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It Was 29 Years Ago Today…

Thanks to some tech issues and timing, this post is hitting almost at the end of the day…but I couldn’t bring myself to consciously, knowingly let the day pass without posting as I’ve done at least most years since she’s been gone.

Today, Kayla would have been 29. It’s been 29 years since she was born.

Though it was 15 months later that she came into MY life.

She’s been gone nearly 9 1/2 years now.

And while these photos are almost certainly duplicates that I’ve posted in previous years…unfortunately, I just don’t have that many of her, or of good quality.

But these are some "key" photos I (as such) often think of with her, and cherish all of them…and the little over 18 1/4 years I had with her!

Miss Kayla Krystal…Kayla Kneeland.

My first kitty.

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I took this photo of her in October 2008 or 2009. I was digging through all my comic boxes at my parents’ house at the time for my various Deadpool and related comics. Kayla joined me, and had quite the adventure with me moving all these BOXES around!

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This photo is Kayla looking up from her bowl. The photo makes her eyes look brown (if not outright kitty-laser-eyes), but in the right light, her eyes were brilliantly blue!

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Kayla napping, curled up as cats do…

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While a bit blurry, I love this photo. Every time I see it, I remember that moment…I was TRYING to get a particular pic of her, and Kayla walked up and started swatting at the camera!

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Another pic of her sleeping. She loved that couch, and laying ON stuff–such as that sheet. More than any other cat I’ve had, she would seek out paper, plastic, cardboard, books, comics, magazines, sheets, anything loose on top of some other firm surface.

And her adventures getting into bags and boxes…all these years later and I still "expect" to be able to put a box down for my other kitties and find at least one in it. But Ziggy never did, and Chloe and Sarah have never matched Kayla’s love of boxes.

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Kayla looked so regal to me in this one. Just her in the middle of the recliner, surveying her kingdom…

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One of her nap-time stretches. A bit awkward in pose, but comfy in the chair!

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And finally, a photo from Christmas Day 2007, me holding this precious kitty even as she squirmed to get down.

Usually such a "ragdoll" in being picked up and held, but trying to pose with her rarely worked, for me.


Happy birthday, Kayla! Little poof, nightkitten, Pretty Kitty…

Until we’re reunited at the bridge…

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Remembering Kayla on the 27th Anniversary of Her Birth

kayla_cornerSometimes it seems like Kayla’s still just around some corner somewhere.

But as in years past, I’m taking a moment to publically remember my little cat.

Today–October 4th–is the anniversary of her birth, back in 1990.

It’s hard to believe that now, in 2017, it’s been nearly 7 1/2 years since losing her, back in May of 2010.

She’s the only cat I’ve had or ever known where there was a definite date of birth…Kayla was a "purebred," that Dad found in a classified ad when we started looking to get a cat, back in 1992. He’d been a fan of the Himalayan breed, and though I wanted a kitten, he followed up on an ad, and we wound up bringing Miss Kayla Krystal home one January Thursday. As a purebred, she came with "papers" detailing the date of birth, and so on.

Said "papers" got stowed in a compartment on the plastic "pet taxi" vet-carrier and somewhere along the years disappeared. Because we didn’t care about ’em.

Kayla was instantly a part of the family, and other than as a clinical "fact," her being a "purebred" never mattered.

Even now, all these years later…I’ve yet to be able to string together a lengthy post about her. So many memories, across nearly 18 1/2 years…and for all the writing I do, have done, will do…there’s no doing justice to what this little cat meant to me.

To date, she remains one of THE primary "constants" in my life, a presence far longer than anyone other than immediate family.

She’ll always be here, until no one remembers. Always here, always part of my heart such a precious part of my life.

Below: several times Kayla was the focus of a "cover" in my The Life of Walt series of photo pieces.

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Remembering a Kitty

Kayla had a documented birthday, and the novelty of that and the impact it made on me (barely 11 at the time) stuck with me, cementing the date in my memory. October 4th, 1990. She was basically 15 months old when we got her in January of 1992.

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We had to say goodbye to her in early May 2010. While I’d known we didn’t have much time left with her, the exact timing still came as a shock, and crushed me. She’s still with me, often in thought, often in memories. One of extremely few constants in my years of life.


But it’s not the loss I’m noting here…it’s her life. Though I have far too few photos of her, those I do have are too many for a post like this. I’ve selected a quick few to share. I’ve probably shared at least some of these previously, but I do so in the moment today without regard for prior sharing.

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In one of my "go through a bunch of longboxes" projects in October 2009, Kayla joined me, curious about all the activity (if not just seeking attention/company…we were the only two living soul in that house at the time). I had the boxes piled around, and she seemed to have a great time climbing around, checking them out. Kayla rarely would allow any box (or bag or other container that she could get into) last long without her getting into it or on it (or both).

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At one point, I’d left a longbox open without a lid, and she found it, and loved the texture of the comics–she hunkered down and pawed madly at ’em. Some folks might’ve been horrified at the cat doing that to their comics…but me? I grabbed the camera and caught her in the act, comics be darned. My kitty was engaging with the comics.

kayla_pooped_on_wolverine_01Now, back in the early 1990s, there were a bunch of "local one-day events" for comics, including a "First Thursday of the Month" recurring event, held at a local hotel. I’d convinced Dad to take me several times, and one of those times, I found what was at the time a true treasure for me–a $6 copy of Wolverine #1.

Turned out it was a bit water damaged, hence the price at the time. Still, I had Wolverine #1!

HAD.

Kayla did not approve, and one day, I found the issue laying out on my bedroom floor.

Kayla had pooped on it.

Even though it was in a bag/board…I threw it out. I’d not been happy with the waterlogged nature of the thing anyway, so she did me the favor of providing an excellent excuse to trash the thing. (I later obtained a much better-condition copy for a whopping 25 cents!).

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Here she is kinda looking up at me taking the photo.

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And here she’s simply settled in by her ‘feeding area’…in the later years, she’d sometimes sleep here…it was an out of the way corner where she wouldn’t be bothered; she had the cool floor and often a sunbeam…and she was already by the food and water.

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I really like this photo of her in a recliner. Big ol’ chair, small little cat. Like a throne. And she was definite royalty, at least to me.

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This one’s not the greatest photo of either of us…not my best, and she’s turning to squirm away from being held as the photo was taken. But it’s one of extremely few photos that I have where I am actually in the photo WITH her, as I’m 99.9+ percent of the time the one doing the photography with cats…

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This one’s also less than wonderful of me, but has me holding Kayla. She was a ‘purebred’ Himalayan…but I’d swear she was part ‘Ragdoll’ the way she’d let me pick her up and she’d just go with it, totally chill. (By contrast, present-day, I pick Ziggy up and he squirms almost immediately to be put back down).

I could pick Kayla up randomly, and she’d just settle into my arms–even when I’d pick her up and hold her like this on her back.

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Miss Kayla Krystal. October 4, 1990 – May 10, 2010.

Today is the 26th anniversary of her birth. And as far as I can tell, and as far as I did my best in my part to do so, she had a great life…19 1/2 years, just over 18 of which she was part of my life.

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