All those thoughts ran through my head as I pulled in to my covered parking spot under my building. I began what (at the time) was the grueling trek up the four flights of stairs to my apartment. After the first two, I stopped at an odd sight – an ugly little ball of dirty fluff sitting on the inside of the gate to the main entrance of the building.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ANIMAL PERSON… Well I wasn’t.. Not so much hate them, but I was pretty much scared of every living thing. I’m still pretty scared of most things.. not most..but..birds.. BIRDSSSS… birds. All things with wings. Anyway, I digress.
I walked upstairs and dropped my things off and for the life of me I do not know why I decided to go back downstairs to see if this ‘thing’ was alright. As I watched him from a short distance away, he walked straight up to me and lay his little head straight across my toes of my right foot. DAMN IT. I’ve got to see if you’re ok now.
Never having a pet, I gingerly picked up this damp little guy and took him upstairs and fed him tuna and water (I first tried to give him milk but I googled and simultaneously received a million IG DMs about cats being possibly lactose intolerant). I dried him off and decided I would keep him for the night and take him to the vet the next day and let them put him up for adoption. That night I was supposed to go out to meet friends but his beady eyes begged for company and they tugged at my heart strings like a puppeteer. I refused to take him in my room because obviously I had no idea where he was from. I ended up sleeping the entire night on the couch.. if you could call it sleeping. This kitten slept all over me. My stomach, my face, curled up in my arms, I don’t know why he felt so safe, or why I felt so safe.
The next morning, we went to the vet as soon as they opened, and he cuddled in my arms and napped the whole way there and the whole way back. At this point the kitten was either going to be Lilo or Luna. A boy it was! And for the record, his name is Lilo (LIE-LOW, not Lee-Low). After a thorough check-up, I had every intention of leaving him with the vet to find him a good home. SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t. I got to the counter at the vet to pay and when the vet asked if she should dispense his medications for me, I instinctively said yes. He wouldn’t leave my arms and the vet said, “Wow he knows his mummy.” HOW was that even possible when I’ve only had this kitten for 16 hours?!?
After the vet, we went to a pet store to get all the necessary supplies. I had to take him with me in my arms and of course, this being Barbados, EVERY SINGLE person stared at me.
“AYE LOOK SHE HAVE SHE CYAT IN SHE HAND.”
That was pretty funny.
We came back home to my apartment (which by the way, does not allow pets – sorry guys!) and he ate and drank and then took his first bath. That was an experience.. but update: he follows me in to the shower everyday now.
In just under 24 hours, I went from living alone and being lonely at that; being super busy, to being completely smitten with a kitten named Lilo. However within the next month, I was leaving to go on my medical elective for five weeks to Tanzania, Africa and having fallen in love with him as quickly as I did, I could NOT bear the thought of boarding him at a vet. So… I did the next logical thing.. Take him to Trinidad to stay with my parents for two months! LOL
Even though my parents had met him a few weeks after I rescued him (or he found me as people like to say), nobody expected them to fall in love with Lilo as much as they did. We ain’t animal people..BUT he stole everyone’s heart, and continues to steal the hearts of everyone he meets, even people he hasn’t!
Fast forward six months and Lilo has changed my life in so many ways. If you don’t think that pet therapy is a real thing, then you obviously haven’t seen my posts with Lilo. He is my best friend, and came in to my life thus saving my own life and his. I have less anxiety, I’m not lonely, and I wake up happy every single morning to kissies and licks on my face. Everyday I get to come home to the sleepiest face in the world, who plops down and extends his neck for a rub. The responsibility of having to take care of something (I nearly typed someone there, because he truly is so human like) that is 100% dependent on you can give your life a whole new purpose. He has grounded me and makes my life better every single day. I used to laugh at those people who were obsessed with their pets (Hey Aunty Suz and Gen!)…Now, I think I am more obsessed with my pet than anyone and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A crazy cat lady <3
PS – Here are some snaps of the cutest kitty ever to get you through the day!