This is our beautiful Rayna. We have one other picture of her, a black and white photo that came with her file when we adopted her.
The photo here was taken when we took her to the vet on Saturday. We asked if they had a camera, and had them email us the photo. This is a crop, the full image is a family photo. My husband is holding her up for this. I know it’s not her best picture, but it’s all we have.
Last Thursday we noticed Rayna wasn’t acting normal. She stopped eating, didn’t want to play, and slept more than usual. She would drink, but that was it. She wasn’t getting better on her own, so Saturday we took her to the vet. We had hoped to get her some antibiotics, and have her back to normal in a few days. But it was so much worse than we thought. In addition to her liver failing, either from not eating or another cause, she had fluid in her abdomen. They took a sample, and it was filled with pus. The vet said that was really unusual, something she’d see in dogs sometimes, but not cats, especially so young.
She wasn’t sure the cause, and said that Rayna was in very bad shape. If we took her home for the weekend, she wouldn’t last until Monday. The vet could recommend a specialist for more testing – Rayna would get hooked up to tubes and cut open and they would try to find the problem and see what they could do. But the vet said even if they did “fix” her, she probably wouldn’t recover from the surgery. We talked it over, and agreed with the vets (got a second opinion from the other vet at the clinic). Rather than spend a lot of money and discomfort, for such a low chance of recovery, we had her put down.
When we first went into the Human Society (on a Thursday), we were just going to look, then check some of the other shelters, and get a cat that weekend. My husband was liking a Siamese, I wanted a gray striped little kitten, and B liked the black ones. Then I saw this gorgeous little tortoiseshell short hair curled in the back of a cage. I pointed her out to my husband, and we both fell in love. We took her to the visiting room, and all three of us decided to take her home that same day. We had no desire to look elsewhere.
The name on her papers was Raynie. We didn’t like the sound of that, too much like a rainy day, so changed it slightly to Rayna. It means song or queen. Rayna was born on March 30, 2009. We adopted her on May 28. She died on November 14, not even eight months old.
She was such a perfect addition to our family, and we don’t regret any minute we spent with her. We had hoped that being an indoor only cat we would have her for another ten years. Rayna was so loving. She loved to sit on your lap, get petted. She was very tolerant, rarely got upset. She liked to play, and had a string toy she would play with for as long as you’d play with her.
Rayna had a pink blanket that she came with, and we buried it with her. Now we walk by her everyday, as she’s in our front flowerbed. I miss her so much. Usually the first thing I do when I get home from walking B to school is let the cat out of the laundry room. But I didn’t get to do that today. I don’t have her sitting patiently by my chair for me to give her permission to jump up. She’s not here to play with my pen. I will never hear her demanding meows when I open a can of tuna. The house feels so empty.
When my husband took her in for her six month shots, I didn’t go with him. I have allergies, and though I’d become used to Rayna, I don’t do too well in a vet’s office. But I’m so glad I decided to go with him on Saturday. I got to hold Rayna one last time, and say my goodbyes. And I got to be there for my husband. He took it the hardest. Rayna was truly his cat. And she knew it. His lap was her first choice in the morning, and he gave her the best rubbing.
B understands that she is gone. He watched us bury her. But he wasn’t as attached as we were, and it didn’t have the same impact. His only question when I explained she was gone was if we would get a new one. We will. Eventually.
I wish I had more pictures. With all the house expenses, we hadn’t wanted to spend the money right now on a new camera. We thought we had missed out on some good pictures of a tiny kitten, but thought we’d have plenty more picture opportunities. And now those chances are gone. We have our memories. So many good memories. Rayna really was the perfect fit for our family. And we’ll always miss her.