeping together). But Patch was not against taunting dogs for his own amusement. He liked to prance back and forth on a neighbor’s lower roof, just outside their living room windows, and drive their inside dog crazy. Though he didn’t seem to care one way or the other about Nahla, our new Newfoundland, he did act as if to approve having a dog in the house again when we brought her home last year.

Patch had the loudest purr of any cat I’ve known. In fact he was a purr machine – just about anything would set off his purrs. He’d walk into a room, see me or Tanya and start purring immediately. A small treat, a quick pet, even a look from across a room, all set him purring.

He was also a toucher. If I was to sit down next to him, he’d usually stretch out a paw to touch my arm or leg. He’d often go lay down by Carson and reach over and place a paw on Carson’s leg or foot. When I read a book in bed, he’d lay on my chest, but always reach a paw up to touch me on the upper chest or neck where the bedclothes didn’t cover.

After Sugar and Carson died, Tanya and I brought home Nahla and a new kitten, Tuck. Replacement pets if you will, though they really aren’t. Now with Patch gone, we may get another new cat (it is clear that Tuck misses Patch as well). But there will certainly be no replacing Patch.

The car that hit Patch didn’t even slow down. I feel sorry for such callous, uncaring people. They had to have known they hit something. But I’m not bitter. Patch was 16 ears old and had a great life. He was my good friend, and I miss him dearly.

Goodbye Patch; I hope you have fun with Carson wherever dogs and cats go in the afterlife, and be nice to your sister too.

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18 responses

  1. My sympathies…it is so tough to hear of the tragic loss of your dear cat, Patch at the hands of a reckless, thoughtless driver. I lost my precious cat, Okie, to illness 5 years ago, and my other cat, Miss Kitty, still appears saddened if I mention his name. My Okie had that same universal likeability as your pet Patch — a friend to all. No question, pets like Patch are a great gift. They are wonderful friends and family members. We will always miss them…and I believe they are taken care of by our Creator. “He sees the little sparrow fall…”

    April 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    • I’m glad you had the happiness of OKie in your life as I had with Patch. Thank you for your thoughts.

      April 15, 2015 at 8:37 am

  2. I’m sorry for your loss.

    April 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm

  3. So sorry for your loss.

    April 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm

  4. I am so sad for your loss of such a beautiful loving kitty…Patch was a heart kitty and such a blessing to your life. Loosing our beloved animals is one of the hardest parts of life. We lost our Minnie last November 24th, she was almost 20 years old and had been my constant shadow all those years, we were attached, she was so loving like Patch and it hurt so bad to lose her. I do know and believe we will see our pets again someday….God made them before us and He loves them…sending you gentle heartfelt thoughts….

    April 14, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    • I’m sorry for the loss of your Minnie. Thank you for your thoughts.

      April 15, 2015 at 8:36 am

  5. Gosh Joe, I’m saddened by the loss of your beloved Patch. It’s definitely the end of an era with the three of them gone, but fortunately, also the beginning of a new era. Your attitude and faith is taking you far with this journey. After all, what would Heaven be without animals? Wishing you and all the family many blessings as you move foreward.

    April 14, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    • Thanks Ernie. I appreciate your thoughts.

      April 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

  6. Every animal lover will certainly understand your sadness. I lost a cat that looked much like yours. Now we have a Golden Retriever who is 12 years old and the thoughts of losing her is more than we want to think about. Yet, we know the day will come. I can’t imagine that the driver who struck your cat did not stop. One day I was driving the speed limit and a little dog ran out in front of me. There was no time to break. I cannot tell you how awful I felt and stopped immediately as it’s owner approached. He understood that that I would never had hit the dog if at all possible. I went home and cried most of the afternoon. I baked cookies and went back to the give them to the man. Animals are our “children”…and we love them so much. Nancy at Boyer Writes

    April 15, 2015 at 7:06 am

  7. Nancy Sheng

    I’m so sorry, especially the way this happened, but what a beautiful picture of Patch! I remember him rubbing my leg many times, despite my attempts to stay clear, due to my cat allergies! Take care, Joe and Tanya.

    April 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    • Thank you Nancy. Patch did love everyone, but he especially liked people with cat allergies!

      April 15, 2015 at 9:16 pm

  8. Te acompaño en el sentimiento por la pérdida de ese gran amigo.
    Ánimo y saludos.

    April 16, 2015 at 5:30 am

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      April 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

  9. My god!
    Your words are so nice, I almost cry because of reading these.
    So sorry<3

    May 26, 2015 at 11:08 pm

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