R.I.P. doña pepa sanchez, duquesa de xochimilco

okay, bear with me for the next few days as my posts will probably be of the morose, sad bastard variety. as some of you may know, five months ago i adopted a senior siberian cat, siberian due to my geek allergies, cat due to my NYC lifestyle (bring on the hate, 5 boroughs dog owners). i named her pepa, after the ever fabulous pepa marcos played by the even more fabulous carmen maura in pedro almodóvar’s women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. yes, ladies and gentlemen, i am a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.

anyway, i have never really been a cat person until now. i had a variety of pets growing up, from a squirrel named pecosito to a dog named crema, to a bird named ollín (it means “wind” in náhuatl. yes, like i said above, geek). but all of these pets were pets that my parents got me when i was little, hence not *really* my pets.

pepa was different. from the moment i met her, she purred softly and nuzzled me. she waited for me at the door every day when i came home. she wiped her paws before stepping out of the kitty litter box (no joke). she loved getting brushed. she never, ever scratched me. not once. and i bathed her thrice. so she had more than good reason.

she was outgoing and friendly and just overall the perfect feline. feminine and secure like her tocaya, grown up at the cat senior age of 12, still playful and loving, never indifferent.

i remember trying to pay what was an astronomical amount of bills one time. i had them all spread out on my couch and i was crunching numbers and holding a calendar to see which ones could wait til the next pay check. in the midst of all of my stress, pepa jumped atop the pile of bills, laid down, looked up at me and began to purr softly. all at once, like magic, my stress dissolved. and i was truly feeling supported and unconditionally loved.

a couple of days ago, i was feeling particularly sick and sick of all the things that a twentysomething strong and single woman feels in new york: sick of being alone, sick of working so many hours, sick of men children and failed relationships, just sick from a cold…and, as sometimes happens, i started to cry. pepa jumped up next to me, leaned on my leg and started to purr. i remember thinking, “oh, it’s all ok. because i got you.”

yesterday i came home to find that pepa had passed. she wasn’t hiding, she had shown no signs of feeling ill at all, and when i found her, she was right by my bed where she usually hung out, her beautiful green eyes were open and she was very, very still. it shocks me still that i saw that. and all at once, i collapsed on the floor, my mind screaming no no no no no please no.

and i lost it all. my sense of reality, sanity, fairness. my trust in love. the ability to speak without gasping. the willpower to not smoke a cigarette. it all crumbled on the floor right along with me.

it took me two hours after burying pepa to realize i had to pee. and it’s going to take me many more to realize that although it feels like it, my chest isn’t collapsing onto itself.

so if you’re looking for funny links, nice photos, delicious meals, and all that makes life colorful, check back with me in a week. maybe a month. maybe six months. and for now, please stand by.





thanks for your understanding.


~ by nadstina on November 13, 2010.

6 Responses to “R.I.P. doña pepa sanchez, duquesa de xochimilco”

  1. my conmovedor nadia, excelente!!!

  2. hi nadia. sorry to hear about pepa. i never met her! but this post is great. what a good writer/storyteller you are.

  3. I never got to meet Pepa – and I have yet to meet you, as well – but I’m very sorry for your loss. I don’t consider myself a cat person, either, but one in particular has wormed her way into my heart and I’m not sure what I would do without her, even if she does bite my feet at night.

    Our family dog passed away last year, and it was a dreadful shock. She was the sweetest, most gentle animal I have ever met, and it was like a tear in the fabric of the universe for her to be gone so suddenly – it wasn’t supposed to happen. I cried for days. I suspect, for you, it is similar. My deepest sympathy and condolences.

  4. I lost (stupid euphemism) my beloved cat, Milos on Tuesday. Monday evening he jumped up on the couch for some ear scratching and immediately howled in pain. We rushed him to the vet – he had broken his left femur. Bone cancer. We said our sad goodbyes to him and let him go, as our vet recommended. I am beyond inconsolable. I have been working at home for the past year and he was my constant companion, the best co-worker ever. I know the pain will subside, but I am missing him fiercely right now.

    • i am so sorry to hear that. i know how hard that is. i don’t know what to say except that you will miss him fiercely for a while….but it does get better. i made it through yesterday with only crying twice! small goals. my thoughts are with you. i’m really really sorry for your loss.

  5. […] i love you most of all. […]

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