Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dayo's Memoriam: Three Lessons and a Poem

Last Tuesday, we announced the tragic death of our beloved, gentle, and sweet tabby cat, Dayo. As we sifted through various emotions during last week, what became clear is that we had a significant, loving relationship with him lasting just over two years. I exclaimed that I wish I could have told Dayo how important he was in our lives, to which The Calm One replied, you showed him every day how important he was. Lesson learned: Actions are where it's at.

Dayo's nose showed three, vertical wrinkles when he yawned or ate, what I called his full wrinkle mode.

Standing behind the net curtains, I watched The Calm One and Monsieur M carry what I can only consider as Dayo's casket and place it into what I can also only consider as his hearse. Though the house felt empty without his presence, it was the void left in my heart that threaten to swallow me whole in its desolation. 

Before falling asleep, Dayo would always first knead for a few minutes while doing his distinctive purr: a kind of rumbling hiccupping while the delicate, pink tip of his tongue stuck out.

Wondrous qualities exist in living creatures, and Dayo had many: ability to trust, curiousity, courage, beauty, grace, energy, affection, cleverness, playfulness, creativity, and receptivity to being loved.

Dayo hardly ever drank from his water bowl; he jumped onto the sink so he could drink directly from the faucet.

The Calm One had the presence of mind to bring a two-year supply of anti-flea treatment along with Dayo's body to the vet. As he was making a donation of the medicine, a man entered the room, to whom the vet said, here, this is for your cat clinic. Second lesson learned: Pass it on no matter how much you may be locked within your own concerns. 

Dayo had many hiding places in the garden and the house.

Since The Calm One hung out with Dayo mostly in the house and I in the garden, he, stricken with grief, is found coming into a room, saying, I miss Dayo, while I am found in the garden saying the same thing to which he responds, If missing Dayo could bring him back, he would have returned a second after his death.

Dayo was always ready for a good sparring: here he was trying to attack my camera's strap. He could leap several feet in the air to give a gentle, soft swipe on the nose.

Because our sense of loss was so intense at first, plus we were focused on practical matters concerning Dayo's death, our healing was put on hold. After several days, as we live without him, our understanding deepens regarding what that means to us. Our conversation is peppered with: I just opened the linen cupboard, if Dayo was here he would be inside in a flash; It's the time for Dayo to come in for the night; I wonder where he is (which would have been followed by our searching until we found his new hiding spot).

He was a beautiful, sensuous creature at home in nature

Our thoughts also are filled with his memory: when making my way to my side of the bed in the dark, I stop myself from feeling for a furry pile melded into my pillow which I have to slide gently between The Calm One and me; when seeing a bump under the covers during the day, we think we need to make sure it's not Dayo before our lying down for a nap; when I open the fridge and see the butter, I think, oh, Dayo would have loved a bit of it.

He was as Madame M says, très rigolo (very funny) and made us laugh every day.

We are grateful for all the kindness, understanding, and support given to us by you.  We appreciated each and every comment. Your commiseration makes us feel less bereft.

Dayo loved to be picked up and would stay in our arms or draped over our shoulders for long periods of time

For those of you who have lost pets, we understand.  For those of you who will unfortunately lose pets, hopefully you will not be alone in your sadness because people are becoming more aware that pets are furry people whose death require mourning.
Here he is checking out a kitten on the net. When I was working at my computer, he would nudge his way into my arms where he would remain cradled for several hours. When he was very young, he would suckle on the buttons of my shirt or climb up until he hid in my hair.

The third lesson? It was our mutual attentiveness to each other that was the magic. We mattered to each other in the most basic way that transcended species; we were all alive at the same moment, linked through that connection despite--or perhaps because of--the transient nature of life. 

Farewell to Dayo 
by Hans Pufal aka The Calm One 

When you arrived you were so small
To get about you could but crawl.
Your eyes shone bright as burnished gold
And when we heard that cutest of cries
We'd pick you up like a little fur ball

You told us your name by typing it out
But not speaking cat we could only doubt
And then we noticed those four little letters
A song came to mind, but let's ignore that
Your name is Dayo, no more messing about!

It was on your first garden outing
And so much needed careful scouting
You climbed that tree all the way to the top
It was quite an adventure to get you down
But quickly you learnt to tackle anything

When cats do die where they go
Is something that no one does know
Your presence brightened every day
And this we wish where ever you are
Farewell, godspeed to you dear Dayo. 


Announcement of Dayo's death
All my Dayo blog posts