The beloved cat who will never see the Manse

Bayona Brassard, our much-loved roly-poly cat, who died yesterday and whose loss has left a great big hole in our hearts and lives.

Bayona Brassard, our much-loved roly-poly cat, who died yesterday and whose loss has left a great big hole in our hearts and lives.

Regular readers will know that Raymond and I are fond of cats, and especially of our two cats, Sieste and Bayona, whom I first wrote about here. In that post from last August, I speculated about the possibility of ever bringing “the girls” (as we call them) to the Manse. The good part, I wrote, would be how much they would enjoy the great big yard full of things that would interest a cat (birds especially, but also butterflies and snakes and doubtless other creatures) and a house that’s a lot bigger than the one in Montreal, with many nooks and corners to explore and two staircases to charge up and down. The bad part would be the four-and-a-half-hour trip between Montreal and the Manse in Queensborough, during which Sieste, who hates to travel, would yowl constantly.

Bayona, by contrast, a fat and contented cat who wasn’t much bothered by travel or anything else, would have been fine. But I say “would have” deliberately, because now we will never know. Bayona died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday, and our hearts are more than a little bit broken. And with the loss of one important member of our four-member household – and probably the nicest one at that, though Raymond comes awfully close – the household feels very empty indeed right now.

Raymond’s daughter Dominique called Bayona “a ball of love,” and that’s exactly what she was: a big ball of love. She was skinny as all get out when we adopted her from the Montreal SPCA 10 years ago this past Easter, but the skinniness was only because she hadn’t been properly fed in her old home. Once she joined us, she fattened right up, and she was just a chubby and happy and slightly dopey but very, very affectionate cat. She never bothered anyone, and she loved to have her tummy rubbed, and she would come and rub our legs when we sat at the dinner or breakfast table – or at the computer, as I’m sitting now.

I miss my good girl Bayona rubbing my legs.

And I feel so sad that she will never get to charge up and down those two staircases at the Manse. (It probably would have worked wonders as a weight-loss plan.)

Anyway, in memory of Bayona (Honey Bunny) Brassard, born sometime in 2001 or 2002 (approx.), died June 2, 2013, who brought a lot of love and happiness to our household, here’s a little photo gallery. You can click on the images to enlarge  them. Please feel free to tell me how lovely my fat cat was!

20 thoughts on “The beloved cat who will never see the Manse

  1. Oh, Katherine, I’m so sorry about the loss of Bayona! I know the terrible pain of losing a much-loved cat and the emptiness that comes after. I can tell you were as ga-ga about her as I was about my Mr Sox. I felt the same way about getting him out to our new country property in northern Ontario, and then, suddenly he was suffering with a bad heart and we lost him. You’ll feel better in time, maybe a long time, but it will come. I send you my best warm wishes. Lovely photos, lovely memories.

  2. Yes, she was lovely. You will have a Bayona-shaped hole in your hearts and household for some time to come.

    • Indeed we will, Elinor. It feels so strange that she’s not there when I look over at “her” mat as I type this. What I wouldn’t give to be able to pick her up and snuggle her one more time!

  3. Goodness, I am so sad seeing this post. My heart is breaking for you both. As I was reading about Bayona, DomDom came up on the couch and laid his head on my lap. I tapped the laptop screen and JuJu raised his head from my side and they both stared at me (I couldn’t get them to understand they should look at Bayona’s picture on the laptop). Anyway, I told them they lost their big fat cat cousin. They are sad too. I will hug them extra hard when I go up to bed tonight. Now poor Sieste will wonder where her sister went. Hugs to you all. *weep*

    • Thank you for the hugs and the sympathy, Jeannie. I’m glad you were able to get to know chubby, cheerful and loving Bayona thanks to your visits here. She made a lot of people happy by just being around.

  4. My heart is with you at this time. Since I am a very big cat lover and have my own special place for my lost loved cats around my frog pond, I want to say how sorry Jos and I are to hear of the loss of your dear pet. It is hard to say good bye to such a devoted animal that loves you like there is no tomorrow. Hold on to the good memories of your special times. And remember what a very good life you gave Bayona.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful cat. I too,am a cat lover, and I feel your loss. Some people say,they are only a cat, but to us who love them they are much more.Remember the good times,and the good life you gave her. Thanks for posting the pictures.

    • Thank you so much for your kind wishes, Betty. We cat-lovers know how much they mean to us, don’t they? Bayona was a part of the family, no two ways about it. But it does make us feel better to know that she probably had the best life she could have wished for. We took good care of her!

  6. Our sympathy goes out to you and Raymond.
    We know the sense of loss that accompanies the death of a favourite pet.
    We are still mourning the loss of our 13 year old Siberian Huskie who died several years ago after helping my wife earn her degree from Laurentian University by sitting at (and sometimes on) her feet as she sat at the dining room table and studied.
    Gerry and Bev

    • Thank you so much, Gerry and Bev. It made me smile and feel better to read about your dog’s helpful efforts with Bev’s university studies! Animals are very good that way, aren’t they? Why, I don’t know how I’d ever get the cat boxes changed without Sieste, our other cat, supervising the job!

  7. Are we also permitted to tell you how fat your lovely cat was? Katherine, Ray, I’m so sorry. I know what it is to lose a beloved cat. Worse than just about anything. Still, I expect Honey Bunny had fantastic and fantastical adventures every time she watched a bird in flight, even in a smaller space, so while not getting her to The Manse is your regret, it cannot have been hers. Her life sounds full and love-filled, and she was spared the often long and gruesome descent into real old age (for cats and humans). I know none of this really helps, but I do want you to know my thoughts are with you. Very much so.

    With love and sympathy


    • Thank you so much for your words, Hilary. I too am glad that Bayona was spared very old age and steadily failing health. And such a lovely image you conjure up, of her watching a bird. She did like that, and when she was young would make some small motions indicating she’d like to chase it. “I would like to have that bird!” was what she seemed to be saying. But in later – and, yes, chubbier – years, she was content to just lie on her mat and watch the birds and the world go by. How I wish she were here doing that right now.

  8. So sorry, Katherine. Absolutely heart breaking to lose our four legged loyal friends. You gave her a lovely life. : (

  9. I’d like to add my sympathy, too, Katherine and Raymond. If it’s true that the world is divided between “dog” people and “cat” people, I must be the exception. I’ve loved and grieved over both. (I’m just not a snake person.) Sorry that you lost Bayona.

    • Thank you so much, Jim. There does seem to be that dog/cat division in most people’s loyalties, but I, like you, love them both. I just haven’t had a dog in my life for a very long time, while the cats are pretty much always there, and so have been more front of mind. But once there is more Manse in our lives, I am pretty sure there will be a dog involved too. Raymond is definitely coming around to the idea of a beagle named Kip!

  10. Hi Katherine and Raymond, so sorry to hear about the loss of your ball of love, Bayona. Cats have a special way of being part of your everyday routines like reading the paper with a tail swishing by for one. The blog is a nice way to share your images and the story. Maybe the Manse needs a cat and a dog to go with the snake.

    • Thank you so much, Jo-Ann. You’re so right about how cats work their way into our daily routines. I have to stop myself automatically saying “Hi, girls!” when I come home now – because there’s only one girl waiting for me. Yes, I think the Manse does need a cat (or two) and a dog (see tonight’s post) – and truth be told, much as I like Mr. and Mrs. Snake better than any other snakes I’ve ever met, I wouldn’t mind if they found a place to live other than the Manse!

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