Corollary to a Precious Little Girl

WP_20130511_001 I knew that my precious little girl could never rest in peace until she was home with us. We received Josie’s ashes back a few days ago and I felt relieved to have her at home again. I had made her a promise early on that I’d never leave her at the vet alone and had held to that promise for the 12+ years that we were hers. I had to break that promise the night before she died as she was too ill to be transported and badly needed the IV fluids & antibiotics they were giving her.

The package of her final remains brought an unexpected memento from the veterinarian. It was a little heart shaped piece of clay stamped with her name and an imprint of her paw. WP_20150428_09_15_07_ProWe knew instantly that this was done after her passing because it wasn’t covered in blood. She never allowed anyone to touch her paws and would have cut them to ribbons had they tried.

Regardless we were touched by the gesture and set about trying to find a suitable location for this tribute. It wasn’t long before it filled that empty space on my nightstand where she would stand every morning patiently waiting on me to awaken. She would be sitting in the full upright position, with her tail ever so delicately tucked under her paws. I’ve WP_20150428_09_15_42_Pro-editnever seen another cat that stood on their own tail, but she made it look regal. The moment our eyes met, she would give out her little “Good Morning” squeak.

This morning there was no squeak, but it gave me joy to see my Precious Little Girl once again sitting on my nightstand.

Your Daddies are thrilled to have you home again and I promise you will never have to spend another night away from our home!


2008 Cat in the bag (5)PS. I want to thank the literally hundreds of people who have offered their condolences. It gives me great solace to know that so many could connect with our story. Thanks also to all who shared the story of the Rainbow Bridge. Josie is the first pet I’ve lost that I could truly call my own, so I was unfamiliar with it beforehand.

For those that may have missed my first post about Josie, you can find it here: My Precious Little Girl

Babb DNA

Occasionally, I receive questions about where we stand on the DNA project and wanted to give an update. We verified large portions of the descendant tree of Phillip (1) of the Isles of Shoals and Christopher Babb (5) of North Carolina. the Bavarian Babb’s have their own known lineage back to Bavaria and thus there is no need to test them for matches. Keep in mind this is Y-DNA only, which tests only along the Male Babb surname. This is different than other types of DNA testing.

Distinct US Trees:

  • Phillip, of the Isles of Shoals (1)
    Babbs of Maryland (3)
    Babbs of North Carolina (5) – Immigrated circa 1700
    Bavarian Babbs (6) – Immigrated late 1600s

Who we still need:

We still need volunteers who trace their ancestry back to Phillip’s son Philip (1-3), but all other descendant branches are already tested.

  • 1-3 (Phillip-Phillip), we have no test subjects from this branch
  • Decendants of Benjamin Babb (2)  of Middletown, CT -Immigrated by 1750
  • Babbs of East Virginia (4) – Immigrated circa 1635
  • New York/New Jersey line from London (7) – Immigrated circa 1800
  • Devon, England area Babbs who have known Babb lineages back to 1600. If they can provide the tree we will pay for their test. We get a copy of the results. As they will be doing us a favor we are offering to pay for the DNA test for them. If our theory is accurate they should show up with just a few more generations than we do for each other. This may not give us an exact name of an ancestor, but it will prove/disprove if we are in the right place. At that point, it’s like playing Marco Polo.

What have we learned thus far?

DNA 1We also attempted an alternative approach to pinpoint our location in England by looking at the Ancestral Homeland of the other surnames with which we share genetic matches. The theory is that we are related, just not in a genealogical timeframe. Since most in agricultural areas tended to remain on their land for centuries, this gives circumstantial evidence to help pinpoint where your family lived. Typically, this should be done with at least 37 Marker matches. The only 37 Marker matches we have are Babb Family Association members that we have tested ourselves. So, we moved down to the next level which is the 25 Marker test. With that we find this set of surnames. The method was invented by Tyrone Bowes and I’ve dubbed it the “Bowesian Method”. He has outlined the method on his site

Thompson is our highest quality match, but is also too common to be of much use. So, we move down the list to Morrell, Dickey, Drake, Couch and Hawkes. Here are distribution charts for each of those surnames and also for Babb. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of that surname in a shire:


You can see that all but the Dickey lineage overlaps in or around Devonshire. So, although the match quality is low, we can say that our homeland appears to be in Devon. We await additional test candidates from England in order to refine our results and improve upon our hypothesis.

I hope this helps to give a basic understanding of where we stand on the DNA project.

My Precious Little Girl

WP_20141224_12_21_39_Pro On Friday April 10th, 2015 at approximately 11:05 am, we lost our precious little girl Josie to Lymphoma. Josie first arrived in our lives on Christmas Eve 2002. She couldn’t exactly be wrapped, though I later came to learn that she would have been happy to wait the entire night under a Christmas Tree. She was never more excited than when the tree would arrive as she knew the ribbon wouldn’t be far behind.

We don’t know exactly when she was born as she was rescued from the streets by her godparents Sean & Leslie. We believed she was about a year old at the time. We immediately named her Josie, in a tribute to the fact that she was a pussycat.

2006 Josie (3)The first few weeks were a harsh adjustment for all, mainly because we didn’t understand that she was now in charge. There was lots of hissing and gnashing of teeth between her and her adoptive brother Ceasar. He had been with us for a year already and was doing dog like things, such as playing fetch and tug. Josie called her union rep and put an end to that quickly.

Being a lady, she adored bags of all kinds, but especially leather. She took a special interest in high heel shoes, coats and handbags, never missing the opportunity to stick her head in and bask in the scent. Whenever possible she would climb in to get the full experience.

Back CameraWhen it came to loving she only had time for David and myself, but in her final months she came to bond with uncle Sheldon who house sat for us while we took a 3 week long journey across the world. By the time we returned, she was regularly jumping on his lap for petting.

Last Tuesday afternoon we first realized that she was sick. She had been laying in one spot all day. What first looked like an infection quickly turned serious and in less than 72 hours we were saying our tearful goodbyes.

WP_20141023_10_02_24_Pro__highresThe tests revealed that she had an extremely aggressive form of Large Cell Lymphoma and was bordering on multiple organ failure. The cancer was so aggressive that they could see it multiplying on the slide.

We held her through her tightly as she passed from this world and showered her with the love that she had given us for so many years. David wrapped his arms around her and I nuzzled her head ears and head as we did most mornings.

Over the 12 years, 3 months and 17 days she was with us, she was alternately timid and fierce, bitch and lover, adorable and infuriating. She carefully doled out the kisses, with a tiny flick of her tongue and had an adorable way of drinking water that always left her face covered in droplets. Josie is survived by her two daddies Daniel & David and by her adoptive brother Ceasar who all miss her very much.

IMG_0951She loved sunning on the flagstones in the backyard and her favorite times were first thing in the morning where she had her rituals. I’d wake up and there she would be waiting patiently on my nightstand at my side. We would have about 5-10 minutes of petting and nuzzling. When she was done, she would simply stand up and be gone. Sort of a “that’s all!” moment.

Last night, I found myself unconsciously pushing my drinking glass back on the nightstand to IMG_0187make space for her in the morning. But there is no more need for that and it breaks my heart. A hundred times a day I find myself missing the way she greeted me, with her squeaky little meow. She was my precious, my squeak, my angel, my little girl. The one that would checking on me after the shower, to make sure I didn’t drown, the one who would bolt to lay on top of me as soon as I sat back or laid down for the night.

There is no need for me to push my glass anymore, but I’ll probably keep doing it for a while, just to help me remember my precious little girl.