Soul Mates

I have had animals all of my life. When the stray cat I took in went to Heaven at approximately 15 years old in 2003 and our second cock-a-poo followed the next year at the age of 18, I knew I wanted another furry companion.

I came across an adoption event taking place just outside the gates of our city zoo. I looked online and had printed out profiles and pictures of cats that I was interested in. I asked my mother, who was my best friend, to come along, and we headed out there one sunny but windy Saturday afternoon.

By the time we arrived, however, all the cats that I had profiles on had already been adopted. But I was determined to come home with new friend that day. I saw one of the event workers holding a young-looking adult tuxedo cat. I approached the cat, but she seemed quite timid and did not want to be held by me. At that time I also noticed that the strong winds were making the edges of the tent we were under flap loudly. The sweet cat was shaking and appeared frightened by it. I walked away for a moment but then came back to her. I am a person who has experienced much anxiety and fear my entire life which has caused great suffering. I said to my mother as I looked at the cat, "I think I know how she feels". That was it, and she came home with me that day.

In the beginning "Kali", as I had named her, would hide under the beds at home and had to be enticed with food to come out. She eventually warmed up though, and it was clear that she loved me as much as I loved her. Although she never did like to be held she would sleep on my bed with me or lay in the chair next to me. She loved to be petted and always purred. I never once in her life heard Kali hiss! The staff at the vet hospital always said she was so good during her appointments. She was my constant companion, with me through all the trials and hardships in my life.

Unfortunately in August of 2018 a mass in her liver was discovered that was presumed to be cancer. I took her to a veterinary oncologist shortly after. Although the fine needle aspiration biopsy was inconclusive, an x-ray of Kali's lungs showed that the cancer had already metastisized to them. The oncologist informed me that there really was no treatment available and that Kali might survive for approximately 6 more months. She was put on steroid medication to keep the inflammation down, and to keep her as comfortable as possible.

Amazingly, she did quite well on just this palliative treatment. I cared for her by giving her medication to her daily, feeding her often as her appetite was ravenous, and dealing with any issues that eventually came up be it occasional vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. After all, she was my baby!

When all was said and done she had lived for two years and four months AFTER her cancer diagnosis. I had her euthanized this past December at nearly 16 years old. I loved Kali with all my heart, and I miss her immensely! She is in Heaven with my mother now, both keeping each other company, and both of them in God's loving arms.

I still remember what the adoption worker said to me the day I took Kali home. "Thank you for taking a chance on her", she said. That's all any of us want really, people or animals, to be given a chance...and to be loved.

Karen Handlon