Nearly fifteen years ago, shortly after our apartment burned down and we had moved into a townhouse in Norcross, our neighbor asked a_blue_moon_cat and I if we’d be willing to adopt a couple of kittens. She’d rescued the mother from the parking lot of her workplace, and she had two that she’d been unable to find homes for. We already had two cats at the time, but the kittens were adorable, and we decided to take them on. We named them Tarrant and Dayna, continuing the Blake’s Seven theme our other two cats shared.
When a_blue_moon_cat and I split up a few years later, she kept all four cats, but a couple of years after that asked me if I’d take one of them, as she was about to move and didn’t think she could find a rental that would let her bring in four cats. We agreed to take Dayna.
Dayna was a neurotic cat even by feline standards. Wild-eyed and curious, she loved sounds, and would frequently rattle blinds or scratch the sides of boxes just to hear the sound they made. She was convinced the knowledge of mankind could be hers if only she could eat enough magazines, and any periodical left within her grasp soon looked like it had been attacked by a confetti punch.
She was often shy about attention, but she always liked being near people, if not quite within arms reach. In recent years, and especially since our other cat Jenna passed away she’d become much friendlier, and spent many a night curled up between kitanzi and me while we watched television, and she slept many nights on the bed with us, purring contently to be near.
As we prepared to make the move to Seattle, the question of how best to move Dayna was discussed. She had become older and frailer as her years advanced, and she’d lost some weight recently which concerned us. We took her to the Cat Clinic in Roswell, which had been her vets her entire life, and they checked her over and found some early kidney disease, but otherwise found her to be in good health for a cat her age. They gave her some meds to help with that and to clear up a small infection, and said she should be fine. As we got closer to Thanksgiving, I again raised concern to the vet, and they even did an ultrasound to rule out any early cancers. The vet cleared her for travel, saying our only concern was finding something she liked to eat to get her up to a healthier weight.
She flew back to Seattle with runnerwolf, who would take good care of her and help get her settled into our new home. But it quickly became obvious that she was continuing to fade. Tonight, Beth called me, a couple of hours ago, and said “I don’t think she’s going to last much longer.” We discussed her condition, and I asked her to put the phone down where Dayna could hear me. I said “Dayna….we love you. If you need to go, it’s okay. We understand.” Beth says that when I spoke to her, she flicked her ears a couple of times, and a few moments later peacefully slipped away.
In her last days, as in all her life, she was pampered and loved by those around her. She had a long and full life, and in the end her suffering was minimal. I wasn’t ready for this, and I will miss her more than I have any words for…she’s been a constant presence in my life for 15 years, and you are never really prepared to say goodbye.
Farewell, Dayna-cat. I love you, always.