The paw prints of my deceased kitties Simba, Nala and Buster cast shadows on the windowsill. Luna will never know them in the flesh, but he soaks up their sunshine as he snoozes and grooms. I have adopted many little souls over the course of my lifetime.
My feisty, sassy childhood Siamese was named Bonni. I fell in love with her at first sight. This exotic creature would live into her 20s. She looks heaps of abuse from me and my siblings. You probably had to be there, but my favorite torture was to put pantyhose over her head and call her the cat burglar. She probably lived so long just to spite us.
During my first marriage, I took in Bailey, a stray who showed up outside my garage. He lived in there for awhile until I could coerce my husband to let him inside. After the anti-pet dam was burst, we adopted Arf the Pomeranian, Avery (a kitten who died at a very young age), and Benny, a Maine coon who was a ferocious hunter of moles. While my husband was away on a business trip, I adopted my sweet precious Nala. She came from a home who couldn’t keep her any more due to allergies. It was in protection of Nala that I took her in the divorce. Benny was as intolerant of her as he was to moles, and I was afraid what might happen. So Benny and Arf stayed home with John, and I took Nala.
Simba was adopted to keep Nala company while I traveled for work. They were with me when I moved to Seattle and Michigan. In both cases, they flew in the cargo hold of airplanes. Both times they were none too happy with this relocation process. My incessant talker, Buster, was adopted from the Independent Cat Society in Northwest Indiana. Nala, Simba and Buster were my three musketeers as I navigated my newly single life after my second divorce in a quaint little Midtown apartment in Memphis. When my sweet Nala died, I was heartbroken and impulsively took Bella when I went to the shelter to adopt a canine running partner. When you know, you know, and I knew Bella was a part of my family.
Bella, Buster and Ashok moved with me from Memphis to Baton Rouge and then to Michigan. Ashok is one of two dogs I’ve raised. I’m not really a dog person, but I loved Arf and Ashok just the same. I can’t imagine my life journey without them. When I lost Buster this year, and the pandemic lockdown occurred, I adopted little Luna. He’s a handful, but he’s been a welcome spirit in my house during these tense times. Bella and Ashok don’t agree now, but they will come to love him if we all live long enough.
All of these little souls have accompanied me through happiness, loss and struggle, and they continue to purr and snuggle with me through life. I know it’s trite, but they truly have rescued me. So, as Luna snores among the kitty graveyard on my windowsill, I know that he is visited by the spirits of those little souls. Life is short, and I like to count my blessings by the number of little lifetimes I am honored to support.
Do you adopt animals? If so, what has it meant to you?