Photo Gallery of Miko the Cat
Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend
Yes, my best friend is a cat. Miko is a 13 year old (I think), longhaired, sheds a lot, multi-colored breed of cat. She has a cute little birthmark on her left whisker area and the littlest pink nose. She hates strangers. If you come to my house, she will be under the bed until you leave. But, it wasn't always so . . .
I adopted Miko from someone else who could no longer take care of her. She was just a little 1 year old, and her owner was leaving town to go live with his mom because he was really sick. I didn't know the owner. I heard from a friend of a friend that there was a cat that needed adopting. I went over to his house, and Miko came up to me and rubbed herself all over me. She wanted me to take her home. She didn't seem so sacred of strangers at this point. But, I guess she knew she needed a home and needed to do what she could to get adopted. Her name was not Miko at the time. I forget what her name was, but I started to call her Miko. From day one, she was my beautiful, honorary Japanese girl.
Since I have had her or she has had me, Miko has been through many adventures. She has had to share her space with two different guys (we will save those tales for another time), moved with me 11 times, survived hurricane Katrina evacuation and displacement and stayed ever faithful through it all. Wherever I go, Miko goes. She even comes on long car trips with me, as we have learned that together is better than apart any day.
There have been three defining moments in our lives together:
- It was that horrifying day when the house we were living in at the time got broken into that probably turned Miko off all strangers. The robber came in through the window where the air conditioner unit was and trashed the place, apparently looking for valuables that I did not own. I found her crouched under the claw foot tub in the bathroom. She was literally shaking from fear. I was so grateful that she was physically unharmed. Emotionally, she was scarred and has been a scary cat even since that incident.
- During hurricane Katrina, Miko and I evacuated from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. We had to live in Baton Rouge for 6 months. During this time, Miko started to lick all the fur off the bottom half of her body. The bottom half of her body became as smooth as a baby's butt. This behavior was the first time she had ever had any reaction to us moving around so much. We never went back to live where we used to live. Maybe she missed her home? Maybe she was uncertain and scared of what would happen in our future? Maybe she had internalized all of my fears and emotions? Whatever the reason, she lost all her fur. She never licked hard enough to cause sores on her body, so I ignored the Vet's offer to put her on Prozac. Eventually, we moved back to New Orleans and settled down. After a while, Miko grew all her fur back. She has never had the problem since. From this experience, I learned how much she can feel the pain of what is going on around her and about the resilience of this little girl to bounce back.
- Over a year ago, Miko got very sick. The Vet really couldn't nail down the problem. Miko wasn't eating. She got down to 5 lbs. She had a swollen intestine and was thought to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I thought she was going to die. We weren't ready to let go of each other. On my own, I nursed her back to health. I gave her Aloe Vera gel from her holistic Vet to ease her tummy troubles, fed her baby food from a syringe and slowly introduced her to a grain-free diet. It worked. Miko started eating again and now she is almost 10 lbs. This experience brought us closer together, as we were faced with the possibility that our time together was coming to an end. Now, we appreciate each day we have together and make sure that we have loved each other to our best.
Cat Adoption Just Might Be for You
I shutter to think what would have happened had I not adopted Miko. More than likely someone else would have adopted her because of her young age, and her time at the shelter would have been brief. However, I sure would have missed out.
Are there downsides to owning a cat? Sure. I have to clean up nasty hair balls mixed with cat puke, avoid wearing black clothes because I will look like a walking hair ball, fall victim to getting scratched up when I try to give medicine or brush her and have to clean her litter box everyday. But, believe me, it is all worth it. Adopting Miko was the best thing to happen to me. She is the one who has been there for every heartbreak and seen me through all of life's disappointments, challenges and victories. There is no one else I would rather have greet me when I come home, comfort me when I am sad, celebrate happy times with and teach me what matters most in life. Miko is not the sit in your lap kind of cat. But, she expresses her affection with a look and a head rub in her own special way that lets me know that the love is there all the same. If you have a chance to adopt a cat who needs you, I say go for it. You and your little one will have so many enriching experiences together and develop a bond that can not be broken.