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We Are Flying Solo

May 4, 2009

A Week Of Mourning

In a horrific and unexpected moment, I lost a dear friend and family member last week and was just unable to bend my will to writing for you.

I want to take a moment (well, frankly, because it's my blog and because I can) and tell you about a very special guy who touched my life so deeply.

He was a dirty little 5-month-old kitten with a respiratory infection when I first saw him at the Bay Area SPCA outside of Houston, TX in 2002. He'd been in that cage for two months after his previous owner dumped him. Then he reached his little paws through his cage bars and stole my heart right. That night, he crawled under the sheets in my bed and curled up next to my chest and did the same thing every night for the next seven years. His name was Nemo -- short for Geronimo, NOT the little orange fish, thankyouverymuch.

He waited behind the door every day for me to come home from work. His greatest pleasure was curling up in my lap and dozing. Each night, he nuzzled up next to my pillow and sang me to sleep with a robust purring motor. And I can't finish this post without tears because I wasn't ready to let him go.

I'll never know for certain what happened. He had a heart murmur from about one year of age on, so I believe he suffered from cardiomyopathy. The best I can tell is that his heart threw a blood clot that burst in his brain. All I can be glad for is that it was over very, very quickly. He is buried beneath the birdfeeder he loved to watch and I just planted a group of caladium bulbs over his head. I miss him terribly every day and always will; I have never known a cat quite like him, I swear he was part dog. He came when you called, fetched toys, and loved pretty much everyone.

In his honor, I decided the best thing that I could do was to help another cat, thereby giving it a happy home AND opening up a space at a good rescue for another cat, a 2-for-1 deal! I had not intended to act on this for a while, but last week, in a somewhat creepy twist of fate, a little 2 year old female who is the SPITTING image of Nemo introduced herself to me. She is so like him that I don't know whether to laugh or cry (I confess to the latter when she too, burrowed under my sheets last night). I'll never get my best boy back, but I am trying to do right by his memory and help other cats who are as needy as he once was.

Please take a second and go donate your "click" here: The Animal Rescue Site. I have blogged about them before here and hope that you can give the purple button a hit to help shelter animals everywhere. Do it for Nemo, a heart so full of love that it wore itself out. Be kind to a kitty today, it takes so little to make their lives better.

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