Johnson, a dear old member of our family, died this week and our hearts are broken. It is so quiet around the house now and we just can't believe he is gone.

Johnson joined our little family 20 years ago after a drive down a country road and an impulse to stop at a home that had a sign in the front that advertised "Free Kittens." My son Jeb was 2 years old and I thought it might be a perfect time for him to have his first pet. Johnson was the last of the kittens to find a home and as soon as we saw him, we had to adopt him. Five dollars later, Jeb, Johnson and I drove home and the adventure began.

What a cat! Johnson, named after our street, was the most independent and feisty bundle of fur you ever met. He was afraid of nothing. He followed us when we went on our walks, hung around the local raccoons, and held his ground with the neighborhood dogs. But he loved people, especially women. My studio shows always featured my hand painted pillows and totes and attracted lots of women customers but as soon as Johnson walked into that group of ladies, my sales immediately plummeted. The oohs and aahs were now his domain.
Jo, Johnson's little sister, was another country road acquisition. Jo was Joe until we went to the Vets and found out that our new little boy was really a girl. She's his complete opposite but a real sweetie too. Jo misses her big brother.
This is the last picture I took of Johnson a couple of months ago. The last 2 years he was deaf and didn't venture as far away from home as he did when he was younger. His days were spent sitting at a window gazing out at all potential neighborhood missions he was missing.

Now, Johnson is on another exciting adventure in cat heaven and I'm sure, breaking all the hearts that meet him but I miss him so much.

Have you ever lost a favorite pet? How long does it take for the hurt to stop?

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