France Insider/Paul Ben-Itzak

March 8, 2010

Sonia in the sky with Mesha and Hopey / Sonia de retour au Paradis avec Mesha et Hopey

Filed under: Mes chats,My cats,Sonia, Hopey, & Mesha -- my cats,Uncategorized — franceblogger @ 9:55 pm

Sonia Ben-Itzak, c. 1980s – February 24, 2010

Pour ceux et celles que ne parle pas anglais, mon derniere chat Sonia, belle Siamese de 20+ ans, est mort le jour que j’ecrit, le 24 fevrier. Maintenant elle vas retrouve Mesha and Hopey, ses vieux copain(es), et joue encore jus’quau l’eternite.

Like her life partner Mesha, who left us in 2007, Sonia was born in the Alaskan tundra, part wolf.

Secret origin: She was actually not the first Sonia.

When I moved to Anchorage in the fall of 1990, for the first time I had an apartment where I had cats. First I adopted a long hair black and white, who I called Sonia.

The first night she meowed like crazy late at night and, stupid me, I let her out.

That was the last time I saw that Sonia.

I went back to the SPCA looking for another cat.

Sonia, sitting primly in her cage, blinked her eyes as she looked at me and I was hooked.

Sonia, however, was already spoken for. The clinic said I could get on the waiting list for her in case those who’d claimed her didn’t show up.

Next I saw Mesha, who nestled up to the bars in his cage. I adapted him.

As it turned out, those who’d spoken for Sonia didn’t show up, so I adopted her. I thought it would be unfair to Mesha to not adopt him just because Sonia was free, so I adopted him too.

When we got home, Sonia immediately hid.

Detective Mesha helped me look for her, beginning a beautiful love story.

As it turned out, she’d somehow managed to hide under the stove, where it seemed there was not room to hide.

The rule at the SPCA was that if the animal you adopted was pregnant, they had to do an abortion. Sonia was and they did. (That’s how I know she would at least have had to be born in December 1989, but she was probably born before that.)

When she got home, from the anesthetic she walked like a drunken person.

I remembered this in the last year when Sonia got wobbly again.

In the years since, Sonia has been a real world traveler: Alaska to San Francisco, San Francisco to New York, New York to Paris, Paris to Les Eyzies, Les Eyzies to Montpellier and back, Les Eyzies to Paris, Paris to Les Eyzies, Les Eyzies to Perigueux, Perigueux to Les Eyzies, Les Eyzies to Paris and Paris to Les Eyzies — all the French legs of our journey by train, where Sonia always brought us new friends.

There’s more to say but I’m finding it hard to deal with the ‘was.’

They say cats live nine lives. Sonia lived 15.

When Mesha died, Sonia cried and literally craned her neck looking for him at our flat in Paris on the rue de Paradis.

Hopey passed three months after Mesha.

Sonia is now back with Mesha and Hopey in Paradis.



  1. […] The loss of Sonia, my compagnion de route of 20 years, has left me feeling more isolated than ever. *Not* in France but here in the countryside. People I thought were friends have abandoned me. I don’t by the excuse that paysans don’t have the same attitude towards cats; when your friend is suffering, you stand by him. You don’t leave him alone and when he comes by to ask for emotional support, you don’t joke, “What you need is a stiff drink.” I realize that when one is in a foreign place, it’s the stranger who needs to adjust. And believe you me, I have done my best to make those adjustments for nine years. But if you’re invested in a friendship with someone of another culture, even if you’re the native, you make the occasional effort to engage your friend on his terrain. […]

    Pingback by Pourqoui je reste, 2 « France Insider by Paul Ben-Itzak — March 17, 2010 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  2. […] guy!” I exclaimed to the stuffed Northern Exposure moose who is now my sole companion snce Sonia passed. While it was not my regular marché for the six years that we lived on the rue de Paradis in […]

    Pingback by Faites entrer l’accusé; Jean Gabin can wait « France Insider by Paul Ben-Itzak — April 5, 2010 @ 8:53 am | Reply

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