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Happy Birthday, Luke & Leia

According to their adoption paperwork, our kittens Luke and Leia are one year old today! They’ve brought a great deal of joy to our household, and we’re looking forward to many more! Happy birthday, kitties!

Upon The Fields Of Catnip

Upon The Fields Of Catnip
by Rob Wynne
TTTO: “Fields of Gold” by Sting

You’ll remember how I would always purr upon the fields of catnip
You’ll forget the spot where I used to sleep as we play with balls of yarn

So the time to go was a time I chose upon the fields of catnip
In her arms I slipped through the summer door to play with balls of yarn

“Won’t you stay with me? Must you leave so soon to roam the fields of catnip?
All these years you’ve gazed from your lofty perch and played with balls of yarn”

But the quiet calls and it’s time to go upon the fields of catnip.
Feel my body still as I slip away to play with balls of yarn

“I never sent you away lightly
and there have been times I regretted
But I thought you’d be there waiting to play with balls of yarn
We’ll play with balls of yarn”

Now a year has gone and I still run free upon the fields of catnip
Let a kitten romp through my favourite haunts and play with balls of yarn

You’ll remember how I would always purr upon the fields of catnip
I’ll be waiting here, ’till we meet again, and we’ll play with balls of yarn
We’ll play with balls of yarn
We’ll play with balls of yarn

It’s been a little over a year now since we lost Dayna.  Earlier today, I saw on Facebook that a friend’s beloved pet had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and someone commented that he was “running around in fields of catnip now”, and this just poured out.  I still miss you, you weird furry little kitty.

Moss Bliss performed this song as part of a 2×10 set at Gafilk in 2018.

RIP Dayna (1998-2012)

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 [personal profile] 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.

RIP Jenna (1997 – 2010)

kitanzi woke up this morning and found our cat, Jenna, had slipped away from us in the night. It’s unclear at this point what precisely was the cause; she’d been having some distress that we thought at first was hairballs, but may have been a more acute stomach irritation. Last night, when I went to bed, she jumped up next to me and curled up next to my side, as she often did. She was friendly and energetic all evening, so I do not think she suffered long. Whatever the cause, it was sudden and not protracted.

Jenna was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever owned. She loved being near people, and I kept a folding table next to my desk with a fleece blanket folded on top of it, so she could curl up next to me while I played computer games. Her favourite spot on the couch was right in front of the arm, curled up against my leg while I’d watch TV, and she slept next to me most nights, at least for a while. She was often shy when someone new came to visit, but eventually she’d venture out and collect the petting that was her due.

We originally adopted her through the Cat Clinic of Roswell to be a companion for Dayna, who was used to being in a multi-cat household and seemed upset to suddenly be alone. They never did get along the way we’d hoped, but in recent years seemed to have settled into a truce with one another, still not the best of friends, but no longer objecting to the other’s presence. I once joked that their relationship had “settled into an uneasy détente, so as long as neither one of then invades Afghanistan, I think we might at least have a sustainable peace.”

Back in May, she was suffering from some sort of intestinal inflammation that the vet was convinced was cancer. We were greatly relieved to learn it wasn’t, but had no idea how short her time with us was to be. In recent weeks she’d seemed to have been well on the road to recovering her appetite, gaining weight, and generally being more spry and social than she’d been when she was sick. I already miss her more than words can say, and I’m grateful she didn’t suffer long.

Good hunting, Jenna, wherever next you roam. You were a joy in our lives, and we are richer for the years you spent with us.

The three best words I heard today…

As we were out driving on an errand this morning, we got a call from our vet, and he said three words that none of us (him included) expected to hear him say:

It’s not cancer.

Whatever was bothering Jenna appears to been some sort of inflammatory disease or condition, but the biopsy came back clean. And since the biopsy was taken during the surgery, he feels completely confident that the sample he took was from the most abnormal looking section of the bowel.

We’re continuing to treat her for the inflammation and the thyroid, and she needs to put some weight back on, but whatever else she has, it’s not the lymphoma Dr. Ray was nearly certain she had.

(There’s other big news from today, but that’s another post…)

Jenna is Home

She’s hiding under the bed and not talking to us at the moment, but she is home and seems to be in reasonably good shape. We have a variety of medicines for her, and we’ll get a call as soon as the biopsy results come in.

Thanks again for all the good thoughts.

Update on Jenna

Well, she came through the surgery with flying colours, and was awake and eating late this afternoon. They’re keeping her overnight, but we should be able to bring her home tomorrow.

The surgeon said there was no mass as was suggested on the ultrasound, though the colon was thickened and abnormal, and there are signs of lymphoma. We’ll know more when they get the biopsy back. At any rate, there are hopeful signs at this stage.

Thank you all for your kind wishes and support. It means a lot to all of us.

Good thoughts requested

A while back, our cat Jenna had begun getting very finicky about food, and was losing weight at an alarming rate. We took her to the Cat Clinic of Roswell, and they kept her overnight, ran a bunch of tests, and eventually came up with a diagnosis of thyroid problems, put her on medication, and that seemed to be the end of the problem. But recently, we noticed that she was having more bouts of diarrhoea than previously, and had more distressingly picked a couple of spots in the apartment away from the litterbox to deposit this. And she was still thinner than we’d like.

We took her back to the vet, for more tests and, after pancreatic deficiency was ruled out, brought her in for an ultrasound, because the vet was increasingly worried about bowel cancer. The ultrasound found a mass in her abdomen, so today, she’s having surgery to have it removed and confirm what it is. There’s still a chance that it’s not cancer, though I’m trying hard not to get too attached to that idea. Even if it is, we’re hoping that it can be excised and that we got to it early enough that even if it later recurs, she’ll have several more happy years with us.

Aside from the gastric distress, you’d have no idea she was sick. She’s still as active as you’d expect a 13 year old cat to be, and very affectionate and content. It’s much too early to contemplate her leaving us. So if you have some good thoughts to spare today, please send them our way.

Historic cat

This morning, our cat Dayna (seen in my userpic) was being very annoying. kitanzi finally got fed up and this conversation ensued:

kitanzi: Dayna, stop it. You’re obnoxious!
autographedcat: And disliked.
kitanzi: You know that’s true.
autographedcat: Yes, I do.
kitanzi: And apparently historical.

Dear lord, our cat is the reincarnation of John Adams.

My cat is weird….

Overheard just now in our house:

“Dayna, you cannot gain the knowledge of humans by eating their magazines!”

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