Joan Price's Love for Her Cat Brought a Community Together

Joan passed away early this week, but she got her dying wish of a safe home for her cat, and the outpouring of love she inspired will carry on.


Earlier this year, Catster writer Dorian Wagner shared a touching story about one cat and the miracles that happened for the cat as well as her owner. When Joan Price was rushed to hospice, leaving Isis stranded in her apartment, a group of people worked to reunite them and find Isis a new home.

Joan and Isis spend some quality time together.

We all knew Joan was in hospice care because she was dying of cirrhosis, but that didn’t stop us from being shocked that the end of her life arrived so suddenly.

Joan died peacefully at 4:08 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, April 6, with Dorian, Isis’ foster mom Leslie Wynne, and Joan’s social worker Janet Crisp by her side.

“Right to the end she had us smiling,” Dorian wrote to the Isis and Joan Facebook group. “We told her how much she was loved and how much she has touched so many lives. I don’t think she could have ever imagined she’d go from having no one to having a family of so many wonderful, caring people.”

Dorian Wagner, Joan, Isis and Leslie Wynne share a silly moment.

It’s amazing that one little black cat could have inspired such an outpouring of love, compassion, and caring from around the world.

“When I agreed to foster Isis I never expected all of the love, laughter and friendships that we were able to create along the way,” Leslie wrote on the Isis and Joan Facebook page. “Without any doubt in my heart and mind, it was so much more than expected because Joan was so much more … she was more, brilliant, entertaining, loving, wacky, and special than I could have ever imagined when all of this began.”

Joan and Isis share some quality time on Valentine’s Day.

If it weren’t for Leslie, Dorian, Janet, and a host of other people around the world, a woman who may have died alone without ever knowing if her beloved cat was okay could draw her last breath knowing that not only was she herself loved, but that her sweet Isis had a safe “forever home.” And we may never have heard of Joan’s plight or had the chance to make the end of her life as amazing as it was.

“She had a blast these past five months, and was completely humbled by all the love everyone showed her. More than anything else, she was beyond grateful that Isis is happy and safe in a new, loving home,” Dorian wrote.

Joan got to enjoy some delicious fondue, thanks to the huge community of people who dedicated themselves to making the end of her life awesome.

Like many of us, I was delighted every time Dorian posted photos of the blizzard of cards and gifts that came Joan’s way. Dorian and her friends were even able to arrange a fondue party for Joan and a musical performance for all the residents of the hospice facility where she was staying.

I loved hearing about the simple things Joan loved so much — vanilla wafers, pudding, and “forbidden” treats like fast food — and sensing that the hospice staff willingly turned a blind eye because, I suspect, when someone is dying, anything that allows that person to enjoy their life for as long as possible is a good thing.

This was a typical scene during holidays. Here, Joan is covered with Valentine’s cards, but she got at least this many Christmas cards!

My compassion and condolences go out to Dorian, Leslie, Janet, and Karine, and the many people who came to love Joan over the past several months. It’s my fondest wish that the energy and community Joan and Isis brought together will continue to change lives.

As one person wrote on Isis and Joan’s page, “Don’t stop, there are many out there who just need a little compassion and care. Commit a random act of kindness in honor of Joan.”

Thank you so much, Dorian, for sharing Joan’s story and bringing a community together to grant her dying wish. Blessings and peace to you.

(All photos from the Isis and Joan Facebook group.)

Read more about cat care and the rainbow bridge on Catster:

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal rescue volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

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