I also lost a family member recently. Kenya my cat passed away on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 11 years of age. She used to belong to my niece but when she exhibited some behavioral problems (i.e. peeing!) my sister threatened to take her the SPCA. I offered to take her because I wanted a cat anyway. I figured I’d give her a chance and then if things didn’t improve I would go ahead and give her up. From day one, Kenya was happy in my apartment and with me. I gave her the undivided attention that I think she longed for (my sister had 3 other cats and 2 dogs).

Kenya had some recurring health problems that weren’t too problematic and always easy to resolve with a quick trip to the vet’s office (Kenya went kicking and screaming though!). I took her to the vet faithfully for the entire 3 years that I owned her. She was my baby and I was going to give her the best care I could.
If anyone has depression or knows someone with depression, you will understand when I say how important Kenya was in my life. There’s something about coming home to an animal that loves you unconditionally and even senses when you’re not feeling well. Kenya was a snuggler and I needed that so badly sometimes. There were times when I would get on my knees to pray for help with my depression and Kenya would come around almost sensing how much I needed her.

Sadly, it was discovered on Tuesday March 13, 2007 that she had a mass in her abdomen. When the vet performed surgery he discovered the cancer was malignant and had spread throughout her abdomen and into the lymph nodes. I never had any thought in my wildest dreams that I would lose my baby to cancer
Kenya was the love of my life and was my companion. She was sweet, sociable and loved attention. She returned this love in ways that I cannot calculate or put into words. When she died, I almost felt silly for the grief I was experiencing, as if people might think “c’mon it’s just a cat”. Needless to say I had never lost a pet before. While crying to my mom one day, she told me of a verse in the Bible: II Samuel 12:3 . . . “But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up; and it grew up together with him, and his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.” I then realized that God understood my grief and I took great comfort in that.

I now have a new cat, Piper, but there will never be another Kenya. And it’s true what people told me, you’ll never completely get over the loss – I still think about Kenya, but less than before. Listening to Mark talk about Sprite brought it all back though. Now I just try to remember the joy instead of the pain.

Lisa from MD