When I’m not hanging out with family, I enjoy alone time and friends who are low maintenance. The kind you might only talk to once in awhile, but with whom you can always pick up right where you left off. Josie was that kind of friend. When she was mad she would hiss and scratch. When she was happy she would purr and roll onto her back, chin up, waiting for a quick rub. Communication doesn’t get more simple than that. She made it clear to me from the beginning of our lives together that she was meant to be outside. From Missouri to Ohio to Florida and back, we enjoyed long walks and lots of outdoor adventures together. As crazy as it sounds, little kitten Josie used to love riding in a cat carrier I would wear on my chest during rough trail rides on my mountain bike. She would walk trails with me in her harness. At times she lived as an indoor cat, but it wasn’t really ever her thing. The day we rolled up this gravel drive and let her out of the car for the last time, I could tell by her quick “thank you” purr and long strides away from the house that she knew she was finally home. Hay bales to hide in, pastures to hunt in, fields to run in. A family to feed her and her own heated, straw-filled pod home. I can’t imagine she wanted for anything more.

It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you our girl Josie passed away this Wednesday, November 15th after fourteen and a half long years on this earth. Late that morning, she had come up for her second breakfast. I saw her there at the top of the deck stairs, with her legs folded oddly underneath her. When I picked her up and carried her inside, I could tell right away that she wasn’t herself. Limp, she didn’t even put up a fight as I held her close for a hug. I made her a comfortable bed by the fire and as I was deciding how to help her next, there were already signs that the end was near. I sat with her for the next ten minutes and then she was gone. After a conversation with the vet, it was determined that she most likely died from a blood clot. Death is never easy, but I’m so glad that I was able to be there with her in her final moments. If we had just found her there on the deck or if she had gone missing forever, this would have been even harder. I’m also thankful that if she was in any pain, it was over quickly. I keep telling myself she was just a cat, but anyone who knew her knows that isn’t true. Josie was a trooper, a boss lady, run-this-town kind of cat. She was buried on our property at the edge of the woods, one of her favorite spots to play. We’re going to miss her and her antics. May she rest in peace.