Although my mom didn’t take any of the kittens, all of whom did find homes, I bonded with the mom. The lady wasn’t able to keep her, because she had an older male cat that did not like other pets. So I agreed to adopt her. The lady had named her Princess, but I changed her name to Amanda. I had another cat at the time, Daisy, who was 8. At first Daisy wanted no parts of Amanda. But Amanda was so friendly that she wouldn’t give up on trying to win Daisy over. She finally succeeded, and they became the best of friends.
About 6 or 7 years after I adopted Amanda, I landed a job as an editor at a small publishing company in the mountains of North Carolina. I moved into a lovely home on the side of a mountain, which Daisy and Amanda loved. I became friendly with my wonderful neighbors, Steve and Sandra Kelley, who are huge animal lovers.
A few years after I moved to North Carolina, I got laid off from my job and had to move into my parents’ vacation home at the Jersey shore. I decided to take Daisy with me, and to leave Amanda with Steve and Sandra. As Amanda had been an adult stray when I adopted her, she hated being indoors. She loved being in the mountain neighborhood where we lived, where it was safe for her to roam freely.
Although I planned to bring Amanda back North at some point, I realized that she was much happier where she was, and decided to allow her to remain there permanently. It was the best decision I ever made, because she was as happy as a clam, and Steve and Sandra gave her a wonderful life and all of the love any animal could ever hope for.
Today, I called Steve and Sandra, whom I hadn’t spoken to for some time. I had been thinking about Amanda, and wondering how she was. They informed me that she passed away. She was very old, and her poor body just gave out. But it was comforting to know that she lived a long, happy life. And I am so grateful to Steve and Sandra for taking such great care of her.
I remember the last time I was with her. She, Daisy and I stayed at Steve and Sandra’s the night before I moved back to New Jersey nine years ago. She slept with me, as always, and I promised her that I would come back for her, or at least visit her some day. That was not meant to be …
I just want to say rest in peace, my sweet kitty. I know I made the right decision in allowing these kind people to adopt you, and you will always remain in my heart.
Photo by Steve Kelley