We're on vacation right now, and it's warm here!  There's a special room that they let me roam in with 3 doors.  I can run circles around this place when they open those doors.  But--there are things with tails in there sometimes.  They sneak in under the outside doors and they can run almost as fast as I can.  The other cat likes them too, but I'm faster.  Yesterday I saw one and caught it!!  I brought it back to the dining room and the Lady saw me--well, I guess she saw a tail moving around, or maybe a head.  She yelled, He came in and brought me outside and made me drop it.  It ran away, but I caught it again!  I'm amazing.  But, the Lady took me all the way outside and made me let it go.  It ran away, darn it.

So today I captured another one, Yeah me!  Now they don't want to kiss me until I brush my teeth.  Imagine that.
I'm a cat.  I live with another slightly bigger cat.  We own this place.  The tall ones do brush us and feed us and stuff, but it's because they have to--how can we be as perfect as we are otherwise?  Yes, with our highly developed species, it does come naturally and we really don't need them.   Then they go and invent sealed containers and ziplocking seams, drat.  Now, you know I have those 2 extra thumbs on each hand.  Chi is, well, I guess you'd call her "normal" (though I call her other stuff like "Let's play" and "Hey, c'mere."  But--why don't cat moms teach us to open stuff before they send us into this world to find the right attendants?

Anyway, I'm rambling, which is making me need my early morning nap even earlier.  I noticed last night the lady wasn't here.  I looked all over--kitchen, litterbox, bed.  Nope.  I looked at the man and he said she'd be back in a few days.  Said something about her back had hurt a long time and needed to be fixed but he'd take good care of us.  I rolled onto my side and then rolled halfway the other way like what they call an S.  He said, "Yep, if she could do that, she'd be here right now."

Guess that's just one more reason we're so much more superior than humans:  We don't waste words, we always get what we want, we can sleep anywhere, we always land on our feet, and we have extra bones for flexion.

She's home now.  It's been a few days and I missed her (I guess Chi and the guy did too).  But it's great she's back!!!!  Now I can snuggle into a little ball against her again and get my chin scritches again.
I'm 4, at least that's what they say.  Since I was a starving kitty when I showed up, I'm now healthy.  They thought I was black but I'm dark chocolate.  When that lady says that, she eats something yummy.  I sleep in a big bed at her feet and sometimes she pets me in the middle of the night.  I like that.  I like everything. 

The man makes breakfast for all the people.  He runs around and keeps saying, "Move, move" to me.  I love him but I don't listen.  Know why?  I talk to him then and remind him how bored he'd be if I wasn't there.  Then he makes me something wonderful.  A little omelet just for me.  He feeds it to me, too.  Perfect.  Sometimes he feeds me in the window so I can watch the birds outside.  Perfecter.  

I have to go now.  Chi has asked me to patrol the house with her. 
We believe there are special places our loved ones go at the end of their days.  I don't know about the Rainbow Bridge, though it is a comforting thought.  I believe that our loved pets all go somewhere, dogs, hamsters, birds, yes, even reptiles that are very loved.

I think there are different places they go.  Our loved cats are all somewhere playing in the sunshine--but there is a very special place where a chosen few are.  These are the special cats that have tugged at our hearts.  Comforted us as no human could.  Listened and never judged us.  Loved us unconditionally.  I can count them on one hand (so far)--Tiger, Shadow, and now Kissmet. 

Kissmet was Tiger's (impossible) replacement after we lost her.  We fought to keep Tiger alive after she had a stroke.  After the 3rd painful attack, we knew she was suffering.  It took over a month.  We promised we'd never allow another animal to suffer in our care, and we ached.  But Shadow was lonely.  Within 2 months, in September 1996, we had adopted Kissmet, a 2 month old Tuxedo, from the local shelter.

They called her Madonna because of the little black spot by her nose.  She purred.  The shelter whispered throughout when we brought her up front, "They're adopting Madonna..." so it went.  I asked why, and someone finally admitted that she had been spared twice but was scheduled to be put down later, and they all loved her.  We brought her home and she went wild.  She ran around the bedroom all night, jumping from the cat perch to the bed stopping only to lick our faces.  We got no sleep that night, but did know what to name her.  Kiss because, well, that's what she did, and Kismet because it was fate that she found us that day.

At 14, Kissmet developed early renal failure.  A death sentence.  I asked if she was in pain and what it felt like.  The vet said she believed it felt like a hangover.  But..... being early and having relatively low kidney function blood tests, she could be treated and she'd feel almost okay.  We started doing a little fluid under her skin (subcutaneous) every day, just 100 mL, about 1/4 cup.  It doesn't hurt---I wouldn't hurt her, I promised her that.  After only a few weeks, I'd hold up the fluid bag and she'd climb up on the couch and lie down, crossing her paws in front of her, and just purr, loud and hard.  She knew it felt good.  And she was always hungry afterward and want lots of pets and treats. 

Kissmet and Chi never stopped playing through all this, except that Kissmet was 14 going on 15 and Chi (Shadow's replacement) was about 2 when we got her.  Chi wanted someone to love her and take care of her like an adopted mom. 

Asthma was Kissmet's next fatal disease.  Again not severe, but enough to require an inhaler twice a day.  True to form, after only a few days, I'd hold up her inhaler and she'd climb back on the couch and wait for her "puffy," which she'd take twice a day every day, right after her fluid and later in the afternoon.

As if that wasn't enough, she also developed hyperthyroidism, controlled on a little pill hidden in a treat.  You would think "3 strikes and you're out," but not this kitty.

For over 3 years, Kissmet
thrived.  For the last year of her life, old age started to catch up with her.  Because she was overweight, arthritis was a little painful for her rear legs.  She couldn't jump on the couch or the bed, but we built her steps, which she used all the time.  The last 2 years she went deaf.  We don't know what caused that, but it didn't bother her.  She never stopped purring.  She loved to be petted.  We'd lay with her and talk to her.  She'd put her paw in our hand to be held.  She'd snuggle.  She'd sleep with us in bed.  No one believed she was as sick as she was.

Most important, she was never in pain.  We held true to our promise almost 18 years ago.  I read once that it's better to be one week too soon than
one day too late.  That was the promise we made.

Winter 2014 started about mid-October and was very cold.  We went on vacation in Florida just before Christmas.  Kissmet was the first to tell us she wanted to get warm.  She basked in the sunshine, as you can tell in the first picture.   

Kissmet had her teeth cleaned after her routine blood tests and x-rays showed she was very stable.  A few days later, her appetite was very low.  A new x-ray found fluid building up around her lungs and heart.  She couldn't breathe very well, so she couldn't eat.  This wasn't going to get better.  She beat all her illnesses.  Sometimes life just isn't fair.  Eight weeks ago, Feb. 26, 2014, at 8 a.m. we said goodbye.

From the day she adopted us, Kissmet was told about Tiger.  She was told to find her in that special place.  She was told to let Tiger know how much she was missed.  We believe that if there is a place humans go at the end of their lives, that their loved ones are waiting.  We believe that place is filled with our very special pets. 

My people said we were going for a very long drive.  They promised no shots so I sort of agreed.  This is the second time we've done this, so I figured I could trust them.  It was very cold when we left.  We had to stop lots of times and sleep in strange beds and the floors had lots of interesting smells, but the food was good.  They make sure of that.

After a few of those nights away, we got someplace warm and it reminds me of home.  I think I've been here before.  The soft places smell like me (and those 2 others).  Oh, and there's a back door that they open up and let me run around in a safe place where there are always nice warm breezes.  I sure can't spell this place, but I really love when we're here!
Kissmet is the black and white kitty.  She's about 17 and has a few illnesses which that lady helps with.  Chi is the tabby.  She's about 6 and wants to play but doesn't have anyone to run around with anymore.  That's where I come in.  I love a master plan.

It took a bit to get used to them.  I'd hiss as I walked past them, and they'd ignore me.  That's just no fun.  One day Chi gave me a look.  Well, I said "don't look at me" but she wouldn't listen, so I looked back.

Then she ran away.  She's like that a bit.  I chased her for fun.  That lasted a few days until, well, I don't know what happened, but she turned around and chased me back.  FUN!!!!  This house is huge, stairs, lots of rugs and room, it's a big circle.

It's taken a year.  Hey I'm an aloof cat and never had any real friends.  Now we're starting to get closer.  Not like this picture (yet) but maybe in the future?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....Oh, who am I kidding?? I'm a starving kitty, it can't get much worse than this.  It's a week before Halloween 2012 and I don't have a home.

This guy, this awesome, busy, really cute guy--he keeps feeding me.  I'm on his porch.  It's cold and rainy, and it's getting colder, but he keeps petting me and feeding me.

Wait, what's he doing now? I'm inside this huge house now, being petted, brushed, and LOVED!  There are 2 of them and 2 other cats here, and they all want me to stay.  And now I have a name.  She calls me Nikita, Niki for short.

And now I'm happy.