Vanna White came to the Doe family by way of the Highland Falls, NY, Humane Society. Vanna was one of eight kittens dumped in a ditch but all of these babies were eventually adopted out. When we met Vanna, she was the only cat to pass “the squeeze test,” at the Humane Society. This “test” involved carrying her cradled like a baby, since we knew that she would be loved this way by her future sister–our daugher, Maggie, who was turning four. Maggie wanted a kitty just like her babysitter had, and that cat’s name was “Vanna White.” So when the nearly all-black Vanna came to be part of our family, she was thus named.
Over the years, she added a name–Saint Vanna–because she required so little of us and gave so much. We were a family with several high-maintenance dogs and so the wonder of Vanna was that she was the reliably healthy and happy pet who asked only that we pay her a little attention … perhaps just once or twice a day!
Nevertheless, she was a people-cat. Vanna loved to be at the center of any social gathering in our home. She would select the person whose lap she would grace for the entire event. We always told that person to accept this honor as he or she “had been chosen.”
Vanna suffered from a probable lymphoma and ultimately shrunk to a mere three pounds, but she never lost her silky fur which was her trademark. People often noted that they had never felt a cat with as soft a coat as Vanna’s.
Vanna also liked to eat, even when she was her sickest. Among her favorite treats were some surprises–things like watermelon and broccoli!
When we are inclined to be sad about our loss of Vanna–and the hole in our hearts from her passing is quite large–we remind ourselves of the remarkable number of good years that she graced our lives. A friend to all, Vanna will live on in our hearts. In the end, she taught us how to say goodbye without fanfare or fuss, which was totally in keeping with her approach to life.