I wrote this three years ago shortly after losing my sweet girl.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a cat in my life. I love cats. I need to have a cat. I cannot live without cats. Cats are my children, my best friend, my confidant. As a child, I wanted to be a cat more then I wanted to be human. My first cat was named Bootsie. He was a gray tabby with white feet. I remember teaching him to drink from a straw. From that day there were various cats that had come and gone from my life leaving little footprints behind on my heart. As I grew a little bit older, I would find cats and bring them home hoping I could keep them. A few, my mother would let me keep, most she told me take back where I found it. My most influential cat came after I divorced my first husband. I had always wanted a Devon Rex and with the money I got from the sale of the house, I got my first Devon Rex. Maybe this baby could fill a void I had been missing. I first met her at the breeder's house. She was stunning. A beautiful all white kitten, so tiny, I didn't even know how to hold or pet her. I was in love instantly. This would be my special child. My love for Hawaii had inspired her name, Leinani, meaning beautiful child. She was my very special little girl from the day I took her home. She was my companion, my best friend. I told her all my secrets. She stayed by my side constantly and at night, we always cuddled together. She would tenderly lick my face and hands until I was relaxed enough to fall asleep. At times when I were ill, she stayed beside me and didn't even care to leave for food (even when my other cat, Kapono, hollered he was hungry). Nani stayed beside me. She was my tiny shadow until a month before her 11th birthday when she started having a horrible cough. She had never been sick much in her life, so when the illness hit, I took it hard. She had heart failure. In my worst nightmares, I never thought about the day we wouldn't be together. My sweet love would not be in my life much longer. There wasn't much the vets could do for her. They drained the fluid from around her heart once and it came back a couple days later. That weekend was the hardest in my life. I was losing her. My world had been brought to a halt. I swear it stopped spinning. I held my little girl as long as I could and cried my heart out as she slipped away. I cry as I write this. I remember our last day together. I took pictures of her and she actually enjoyed posing for me (prior to that, she had grown tired of having her picture taken). In bed, she licked me as if I were her baby, trying to comfort me for what was about to come. The first night without her, she came to visit me. I felt her on the bed walking and I felt her jump against the side of the bed (as she did many times when playing). It was her way of saying goodbye. I left the bathroom faucet dripping for a month afterwards because I couldn't bare to turn it off. It was always Nani's private drinking fountain. I have other cats, but none will ever take the place of my little Nani girl. I miss her all the time. I will always miss her. I know I will never have that kind of love from a cat again. I will never forget Princess Leinani. I know my angel still watches over me. I knew when she was ready for me to find another little shadow. I know it was her who steered me to a cat rescue in my town. That is when I met Miss Waikiki, my new little buddy. She was needing my love now.