I’ve received a lot of wonderful feedback about my new book, Tortitude: The BIG Book About Cats With a BIG Attitude. Many of you have reached out via email and social media to let me know how much you love the book, and every one of your emails makes me so happy.
This past Sunday, I received an email from Anita Botman, whose tortie Snoes is featured in the book. Anita’s email was a little different from the others:
My cat Snoes was selected for your tortitude book. I was so excited about it! The book was dispatched and I was so much looking forward to it. Unfortunately in the meantime my cat Snoes became ill. Yesterday we went to the vet and she was diagnosed with kidney failure. The vet told me that treatment would be extremely difficult because she was a very sensitive and anxious cat. Also, it didn’t look good, she had very little chance even if she got the treatment. So the vet advised me to let her go.
A few weeks ago I read your article about choosing not to treat severely ill and anxious cats. It was a huge consolation and support yesterday. I feel the same about it. I had to let her go. She was my very beloved friend. She was my child, my everything.
When I got home, the book had arrived. I opened it and saw all those beautiful cats….and my darling, looking back at me from the page. It was a very special moment. The book will be an inspiration also, because Snoes got me hooked. I think there’s a very big chance my next cat will be a tortie as well. I love the Conscious Cat, and Ruby and Allegra are so lovely! All the best, from a sad but grateful cat owner. It’s such a gift, to be loved by a tortie.
Anita’s email touched me deeply. I feel like I’ve come to know every single one of the torties featured in my books – how could I not, after spending two months poring over photos, and trying to match the right quote with each of these special kitties. My heart ached for Anita’s loss. I asked her to share a little more about her special girl with us.
Anita first saw a photo of the beautiful Snoes, which means “sweetheart,” on the website of an animal shelter in Hoorn in the Netherlands. The description read “Snoes is a beautiful spayed female. She’s 6 years old. She is a quiet cat who’s affectionate to her owners. Among strangers she’s reluctant. She’s a bit insecure and she sometimes lashes out when she’s anxious. Her new owner will have to accept this. Who will give this lovely lady a quiet new home without any other animals?”
“Snoes was a miracle to me,” Anita told me. “She entered my life as a very anxious rescue cat.” She had been dumped by her previous owners. Snoes was with Anita for only two years. In these years she grew and flourished. “She was very sensitive, but also so sweet and sometimes extremely funny,” said Anita. “In the beginning she did lash out, but these instances became less and less frequent. In the end she was with me day and night. We understood each other completely.”
Not surprisingly, Snoes had a unique personality – after all, she was a tortie. “She taught me so much,” says Anita. “Even though our time together was short, it was a wonderful experience.”
Anita saw Snoes’ photo in my book just after she had buried her. “It was as if she said to me: “We’ve had a wonderful time together. And I did a good job raising you, human.”
Rest easy, sweet Snoes.
A few days after Snoes passed away, Anita went back to the same shelter where she adopted her. “I found another tortie that made my heart melt,” Anita told me. She took Bibi home the same day. “It’s strange and I feel guilty, incredibly sad and happy at the same time. Snoes will always be remembered and loved, but I’m also glad I can offer this sweet cat a good home and all the love in the world.”
I think Snoes is smiling from heaven.