Deli was born in October 2007 along with her brother, Darwin. Julie (then fiance) and I had been living together for about 4 months. I was in my first semester of graduate school. It was December 2007, and Julie had just lost her cat Boomer. Boomer had been her cat since she was 5 years old and had lived to be an elder cat of 18 years.
Within a day or two of Boomer’s passing, we went to the county animal shelter so that she could adopt a new kitten. We found Darwin, a very social 3 month old kitten, and she fell in love with Darwin immediately.
But unexpectedly, there was another kitten behind Darwin. His much more reserved kitten sister, Deli. We were not planning to adopt two cats, but we didn’t want to split the two up.
While kitten Darwin was getting into all sorts of trouble, including jumping to Julie’s plate of pizza the night we brought him home, Deli was the pet-me cat that enjoyed watching Darwin play around. As a kitten, Deli would ride on my shoulder like a parrot. This continued as she got bigger to the point of needing to put her front legs on one shoulder and her hind legs on my other shoulder, until she just got too big and stopped trying.
Darwin and Deli were our cats through me finishing graduate school, getting married, and Julie finishing law school. They moved with us to new rentals and apartments 7 times until we settled into our home in 2012. They were our cats when we had our first daughter.
Darwin became ill very suddenly in 2018. He had a tumer in his mouth and had lymphoma, and was put to sleep.
Deli was still our cat when we adopted Molly, our first dog, our second daughter, and our second dog, Blake.
For the last few years, I had been managing Deli’s pain from arthritis with weekly pain medication.
Over the weekend, I began noticing behavioral changes and a lack of appetite. Most likely due to kidney issues.
This afternoon, Feb. 27, 2023, at the age of 15, I said my final goodbyes and put Deli to sleep. Although I had a childhood dog and two cats, Deli was the first pet that was truly mine. She had been my companion for the last 15 years. Julie and I always called Deli the “nurse kitty” because if either of us were sick or sad, she would never leave our side. Her last memories were in my lap being petted by Julie and I.
The death of a pet is a very personal thing, but there is a hole in my heart now. I miss her so much.