Today, we said goodbye to the Queen. Our queen, anyway. Diana came to live with me in 1997, when I bought my first house. She and her sister Frida, were little tortoiseshell sisters. I learned a quick lesson on tortitude and just how vocal cats can be. The two of them were always talking, chatting, yelling, and screaming. Also, the addition of these two fireballs elevated me to crazy cat lady status. I now had 4 cats (lol, we later had 7 at one time). Diana was the last of the original 4. She would have been 22 years old this year.
Diana was named for Diana, goddess of the hunt, because she loved to hunt and stalk her toys. When she was young, she started carrying her toys around, making this mewling sound. It was loud and disconcerting, but we thought it was cute. Until she started doing it at 4am.
When my husband came to live with us, Diana attached herself to him. She loved him more than food, I think. Her favorite thing to do was to stand on top of him and scream at him, occasionally poking at his eye, to wake him up. She wanted to snuggle, dammit.
She liked to go outside and was an expert escape artist. When we got our first dog, she noticed the door closed slowly, so she took to sliding through before it closed. I kept finding her outside and couldn’t figure out how. I finally caught her sneaking through behind me, silently. It was the only time she was silent. She talked constantly. If she was awake, she was telling us about everything.
In the last several months, she had stopped the constant chatter. But she would still walk around the house, screaming at the top of her lungs. The last week of her life, she was mostly silent. We knew that was it. When her voice left her, she was ready.
We contacted Lap of Love, the group who helped us say good-bye to our dog, Vincent. Dr. Allie came by the house this morning, gave Diana lots of treats, and helped her on her way. She went quick, without a fight. She was the queen here. She had her own heated bed that none of the other cats dared to lay in. Even in her last days, they gave her respect and left her alone. We are now without a tortoiseshell in our house for the first time in over 21 years. But don’t worry, Diana taught our tabbies how to chat, so it won’t be too quiet around here. Good-bye, sweet queen. Say hello to your sisters at the Rainbow Bridge.