Kayla wasn’t just a pet to me. She was a comfort to me when everything else seemed wrong. She knew my feelings and emotions. If I was stressed, she was, too. If I was down, she would come sit by me and if I leaned close, she’d wash me, too. I first decided to get my own pet in 2002 after I had back surgery for a herniated disc. I was going to be bed-ridden for a while, and working from home for a long while afterwards. I didn’t want to be alone, so almost as soon as I left the hospital Audrey and Steph took me to the Petco at Union Square (NYC) to adopt a cat.
The adoption people showed me a lot of cats, one of which even puked on me. But I didn’t really feel a connection with any of them. I walked to the cages and saw a black cat they hadn’t shown me. I was told she wasn’t very friendly and they didn’t take her out of the cage much. I stuck my finder in her cage, and she walked up and started licking it. Everyone was very surprised, and even more so as they opened the cage and she calmly sat in my arms and purred.
I knew right then that Kayla was the cat for me. She had been abused in the past (she barely had any teeth) and ran at the sight of most people, and especially crowds. There were only a couple of other people she immediately warmed up to and most of the time they were people who are very close to me (like my father).
Unfortunately, she had serious health problems (gee, just like me). In New York she had a stroke and had to be put in an oxygen cage and take a couple days to recover. It turns out half her heart was enlarged, and she also had a hole in her heart that was supposed to have sealed up when she was born but didn’t.
She never liked to travel, except when riding in the U-Hual truck when I moved back to Texas. She always freaked out when in her carrier unless I kept my hand on her.
She had been sick recently, with some kind of infection in her throat making it hard for her to breath and eat. I was taking her to the vet today, but she really freaked out when I tried to take her to the car without her carrier (I had loaned it to someone else). Then all of a sudden she froze, urinated very quickly, and stopped breathing.
I tried mouth-to-mouth. I tried beating her heart. I stuck my finger in her throat hoping to clear something out, but it came out covered in blood. I buried her this afternoon underneath my bedroom air conditioner that she so liked to lay on.
Kalya would have been 6 next month.
I’ll forever hold a place in my heart for her.