KC by Randy / Randy

In 1984, I met the woman who was to become my wife and asked her out to dinner. Soon after, I was introduced to KC, her Siamese cat, who checked me out within the first ten seconds of entering his home. Now, I really knew nothing of cats and never envisioned myself becoming a “cat person.” I just didn’t get it when my future wife would laugh and comment on his different facial expressions. To me he always looked the same, like a cat.

From that humble beginning, KC and I became fast friends. In time, I was able to perceive much more than just his facial expressions. He was a fascinating animal and thanks to his unique personality and unwavering affection, I became not just a cat person but a cat lover.

In mid-1993, we discovered a lump on one of his forelegs and surgery showed this to be a fast-growing form of cancer. In January of 1994, we had to make the hardest decision a pet lover faces and had him put to sleep. It was shattering and I still miss him and think of him frequently.

A short time after his death, it became obvious to me that we simply needed a cat in our home. After visiting shelters in the area, we adopted a three year old tabby and named her Misha. Our new baby, she’s been with us ever since. My experience with KC taught me so much about cats and I have tried to apply these lessons to my relationship with Misha. The two most important things he taught me when dealing with cats are patience and love. You can never have too much of either.

In 2003, I began volunteering at Just Strays Animal Foundation, a Boise area cageless, no-kill shelter for cats. Once again, I was able to hone my “cat skills” by working with abused, neglected, or abandoned cats. My favorite part of volunteering is working directly with the animals and trying to help them adjust to their new life. Bringing them out of their shell and helping them learn to trust humans again is crucial to their future placement in good homes. After what some have been through, I am always amazed at their ability to trust again. I love showing them to visitors and seeing that perfect match made, frequently when the cat seems to pick the person.

The time spent with both my own cat and the furry residents of Just Strays has added a richness to my life that would have been missing if not for my introduction to a twenty pound Siamese by the name of KC. Because of him, I cannot imagine my home without a cat. Thanks to him I share a special relationship with all of the cats in the shelter.


Dedicated to KC, Misha & the cats of Just Strays, especially Phoebe, Solitaire, Jasmine, Camille, <