Poppy Oishi 2005-2019

Poppy Oishi Heckles peacefully passed away on May 22, 2019 in the care of loved ones in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was 14 years old, yet lived more than 9 lives.

Long-legged, big-pawed Popstar as a kitten
Tatiana, her savior

Poppy was born in the late spring of 2005 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She spent her first days down on luck, wandering the streets, getting rough-housed. Things turned around during a chance encounter with cat lover Tatiana Heckles, who rescued her off the street. That summer, Poppy was formally adopted by Sarah who lived in Boston.

Boston, first days
First days in Boston

Poppy’s first and formative year of life was lived in Boston with a focus on becoming besties with all Oak Square Ave. gals and figuring out what all the white stuff was falling from the sky.

Cute as a punkin in her signature tripod stance
Another snowstorm?

In 2006 she moved to San Francisco, acquiring her first airline miles flying in cabin, never cargo, because that’s how she rolls. She eventually settled in to The Castro ‘hood where she had year round outdoor balcony access which offered breathtaking views. The weather in SF suited her as did the cushy wall-to-wall carpet. It’s here where she met Scottie B. Together they played many games, such as “Kitty Defender” and practiced pro wrestling moves like “kitty backbreaker”.

Chill ‘n in the beautiful SF light in her temp Haight-Ashbury pad
Getting to know her new bestie
Enjoying her year-round porch access (and wall-to-wall carpet)
Snuggling with Tatiana (who flew to SF with her)

Two years later in 2008 she headed north to the Pacific Northwest, where she welcomed Scott as a new housemate, in Portland. She lived first as an urban dweller in a modern downtown loft and then moved to the east side where she got her first taste of yard life. She was most comfortable lounging in any sun beam, particularly on the back porch. When the heat got intense she found the private shade of the apple tree or under a Montanarondack chair absolutely delightful. Come winter, she would wedge herself between the upright piano and the heat vent or belly up in front of the gas fireplace.

Poppy’s family of 3 making the move to Portland. She was an excellent road companion.
Settling in to yard life for the first time. Portland, 2009
Her favorite summer hangout, under the Montanarondack chair (made by Grandpa Jack)
Her favorite winter hangout, looking most plush
Poppy rock ‘n her italic swagger. She loved an opportunity to sneak out the front door and play Kitty Houdini.

Her BFF, the robot feeder, always got her cruising:

Her catatarian efforts were few, yet big-hearted. She will most be remembered for sharing her personal living space with yet another housemate and new in-law, Lexi-Lulu the Corgi in 2014.

Something they had in common… basking in the sun! Today, Lexi-Lulu, the Corgi, resides in Livingston, Montana with family.
Her best friend and spirit animal

Little known facts about Poppy Oishi is that she enjoyed playing Connect Four, was extremely well-read and even co-authored “How to Talk to your Cat About Evolution” which was nominated for The Royal Society Science Books Prize in ‘08. Her favorite piece of literature (which was heavily cat-eared) was Inspur-r-rational Stories for Cat Lovers by Niki Anderson.

4 stars on Amazon!

Over Thanksgiving 2015 she relocated to the fifth state she would call home, Lincoln, Nebraska. She suffered a short spell of separation anxiety when Sarah and Scott relocated to Taiwan to fulfill a work assignment, but it subsided quickly once in the Team Toth snuggle zone of Tony, Deb and their children Zoe and Greylee. Poppy, always a Husker fan, never missed a “Go Big Meow” moment, a chance to play cards on the bed or a spa date with Zoe.

The snuggle zone experts, Tony and Deb
Her game face
Poppy enjoying a spa treatment from Zoe, 2018

Poppy enjoyed sleeping in her kitty saucer, running towards the sound of kibbles falling in her robotic food machine, gentle touches, giving soft-paw and doing kitty pull-ups to get up and on the bed and couch. 

Her favorite kitty saucer

For those that had the pleasure to meet and snuggle her you know her heart was sweet and brave. We will deeply miss the tripod-stanced Professor Wobbles. And we will forever be grateful for the Toth family’s love and kindness. 

Remembrances of your time with Poppy are welcome in comments for all to enjoy. To avoid crashing our blog’s server, a complete photo album featuring her robust life and those dear to her can be viewed here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/syobvrYaekmEgYvN8

Animals make us Human
~ Temple Grandin ~

San Francisco, 2006

Thank for you all the love and kindness you’ve ever shared with Poppy.


Sarah & Scott


12 thoughts on “Poppy Oishi 2005-2019

  1. Oh dearest Poppy…
    How loved you were and how you will be missed! When I think of the harrowing way your life began and then the blessings you gathered throughout your life – it gives me joy! You were scooped up by love and you never looked back. You were the purest of beings – graceful in your challenges and always earnest and determined. I loved you the moment you arrived in Oak Square and I snuggled you in my arms and you fell alseep. You charmed me and stole my heart.
    Sending love and peace to all who are missing you…

    1. Oh Clarisse, I was so happy when I found all those photos of you and Poppy, sleeping on couch and zonked out in your arms (I hope you saw them too in the photo link at end). The Oak Square Ave gals really welcomed her into the world in a big way. She was SO loved and I think you and Poppy had a special connection. I suspect that’s why Pops was so attracted to the red Dürer Hare that you gifted us. It turns out it was her doppleganger (you problaby saw that before we did). Yep, she was one earnest and fearless kitty, that’s for sure. Thanks for reading and sharing your sweet words. They mean a lot to us. Love you. xoxo

  2. Poppy sure had a lucky day when Tatiana brought her home to you! What an adventuring love-filled life she had! I’m so sorry for your loss, Poppy will forever be in your hearts.

    1. Thanks for the love, Cathy. I hope all your furry friends are doing well. Can I be auntie when I return home? XO

  3. Such a sweet, sweet animal. Thank you for taking her on with such full-hearted grace. May your love and care for her be an inspiration to others. It was to me. xoxo Tat

    1. Aw. And thank you for stopping and scooping her up off the street, sis! She was such a little rugrat when you found her… bloody chin and all. I’ll never forget when you called me and said, “Sarah, I found the perfect cat for you”. True in every way. Thanks for proofreading her obituary and looking at all 200+ photos as only a sister could. The one of you two snuggled up in bed gets me every time. XOXO

  4. Awww, Poppy. You will be missed- your striking eye, sweet purr and unforgettable pop. Sarah and Scott, I’m sorry for your loss. All my love.

    1. Oh, Tracey. Thanks, sweetie. Looking through all those pics, I had so many good memories of you and her (and us) in SF. Good days, indeed. Thanks for the sweet words. They mean a lot to us. Sending some big love back to you and Buckley. We hit the jackpot with furry friends, didn’t we? XOXOXO

  5. Poppy — you were loved.
    What a wonderful, sweet, remembrance.
    You taught us humans about perseverance and tenacity.
    I do miss your tripod stance and exaggerated strides.
    You were a gentle spirit and found yourself the perfect humans and extended family to share your life.

    Sorry for everyone’s loss. Animals give us unconditional love and they bring no baggage to the relationship – which is why, I believe the loss can be so profound. And yet, the memories so unobstructed. xoAnn

    1. Dear Ann, your lovely words, thank you. They’ve lingered with me since I’ve read them. Spot on, insightful and poetic. Miss you. xo

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