Cyra, our oldest cat and beloved pet is gone. She had been ill for a while, battling cancer, when last week we had to make the difficult decision to end her suffering. We had no choice.
Cyra was born around September 17, 1995, at Dreher Park Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida. She was one of a litter that was found after the mother cat disappeared (we think she was struck by a car while crossing I-95, since the litter was near the road) Cyrakitty (guess how she got her screen name) and I took one of the litter home, bottle fed her every two hours, burped her, cleaned her, and eventually weaned her to more solid food (how blissful were those first few nights of sleep, uninterrupted by feedings!).
She was named Cyra (from the Persian word for crown, since she had a small orange spot atop her head) and was a lively, happy and intelligent kitten. Her favorite toy was the plastic ring that’s left after unscrewing the cap from a bottle of milk. We would toss one for her and she would chase it and bring it back. She was very gentle in her play, not biting or using her claws. She would often enjoy laying on her side and using her front legs to pull herself along the carpet, “swimming” across the living room.
She never made a sound until she was an adult and had been around other cats, who taught her to meow. This was because her bosom buddy when young was Fizz, a large bunny retired from the zoo, who didn’t vocalize.
Unlike other cats, Cyra didn’t care for catnip. She much preferred a related herb- mint. We soon learned to keep the toothpaste where she couldn’t get at it.
She was the best of kitties and will always be missed.