Yin, our long haired kitty of thirteen years has passed away, her kidneys just couldn't do it anymore. But, rather than be sad at the passing I hope to reflect some grateful sentiments for all she offered us.
To begin, Yin was born on Bowen Island of British Columbia, Canada, a couple of years before I met my wife, Tracy. She was adopted by Tracy along her with sister, Yang. Yin was always the prettier sister, but for most their life they got along great - there's even a picture here of them sleeping together as they did so often in their younger days. Yin seemed to have a knack for catching birds in her younger years, loved the outdoors and even did OK on ocean kayaks (although they weren't her favorite thing). In our college years this trooper of a kitty saw the west coast up and down - Vancouver Island (Victoria); Kelowna (Interior BC); Seattle; Fullerton (SoCal); Aneheim and Sacramento.
For the first half of her life, Yin was the prettiest and prissiest kitty you'd ever seen. She loved sitting in places that made sure you would see her, and loved it when you commented on her beauty; however, in this part of her life she didn't like to be petted much, just fawned over. Yes, she loved to pirch on anything she could - trees, tables, sinks, bookshelves - whatever seemed to be the best spotlight to show off her pretty fur to all who'd pass by.
Speaking of perching... The first time I met this kitty was a bit more than 10 years ago, in Kelowna. I was sleeping in my girlfriends spare bedroom and woke up just in time to see Yin happily drool on my face. She was perched atop my chest and all to eager to greet this new house guest. Tracy was impressed because Yin was known for her stand-offish behaviors, so I was obviously someone special to garner this sort of attention from the Princess.
Prior to this, Yin had also been known for her expert hunting ability (see her sneaking up on that bird pictured)- something she tried to pass on to the humans in her life. Yes, on occasion it has been told to me that my wife would wake up and see Yin sitting on the bed, super excited. As soon as my wife would become aware of the whens and wheres of it all, Yin would make a quick exit and let the little snake that was being kept warm by the fluffy kitty loose. Ah, what great fun this was for Yin as she observed Tracy's snake catching abilities (or lack thereof).
When we moved to Sacramento in 2000, we noticed a major change in Yin's behavior. Shortly after buying our home she turned from Little Miss Priss to something a bit more dirty. She'd figured out the joy of laying in loose leaves and piles of dirt and would often come inside looking like an absolute mess! Ah, but she loved it, don't be fooled. She never seemed more happy than when she was at her messiest - and this was a bit more than shocking for Tracy and me.
She took it too far earlier this year, as she found herself on the wrong end of a Skunk that had found our yard. Oh, for the love of all things decent, this was a long night for everyone. Sadly, I think Yin got the worst of it, as evidenced by this picture of her getting her peroxide/lemon smell removing bath. Poor kitty. It didn't seem to change anything for her though, she'd still tromp around the house and come in dirty as she could.
Ah, 13 years of good stories, they simply can't be told her at this forum. I hope you all don't mind my sharing something personal like this, but today I just can't imagine talking about beer, the industry or even the upcoming GABF. It is just a sad and quiet sort of day, a day we all experience.
No, today will likely be full of shared stories about this cat who meant so much to our little home for so many years. It may even be tough to pour a glass of milk, as this was a favorite for Yin - fresh milk poured into her little bowl would make her sing, dance and generally show a lot of personality. She will be missed, and I am thankful that we have all these stories and more to share.