More Sad News: I’ve Lost My Best Friend (Part 1)

As I’ve discussed previously on this blog, 2016 was a royally crappy year, but 2017 is proving to be an utterly shitty one (I personally don’t like to cuss on this blog, but on seldom occasions it is justified). I mentioned in an earlier post how my sister died in February of this year, and now most recently, during the last few days of May (as I was moving out of my house in Pasadena), I lost my beloved feline son, and best friend, Sebastian. Both Camille and I are shocked, devastated, and feel so, so, so lonely.

Sebastian’s death came as the eye of the storm in a hurricane of other crap that was going on in our lives at the time. We were both moving out of our house (which I am sure almost everyone can relate to as an exhausting experience), I was working on a paper to submit to a peer-reviewed volume (which I am sure most scholars can relate to as an exhausting experience), and Cam was about to begin a work retreat (where she is now), away from our new home, which is currently an un-setup apartment (which I am sure many professionals can relate to as an exhausting experience).

We have been so fucking busy (pardon my French), that this is the first time that I have even had a chance to begin writing Sebastian’s obituary.


Before I discuss the details of his passing, I want to tell the story of what an amazing and unique creature Sebastian was. The saga of how I adopted him was something of a miracle. While I was living with my old roommate in AZ, we had two cats–one of whom also sadly passed away recently this year (fuck you, 2017!)–and I grew to love both of them. I lived alone in Irvine during the first year of my PhD program, and Cam wouldn’t move out with me to SoCal for another year. I was feeling rather lonely. One day while walking to a seminar, I noticed a friendly orange cat sitting on the sidewalk (whom I later learned was named Jacks), and he was kind enough to let me pet him.

I decided that I wanted a kitty of my own, and so I started to check out some local rescues. I was accepted into seven Classics PhD programs when I started my doctoral studies, and I had to choose UC Irvine to even be in the right location to find Sebastian in the first place. When I was looking at his rescue’s website, there were pictures of probably a hundred cats or so. Sebastian’s photo stood out to me because there was something a little off about him (we’ll talk more about that later). His profile said that he liked to meow to get attention, and boy did that later turn out to be true!

But I haven’t really even began to explain the miracle behind his rescue and adoption. It’s an incredible story. I don’t usually write blog series of short posts, but instead long blogs that exhaustively treat a single topic. I have limited access to the Internet currently, however, day-to-day, for the time being, and I think Sebastian deserves an entire blog series of his own. So for the next several posts I am going to write about the incredible story of his life.

I know that we all love our pets, but Sebastian was especially close to me for several very deep reasons. Even now he is still giving me so many gifts and so much love. I have never met such a wonderful little critter. I’ll share the tale of his (rather difficult) adoption in the next post, where I incessantly tried to convince the rescue (who thought that he was un-adoptable) that he was a perfect choice for a pet, and eventually after weeks let them take him home with me. After that, I’ll share the tale of how he flourished into the happiest cat that I have ever seen, in his new home, with me as his loving father…

-Matthew Ferguson

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5 Responses to More Sad News: I’ve Lost My Best Friend (Part 1)

  1. Geoff says:

    Sorry about your loss.

    I’m glad your classical rhetorical prowess came in handy at the rescue center, though!

  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Sorry for your loss. One of our cats has cancer, and I value every day that we still have him.

  3. Shannon Ferguson says:

    So sweet. Let’s bring such love, acceptance, companionship, and empathy. Many of my favorite friends have been 4 legged beasts 😍

  4. Peter N says:

    Hi Matthew,

    I just want to say that I understand. We lost our own much-loved Gus in April. He was a truly great cat, and he was my loyal best friend for many years. I still miss him every day. But I have lost pets before (in my 60-plus years), and if you’re like me, better days are coming, when your grief will have passed and you will only remember the good times with Sebastian. For now, I doubt that anything that anyone can say will be of much comfort to you. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on.

  5. stizostideon says:

    Each time you lose a pet, they take a little piece of your heart with them. Sorry to hear of your loss.

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