We had to say goodbye to a beloved friend this week. This is Arya.
She was about 14 years old, and this Saturday she finished her time here as a cat.
We got Arya when she was somewhere around 6-8 months old. Candi was actually checking on the status of another cat that we'd found abandoned. We had two cats and a dog at the time already and it seemed like enough, so we turned the stray into the humane society--with the caveat that if the stray didn't find a home quickly, we'd adopt him. Well, the stray was adopted, but when Candi went in to check, there was this one pastel kitten with little white paws who simply demanded to be adopted. She meowed insistently, reached through the bars, purring for all she was worth... basically shouting "Take me home! Please!"
Candi came back with me and said that there was this one kitten she couldn't leave behind, and if I could tell which one it was, we should probably adopt her. It was a safe bet. There was nobody else like her there.
Arya was, in many ways, the most un-catlike of any cat I've ever met. She was certainly clumsier than any cat I've known, which is endearing in a species known for its grace. She also lacked that self-conscious, regal pride that is so ubiquitous in cats, and showed none of the typical cat's casual sense of arrogance or aloofness.
Instead, Arya was sweet. She was the sweetest, most adoring cat I have ever known. In her younger days she was also a cannonball of fun and would play until she collapsed panting (she's the only cat I've ever seen pant), though of course she slowed down as the years crept up on her. What never changed was her affectionate, loving character. She had no fear of visitors and would introduce herself to anyone with a barrage of purrs. She even purred when you took her to the vet and held her while they gave her a shot.
She had some difficulties toward the end, as is the nature of getting old. Now she is at rest, and we will always remember the sweet, loving soul who shared so many years with us.