When I was 19, I told everyone it was time for me to get my own cat. I grew up with cats and, clearly, 2 years into college is the time to take on the responsibility of a living thing. My roommate and boyfriend at the time took my declaration to heart and gifted me this fluffball with eyes on my 20th birthday.
At first, I was unsure. I would have never chosen a long haired kitten. She was flea and ear mite infested and her ears were way too big for her body.
But, that little kitten was never unsure. She was the most certain creature I ever met, and on that first meeting, she knew I was her human. She claimed me as her own, conquering a portion of my heart just for her. Because the bf at the time had gifted her, naming was an ordeal. Finally, we settled on Haley. Though, it’s also quite possible that was always her name, and it took us that long to discover it.
My birthday in July marked 18 years together for me and Haley. In the very early hours of this morning, I said my last goodbye to one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Haley was a tiny cat with huge presence. Few people possess the kind of self assurance Haley exuded so easily. She lived through my worst years, and she was still my best pal. She expected more pampering in her later years, but she earned it. This little kitty lived a full life completely on her terms. She may have used up her 9 lives in the process, but she still made it to 18.
Roof climber, rain soaked party crasher, extreme alpha, poison ivy carrier, art model, party cat, lover of humans named Dan, costume contest winner, calendar girl, mad sh!tter, morning alarm, most popular at every vet office, charcuterie connoisseur, my fluffy bff
This list of who Haley was doesn’t even cover all the fictional personas created for this big personality feline: high powered business cat, med school dropout, beer snob, vampire, Satan’s little kitty, the most diva of divas
When Haley was diagnoses with renal failure in 2013, I knew it was the beginning of the end. I also know some cats can live for years in renal failure. I still believed my bff would stay with me through our 20 year anniversary. I’m grateful for 18 years with this exceptional spirit. As Dan & I came to terms with the worst decision ever about Haley, I held her in my arms and couldn’t believe she was that sick. Her eyes were the same eyes that I’d woken up to countless mornings. Her fur was soft and she seemed more comfortable than I had seen her all week, or perhaps several weeks. Haley & I had some agreements though, and she was letting me know. My loud complainer had barely made a peep since we had put her in the car and brought her into the emergency vet clinic. Her weight was down to 3.8 pounds, and her fight was gone. Just one day earlier, she was being her sassy self at the vet’s office. How could this change so suddenly? But it did, and it wasn’t a complete surprise when her blood work showed her “off the charts” for every kidney related indicator. We had to let her go. It was time to say goodbye.
Farewell, sweet Boo. I imagine you and Joni back together in a cat puddle embrace. Perhaps now Comet annoys you less. You, little kitty, big presence, have left an indelible paw print on my heart.