In memoriam:

2002? - 27 Oct. 2007


Sex: Female Born: c. 2002
Died: 27 Oct. 2007
Type: Calico, shorthaired. Origin: Stray.
Features: Mostly orange and black coat with white stockings, bib, and belly. Rather stocky build.
Name: Character in the Mabinogion, Welsh mythology.


Branwen started showing up at my stray feeder in January, 2007. While she was a little shy at first, she soon allowed me to touch and pet her. When it became clear that she was camping in my garage and didn't seem to have anywhere else to go, I took her in. She took some time adapting to living in the house and with other cats, but eventually settled in very nicely. She was a mature cat at the time, probably at least four or five years old.

Branwen was a lively and intelligent cat, who was quite affectionate with me but not terribly fond of other cats. She lived with them peaceably, but was inclined to whack any who infringed on her personal space. She ranged through most of the house, but avoided the sewing room; she was afraid of the ceiling fan in there for some reason. (It wasn't the motion -- I seldom use the fan, and she never saw it turned on.)

Soon after she moved in, I started noticing that Branwen reminded me of Wotan in many ways. Her personality, many of her mannerisms, even the way she vocalized, were all very similar to his. It could have been just coincidence, but since Wotan was a dominant local tom before I took him in, and probably left his stamp on the gene pool in the neighborhood, she might have been a granddaughter or possibly even a daughter of his.

Branwen was very happy as a housecat. She established several favorite sleeping places, loved to sit on my lap while I read the newspaper, and always got on the counter to help while I dished out catfood. She got very excited at feeding time; I think she must have had to scrounge for food a lot during her stray days, and she never quite got over the wonder of having large quantities of food just there for the taking.

She was with me for far too short a time, a little under eight months. Although vigorous and apparently quite healthy, Branwen evidently had an unsuspected heart condition. On the evening of 26 Oct. 2007, she experienced a sudden paralysis of her hind legs. In cats this is commonly caused by a thromboembolism (a blood clot) which lodges in the main blood supply to the hindquarters, cutting off circulation. It is usually the result of some form of cardiomyopathy. The vet confirmed that Branwen's condition was a thromboembolism, and that there was no realistic chance of recovery. Branwen's distress was increasing, so I had no other option but to have her put to sleep, early on the morning of 27 Oct. (Wotan, to whom I suspect she was related, also had cardiomyopathy, so hers might have been a genetic condition.)

It is always especially difficult to deal with the sudden and unexpected death of a cat who wasn't old and hadn't had any previous health problems. While Branwen hadn't lived with me very long, she was an affectionate and outgoing cat who spent a lot of time with me, and she was a joy to have around. I missed her very much.


Branwen Branwen Branwen    

With Other Cats