Her Highness KiKi
  painting of KiKi Some lessons I learned from KiKi:

The right person is worth waiting for.

Simple objects make the best toys.

Hold out for lobster - eventually they'll figure it out, and everybody will be happy.
Photo of Kiki asleep KiKi hails from Buffalo, New York. She was adopted by my Mom and Dad after they discovered her in their vetís "Adopt Me" cage sponsored by the local SPCA. KiKi had been declawed, and according to her previous owners, her favorite toy was a crumpled cigarette pack. Her age was estimated at four years.

She was an instant fit and immediately made herself comfortable in her new home, trying out all of the soft chairs and beds. KiKi now had catnip mice to stalk and toys with bells to chase. She soon discovered the humidifier's water window and spent hours staring and batting at the bubbles. We referred to this as her daily zen meditation. My Dad had a purring cat on his lap whenever he sat down to rest on the couch, and my Mom had a companion to converse with while she worked in the kitchen. Everyone was satisfied.

My Mom passed away in 2003, and shortly thereafter, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Our family house was sold, and my Dad moved with KiKi into an apartment at a wonderful senior living development that welcomed pets. KiKi helped him to make new friends quickly, because as soon as the word got out that the new guy had a cat, everyone wanted to meet her. KiKi even received a special blessing from my Dadís priest during one of his healing services.

As my Dad's illness progressed, I traveled from California to Buffalo to care for him during his final months. He was worried about KiKi's future, but my sister Andrea and I assured him we would provide a loving home for her. It wasn't a difficult promise, as both of us adored this little cat. After my Dad died, Andrea and I agreed that since she had only one dog and one cat and I had a dog and three cats, she would be the one to take KiKi home.

When the time came for Andrea and I to return to our lives on the West Coast, KiKi was given a light tranquilizer and off she went with Andrea to Altadena in a roomy under-the-seat airline carrier which now sports travel stickers from New York and California.


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