His Name Was Dia. He Was A Gentlecat.
The time has come to talk about him in the past. And even though it was to be expected at his 140 respectable cat years, his absence is still difficult to accept.
More than 20 years ago we had moved into this new apartment and we were wondering if we should get a cat or not. Given my mom’s long love for the fluffy felines and our desire to squeeze and play with an animal, we got not one, but two. A black and a white one, brothers, both fluffy. While the white one got the name Dia quite quickly (Latin for “day”, my idea, my nerdiness was obvious from an early age, I guess), the black one got the name Fofo. As philosophical as Dia’s name’s background was, Fofo’s name came off a jar of pickles. What can I say, life is unfair.
We always thought Dia was a girl.
Maybe because he was more delicate, or maybe because we never really bothered to closely look between his legs. And his jewels were kinda hiding, given his fluffiness. So for more than two years, we thought he was a she.
At the point when Fofo started riding Dia in a simulated mating ritual, eating his food only to throw it up later, we gave him away to a loving family he could rule with his iron-fluffy paw.
Dia was left to rule us with his humane looks and his blue-blooded grace.
And he did so for many years, until today. It’s not his white fluffy cute face I will miss, it’s his approach to life itself. It is a mystery to me how he always seemed to know the meaning of “Have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
My dad said it best: “I can’t say if he is the stupidest cat in the world or smarter than all of us.”
Sometimes he seemed to let life pass by him, indifferent to everything. Other times, on the contrary, he seemed to always be in our way, demanding a seat at the table. These moments were always random. Or so it seemed.
For example, there were days when he’d sleep and eat and sleep and eat and then, I remember when I was preparing my backpack to leave, he suddenly woke up from this sleep-eat coma to pee on my luggage. It sounds annoying, and it was. But after doing that and seeing me angry, he made nice. He followed me around for a whole evening, gave me all sorts of honey looks. And finally, he slept in my room that night.
I distinctly remember the morning I came down to leave for school and I found him ruling on the kitchen table in that yoga position cats sometimes take with their front paws under themselves.
He’s never been the kind of cat to do that. He looked at me all offended and very entitled. I walked away without shushing him off the table. It didn’t seem right.
He had a special bond with all members of my family.
My mom loved him as any mom does, indulging him with food. He shared some nights with me, delicately waking me up in the morning by deeply staring at me. My brother was his silent partner in crime. My dad, well, like any dad, would love and criticize and love again.
He is now gone and it really feels like a small part of me has numbed.
I cried for a bit. Then I forgot. Then I remembered and cried some more. It comes and goes in waves. It’s difficult to imagine our home without him. Dia was some sort of a family essence. I know it sounds weird, but through all things we went as a family, good and bad, our love and the way we were with him always stayed the same. He was a buffer, a conversation starter, the object of fun-facts, hell, you could even talk to him and he’d reply. Ask whoever visited us in these last 20 years.
For obvious reasons, it’s hard to finish this article. I guess what I am trying to say is rest in peace, Dia! We will all miss you terribly.