Bouncing back from my post-surgery chemo treatment in early March was tougher than anticipated. My body’s constitution had been weakened from surgery and was still recovering, so adding chemo to that caused the fatigue, weakness and GI distress to drag on longer. Yet, I was recovering from the loss of Bobcat—still missing him—but the heaviness in the atmosphere around me and in my heart had lifted. I started daydreaming about having a kitty and thought that having a girl again would be nice. I’d not had a feline gal pal since Bella died in 2012.
One particular image in my daydreams became more frequent; that of me holding a young female feline with fluffy cream and peach-toned fur. This visual worked its way into my mind at night, as I would fall into a twilight zone before falling into a deep sleep. And actually, this image started popping into my mind shortly before Bobcat passed; yet I dismissed it. But now I started to pay attention. Could this picture in my mind be a sign of what was to come? I imagined living life alongside a feline companion again. I started visualizing the kitty in my daydreams snuggling next to me on the sofa and thought about what I would name her.
On a recent Saturday morning after scrolling through Instagram, I texted a friend, Ann Marie, asking about something she’d posted. I also gave her a heads-up that I was in the market for adopting a kitty, as she volunteers at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. Three days later, Ann Marie sent me a text telling me that she’d met “Annie” on Saturday (the same day we texted) and if I liked Persians, I’d love her. She included a link to the online news publication, Stu News Laguna, where Annie was featured as the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter’s “Pet-of-the-Week.” My heart started racing and I had that feeling in my gut that you get when something big is about to happen. I clicked onto the link, and the photo of Annie made my jaw drop. There she was…the cat of my daydreams. This is my kitty! My girl! I said out loud as tears streamed down my cheeks. I’ve been extra emotional since the cancer journey began, but this emotive visceral reaction was coming from my knowing that Annie was The One.
I met Annie at the shelter the following day. At one point during my visit with her after taking a break from tossing cat toys and watching her enthusiastically bat them around, I sat on a towel placed on the floor and motioned for Annie to sit next to me. She pranced over and sat close to my hand that was resting on the towel in the space next to me. Annie then carefully placed her paw on top of my hand and held it there as she looked up at me. I melted. A volunteer asked me what I thought of Annie. My reply: “I’m in love. If you approve my application, I want her.” My application passed the shelter’s scrutiny with flying colors.
Annie was recovering from bladder stone surgery and couldn’t be released until the following week, around the time I had another chemo scheduled. The shelter kept Annie until I was able to sign the adoption agreement and take her home, and in the meanwhile, I was able to visit her.
On April 2nd the adoption became official and I brought Annie home with me. I re-named this elegant, playful and affectionate kitty of my daydreams Samantha. And that day she settled into her new life with a new name and her new mama in a cottage by the sea as though she’d been with me forever.