Happy 10th Birthday to Kelly!
Nine years ago this week, a beautiful little four-pawed angel found her way into my life – and forever into my heart. Today, while most people are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage, green beer, or Irish music, I am celebrating the birthday of my amazing furry friend, Kelly.
Just one day before I met Kelly, my dear furry “brother,” Sam, had passed away at 15 years old. He was a sleek, quick, Siamese cat who everyone – even people who didn’t seem to like animals – took a liking to. Just before he was brought to the vet to be put to sleep, as I said my goodbyes to him, he blinked and reached out his left front paw to me. He was saying goodbye to me, too. My heart broke; the grief was overwhelming and I cried harder than I had cried in a long, long time. So the next day, when my dad suggested to me to take a walk into the local SPCA chapter after I left work and go take a look at the cat named Kelly, it was the last thing on my mind. I was just going through the motions of the day – as we all do when in grief. As empty and brokenhearted as I felt without Sam, I couldn’t imagine bringing another cat into my world.
And yet . . . something tugged at my heart all day while I was at work. As much as I tried to pretend I didn’t hear it, there was a part of me that said, Go. You can always walk out of there without a cat. Just go check it out. It will be good for you. Logically, it made no sense to me . . . but it was a voice, a feeling, I could not ignore.
I was like a zombie walking into the SPCA. I had so many emotions, and yet felt completely numb at the same time. I found myself walking into the room with all of the cats, each one meowing to get my attention. It wasn’t until I got until the very back corner of the room, and saw the cage with the one quiet cat who wasn’t meowing, wasn’t crying – was just curled up in a ball in the back, looking at me with big wide eyes. I saw the print on the top of the cage: My name is Kelly, and I love to snuggle!
I walked up to the cage, looked into those big, beautiful eyes, and started talking to her. I felt a little crazy doing so, but I didn’t care. I knew that if she was meant to come home with me, she would somehow show me. “Hi Kelly – my name is Jess,” I said. “Listen, I just lost my best friend in the entire world yesterday. It hasn’t even been 24 hours, and I’m not sure I’m ready to bring another kitty into my home yet. So tell me, sweetheart – am I supposed to bring you home with me?”
As if Sam himself had prompted her, Kelly got up from the back of the cage, slowly . . . she walked to the front of the cage, and looking me right in the eyes, she blinked and reached out her left front paw to me – just like Sam had done the day before. I began bawling right there in the SPCA – I knew right then she was meant to come home with me.
They said at the SPCA that she was approximately one year old; so, since it was right around March 17th and her name was Kelly, I figured that calling St. Patrick’s Day her birthday was perfectly fitting.
One of the most beautiful things about Kelly is that she is constantly teaching me about the power of unconditional love, self care, and facing our fears. People who see her or communicate with her energetically say that she is more “human” than a lot of the humans they know! 😉 Sam taught me that animals could communicate with us, but Kelly has taught me how they communicate with us – we just have to listen a little differently. And for teaching me all these things, I will be forever grateful.
Happy 10th birthday, my beautiful, Hello-Kitty-loving girl! 🙂