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  • Writer's pictureShawna Zegarra

Here for a good time, not a long time.

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

I had the joy of adopting a cat this month!

I met Demi (then Meow Meow) at the cat shelter that I volunteer at. Having a Siberian Husky, I didn't think that having a cat was something I would be able to do. I'd also sworn I'd never get another cat after my childhood cat passed away.

But Demi chose me at the shelter. Those big eyes found me across the room and kept coming back every week for attention. She was the first cat to crawl into my lap and make biscuits on my legs (the little kneading action that cats do). When I wasn't at the shelter, I was thinking about her non-stop.

I knew by her demeanor that she would be able to adapt to living with a dog, and I believed in Ghost as well. So we started the process, and when we were approved, I wasted no time running out to get all the kitty essentials.

I brought her home after my shift on September 1. She loved exploring her new home and finding all sorts of new comfy places to relax. Even Ghost was excited for a new friend!

The day I took Demi home, I noticed a cat in another room was very sneezy and had a very runny nose. It had an upper respiratory infection. I didn't think much of it until Demi started sneezing on Saturday. Sure enough, when she was being crated for me to take home, that cat sneezed on her and the area she was in several times. Demi had caught the infection.

This can be compared to a human flu. There are some medications you can take to keep it from getting worse, but for the most part, you have to wait it out. We went to the vet and got some medicine. I tended to her every need. Made sure she drank, tried everything to get her to eat. Bought a bib for all the nose and mouth drools and cleaned her fur with little baby cloths.

While her breathing was improving, Demi wasn't eating and was become listless and slow.

One week to the day we first went to the vet, we returned, but this time. It was a one way trip.

What no one knew is Demi's kidneys were failing, and on Saturday, September 11, it was time for her to rest.

I'd known her for a month. She lived with us for 10 days. And in that way too short time, she changed EVERYTHING.

We had expected years with her, but that was cut much too short. I've been treasuring the time I have with my family now, knowing that it can change at any moment. I've been enjoying nature and listening to the wind rush through trees. I imagine she's speaking to me, telling me to enjoy it all while I have the time.

She taught me to love again. I volunteered at the shelter to get my fix of loving cats and petting them. I never expected to bring one home. But she squeezed into my heart and took a piece of it with her. There are reminders of her everywhere, and it's hard, but I also know that we will be adopting another cat in the future. We still have too much love to give.

I take solace in knowing that she would have likely still caught the URI at the shelter, and been put on medication as well. Except, she would have been alone instead. Likely curled up in a cat cave, just being sick by herself. And no one would have been with her when she started to show that she REALLY wasn't okay, and she might have even died alone.

We gave her a loving home for a week. I held her as she went on to her next adventure, and while it brings tears to my eyes to remember staring in her eyes as she went, I know she was grateful that I was there with her, and that was why she chose me.

I miss her so much, but I wouldn't change a minute. I got that time with her and I'm changed for it.

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