Zelia 1991 - 2007
Today we had to say goodbye to our best friend.
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.
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:
and a perfect little face with the little goatee:
She got along well with our other pets:
and was so tolerant, I have no idea why she hasn't been on Stuff on My Cat:
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.