A Very Sad Goodbye to Brixton the Cat

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Brixton, Johannesburg, The Melville/Brixton Cats | 10 comments

I was ambivalent about writing this post. The last time I wrote about Brixton — a cat named after a suburb — was in December 2022, a few weeks after she walked into our lives. Now I’m writing to memorialize her, just a year later, and a part of me feels like it’s a weird thing to do. But even though Brixton, a.k.a. Brixie, wasn’t with us for long, she was special. She had a big impact on our lives. She deserves a proper remembrance.

Brixton in Brixton
Brixton in one of her favorite spots, on the wall in our backyard beneath the Brixton Tower. The last time I saw her alive, she was sitting in this exact spot.
Sketch of Brixie and Brixton Tower
Thorsten’s beautiful sketch of the same scene. He’ll be turning this into a linocut for his Brixton Monuments collection.

I haven’t memorialized a pet since 2020 when Smokey, the Melville Cat, departed this world. Smokey was with me for nearly a decade and while his loss was beyond devastating, it wasn’t a total surprise; the Melville Cat was getting up in years. But Brixton left us far too soon, when she was practically still a kitten. All pet deaths are lousy but this one hurts in a different way.

Welcome to Johannesburg from Brixton
My favorite photo of Brixton.

Brixie seemed completely healthy and serene when I last saw her on Friday evening. Then early Saturday morning I found her dead in our yard, with no outward sign of injury or illness. I suspect she had a sudden heart attack. Anyway she’s gone, regardless of the reason, and Thorsten and I are heartbroken.

I think this is my only selfie with Brixie.
Thorsten and Brixie
Thorsten and Brixie.
Trixie and Brixie
Trixie, our older cat, was kind of a jerk to Brixie, which is funny because Trixie herself was once the young interloper in this household. But I think Trixie is sad to be an only cat again. She’s been sticking very close to me since Brixie died, and I’m grateful for that.
Trixie and Brixie again
My favorite photo of Trixie and Brixie.
Brixton in front of the heater
Brixie performing one of her favorite winter-evening pastimes: dozing in front of the gas heater.

Brixie, with her dainty white mustache, crazy eyebrow whiskers, and fat, black tail that often pointed almost horizontally forward toward her ears, endeared herself to us in a plethora of little ways. She was the quietest cat I’ve ever had — I heard her meow only once, on the day she first arrived and was desperate for food. She liked to stand right next to the open dishwasher and gaze into it with a vacant stare. (While brimming with charm, Brixie wasn’t the smartest of cats.) She loved to roll around on her back and never objected to having her belly rubbed. She liked to leap up on my lap while I sat at the kitchen table and also while I sat on the toilet.

Brixie patiently tolerated Trixie’s harassment — Trixie had an irritating habit of hiding around corners and pouncing on Brixie as she walked past. It felt like Brixie was biding her time until she grew up and became Trixie’s equal. After a year of adjustment they were just starting to get along, or at least co-exist more peacefully, and sometimes even slept on the bed beside one another.

Trixie and Brixie sharing desk space.

I’m sorry I didn’t do more proper photoshoots with Brixton. I thought we would have a lot more time.

Brixton the cat
Goodbye, sweet Brixie. You weren’t with us long but we loved you. We miss you so much.

The end.


  1. Maureen Anderson

    RIP beautiful Brixie the Brixton cat!!! I am so very sorry to read this devastating news Heather!! It really is heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to a beloved pet. I have gone through it so many times now over the past 30 years of having cats as pets, but it never gets easier. The loss can be unbearable. Please try to remain strong. I am so relieved that Trixie will be by your side, and Thorsten too of course, during this most difficult time.

    • 2summers

      You’re right, this is one thing in life that never gets easier. Thank you so much, Maureen.

  2. Ms. Nancy Anne McDaniel

    OH NO. WTF happened? Can you find out I hope. She was such a sweet kitty. Darn it, It is hard enough when we KNOW our kitties are old or sick… But not just lose them randomly. CRAP. I am so sorry.

    • 2summers

      The vet did tell me at her checkup a year ago that her heartbeat sounded a little bit strange. But I couldn’t see the point in investigating it and getting her a bunch of tests, medications, etc., as she was a totally healthy young cat. I’m assuming it was some kind of heart condition and she had a sudden cardiac arrest 🙁

  3. AutumnAshbough

    Losing pets just sucks so much. You did right by her with this post, though. *sniffles*

  4. Lani

    I’m sorry, Heather. No, it’s not weird at all, but I can see why you might think so. RIP, Brixie <3

    • 2summers

      Thanks, Lani. xxx

  5. Erin

    I’m so sorry, Heather. Sending you a huge hug!

    • 2summers

      Thanks Erin. xxxxx


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