How Shima Stole My Heart

I came across this piece when I was looking for something else in my files. It was written to honor my sweet cat Shima who is now 6 years old:
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Back in early 2009, I was nursing a broken heart after my first American Burmese boy went missing. I had contacted a breeder and made arrangements the last week of April to drive to Northern California to pick up an Am Burm male kitten.

The Wednesday prior to my trip, I had to pick up kitten food for the new boy. It had been 7 years since I had lived with a kitten, so I needed to purchase kitten food. It would have been MUCH more convenient to go to a pet store closer to work, but for whatever reason, I decided to go to another store near my house. And I felt a compulsion to do this. I should have known something special would occur there.

I was in the store no more than 5 minutes when I heard mewing. Not meowing. Mewing, from a kitten who was clearly very young. Then a woman came down the aisle I was in, holding a pet carrier. From this carrier I heard the mewing again. I chatted briefly with the woman, who stated that she had heard mewing in her backyard, and found this abandoned kitten. She had come to the store hoping to get some advice on how to feed the kitten since she had never done such a thing.

I peeked inside the carrier and saw a 3-1/2 week old silver spotted tabby female whose ears had come up only a couple of days prior. I reached into the carrier and scooped her into my arms, whereupon she immediately stopped mewing and snuggled into my neck.

The woman was delighted and stated that it was the first time the kitten had stopped mewing. In the meantime, the store manager brought over some kitten formula and I proceeded to feed her. I promised the woman that I would care for the kitten and find a good home for her. Little did I know she would steal my heart and that the “good home” would be mine!

Suddenly my life was defined by feedings every two hours, little to no sleep, de-worming, weaning, and lots of attention to this little creature. Shima is now six years old, slightly shy, very affectionate, and a complete marvel to me. She still likes to sleep on my chest despite the fact that she is almost too big to do that easily! When she was very little I would wrap her against my chest like a little papoose. She’d nod off to sleep in that position.

Shima was probably born around March 25th, but I have set her birthday at March 18th, the same day that my first burmese boy had gone missing.

It was meant to be for us to meet that day…

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