When I was 11, my family had three cats: Enzo, Lydia and Tess. I come from a long line of cat lovers. Unexpectedly, Enzo, the only boy who I had for my whole life died. A week later, my dad found Oscar. He was the tiniest baby cat with beautiful grey and white fluffy fur. All of us instantly fell in love. Last November, my sister Molly called me to let me know that Oscar needed to be put down.
Oscar was with us through everything – cancer, heart disease, moving out of our family home, loss, heartbreak and new babies. He licked off my tears more times than I can say. He always gave me head butts and nosey kisses. Honestly, there were times when Oscar felt like my only connection to my dad – they shared a ridiculously adorable bond. My dad this huge, sort of scary-looking man and the tiniest kitten. Oscar would always choose our dad over anyone else and he loved helping dad at his office or in the garage. When Oscar died, I went through a long grieving process. I still say that Oscar is the most important animal in my life. That being said, I knew that a time would come when I would want another cat.
When I moved to Spain, I had a rule. No cat until I was completely settled. Meaning until I had a permanent position. Well – I still don’t have one. So here’s the story of why and how I decided it was time.
On Monday, April 22, I was leaving school when I heard something concerning. Outside of our building, all the parents line up and wait for the kids. It’s a pretty big production with hundreds of parents, kids and teachers mingling. I hear through the crowd the cries of an animal. I spotted him right away – a mom was carrying him in her hand. Now – no shade but it was obvious she didn’t know how to hold a kitten. I decided I had to intervene.
The students had already spotted the tiny creature. I went up to the mom and asked to hold him. She let me and I wrapped him in my scarf to warm him up. He was shaking like a leaf probably both from fear and cold. Students started to come up to me to pet him. He was still crying out over and over. After about 20 minutes, the mother had collected her two children. She asked her daughter who did want to keep him – but still offered me the cat. I considered and then decided that I had to do this. Me and my little burrito went and found a ride back to my house.
It was not love at first sight. He was terribly afraid even without tons of children around. I brought him to my house and looked up some nearby animal hospitals to check him out. After drinking some milk (listen – it’s all I had in the moment) we went to the vet, still burritoed in my scarf. It was there I found out what I sort of knew – it was a boy kitten. I bought him food and brought him home.
Since then it’s been about a month of life with my kitten. I decided on the name Bowie which I can incorporate into the songs I invent for him. After our first day, it didn’t take long for him to get really comfortable with me. He’s a little bit of a kook – he loves bouncing around when he’s playing. One of my favorite things about Bowie is that he has no tail so he actually looks like a bunny when hops around. He’s a big fan of getting kisses right on the lips. He loves to shove his tiny little nose into my mouth for a kiss. Does it sound gross? Yep. But I am only too happy to give him all the kisses.
While I still am not exactly sure what the next few years will bring, I am sure that Bowie and I are a little family. I love him unconditionally, even when he’s biting my nose while I sleep. I’m so proud that he has DOUBLED in size since out first day together and can’t wait to see him as a full grown cat. Having Bowie is helping me heal from missing, Oscar. while their personalities aren’t the same (at all) they both have a beard and the sweetest look in their eyes when they look up at me. I’m the happiest new (cat) mom in the whole world.