Last Monday, January 10th, we had to euthanize our one of a kind, evil genius cat, Katafanga. Katafanga was born on a dark and stormy night in October 1995 in Woodland, CA. I adopted him as a furry “female” kitten named “Sassy” from Animal Control in Woodland in 1995. He was a character from the start and more than lived up to his original moniker. Although it turned out that he was not a girl, he was indeed, very sassy. Katafanga was adopted as a buddy for both me and my elderly dog Miya who had always lived with cats. Katafanga didn’t mind dogs at all and liked to go on walks with all of our pet dogs through the years.
For those of you that knew Katafanga, you know what a unique individual he was. He was extremely feisty, independent, intelligent, and confident. He owned the world (our world at least) and he knew it. He would bite you if you petted him in a way he didn’t like, he would bite you if you moved while he was laying on you, he would bite you if you forgot to fill his food bowl, and he would bite you if you annoyed him in any way. He loved to play with toys but after a few minutes of play his eyes would dilate and he would stop looking at the toy and start looking at your hand or arm. That was the time to stop playing with him if you wanted to emerge unscathed.
Katafanga was a very wonderful and quirky guy and he brought so much enjoyment to our lives. He is irreplaceable and I miss him every day. He did so many fabulous crazy cat things like hanging in the window of the door to be let in (5 feet up in a wooden door), play fighting with our other cat Kathmandu for hours on their cat palace, eating cat food with his paw so he could keep an eye on things, laying on our chests to keep warm and get petting, kneading his beloved blanky when he was happy. I could write a book just about him and all his wacky ways. If you left a drawer open a centimeter he would reach in with his paws and pull everything out. He would get in the kitchen cabinets and wander around. He used to drag himself along the back of the couch between the couch and the wall with his claws.
We lost him for two weeks when he was a kitten. After several rounds of posting flyers he was eventually returned to us from the home that he had wandered into. When I tearfully greeted him upon his return, he bit me in the face. That’s the kind of guy he was, loving, frightening, independent, a furry genius, and always wanting everything on his own terms.
Katafanga got bone cancer in his face about two months ago and the tumors eventually closed one of his eyes and started to interfere with his breathing. It was terrible to see him not feeling well and we feel we made the right decision to end his life. Even in his final hours he was imperiously inspecting the inside of the car as we waited for the vet and periodically curling up to purr on my lap on his blanky. For all of you that knew, loved, feared, or loved and feared Katafanga, thank you for being his friend. He could always use a good pet while eating or a warm lap to be in charge of. He will be missed.
By the way, this eulogy doesn’t really do him justice. I feel like he could have written it himself and it would have been more like the Gettysburg Address, or the I have a dream speech, or maybe more like Ginsberg’s Howl. Suffice it to say that I miss him like crazy and he can never be replaced.