YO! ZMK Knits!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Zelia 1991 - 2007

Today we had to say goodbye to our best friend.

zelia face 3zelia face 2

Zelia was suffering badly from failed kidneys in the past week, and we had to make the tough decision to put her down.

I adopted Zelia in December 1991, when she was about 3 months old. I was volunteering at the Animal Rescue League, and there was a family of three cats that were turned in. The kitten was this funny looking, round thing with heavy lidded green eyes and a stumpy tail.


One of the workers there, Brian, told me "Oh, nobody is going to want her with that tail". I believed him at the time. I picked her up, and she immediately started licking my hands. I was in love.

zelia lick
zelia loves daddy

I put in the application to adopt her, and was approved. No matter that I already had two cats, Tillie and George, at home in a 3-room apartment. I really wanted this kitten. She was spayed the next day and I was able to take her home.

She had an upper respitory infection, as many shelter cats do. Someone at work told me, "You should bring her back and demand they give you a healthy cat!" She just didn't get it. What would become of her if I gave her back to a crowded shelter when she was sick? What do YOU think? This was before there were rescues and an online community of adoptors. Sick cats, even with something as treatable as a URI, had to be put down so it wouldn't spread throughout the shelter. Putting down one cat with URI was easier and cheaper than treating 100 cats for URI. Not that it crossed my mind at all to give her back. I was in love with her.

She was a hilarious kitten. My friend Susie and I suspected she may have been a little "special", because sometimes she would go to jump into the window and miss. I suspect her little stub of a tail (which was actually long, but fused together to form a Z) threw her off balance. She also used to attack Tillie's and George's tails relentlessly.

She was also a kitty who maybe loved a little too much. She wouldn't let me sleep! She would lick, lick, lick my face all night, or crawl under the covers and lick, lick, lick any exposed skin. She had to always be in your face, licking you. I had to banish her from my bedroom sometimes, just so I could get some sleep. She even once stepped on Susie's eyeball in the night (don't ask me how she did it, but Susie said she did!!!).

Zelia outlasted many of my friendships. I moved her 11 times in over 15 years, to New Orleans (with Tillie and George as well) and back (with just George, as Tillie got outside and got hit by a car on Magazine Street). For a while, she was the pain-in-the-ass cat who would always run out the door when it was open. I had a great method for keeping cats it, involving opening the door a small crack and sliding out sideways, keeping one foot inside to prevent cat escapage. None of my roommates (nor my parents) could ever get this one right! I would hear the door open, and then 20-30 seconds later "Oh, Zelia (or Tillie, or George, or all three) got out. I don't know how. I just had the door open a second". Luckily, Zelia realized later on that her place was inside.

She was the lovingest cat ever.


and had perfect little white paws:

zelia paw
zelia paws
zelia paw 3

and a perfect little face with the little goatee:


She got along well with our other pets:

1solviezeliazelia n sunny 5

and was so tolerant, I have no idea why she hasn't been on Stuff on My Cat:

flash3zeliahat1crocheted nippleboredom 2127_2794zelia glassesIMG_4735

We're going to miss Zelia. We loved her more than anything and everything. It looks trite when I type it out, but our home and our hearts are so empty right now. She slept with us every night, and many nights she slept in my arms.

Zelia. I love you, and I miss you. Your daddy loves and misses you too.

beddybye snuggles

stuff 004

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Anonymous Kathy said...

Zanti. I'm so glad she had her kitty life with you. It looks like she loved you so much, and I'm sorry she's gone.
I send many hugs.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a huge empty place in my heart and definately on my lap. I am (we are) devastated. I thank Zanti with all of my being for letting me share my life with Zelia for the last 5 years. I'll never forget a moment. I will love Zelia forever. I can't eulogize like the author of this blog... she's good. But I loved (love) this cat more than I've ever loved any other animal, and 99.99999% of people. Saying I'll miss her would be a horrible understatement.


6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear.

Phil (genuinely teary-eyed)

6:24 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

I'm so, so sorry. Your post brought tears to my eyes. She was much loved. {{{{HUGS}}}}

6:45 PM  
Blogger Sue, aka seiding said...

I'm so, so sorry, Zanti. She sounds like a truly special cat. It's so hard to lose one like that.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Trillian42 said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beloved friend. She was a lucky, lucky kitty to have you and ZMrK.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Raeknits!_and_spins said...

An amazing tribute. So loved. So lucky, both of you! And peace, at the end, harder for you then her. You have beautiful memories.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous FiberFollies said...

What a beautiful eulogy. Lucky Zelia to have lived with such love and appreciation. I'm so sorry she's gone. My heart aches for you and ZMrK. Thank you for sharing her with the rest of us.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

So sorry to hear about Zelia! She was so fortunate to have you and ZMrK to take care of her. By the looks of it, she was well loved!

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, Andrea and Mike -

So sorry to hear of your loss. Miss Zelia reminded me of my own little Pinky, whom sadly had to be put down at about 15 and a half, though Zelia was much more of a little love. I can say that now, my left eyeball having healed many moons ago. Yeah, I'm pretty teary eyed, too, Phil. What a lovely tribute to that wacky ball of fur you've written, sweetie. Wishin' i could give you a big, ol' hug right now! Hang in there, guys : (

Lots of love,

- Suz

8:36 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

i cried reading this. i'm so sorry for your loss.

9:26 PM  
Blogger 3goodrats said...

What sad news...I'm so sorry you lost your little friend. She was a beautiful cat, and your tribute is lovely.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Owlie said...

ZMK, I'm so sorry. :(

10:18 PM  
Blogger Poops said...

I'm sorry about Zelia.

I think my Min Kitty was waiting for her in Kitty Heaven with some catnip treats and a fresh couch to scratch on.


xoxo poops

10:48 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

What a lovely tribute to a beloved friend. I am so sorry for your loss.

11:07 PM  
Blogger April said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved kitty. You can tell from the pictures how special she was and how much she was truly loved. May she rest in peace and may you find solace in your memories of her.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous skwerlene said...

The photos of Zelia are so sweet and so are the words. It's so hard to have to say goodbye - the worst part - but she gave you much happiness and we have to think about that part...what nice little raisin paws. She sleeps like Olivia used to, paws over face. So cute. Take care of yourselves. xo J&G

3:06 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

What a beautiful and sweet homage to a wonderful cat. She was not only lucky to have found you, but you and ZMrK were lucky to have her in your lives by the sound of it. It's one of the hardest things to do in life. But letting a beloved pet go, not to suffer any more, is one of the most loving things you can do for them.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Bezzie said...

Oh what a sweet tribute. I wish you didn't have to draft it though. :-(

10:00 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Zanti,, so sorry isnt enough to say! What a beautiful kitty she is. Remember that she'll always live on in your heart forever!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Zanti. All we can do is love them. Hugs to your household from mine.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. That last comment was from blanket, in case I didn't include that. XXX

10:56 PM  
Blogger Macoco said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Zelia.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous cathy said...

(((hugs))) I'm so sorry.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous zuma said...

Good bye little kitty friend. Z - I'm so sorry for your loss, but it looks like she had a fantastic life with you.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

I'm so sad to read all of this - she sounds like the most wonderful cat, and I loved all the pics you posted of her.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh mike and andrea,
im so sorry about losing Zelia!
i know how special she was, and dear to your hearts.
im sorry i never got to meet her, but it sounds like she had the best life any cat could have - full of warmth, snuggles and love.


12:20 PM  
Blogger Queen Frogger said...

Big, big hugs to you all, she looked like the most gorgeous cat. What lovely pictures. xx

3:28 AM  

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