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Today Would Have Been 9 Years

Today–September 7, 2019–would have been 9 years having Ziggy. As we never knew his actual birthday, I observed his "birthday" or "gotcha day" as the day Dad brought this kitty into my life.

September 7, 2010.

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And today has been 21 months since losing him, that horrible day back in December 2017.

I still haven’t brought myself to put back the comic box I pulled for him, to let him smell and paw at that day. He often climbed in amidst my longboxes in their rack. It was an ideal space for him…BOXES, outta the way, his own quasi-hidey-space.

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He also hung out with me in the basement. Here he’s in the chair I use now for work, though the basement space has changed quite a bit since the photo was taken. The comic racks in the background have remained, though.

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And here’s my Ziggy waiting for treats. Another factor to his hanging out with me a lot in the basement was that I kept a packet of treats, and would spoil him (and Chloe!) with a couple treats here and there.

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Here’s another pic of him, "caught" in the act of pawing at the longboxes’ lids.


I posted Ziggy’s "origin story" in my life back in 2017.

It’s been 21 months he’s been gone and I still miss him. I feel guilty as heck that the sharpest all-consuming mental anguish and pain of his passing has faded. But he’s frequently in my thoughts.

I remember him always.

I still think of him and remember the times spent. Sometimes I can still almost see him sniffing around my comic boxes, or hear the pat-pat-pat-pat-pat of him racing down the stairs. Sometimes, when Sarah stands up against my leg in the work-chair, I can see Ziggy, as he used to do that.

So many more memories than I could ever reasonably put into one post.

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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.

Remembering Kayla

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Kayla would have been 21 today.

But sadly, I had to say goodbye to her quite suddenly the second weekend in May 2010.

I don’t think a day goes by that she doesn’t at the very least cross my mind. This cat came into my life one January day in 1992, and was a part of my life for more than 18 years.

I can’t even begin to list all the little memories of her, of all the stuff that made one little cat such an extremely important part of my life.

But when we got her, the previous owners gave us her “papers,” which included the official certified birthdate of October 4, 1990. And especially in her final years, this was a date that held extra importance to me.

I’m not even sure what words I’m looking for or how to put them in the right order to truly convey my thoughts and memory and that exact feeling I wish I could get across right now.

I miss my little cat.

She would have been 21 today.

She would have been 20 today

When we got her, she came with “papers.” She was a “purebred” seal-point Himalayan. She was 15 months old, and her full registered name was “Miss Kayla Krystal.”

But we didn’t get her for show, or for breeding. She was our family pet. And while she started out as “the cat,” she quickly became a part of the family. She wasn’t JUST some cat. Not to us. Not to me.

And we were blessed to have her as part of this family for a little over 18 years. She was there when I went off to high school, when I moved out for college. She saw me go through grad school, and beyond.

And that little cat, who meant so much–whose loss still stings, and may always sting (18 years isn’t just some walk in the park)….

She would have been 20 today.

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