Sunday, August 12, 2007

The One Who Came Before

My momma's all sad now. This picture isn't of Jake, though he looks just like him. This is Sundance and he's passed over to the Rainbow Bridge. His story is at After reading Sundance's story and then Tara's blog here she's sad for the loss these families experienced and that reminds her of the one that came before me. Her name was Katie. Mom just tried to use the scanner on the printer for the first time with no luck. Tired of struggling with it, she decided to write without the precious picture of Katiekins. This is her story:

Many many years ago when Kali was my only cat, I found the kitten who would be Katie while taking out the trash from my apartment. Looking down I found this half dead little baby kitten. She was the color of dirt, covered with fleas, ear mites, ants and mucous covered her eyes and ran from her nose. Overcome with a feeling of dread, I picked her up. My problem was that I was only allowed the one cat on my pet lease and yet I'd been given a responsibility to help this precious living thing out.

Later that afternoon at the vet's I started to object when the vet refereed to me as mommy. Deciding to keep my mouth shut, I knew I resolved not to get attached to this small specimen of a Russian Blue kitten. My plan was to raise her until she was healthy enough to find a home. She was negative for both FeLV/FIV and the ailments went away with loving care. Not able to find her a home, I finally drove her to San Francisco one and a half hours away because they agreed to take her into the no-kill shelter. Giving her up was giving up a family member, because of course I'd become attached to the little girl. The next morning when she wasn't there to greet me and follow me around the house, I lost it. I called up the apartment management office and asked if there wasn't a way that I could have two cats on my lease. I had decided to move if they wouldn't let me keep her. Loving Katie was more important than packing up an apartment and moving. The manager's assistant gave me good news. There wasn't a limit of animals I could have on my pet lease. Since I already had a pet deposit on file, then I was allowed a second cat.

What had I done to Katie? I hung up the phone and called the shelter. No, she hadn't been adopted out yet. And no, they couldn't put a hold on her until I could get there. Jumping in my car, I flew up there to the shelter. When I found my baby in her cage she was acting like a wild animal. She was so pissed off that she wouldn't stop howling. As I reached for her, a volunteer warned me "Watch out for that one, she bites." Sensing my presence she snuggled into my side.

The poor thing took a day to get back into our old routines. My heart dissolved at the sight of her. She was a special one. I used to tell her how much I loved her every day. I knew that she wouldn't be with me for long. I'd thank her for joining me life and I would tell her that I understood that she was a temporary gift. Three years later she was sick. I took her to the hospital at 1 am. It was her kidneys. The next day at my vet's I was holding her while he injected her with the lethal dose of sleep medicine. Her suffering was over. That same afternoon, I went to the local SPCA and picked out Tyler.