Songlian Smith-Northrup, 2004-2016

Another cat passed away on December 15, 2016. We picked up Songlian in Houston in June 2005, along with her tiny son Zatoichi. I was afraid the kitten wouldn't survive a hot, three day road trip from Houston back to Michigan, but he made it, and he's huge now.

Songlian had tumors removed twice in the past, but the latest batch was inoperable, already growing between or through her organs when we discovered they had come back. We had to keep her swaddled with an ace bandage to prevent her from licking wounds open on her chest, but she looked awesome in a series of infant shirts and dresses. They're not tailored for cats. I imagine she preferred those to the cone of shame.

When naming our cats, I started a tradition of brainstorming several names, settling on one as the first name, and keeping all the rejected ones as middle names. By that convention, her full name was Songlian Kikujiro Sonatine Anh Mrs. Cheng the Pirate Queen Tampopo Florida Darth Mama Smith-Northrup (formerly Snow Angel Princess, aka Baby Cat).

A few years ago, we started a Twitter account for Melinda's puns and stories about the cats and other anthropomorphic critters @SongliansCafe. In the storyline, Zatoichi inherited the cafe after Songlian passed on. We'll continue posting there.


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