We are very sad to report that earlier today our very own TwoBigCats force-of-nature, Pepper (Do-You-Want-Her?) passed due to complications of diabetes.
While we are sad at losing Pepper’s company and devotion, we are comforted that she is no longer in pain and that she passed peacefully in our arms, hearing our words of love for her.
Following are a few photos of Pepper we’ve taken over the 12+ years of her life … looking at them brings back Pep’s Living in the moment, Loving each day approach to life that we will miss so much.
Luv you, Pep!
This photo of Pepper was taken the week she came to live with us during the summer of 2002. She’d been found wandering in a neighborhood by a friend of ours; our friend’s owner-location efforts were fruitless so she called us to see if Penny needed a sister to play with … turns out that’s **just** what the doctor (Dr. Joanne, that is) ordered!
Joanne was trying to get something of a straightforward pic but, as we’d come to find out soon enough, Pep thought otherwise … hence Joanne’s hand trying to position her to …”stay. no, STAY …” that didn’t quite work out 😉
Here are Penny and her new best friend, Pepper, wrestling on the back porch futon soon after Pepper arrived. I can’t begin to tell you how these two wrestled and played the hours away every.single.day … talk about hair on fire!
What’d I tell ya? They were CONSTANTLY playing tug of war, chase (any and every thing, including one another) until they tuckered out and took a break.
See that look on Pepper’s face right there? That exact same “Let’s Get ‘Em”, enthusiastic look was present until just recently when her illnesses began sapping her energy … she was UHmazing. (Notice Penny’s got her head resting on the couch arm and her tongue sticking out? Pepper would run so fast and for so long that Penny – being a border collie was required by nature to try and herd Pep into submission – was often exhausted to the point of collapse.)
As the years went by, Pepper and Penny remained closer-than-close — one another’s shadows — until Penny’s passing in August of 2013. When Penny passed, it was for Pepper that we worried most … it was clear she was grieving deeply for Penny and was depressed … much as she was when her cat, Delilah, passed away in 2008.
Speaking of Dee, (Delilah) was our 2nd Maine Coon cat and for reasons unclear to us, Pepper and Dee were best friends, often found snuggling with one another around the house. In the summer of 2008, Dee was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in one of her legs, which eventually led to the loss of her leg.
After Dee’s surgery and loss of leg, Pepper rarely left her side … nuzzling her inside whatever basket she happened to be laying in or just laying by Dee’s side, Pep’s devotion to Dee was very touching … nothing short of amazing.
For a short time after Pan passed in 2010, the TwoBigCats pack consisted of only Penny and Pepper … we were missing the feline element that had kept the house in balance. That’s where Cherry and Calvin came in. I’d be lying if i told you otherwise, but Cherry & Cal didn’t bond closely with Penny & Pepper, though after Penny passed Cherry would occasionally rub muzzles with Pepper as they passed one another.
In time, Cherry and Pepper would share afternoon treats in the kitchen or sunroom and would rest on adjoining couch cushions. Cal, true to form, didn’t feel the urge to be close with Pep until after Cherry passed. And as with each of her previous losses, Pepper gladly re-formed her pack around the remaining member … in this case, Cal.
In the time immediately following Cherry’s passing, it wasn’t unusual to find Cal and Pepper resting, just a few feet away from one another … seemingly content to share their space with another furry creature.
But it was for Joanne that Pepper saved her greatest devotion and love. The two photos below only scratch the surface of how close they were … wherever Joanne was, Pepper had to be, too. Bed, kitchen, bathroom, couch, office … outside going for walks or working in the gardens, inside doing woodcarving … wherever Joanne was, Pepper just had to be … Pepper was without a doubt Joanne’s most devoted and protective canine companion. I loved seeing them together … just knowing how happy they were in one another’s company.
We are extremely grateful to have had 12 years of Pepper’s larger-than-life presence in our lives, but, truth is, her absence will be significant and our house and lives will take quite some time to feel “normal” again.