My oldest cat, Djuna (named for Djuna Barnes), died last night. My friend Richard Peabody gave her to me as a Christmas present. Her mother had wandered into a friend's house and promptly gave birth to a litter of kitten. Richard arranged for me to meet him and his friend walked into our bookstore, unzipped his backpack and out tumbled this little kitten and a box of food. that was nearly 15 years ago.
Djuna always loved books and positioned herself in the middle of any pile that happened to be lying around. She was friendly, the way a dog can be. Every workman that came to the house was greeted and helped with whatever their assignment was. Even last week when Djuna was feeling a bit sluggish, she escorted the representative of the gas company as he replaced the meter.
We have never been enamored of fireworks, so we celebrate the 4th of July with an annual family Cat Wash. (Actually, a Cat Wash inspires its own form of fireworks!) Every cat gets a big old bath whether they need one or not. We will miss Djuna at this years event.