Sadie the Library Cat

Saying Good-Bye to a Sweet Friend

Rochelle, my daughter and a picture of Sadie from the memorialThe Meekins Library in Williamsburg has always been a favorite place for us to visit. Not necessarily because of the kids section, which is great btw, but because of Sadie, the library cat. Every time we’d arrive my daughter would make a beeline downstairs to hang out with Sadie, and it would always take a lot of coaxing to pry her away when it was time to go.

Yesterday we stopped by the Meekins Library after school, and as usual, my daughter rushed ahead of me and downstairs to visit with Sadie. Rochelle, the librarian and nicest person you’d ever want to meet (pictured here), quietly came over to let me know that Sadie had passed away the day before. My heart sank as I descended downstairs to find my daughter stalking the stacks looking for her friend. I wasn’t sure how to tell her or what her reaction would be. So I took her upstairs where the library staff had put together a little memorial of photos and a memory books for patrons to jot down their memories and kind words about Sadie. With a lump in my throat I read to her what the staff had written:

“Yesterday our sweet companion of 13 years died. Sadie, the library cat, was a quiet but friendly cat who was dearly loved by the children of the town and much visited by children and adults alike who brought her treats and made special trips downstairs to see her each library visit. Her passing leaves library staff, Margo, Bobbin, Rochelle, and Lisa as well as the library’s many volunteers very sad.”

My daughter’s chin started to tremble and I could see a well of tears starting to brim the edges of her eyes. I continued to read:

“A small memorial display with a memory book holding a page for each of her many friends and acquaintances to draw a picture, leave a wish, a remembrance, a special memory or one good thing about her will be out on the table near the circulation desk with pens and crayons.

“For twelve of her thirteen years she lived in the Meekins Library, originally coming to stay to help discourage mice that had moved into the old Meekins cellar. Sadie was immortalized in the 2004 Ann Turner book Pumpkin Cat, that story of a stray cat that comes to live in a small town library with two librarians named Rochelle and Lisa.”

I really thank the staff for putting this memorial up. It gave my daughter the opportunity to see pictures of Sadie with her other friends and a place for her to draw what she was feeling. She drew a heart and a picture of her with Sadie. We then snuggled up in the chair and read the story.

The staff shared a few other experiences Sadie had that I read to her:

“During the time of library construction and renovation Sadie moved to Nash Hill Road where she lived with Charlie and Maureen Mathers for the duration of the project. While her life could be called sedentary and for many years her primary occupation has been sleeping much of the day, she had a few big adventures in the wild world outside the library doors. Once at age two she was bitten by an animal of unknown origin and had to be quarantined at librarian Rochelle’s house.

Many years later when she was getting quite old, Sadie escaped from the library and was caught in a torrential downpour of rain that lasted for many days. She sought refuge in a small barn up the river from the library and was stuck there for two weeks. She eventually escaped the barn and was found sitting by the river looking at the library. We were all happy that she returned.”

Sadie will be buried on Saturday May 24th, 2008 at the Meekins Library at 1:30pm. While by nature a shy cat, she lived a public life and the public is invited to come say good-bye to her at that time. Refreshments will be served in the Hawks-Hayden Room after the ceremony.

2 Comments on “Sadie the Library Cat

  1. I never met Sadie, but my grand daughter did. My daughter sent me the story she wrote and appeared on the Hilltown Families web site. It touched my heart so. The passing of some we love is hard to understand and accept for everyone — especially for a precious 6 year old little girl. Meekins Library made Sadie’s passing a time to share and to celebrate Sadie’s life and helped my grand daughter understand, with compassion, the circle of life. Sadie touched many people, even someone who never met her.

  2. This is so touching! I love that there is a memorial service being offered.

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