On the 12th of December 1990, I went to the Ottawa Carleton Humane Society. It was a regular visit and to make a small donation. While I was there I went into the cats' room with no intentions of getting another cat. I had adopted Mishoo, a handsome Persian male cat from there a year earlier, and was happy with him. But a female cat, also Persian but much smaller in size than Mishoo, caught my attention. She was white with silver gray shades on her back and tail. She had the most beautiful cat eyes I had ever seen, large, green and expressive. I could see in them dignity and loneliness. She put her paws out as if asking for help. I looked at the information card on the cage. It indicated that she was a stray, approximately two years old, and declawed. I took the card to the front desk to tell them I would like to give her a home. There was a man there who said he was also interested in adopting the same cat. A little girl was with him and I assumed she was his little daughter. A supervisor came out of an office behind the desk and called both of us to his office. He said it is not unusual that two parties are interested in adopting the same animal at the same time, and that day was the first day this cat was ready for adoption. He then suggested we play head or tail. I couldn't believe my luck when I was declared the winner. The other man looked upset. The adoption fee was $57.00, but she was worth a million. That was the best investment in my life.
Before going home I took her to the vet for a check up. I was told she was in good health and that her estimated age is between four and five years, and that she was spayed. She looked a lot younger due to her small size compared to ordinary Persians. I called her Mini.
I was concerned about how Mishoo would react. He was much bigger and had sharp claws, while Mini was declawed. Mishoo did not like, and was aggressive towards, three other female cats that were brought to my place while their owners went away for a few days. To my surprise, he too fell in love with her immediately and followed her everywhere. Since he was neutered and she was spayed, it must have been platonic love. She always seemed to have the upper hand with him. He gave in to her wishes to take over his favorite places to sleep, treats, etc. And he was protective of her. In 1997, Mishoo was diagnosed with kidney failure and passed away on May 19 of that year. It was sad for me, but Mini was there to share my sadness and comfort me. She would put her paws on my face and press gently. She followed me everywhere, and talked to me in a multitude of voices. When I looked in her eyes, I saw undying devotion.
She shared my ups and downs. She was there with me through my marriage, separation and divorce. She seemed to understand my feelings. And she was happy for me when something good happened. She was always there through good and bad, health and sickness. She looked sad when I said good bye before going out, and her eyes would glow when I returned home. She had her ways of showing affection.
Her health had deteriorated during the last two and half years of her life. She had several ailments, but she had the will to live because she knew I wanted her to. I had no hesitation in providing her with the special around-the-clock care she needed because of her illness.
On June 9, 2004, at 7:15 in the morning, she fell off the bed while she was trying to follow me. She became paralyzed and could not rise again. I knew it was very serious and felt terrible. The vet said there was no way of saving her and that she would have to be put down. I delayed that decision till the following day, hoping and praying for a miracle that did not happen. I stayed by her side trying to comfort her, as she comforted me for many years before that. I tried to hold back my tears but she could read my face. At five O'clock on June 10 the vet put her to sleep right in my arms, and that broke my heart. It was one of the most difficult moments in one of the saddest days of my life.
Yes, she was nearly 19, and that's an old age for a pure bred cat, but the longer I had her the more I was attached to her. It is particularly difficult to lose a long-time companion and friend such as Mini. I miss her today, as much as I missed her the day she died. She touched my heart in a special way. Looking through the tears, I reflect back on my initial contact with Mini, and I realize that, though I miss her very much, as I also miss all the other pets with whom I shared my life , I am so fortunate that she was a part of my life for so many years.