2001-2020

Feline – Tabby

Male

RIP Rhopes
R-hopes “flippers” Pritchard
(Our hopes)
Sept 1 2001 – May 1 2020

Name meaning:
“our hopes he survives the night”.
That was 18.9 years ago.
I was a young kid new to town when I rescued a newborn Rhopes. With feline pneumonia, A bad heart, a death sentence, a few days before 9/11.

The sadness has really been hard to recover from. It’s the grief that we feel already in the world on top of this. It’s the loss we’ve had in our lives personally this year. All mounting up to this little life. I am more sad than I imagined I would be. I’m at a complete loss.

I cannot stress to the world enough, the importance, the closeness, the grief.
It’s gutted us. We are empty. Broken.
He was our family.
The heartbeat of our house.
My entire LA story.

This is the post I have been dreading.
For three years or so it’s been creeping up.
Friday May 1 it happened.
We lost our buddy.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/552317705721614/?ref=share

We woke up #Caturday to my first day at HOME without Rhopes waking me up, in 18.9 years.
It’s still. Quiet. Weird.

Our entire Quarantine experience March-May has been full time Rhopes care. Now we are just alone.

The sadness has really been hard to recover from. It’s the grief that we feel already in the world on top of this. It’s the loss we’ve had in our lives personally this year. All mounting up to this little life. I am more sad than I imagined I would be. I’m at a complete loss.

I cannot stress to the world enough, the importance, the closeness, the grief.
It’s gutted us. We are empty. Broken.
He was our family.
The heartbeat of our house.
My entire LA story.
I’ve known him a decade longer than my husband Joe Roche.
I KNOW Rhopes isn’t a human life, but I haven’t held a human every night for 18.9 years while I slept.
I’ve never had an unconditional love like this.
Humans are flawed. Rhopes was never anything but light and love.

Funny. Kind. Warm. Eager to please.
When we lost people in our lives. He wouldn’t leave my side and he put his paw on my cheek when I cried.
He’d stare deep into my eyes in a way that was unnervingly intimate.
Cat Couch Cuddle Time is our Favorite.
I sleep almost every night on the couch because it’s Rhopes favorite.
A few nights in bed with Rhopes between us.

I had really hoped that when this inevitable happened, we would be at a different phase in our lives.
A baby, a new house. Moved on.

But we are not. We are here with giant Rhopes shaped holes in our hearts. And his little shadow passes in the corner of my eye ever other moment.
He was the warmth in our little home.
He’s everywhere. It’s impossible to see any corner of this place without his little paw print there.
We are conditioned, after years of “cat under foot training” to look out for him.

To sleep like vampires, in still awkward positions so we don’t accidentally kick him, or worse awaken him from his adorable purring slumber.

He is our habit.
Our routine.
Our pattern.
Our family.

When I was alone in LA he was my friend, my sibling, my partner.
He was the warm bright funny little life that kept me going in my darkest moments.

He was the reason I had to be strong. I had some REAL lows, but knowing I had to wake up and feed him kept me going.

He kept me from being afraid when I was alone at night for a decade of single life.

We didn’t need more bad news. We’ve had a really rough go of it this past year.

It’s not lost on me/us that this past year of loss has been tough, psychologically.

So YES we unfairly elevated Rhopes to a “you better stay alive, you are our only Joy” saintly position.

He fought hard to stay with us. I finally whispered in his little ear:
“It’s ok, let go. I’ll be ok”.
I LIED!!
But he needed me to say it.

I know the world is suffering, full of grief and loss. And it makes it even harder. I want the whole world to stop, and take a beat for this incredible soul.
But timing has made him another post of many grief posts on social media.

But in a weird way the world had stopped. He’s been my entire lock down focus. Well. Him, and my VERY ailing parents. Oh. My. Grown up. Heart.

Rhopes.
He was our little beacon of light and hope.
R- hopes.

Until we high five again buddy ♥️
Love your family Lauren & Joe
#RhopesTheCat