Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet Diedra

Diedra wasted no time making herself at home.
Diedra is my miracle girl. She is also a huge part of the reason I advocate the no-kill policy for all animal shelters.

2006 was a rough year for me. I had lost my dear cat Lyvani, who had been with me for 15 years. She had developed intestinal cancer and finally had to be put to sleep to end her suffering. A few weeks after Lyvani crossed the Rainbow Bridge, the vet found a suspicious mass while giving Ashi an exam. It ended up being benign, but it left me scared. Ashi and I both mourned for Lyvani and I finally decided to get another cat to help fill the gap. I adopted a cat named Smoky - renamed Maia - from a local rescue group. She was an older cat and ended up only being with us for a few months before she also passed on.
My sister Kristin and her kids moved in with me a few months after I got Diedra. She was dubious of the kids at first, but she learned quickly that nap time was a great chance for a snuggle. Here she shares a nap with Kristin and Kent.
I was devastated by this point and I decided I would be a one-cat person for a while. Fate, however, had other ideas.

I received an e-mail from a lady I can met a couple of times at animal adoption events. Jeannie told me a sad story about a cat at the Ivins Animal Shelter that couldn't find a home. This cat named Molly had been at the shelter for about a year and a half. She was shy and somewhat reclusive and just kept getting overlooked. Jeannie had tried to take her home, but the cats at her house wouldn't accept her. She ended up taking Molly back to the shelter, but was determined to find her a home. I was working as the Features Editor at our local newspaper at that time and I thought it would make a good story - one of those sob stories about the poor little cat who couldn't find a home.
Diedra will occasionally accept love from someone else - here she lets Kent cuddle a bit - but mostly she's a one-person cat.
I made the trip to the Ivins Animal Shelter (OK, it wasn't much of a trip. It's only about a mile from my house) and talked to Robin, the Animal Control Officer. I took copious notes about the background of the shelter and the problems it had faced trying to switch to a no-kill operation. Then she took me in the cat room to meet Molly. She warned me that she was shy and would probably ignore me. I had done a lot of work with feral cats and had rehabbed quite a few, including my sweet girl Lyvani, so I told her I knew what to do.

I found her curled up on a cat bed in one of the corners. I ignored the kittens frolicking about and the beautiful flame-point strutting back and forth in front of me and concentrated on this forgotten cat. I was struck at once by how unusual her coat was, kind of a tortoiseshell tabby. I held out a finger for her to sniff and she looked at me, sniffed my finger, then gave it a quick lick. Then she rested her chin on my hand and started to purr.
Diedra in her usual spot on my bed. She takes it upon herself to press my jeans for me.
The sob story about the forgotten cat never happened because the next day I went back to the shelter with a cat carrier and took her home. I had a room set aside for her with all the amenities so she could get used to me and Ashi slowly and safely. She wasn't having any of that! She strutted right out of the room and started walking around like she'd always lived there. I renamed her Diedra and she has been my cuddle bunny ever since. She can most often be found on my bed and her favorite place to nap is cuddled into my armpit or snuggled against my back like she's spooning me. She is standoffish with other people still, but she always has a cuddle or head rub for me.
Diedra also enjoys Dan Brown novels and moonlight walks on the beach.
If the Ivins shelter hadn't adopted its no-kill philosophy, this sweet cat would have been euthanized long before I found her. And I truly believe she was waiting for me. I'm just sorry it took me so long to show up and take her home.


  1. Sorry about the problems posting comments. I think Blogger was glitching. Hopefully it's fixed now.