A Spot in the Garden for Kayla Marie

One of the greatest things about finally being home from the hospital is having broadband Internet service.  For the past three weeks, I’d been on dial-up.  Remember dial-up? The 56k modem? Oy.  I tried to download a song Ali sent me.  In the time it would take to download it, Ali could record the song, have a huge hit with it, go on tour, make millions, develop a horrible addiction to Chianti and Cherry Garcia ice cream, go to rehab, and have her own “Ali: Behind the Music” documentary on VH1.    

I love the Internet.  I doubt it’s lived up to the hopes some folks had for it—it hasn’t fixed the environment or facilitated world peace—but I love the thing.  I love that with a few keystrokes, I could download midget porn, then type some more and find a great champagne-cheese fondue recipe.  Even better, there are probably sites with midget fondue and champagne-cheese porn.

With all the information online, I sometimes find truly bizzaro juxtapositions in my e-mailbox.  Yesterday, my friend Jane sent me an e-mail called “Things you shouldn’t find in your garden.”  An example:


The next item was this, from my friend Abby, about something sad she had to put in her garden:


I talked to Abby tonight, and she’s still reeling.  There are fourteen flowers where Kayla rests: one for each year she lived with Abby. 

Abby was in high school when she adopted Kayla from a rescue shelter.  Kayla was there for Abby’s various attempts at college, and stuck by her during her first marriage.  Kayla was there eight years ago when Abby met Bryan.  Kayla was there almost three years ago on Bryan and Abby's wedding night, and a few months later when Abby graduated from college.  For every good time and bad time Abby had, Kayla was there.

I’m a cat person. I'm kind of a geek about it.  If you look in my Vox photos, you’ll find pictures of Ana Sophia (aka, Kitten), my current feline partner in crime, and my previous cat, Hannibal (aka, Kitty).  I typically love cats, but Kayla—God bless her soul—had the most horrible meow of any cat I’ve ever met.  She was a beautiful animal, as you can see, with a sweet spirit.  But her meow—it was like Fran Dresher and Hillary Clinton and a klaxon fire alarm melded together, with a constant underpinning of impending dread and great dislike for everything.  I’d be talking to Abby, and that sound would appear in the background.  Abby would talk back to her, and Kayla would eventually go on about her business.  She just wanted to make sure her opinion was noted. 

You were noted, Kayla.  Most times, I'm sure you made more sense than Abby and I did. 

I was thinking about it, and I’ve never heard anyone refer to a former pet as “the devilbitch” or “dickhead” or “what’s her name.”  (These are actual appellations used by actual friends of mine to refer to actual exes (except the one rhyming with "bevel hitch," which refers to the embodiment of darkest evil I used to date)).  I have exes I’ll be happy never to see or hear from as long as I live—one whom I probably wouldn’t cross the bedroom to Heimlich if she were choking to death on her own spiteful bile—but I have nothing but fond memories of my pets.  No matter what was going on in my world, Kitty was there, or Kitten is today.  They all have their quirks and foibles and unique personalities.  But for a bowl of food, a dish of water, and a chin scratch here and there, the rewards are amazing.

Somewhere in pet heaven, a choir of angels is singing sweetly…and one beautiful, feisty gray cat with white mittens and boots and lime green eyes is croaking along with them, letting everyone know just exactly how she feels. 

‘Bye Kayla.  Tell Hannibal the Cannibal Cat, Mr. Palmer, Gypsy, Magoo, and Gina howdy for me, and I'll help Abby tend to your garden.  

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10 Responses to “A Spot in the Garden for Kayla Marie”

  1. Welcome back to the world of blazing connection speed. And warmest thoughts for Abby and the kitty-shaped hole in her heart. I hope it fills with memories soon.

  2. At the end of your post I was so weepy-eyed I couldn't see the screen anymore. (But your comment about exes made me laugh so hard I spilled wine all over the front of my sweater. Red wine!) If they don't allow pets into heaven, then I don't want to go there anyway: but I find it hard to believe such nonjudgmental, caring animals don't have their own Nirvana.I hope Abby finds comfort in knowing her Kayla is free of pain and suffering. And I'm sure Kayla is looking after Abby.P.S. Interesting she has a statue of Buddha in Kayla's garden. There's a New Age belief that pets are Bodhisattvas, little incarnations of the Buddha who have chosen to stay on earth to look after their people. I believe that's so.

  3. It's good to be back–thanks. An Etch-a-Sketch would've been faster.the kitty-shaped hole in her heartThat's probably the truest description I've heard for A's grief.. I'll pass it on.

  4. Thanks for that–Kayla as Bodhisattva wouldn't surprise me a bit.Sorry about your sweater. See, though? I told you the, um, "revel niche" was bad–she made you spill the wine!!

  5. Stud spud will give me NIGHTMARES.And best wishes for your friend. It is never easy to lose a well loved pet.

  6. You should see the red peppers. Eep!

  7. You're here! On broadband! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'm so glad!wow, OK if i found that in my garden I'd run. Fast. Awww, <<<<Kayla>>>>> and ((((((Abby)))))) — that's so tough to go through. LOL, though for your description!And oh, yes, our little furry babeeeeeez can do no wrong, in the big picture. They are all angels here on Earht. They may annoy, but they'll always be exempt from the ickiness we share with other humans. I'm so glad you're back!!

  8. Glad to be back. As I told Shushie, the red peppers were even worse, and there's an apple that's just not proper. I'll pass your hugs on to Abby.

  9. Kayla, if you're reading, can you pass my love to Miss.Marples. Much loved and much missed.

  10. Thank you all for your kind words. I put the Buddha there because I have heard that as well and I would not doubt it with Ms. Kayla!
    Tom, no matter where you are at you are you, but it is nice to have you faster! Thank you, this has helped me with the heart ach and pain.

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