Luna’s 13th Gotcha Day (in memoriam)

June 10 was Luna’s Gotcha Day.  For many years, it was one of the most joyous days of the calendar.  Since her passing in 2016, it has been challenging and melancholy. There is rarely a day when I don’t think about my special little girl and soulmate of almost 12 years.

Grief is a nonlinear process. The memories of her life, and of her loss, have mostly been integrated.  I can casually see pictures on a regular basis of her and remain in the moment, but scrolling back through them in a deliberate process this morning brings some tears.  CatSynth HQ is very much Sam Sam’s now, and we respect her territory (and spoil her rotten while doing so).  Yet even she sometimes seems to sense a presence of a former kitty in some of the corners and crevices that defy cleaning.

There is so much I miss about Luna.  Her beauty and elegance, her shy but sweet nature.

And she was fiercely territorial, especially when it came to me.  She did not like to share, but she made me feel very loved.  She could sit patiently while I made weird sounds in the studio.  And despite being a “strictly indoor” cat, she loved going outside on the patio after we moved to San Francisco.

Regular readers know I am not at all religious.  And I don’t have a particular notion of an afterlife.  But I do like to sometimes think about Luna taking her place among those I have lost over the years, mostly human friends and family.  The visualization is of them all standing and waiting patiently, a little black cat in front of the much taller people.  I also take comfort in the Rainbow Bridge, and in the community of cat bloggers who have loved and lost over these many years.

I do not expect that the grief will ever disappear entirely.  And that’s ok.  We continue.

Sam Sam’s First Gotcha Day!

It was one year ago today that Sam Sam came to live at CatSynth HQ, and we are wishing her a very happy first Gotcha Day (adoption anniversary)!

A year ago I was still in the early part of my grieving process for Luna, who had passed away just a little over a month earlier.  Getting another cat was always the plan, but not quite so soon.  But our friends Michael de la Cuesta (of Vacuum Tree Head) and Karen de la Cuesta told me about this sweet cat they needed to rehome – her longtime human had passed away a year earlier, and she needed to leave her current home in southern California.  I, of course, said yes.  So on December 7, 2016, she made the journey north to San Francisco and stepped in HQ for the first time.  Not surprisingly, “Sam Sam” was a bit shy and skittish at first, spending most of her time under the bed, sneaking out periodically for food, water, and the litter box.  But bit by bit she came out her shell and blossomed into a wonderful companion.  She is quite talkative and outgoing now – even a bit sassy at times 😸

She delights many with her unique markings and quirky antics.

Happy Gotcha Day, Sam Sam!  We are so glad you came to live with us, and we hope to spend many years together 💕

Luna’s 12th Gotcha Day (in memoriam)

Today would have been Luna’s 12th Gotcha Day, 12 years since I first brought her home. And a little over 7 months since she left us.

As with any deep loss, one starts to dwell less upon it over time. Sam Sam’s presence has played a strong role in that. But I did catch myself saying “Luna” to try and get her attention the other day. It doesn’t happen often, but I notice when it does.

I want to celebrate her life and the many years we had together. She was a constant presence, a soulmate, and of course a fine feline model full of grace and elegance. So please indulge me in this series of photos.





But emotions work in strange ways. Sitting down to write this, opening up the editor and typing, has caused my heart to sink and my eyes to water up. I would say this is healthy, given the deepness of our relationship and the magnitude of the loss. There is a very specific sadness associated with grief. It builds slowly and lingers for quite a while, and then can suddenly burst forth, usually in response to another’s emotions or sympathy. I expect that process will play out again today. I am grateful for the many good things that have unfolded in life since she passed, but I still miss her so much.

Happy 11th Gotcha Day Luna!

Today marks Luna’s 11th Gotcha Day (adoption anniversary) since I first brought her home from the Santa Cruz County animal shelter on June 10, 2005. She has come to be the queen of her home in the years since.

This Gotcha Day is a particularly sweet one, considering all that has happened over the past year. It was about one month after her previous anniversary that we saw the first signs of her cancer and got the formal diagnosis soon after. She was given only months at best with aggressive treatment. But with love, attention and the best medical care available, she is still with us a year later and thriving!

And she is still the star of CatSynth.

We are looking forward to a weekend of celebration and treats.

Please join me in wishing Luna a very happy Gotcha Day!

Happy 10th Gotcha Day, Luna!

It was exactly ten years ago, June 10, 2005, that I brought Luna home from the Santa Cruz County animal shelter. And so we are celebrating her 10th “Gotcha Day” (adoption anniversary) over the next few days in style. It began the evening before with a festive meal, complete with main course, treats, and a “cocktail.”

Gotcha Day dinner

The “cake” didn’t quite come out of the can perfectly, but as we can see that did not bother Luna at all. She devoured her special dinner with enthusiasm.

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It is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by, but it is hold hard to imagine life without my special little girl. We have been through a lot together – adventures and transitions – more than be documented on these pages.

Here is her official photo from animal shelter, followed by a portrait from her first week at home.

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Baby Luna at home

At the time, she was 7 months old. Still a baby in many ways. Over the years, I have watched her grow into a beautiful cat. Here are just a few photos, including one of the most recent.

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We are certainly looking forward to many more years and adventures together, wherever life leads us. Please join me in wishing Luna a Happy 10th Gotcha Day!

Happy Gotcha Day, Luna!

It has been exactly 9 years since I first brought Luna home from the Santa Cruz County animal shelter. This was her official photo from the shelter.

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It was already clear with that face and those green eyes she was going to grow up to be a beautiful cat. And she has been a sweet and faithful animal companion for almost a decade now.

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Please join me in wishing Luna a Happy Gotcha Day!

Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Gotcha Day Report

As regular readers know, last Monday, June 10, was Luna’s Gotcha Day. Thanks to everyone who sent her warm wishes. She certainly enjoyed her day.

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We also made a special dinner that we could share together. These fish cakes, from the book Meow Chow are both quite delicious and safe for cats:

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Luna was quite excited by the aroma of the fish cooking. And then it was time for her to enjoy her share:

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The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by Nikita and Elvira at The Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Happy Gotcha Day, Luna!

Today, June 10, is the eighth anniversary of Luna’s adoption, otherwise known as her “gotcha day.” We woke up to find this wonderful graphic waiting at The Cat Blogosphere:

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After eight years, Luna continues to make every day a delight I certainly hope I do the same for her.

AC and Luna

We will celebrate this evening, but in the meantime, please join me in wishing Luna a Happy Gotcha Day!

Happy Gotcha Day, Luna!

This Sunday (June 10) is Luna’s adoption anniversary, otherwise known as her “Gotcha Day”.

It has been seven years since I encountered her at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and she chose me. Here is her official shelter photo:

Luna has of course grown up a lot over the years, but in some ways she hasn’t changed much. Here are some very recent Instagram photos of her:

Please join me in wishing Luna a happy 7th Gotcha Day!

Happy Gotcha Day, Luna!

June 10 is Luna’s “Gotcha Day”. It was six years ago today that she was adopted from Santa Cruz County Animal Services and became the much beloved member of our household that readers have come to know and love.

As we often do on this occasion, we look back at some early photos in comparison to the present. This particularly cute one was taken during her first week at home in June, 2005.

By contrast, here is one of the most recent photos of Luna:

She is quite fond of that PurrPad at the moment.

Another interesting comparison. Here is Luna sitting with our often-featured glass table in June, 2005:

And here she is again in 2010:

Some things stay the same.

Please join in me in wishing Luna a Happy 6th Gotcha Day! It is a day to celebrate, and to remember what’s important in life.

We would also like to give a mention to Friends of Santa Cruz County Animals – I support them every year in gratitude connecting us.