RIP Sasha, 2004-2023

I knew Sasha was special from the moment I saw her. She was not only an absolutely beautiful feline, but she somehow radiated a calmness and wisdom to me in general that I have rarely seen in cats.

Sasha passed away last night after a long and happy life at nineteen years old. She was my ex-wife Beth’s companion, so I didn’t see her as much once we separated in 2016, but I feel the loss strongly nevertheless.

Sasha in December of 2008.

I wanted to share a few photos of her in this post and some of my favorite memories.

Sasha was, in my recollection, a gentle soul. She always seemed like the adult cat in the house, even when others were misbehaving. Beth rescued her soon after she had kittens, and I feel like Sasha kept her motherly instincts with every new kitten foster or adoptee that we brought into the house. She was perfectly happy to hang out with Sophie, when Sophie arrived in our home in 2009…

Sasha, Sophie and Simon in 2009.

… and she was extremely welcoming of crazy kittens Cookie and Rascal, when they arrived in 2011.

Cookie and Sasha crammed together, in 2011.
I don’t even know what Rascal was doing in this 2011 photo, but Sasha was okay with it.

But Sasha’s permanent baby was Fluff, who we adopted at the same time as Cookie and Rascal. Fluff was a gigantic creamsicle kitty, and he kept his kitten personality throughout his life, and Sasha was happy to treat him as one.

Fluff and Sasha in 2011.
Fluff and Sasha in 2014.

But Sasha ended up with more than just an adopted son: she ended up with a complete found family. In 2010, we also took in a big orange fluffy kitty named Mandarin, and Sasha soon decided that they were a couple. At first, he seemed a bit resistant to the idea, but she won him over.

An early 2014 photo of Mandarin and Sasha together.

Soon, the two were inseparable, and Sasha would chirp to Mandarin to call him out to eat meals with her. I found myself taking many photos of them just lounging.

A photo from December 2013, possible the first time I caught a photo of them cuddling a bit together.

Fluff became their adopted son, and I would regularly find the three of them together. Sometimes, they were lounging in the bay window…

Fluff and Sasha cuddling, with Mandarin looking on with an embarrassing lion cut. He got terrible fur matts, and occasionally needed a full trim.

… or sometimes they would be cuddled together.

Mandarin, Fluff and Sasha.

Sadly, Fluff and then Mandarin were taken too soon from us, but they had many years as a happy family. I’m so glad that Beth and I had the opportunity to help them find each other. I’ve never seen a group of cats love each other so much.

Sasha was a mother, but she also remembered how to play. She was a master at spinning a ball in a track, and could hit it on each pass around the track, making it move faster and faster.

2014 photo of Sabrina and Sasha working the spinner ball.

Sasha was also absolutely devoted to Beth. The two of them would cuddle together to sleep or watch television. Sasha was friendly with all sorts of people, but she knew who her own mother was. She and I got along great, and I loved her dearly, but she almost never cuddled with me… except one time while Beth was out and I was napping. I still don’t know what compelled her to lay on me that day, but I honestly treasure that memory.

Me, with Sasha, Simon and Fluff on my lap and legs.

Sasha was also reasonably well-behaved at the vet’s office (though never happy about it). On one journey, Beth let her out of the carrier to sit on the arm rest of the car for the ride home, and after that, Sasha insisted on being let out to see the sights as her compensation for the inconvenience.

Sasha, seeing the sights in 2014.

One thing I will probably remember Sasha for more than anything: that lady could pose! She was incredibly beautiful and photogenic, and I believe she knew it. We ended up with lots of photos of her just looking maximally cute for the camera.

Sasha in 2008.
Sasha showing her belly and her little booties in 2009, and enjoying a catnip rug.
Sasha in the sun in 2012.

Cats are often treated in fiction as keepers of hidden wisdom, of knowing something that nobody else does. With Sasha, from the very beginning, I always felt that way about her. The way she carried herself, the way she cared about others, the way she loved, all made me believe that she understood more about life and everything than she could ever tell us.

I am so happy that I got to be a part of her life, filled with happiness, kindness, and love. Thank you to Beth for letting me be a part of that.

RIP, Sasha. I don’t know if anything continues for us after we’re gone, but I hope you’re with your family.

This entry was posted in Animals, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to RIP Sasha, 2004-2023

  1. Bill V Lee says:

    Now shows her many combs and brushes. 🙂

  2. talaraska says:

    Very sorry for your loss.

  3. L. Raymond says:

    A beautiful kitty. How lucky for everyone you all shared such a happy familiy for so long.

  4. anirban ghosh says:

    Sorry to hear !!! RIP Sasha

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