July 20, 2010

Remembering Old Friends

Cat Lady Alison (aka CL # 333) recently commissioned a portrait of some dear old friends:

Here she tells us a little bit about them in her own words:

"I'd be lost without a cat in my life!

"When I was 3-1/2 years old, a cousin's cat Midnight had an "oopsy" litter of kittens. This serves as a reminder that you should always SPAY & NEUTER your pets. We had attended my cousin's party and got to see the kittens. I was totally surprised when my parents asked me the next day if I wanted one. Who could turn down such an offer? And that's how our first cat, Miss Kitty, came into our lives. Being our first, she was special. Miss Kitty was a tabby with grayish brown striped coat and had the cutest round patch of white fur on her chest - we called it her 'pearl.' She was highly protective of my family when strangers were in the house and earned the nickname 'attack cat"'. She was not a mushy cat, she was very independent and it seemed like she was always "just there'...usually curled up sleeping. It was through her great 19 years with us that our love of felines was established, and when that sad day came to say 'good-bye' we honored her by feeling brave enough to accept a new cat into our broken hearts.

"Recently graduated from college (cats sure do mark time with you), and being the dead of winter, it was going to be hard to find a kitten outside of kitten season. Our first trip to Long Island's famous animal shelter North Shore Animal League proved just that - no kittens. (One day I promise I will adopt an older cat - perhaps in my older age). A shelter volunteer tipped us off that Saturday mornings new kittens were arriving. That next Saturday morning - early - we walked into the kitten-filled room. A good-looking, perfectly-marked, black and white tuxedo stuck her paw out as I passed her cage, and once confirmed she was a female, Katarina was in my arms. One should always RESCUE & ADOPT.

"From the minute Katarina jumped out of her box carrier once home, our lives were never the same. She was so different in personality and temperament, she was a true mush--the center of attention, graceful, highly intelligent and a truly loving cat, who always had her photo taken to finish up a roll of film. She was treated like a princess, and she returned our love many times over. Near the end of her 20 years with us, she required twice daily meds, which I gladly administered...it was earth shattering when she selected the week I had off from work to finally show us that it was time. With the absolute heaviest of hearts my whole family helped her over the Rainbow Bridge, where she promised she me she'd be waiting. Katarina was perfect in every way.

"There was a serious void in our lives, so it was off to the shelters again...and that is how Mina, our gray and white tuxedo, with a splash of white up her face, came to be with us. It was a delight having new life amongst our family...but in the 3 short months we had with her, we could tell something was not right, she never seemed to thrive. We have a few memories of our Mina, but sadly she was diagnosed with the deadly disease FIP. Unless FIP crosses your path, you will not know its horrors. Incurable and always fatal...we had to say goodbye to sweet wee Mina at the tender age of 5 months. The loss of her broke my heart. I was convinced she would be the last cat I would let into my life. I have joined forces online with others (strangers, now 'family') who have lost kittens and cats to FIP. Together we are in a crusade to help find a cure to FIP... in Mina's, and all their cats', memory. We just had a raffle ticket fundraiser which raised $6,193 in under a month going to the Winn Feline - The Bria Fund for FIP research. I send special thanks to Susan for donating gift items to this Fundraiser!

"I am now the proud 'cat mom' of Keely & Fiona - who help me continue to have cats grace my life. As for Miss Kitty, Katarina and sweet wee Mina, I'll meet them at the Rainbow Bridge one day...they all promised! "

1 comment:

drjinva said...

It's such joy having cats in one's life, but so devastating to lose them. Two weeks ago, I found a gray and white kitten living in a storm drain at my complex. She looks a lot like Mina. She's now become part of my family.