For as long as I can remember, I've always been surrounded by animals.Growing up we had both cats and dogs.
I am not sure when my love for cats started exactly, but I think it may have been around the time that my Mom found Keanu (yes, named after the actor, Keanu Reeves) on Nimitz highway in Honolulu.Keanu (nicknamed Nunu) was a sweet cat... he was an absolute lover.He was black and white and was classified as a domestic short hair.
Nunu joined our family which at the time included my sisters cat, Pookie, and my Mom's dog Whitney.Everyone got along great.We had a lanai on the back of the house we were living in and he loved hanging out there.He'd watch the birds and just enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian weather.When my Dad got his orders to transfer out of Hawaii, we were only allowed to take 2 animals with us.Nunu had been diagnosed with kidney issues and we feared that making a trip cross country wouldn't be good for him so we adopted him out.I miss him and find myself wondering how he fared.
My second cat, Aloha... I miss her every day.She landed on our doorstep right before we evacuated for a hurricane while living in Cape Hatteras, NC.She was malnourished and so small that we thought she was just a kitten.Turned out, she was well over 6 months.She was a beautiful tiger, domestic short-hair, and a personality that I'll never forget.She loved playing fetch with paper balls.I remember when we first got her, my Dad was adamant that we were going to nurse her back to health and then find her a good home.She never left our house... she instantly became part of our family.Aloha was with me for 12 years... I had to put her to sleep in April of 2011 because she went into liver failure.I couldn't watch her be in pain any longer and just knew it was time.I have her ashes in a little wooden box with a picture and her name engraved... it sits on a shelf and I see it every day.
Kaila was 6 months old when I adopted her from the Northern Virginia Humane Society.She had such a personality... and was so sweet.It was love at first sight, for me at least.I remember the day I brought her home (I was still living with my parents) and she had to become acquainted with 2 very large golden retrievers (Cali and Cory).Her eyes became as large at saucers when she saw the two of them bounding towards her.After a few days, however, all was well in the kingdom.To this day, Kaila is the only cat I've ever met that enjoyed the snow... she made my Mom chase her through it one year.As she's gotten older, she's becoming a little more cranky... but she has her moments where her inner kitten shines through and she does something silly.It's hard to believe that she turned 10 this year.
Last, but certainly not least, is Tiki.I found Tiki on craigslist.I was going to wait a while after Aloha passed before getting another cat, but Kaila went berserk and hated being alone.I would come home from work to find the apartment trashed.Plus, cats are like potato chips; you can't just have one.There was something special about Tiki... she was from a litter of 6 or 7.As I was introduced to the entire litter, Tiki caught my eye.She was an 8 week old ball of grey fur and the squeakiest of meows.She was one of the only females left and I was seriously on the fence about bringing her home.Alas, she was bundled up in a crate and on the road we went.I wanted to introduce Tiki and Kaila to each other right way, but took the advise of my vet and Mom, to take it very slowly.Tiki took up residence in my bathroom her first week at home... I would set Kaila's food near the door so they could eat and smell each other at the same time.That method worked out very well.By the end of the week, Kaila's wall had been broken down and she was just as smitten as I was with the new addition to our family.
The person I adopted Tiki from said she was 8 weeks old, but I think she may have closer to 6 or 7.She was very clingy and hated being alone.I waited for about a week to name her because I wanted to be sure she got a clean bill of health before I took the grand leap.Sure enough, the only issue she had were ear mites.Naming animals can be tough... its kind of like naming kids.I went through a list of names and it came down to Mochi and Tiki; Tiki was unique and was 'hawaiian-ish' so that's how she got such an awesome name.
My cats are spoiled, but they are my kids... they do crazy things sometimes and they get on my nerves every once in a while but I still love them to pieces.
Kaila & Aloha
Tiki as a kitten
Kaila and Tiki