We lost Diné this morning to old age. We got her in the summer of 1999 after we got back from living in Spain for three and half years. Tristan had gone up the Four Corners area with her grandparents to help work of houses on the Navajo Reservation. Diné was a kitten running around the on the the houses that was acting like a really sweet, floppy kitten, and since she was pretty much feral, the owners of the house told Tristan, Jim and Ann to take her home. Tristan asked how to say "floppy" in Navajo, which was "nachao" (probably not spelled right), and "floppy people" would be "Diné nachao", so Diné's full name was originally Diné Nachao.
As it turned out, the reason Diné was sweet and floppy was because she was very sick, and her first year was really touch and go, but once she fully recovered and gained all her strength, she was no longer floppy and turned into a very sweet little terror of a kitty. Diné was our only cat for a year before we got Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the summer of 2000. Nick adopted us in 2002, we adopted Mama Manx and Stretch in 2004, and Lane gave us Puck in 2007. After losing Nick, Stretch, Puck and Mama Manx, we added Spunk, Najar and Sasha in the past 3 years, and most recently Silver, Loki and Marble. But even in the past month Diné was becoming more frail, she was still top cat and was respected by all the other cats, even the rowdy kittens.
Diné loved life, she loved us and we loved her. Everyone who met Diné would comment on how beautiful she was and how unique her markings were. She loved being with Tristan and Laurie, and she liked to be involved in whatever they were doing, but especially gardening, taking naps and sleeping with us. Diné was remarkably strong until this past week where she seemed to get a cold, and got weak very quickly. We've had her in kind of a kitty hospice for the past few days, where Laurie would take a damp washcloth and clean and groom Diné, talk to her, bring her food and Diné really appreciated it. Yesterday, Diné got where she couldn't walk, but she was alert in the morning, so we moved her to the places she liked to go. As she declined in the afternoon, we thought we had lost her a few times, but then she would rally, become alert, and eat and drink a little before going back into a state of drowsiness.
She laid on my lap for a long time last night, and she slept with us all night, but then she died early in the morning soon after we got up. She seemed to hang on to life as long as she could, because she didn't want to miss out on any love, fun or whatever we were up to. Lane and Suzette came out this evening and we gave Diné a nice burial. We will really miss Diné.
My first digital photo of Diné in 2003
Diné, Mama Max, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Stretch and Nick in 2005
Trying out ear warmers in 2010
In the garden
With Tristan, 2007
With Rosencrantz, April 6, 2017
Diné's grave, covered in flowers