Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mosaic Monday #47: Celebrating Josie

January 2019
She was the five-pound cat that thought she was a Doberman.  She had gourmet tastes, leading to an obsession with brie and grilled salmon.  She abhorred being picked up, but she still wanted to be in the center of the action.  That was our Josie.  On September 20, we made the tough decision to have Josie put to sleep.  She may have been 16 years old, but she still looked like a kitten and she will always be that kitten in my heart.

In 2005, on a visit to Rescue Village in Chesterland, Ohio, we planned to adopt two kittens.  But, as we walked the rows of cages, we noticed two adult cats in a single cage.  The sign indicated they had been residents there for almost six months; the previous owner had found that her new dog and the cats did not get along, and she gave up the CATS!  We knew kittens would quickly find homes, and none of us could abide the thought of these two spending another day in that small space, so after a short visit with Josie and Maggie in a guest room, they joined our family.
2005 - Age 2 - Rescue Village estimated her age 
We enjoyed her antics (mostly) for fourteen years.  Both kids graduated from high school and one graduated from college.  We moved to Troy, Ohio and then to Montana, first in Whitefish and now in Kila.  Maggie and Josie have seen it all.  As Josie's health began to decline in the last 12 months, we prepared the kids and ourselves for the inevitable.  But it was still an emotional event for all of us, and even as I write this the tears are streaming.  I certainly could not bring myself to write this post last week.  On the day we lost Josie, #1 Daughter paid tribute to her on FaceBook with this post:  
November 2017 - in the "spa"
From the moment she stepped into our home, Josie was a grumpy oddball. She did not like to be picked up.  She did not want to sit on our lap for pets, but would sit on a kitchen chair and meow her face off 'til Mom stopped what she was doing to pet her.

Josie liked sunny spots on hardwood floors, ribbons as chew toys, holiday decorations and cardboard boxes as beds.

Josie liked to lay under the Christmas tree and collect pine needles in her fur.  We would be hard pressed to find a ribbon or bow at Christmas that didn't have little kitty teeth marks on it.  Looking back, I think it was her way of showing love.
Christmas 2011

July 21, 2017 - first time she ever sat
on a lap - it only took 12 years!
Josie was by no means a lap cat, but toward the end of her life, we could find her on my Dad's lap more and more.  I think she knew her time was coming to an end and Josie wanted us to have those final memories with her.

I miss you already, Josie Cat.  I hope there are plenty of catnip toys for you to play with and cardboard boxes for you to sleep in in heaven.

I can't promise to keep dry eyes for the rest of this post, but I am trying to focus on the memories, as our daughter said above.  As I gathered over 140 possible photos for this post, I found myself laughing out loud.  "Noodle", as I liked to call her when I was slightly exasperated, had the typical cat penchant to be where she shouldn't be.
On the bed, saying "Feed me" with those big eyes
If a kitchen cabinet door was open, she had to be through it, prompting Head Chef to grumble about "Fuzzhead".  If we found the downdraft running on the oven in the morning, you knew Josie the Mosie had been mosey-ing about the kitchen counters in the night.

#1 Son sent me this email:  

Josie had her own way of showing affection to the family. She may have come off as grumpy but she really did care for us. It showed in her wariness to strangers. She will be dearly missed.

In her lifetime, Josie became legendary with family and regular visitors - she might act all nice and even approach you.  And then she would try to take a hand off, or make a swipe at a passing leg.  One of our neighbors, who cared for Josie during some of our absences, recounted wearing socks even in the summertime, to safeguard from Miss Cuteness (and more importantly, her teeth and back claws!!!)  As our son says, I believe she thought she was protecting us, and our home.  Yes, a five-pound cat channeling her inner Doberman.

November 2017 - in the cat tree
Josie has been in many of my posts; one of my favorites depicted her Houdini talents.  But no recollection about Josie would be complete without this story.  On our way from Ohio to Montana, we were in a Minneapolis hotel for one night.  Shortly after carting all of our luggage, two cats and a bird to the room, I looked around to make sure the cats had used the litter box and settled in.  No surprise, Maggie was curled up on one of the beds.  Josie?  Nowhere to be found.  After two full circuits of the room, I was convinced she had gotten out. I roamed down two hallways, asking everyone if they had seen a Doberman gray cat.  No luck.  Returning to the room, I peered again under the beds, and discovered a hole in the box spring.  I could just see a gray spot pressed up against the far wall.  What was she thinking?  "You will never get me back in that cat carrier again".  After dismantling the box spring and retrieving Noodle, we blocked up the hole.  Egads, the things we do for our furbabies!
September 2017
Spousal Unit recollects that, even after Josie began venturing onto his lap, she was pretty fickle.  Unless conditions were "just right", you could just as easily see her perched on the narrow arm of the chair.  At times, she would not tolerate Maggie joining in the cuddles, and would jump down.  On other occasions, both of them would make a space and settle in.
June 2018

One day, Spousal Unit was listening to a band cover a Bruce Springsteen song, and Josie jumped on his lap.  I caught a little on video.

You may be wondering about Maggie - how is she coping?  Although they are not related, Maggie and Josie have been together most of their lives.  Rescue Village told us Maggie was 4 at the time of the adoption, so that means the "Old Lady" has passed the 18-year mark.  She has a little arthritis in her hips, but that doesn't keep her from jumping onto laps or the ottomans.  Since Josie's passing, Maggie has begun meowing in the morning, usually at the same time the coffee maker starts brewing.  It might be her way of mourning, or of carrying on Josie's fine legacy of the same.  Either way, we are making a concerted effort to give her more attention.
May 2017
July 2019
Josie may have had a favorite lap (Dad's) or a favorite dining room chair (near mine), but any craft activity was a friend of hers.  If you didn't want her to sit on it, you shouldn't leave it out in the open!!!
Upper left: My current project - a Christmas tree skirt.  This picture was taken September 13 - thanks, Josie, for
putting your paw prints on the last project we will do together!
A week passes quickly when you are busy, and occasionally a movement has caught the corner of my eye, and I have looked for Josie, expecting her to be there. Maybe it is these random moments that I will miss the most.

In our family, Christmas is a significant event, full of traditions.  My Josie photo collection contains more snaps from the Christmas season than any other time of year - as you already heard from our daughter, Josie joined in with gusto.
Christmas - 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Christmas 2011 and 2017 - what happened in between?  Life?

I have no doubt that Christmas 2019 will not be the same without Josie, but we will raise a glass, and tell our Josie stories, and that may be enough.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
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  1. Thats a sad post, to say good bye to such a lovely animal, like your sweet Josie.

    Indeed our cat Luzie is part of the family, I know the pain. We lost Fanny, my Darling in 2017. We never forget her. I feel with you...

    ...wish you a very good week.

    Heidrun xxx

  2. Such a pretty kitty!! I did so enjoy your photos!! Have a wonderful week!!

  3. ...and it sounds like she rules the roost. Thanks for hosting Angie.

  4. So sorry. So very hard when one of our pets die.

  5. You have so many beautiful photos and memories. Josie was a really beautiful cat. They sure take up a bit part of our lives. Xx

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your Josie. Why, she sounds as if she enjoyed the most wonderful life with her family. It was meant to be when you rescued both she and Maggie all those years back. So many sweet photos captured of Maggie interacting with you through all those years. I feel so sad for you, Angie, and your family. It is never easy when our fur babies are no longer with us. May all those fun and beautiful memories make your saddened hearts smile.

  7. I am so sorry for you and your family. So sad when we lose one of our pets. I know it's a hard decision since I had to make one last October. She looks like she had the best life with you. I love all the photos of her. She was lovely. Take care, Kit 💕

  8. Oh dear, we're very sorry to hear about dear Josie. That was a most loving tribute to such a special gal. The memories will always make your hearts smile. Hugs from all of us.

  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. A fitting tribute...

  10. Oh sweet Josie. So sorry for your loss. Looks like you were wonderful caretakers of her...

  11. oh no... saying goodbye to your girl after 14 years. That's how long we had Cole-buddy, my poodle son. It did me in. I'm so sorry.... it's the worst to have to make the decision for them too. I liked the videos and hearing how you spoke to her, like I do to Milo baby. She sounded like she lived in the moment, it was a petting moment or it wasn't. I respect that.

  12. So sorry to hear of the loss of your much loved Josie. Our pets become such an integral part of our families. Obviously she was loved by you all and you will find yourself looking up expecting to see her there. What a blessing you were when you walked into her life.

  13. Oh Angie, I’m so sorry. Josie was such a big part of your family. I’m glad you have the pictures of her. She *looks* like such a sweetheart and in her own way she obviously was!

  14. So sorry, Angie and family, for the loss of Josie! What a beautiful and independent cat. She filled your lives with much love and many memories. All your photos of her were wonderful!
    I know the pain of losing a beloved pet/family member as we lost our cat Bo to a stroke a few months after we moved to Colorado. It also broke our hearts!

  15. Aw... what a wonderful and sad story. RIP Josie. She will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for all. Thank you for adopting her.

  16. A loving collage of Josie's life with your family. My heart is sad (and yes partly from thinking about our beloved 'Dee' who has been gone for 19 years and still in our memories and stories about her). Thank you for sharing her life with your family Angie.

  17. It is always so sad to lose a pet, RIP Josie. It's a wonderful thing that you have these lovely photos to keep her memory alive.

  18. Josie was well loved. Thanks for hosting MM, Angie.

  19. Dear Angie - Sorry to hear about your hard decision and its result. This is a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to Josie from all the family members including Maggie’s meowing in the morning. One of the loveliest things that count in our life is who is at your side including four-legged ones. I can feel your enormous love and gratitude to Josie.


  20. Hello, Angie, I am so sorry for the loss of Josie. What a lovely tribute. I am glad she had a happy life with you and your family. Our pets are family and missed dearly when they pass away. HUGS! Thanks for hosting MM! I wish you a happy week ahead.

  21. What a gorgeous cat Josie was and you can tell how much she meant to you all through your beautiful tributes. It must have been such a hard decision. I will be gutted when we lose our Crazy Poodle. Pets are family and such an immense part of our lives aren't they? Josie was very blessed when you adopted her.
    Here’s a massive hug to you all.
    Wren x

  22. I'm so sorry you've lost your precious Josie! I know she gave you a lot of joy and she was happy every day of her life. Sweet hugs, Diane

  23. Happy mosaic Monday, i still have no internet, so i am not blogging. Still hoping this is corrected soon


  24. What a loving tribute to your Josie cat. My two cats are my beloved fur babies and I dread the day they leave me.

  25. Your post is so sweet. I love Josie's look and her way of being. I'm sorry she's gone.

  26. Cheers to Josie's Spirit soaring joyfully and peacefully through the Universe with all your love. Big hugs to you, Angie.

  27. I'm sorry to hear about Josie's passing. Thank you for the lovely post.

  28. I’ve loved reading about Josie and know exactly what you are going through having lost our sixteen year old cat last November. Our second cat Wizard is still with us and like you he is now getting extra attention. The photos and the memories certainly helped to get us through a difficult time. I still look out for Ebby to this day :) B x

  29. So sorry to hear about Josie! She was quite the character!

  30. Despite a life committed to wildlife and barely a day not spent in its company, I have never had a desire to have a house pet. I know a woman now who has ten cats, and what may seem a little obsessive to me doubtless seems right to her. I am sure you have lost a member of your family, Angie. Please accept my condolences.

  31. awww angie, what sweet remembrance of her life, she is a beautiful cat!!! seems she was very lucky to have you and your/her family!!!

  32. so hard to lose Josie ~ what a beautiful kitty ~ sending you lots of healing energy huts to you and your family ~ Her spirit will be around always ~

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  33. Hi Josie oh I am so sorry to hear this and I really feel for you and your family ,it was lovely seeing her pics and hearing your lovely stories about her she certainly was a character,sending you a big hug my friend xx

  34. I love dogs but I am basically a cat person and have had two really good cats in my life who are no longer alive. Josie looks like a complete character. What a tribute!!

  35. So sorry to hear about Josie. She was a super cat in your family, a very nice tribute.

  36. It's sad to lose such a big part of your life, my condolences. But, I know you have many wonderful memories :)

    My Corner of the World

  37. So very sorry to read about Josie.
    This is such a wonderful tribute full of beautiful photographs and special memories.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

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  39. Josie sounds a lot like how Jingles was. She did not like to be held and only sat on or next to or around you on her own terms. It's been almost 2 years since we had to put her to sleep and your beautiful post has brought tears to my eyes.


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