Jonathan and I are cat people. Before we joined our households, I had two cats and he had three. Two of his went to live with his mom and his tomcat, Mavro, came along when he moved in with me and Daphne and Daisy.
We honeymooned in Bryce Canyon, Utah, during the last week in October. We were only about an hour’s drive away from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary –known as the setting for the National Geographic Channel’s series Dogtown— in Kanab, Utah, and one day we drove down (in terms of both the compass and elevation– it was much warmer there!) for a visit. First we watched a video at the visitors’ center, then hopped in a van to take a tour of the property. I was a fan of the show Dogtown, but once I was there I quickly realized that the show doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous canyon setting. Despite the fact that we’d been enjoying the majestic Canyon for a few days, we were struck by the beauty of the high plateau where Kenab is located.
Our tour included a stop at one of the cat buildings where we got to go inside and pet the cats. Another stop was at one of the dog runs where a trainer showed us some of the work he does with the dogs. We didn’t get to visit any of the other habitats, such as where the pigs, goats, horses, fowl, or rabbits live. The most touching part is the animal cemetery that’s on the property. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the van as we slowly drove past.
Here is a collection of snapshots I took while we were there:
Getting to see the cats certainly made us miss our babies back home, and we were glad to be reunited with them when we returned. We brought back a toy stuffed with catnip from the gift shop at the sanctuary. When we left our suitcase open on the bed, I found Daphne burrowing her way through the clothes to get to that catnip. Sadly, that’s one of the last memories I have of her being her normal self.
In early November, not long after we got back home, Daphne started acting sick. Earlier on this blog I chronicled our adventures with Daphne’s bladder surgery, so my first thought was that she was having more bladder troubles. She was hiding under our bed and refusing food and water. But when I took her to the vet we found out it was something much worse: congenital heart failure. Probably something she was born with, although I’d never had a reason to believe she had heart problems in her four and a half years. After two intense days at a specialty animal hospital, we brought her home, thinking that with daily medicine we’d have about six more months with her. But it didn’t quite work out that way. It didn’t take long for us to realize she was in really bad shape and not getting better. So as sad as it was, it was something of a relief when we came home on November 19 and discovered that she was no longer suffering.
It’s been three months since we lost her, after she’d been with me for over four years. I don’t think about her every day, but any time I get sad about something else, I wind up thinking about her.
I think Jonathan and I will probably be the parents of many cats in the future, but Daphne will always hold a special place in my heart. Mavro and Daisy are still working on their new two-cat dynamic. Daphne was the alpha and I think Daisy is trying to take over that role. Mavro is much bigger than Daisy but he has a very mild temperament. They will play together and chase each other around the house, but there’s also quite a bit of playful-but-kind-of-serious hissing and fighting. Time will tell whether they become better friends, but at least for now they seem to have a truce.