Nakita by Kelly / Kelly

Back in February 1991 I walked into a small SPCA adoption center in Coconut Creek, FL, because I had finally decided to adopt a cat…preferably an older one, maybe a year old or so. The place was empty of people except for the 3 staff members and the minute they discovered my intent, Nakita’s fate was decided.

Nakita was 5 years old, had been raised as an indoor cat from birth by a couple, declawed & then had been put outdoors 6 months earlier by her family because of someone’s allergy. They finally put her up for adoption and she had already been at the SPCA for a month because everyone wanted a kitten. I thought she was kind of ugly, since I’d never really seen a Tortie before, and she was skinny, shedding, and just plain depressed. I went along with the 3 women when they had me sit with Nakita in my lap. Nakita was surprisingly calm, affectionate and so sweet natured that I fell for her then & there.

I brought Nakita home 2-3 days later. She walked into my apartment as though she’d lived there all her life, settled right in and graciously allowed me to live there, too. She just acclimated. Nakita loved to play, hang out with my friends, chase the occasional gecko that would get inside & just generally became more like my roommate than a child.

Over the last 14.5 years, I’ve lived in 3 other cities in several different houses/apartments. Nakita just went with the flow. She adapted to any change with little or no fuss. My condo was destroyed by fire about 3 years ago on a weekday while I was at work. It started in my neighbor’s unit, got into the attic and luckily caused the roof to collapse into my place. That saved their lives, otherwise they would have been killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. So, here my cats were in a burning building with smoke & burglar alarms sounding, firemen shouting, water pouring on the building, the roof collapsing, soot/smoke everywhere & animal control finally coming to rescue them. Nakita had found her way downstairs, through the foot of water in my living room with the soaking wet sheetrock from the ceiling falling everywhere & got onto the entertainment center that was above the water with a “roof” protecting her. Animal control found her patiently waiting to be rescued with a small cut on her paw. My other cat was hiding under my bed upstairs, soaking wet, full of smoke & absolutely terrified.

Nakita has been with me through so many happy times, as well as, sad times. She never left my side whenever I was ill, she gave me a reason to go home after a bad day at work and she’s been a patient & loyal friend the last few years when my mother became
very sick with dementia & cancer.

Nakita’s health began to deteriorate over the last few months and the vet told me in early September that she had a tumor in her bladder. At 19+ years old, with a heart murmur & 1 compromised kidney, surgery was not a good option. My wonderful Veterinarian kept her comfortable with predisone & anti-biotics but a few days ago they were no longer effective. When it became obvious that she had lost her quality of life & she was beginning to suffer, I made the horribly painful decision to euthanize her. I stayed with her to the end and I was
holding her when she passed.

The grief I feel now is so much more overwhelming than I ever could have imagined. Nakita was my first pet and we had a very special bond that will probably never be duplicated. I love my other cat Scamp, but it’s not the same. Nakita was a wonderful cat…outgoing, friendly, demanding, comforting and wise. Even through the last days of her life when I was giving her the medications she hated so much, Nakita would snuggle up to my side or demand that I pet her, as though nothing had happened. I will miss her always and I hope she knew how much was loved. My friends remind me that I saved her life many years ago but, in so many other ways, she really saved mine.


With Love,