A year ago today, we lost Lily — the first cat of my adult life, my baby, our little girl.
That night was horrific. We woke up to her meow, felt her body collapse into limpness.
She was nearly 15, and had been with me since she was just six weeks old.
On December 2, 1996. I sat at my desk in the now defunct post house on Sunset Boulevard working away when a call came in to our office.
“There are cats in the kitchen.”
“Cats in the kitchen?”
“Yes, B’s wife is here with kittens. She’s giving them away.”
I knew I wanted a cat, but had been waiting to make sure I wouldn’t be moving any time soon. My fantasy of meeting Mr. Right and being swept into his home had not come true in the 2 & 1/2 years since I arrived in Los Angeles; so I figured the danger of putting a new pet through a sudden second move was slim.
Cats in the kitchen.
Yes! I ran down the hall, down the stairs, down the other hall into the large kitchen that had hosted the likes of Robin Leach, his cigars, Garry Shandling and Phil (Rest in Peace) Hartman. Every one I saw was holding a kitten.
I rushed over to B’s wife and said, “Are there any left?”
“Aww. May I hold it?”
It was so small, it fit easily in the basket of my two hands, “Is this one a boy or a girl?”
“She’s a girl; the only girl in the litter.”
“Is she taken?”
“Nope. She’s available.”
“I’ll take her!”
Within hours, I thought: I’ll call her Lily.
On the way home that night, she sat on my lap under the steering wheel. I had to drop a colleague off, but after that, the first moment Lil’ and I were ever alone together, I said to her,
“It’s you and me, girl. You’re safe. I promise to take care of you for as long as we both live.”
And I did.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I currently know of two litters of kittens that are out on the street. Local shelters are filled to capacity. Please consider adoption. Let me know if you’d like more info.