Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Cinderella Story

I named her Kashmir. I was in my all-things-Zeppelin phase. Her coat was soft and grey with flecks of red and looked like a sweater, and so the name was cool on several levels. She was a tiny thing, hiding behind her other litter mates when I found her at the Humane Society. She trembled all the way home, but she quickly adjusted to life with mom and me in our tiny apartment.

She was a typical kitten; she loved shoes and sinks and playing with string. She was shy around new people, but once she got to know them she was was very loving. As she grew older, her personality came into its own. She was loyal and protective. She was playful and silly - running through my room at all hours of the night, trampling across me in an effort to get me up and out of bed, knowing full well she was going to get squirted with the water gun I kept at my bedside for these late night romps. She loved the beach - we would often find her sitting on an open window ledge looking down at the beachfront some four stories down - creating a "porch" for herself that our apartment was sadly lacking. She took no crap from anyone, and was as happy to be alone as she was to have company.

When the summer came, my brothers started showing up to hang out on the beach. Kashmir hissed at them - they terrified her - these big noisy monsters who stomped through the apartment with no respect for the quiet ways she had become accustomed to with just mom and me. The boys responded by chasing her around the apartment with the aforementioned watergun - keep in mind "the boys" were in their 20's - old enough to know better. Being squirted by me was fun; being squirted by my brothers was not. From then on, it was the same routine every time. The boys came over, she hissed, and then hid under my bed until they left. The boys called her crazy, mental, a man-hater.

But she didn't hate men. Only the men that treated her badly. She loved my new pretty blonde surfer boyfriend. The moment he came in and sat on the couch she was on him, purring and rubbing. He couldn't understand what my brothers had been saying. He thought she was wonderful.

I wasn't technically allowed to have cats in my building, and eventually my landlord forced me to give her away. I took her back to the Humane Society. I brought food and toys and money. I made them promise to call me if they couldn't keep her for any reason. I cried. They assured me they would find her a good home, she was after all, beautiful.

Many months later I went back with a friend to get her dog a license. I asked if someone could tell me about my cat. They didn't seem interested in telling me anything, but finally they asked what her name was and said they would see what had happened to her. I told them her name was Kashmir. The whole place stopped. Kashmir was your cat?

They led me to a back room. The walls were covered with pictures of the thousands of animals that had come through. By the desk was a group of pictures arranged like a little kitty shrine. They were all of Kashmir. Kashmir with a hat on. Kashmir sleeping on a dog. Kashmir playing with a litter of kittens. It seems that after a rocky start in her new digs, Kashmir had taken over the place. She became the leader of the unwanted, the favorite of the volunteers. She had little interest in the potential new owners that came to visit. She only had eyes for her new brood.

I was so excited! Where is she? Let me see her! Oh no, the story continues. One night just before Christmas, a gorgeous man in a red Porsche pulled into the parking lot. He had just moved into town, he told the swooning volunteers, and he was looking for a kitten. He didn't know anybody, and he didn't want to spend the holidays alone. He was playing with some of the kittens when Kashmir, who was perched atop a file cabinet watching this scene intently, jumped down and landed on his lap. She purred and licked his face. He dropped the kittens and took Kashmir home. Two weeks later he came back and asked for one of Kashmir's friends so she wouldn't be lonely.

I wouldn't have believed any of this had the volunteers not shown me the picture that her Prince Charming had sent in. It was Kashmir and her friend, laying out in the sun on the porch of their brand new luxury beachfront penthouse. She looked completely at home, with no more fears of big scary monsters to treat her badly. As the volunteers at the Humane Society said, she was a true Cinderella story. Kashmir, it seemed, was living happily ever after.

As I write this, I realize I should take a cue from Kashmir; she was a woman who possessed numerous admirable qualities. She always stayed true to herself. She never took any crap. She made the best of every situation. She avoided the men who called her names and treated her badly. She adored and appreciated the ones who treated her well. She recognized when the right one came along and when he did - she took that giant leap of faith - and held on with everything she had. She found the life - and the porch - she had always wanted and lived out her days in luxury and love. She has become my inspiration. And she should be an inspiration to every woman who settles for anything less than everything.

24 comments:

gone said...

Amen.

Neil said...

I can see why the previous commenter just used a one word response, because I feel the same way.

Wow.

What a beautiful story. I personal don't like cats that much. But after hearing this, I feel like going out and getting me one. Or at least listening to my old Led Zeppelin albums.

It's great that your found a wise mentor in Kashmir.

darth said...

wonderful :)

Major7 said...

well, we're getting a new puppy for mother-in-law tomorrow. I truly believe that the right pet (or person, or persons) will come into your life at the most appropriate time. Sometimes it may not be clear why, and sometimes we may never know why, but it just is.

(and on a different subject)
10 days and counting down!

You Can't Afford Me said...

That was so sweet, it actually made my eyes tear up.

Brookelina said...

Jacob - hallelujah!

Neil - thanks! And I haven't listened to Zepellin in ages but I put some on while I wrote that post.

Darth - play Kashmir for me on your next show! :)

Major - yikes!!! I'm almost a teacher!

Sandra - I'm actually glad you teared up because you were on my mind when I wrote this. I don't think I have to tell you why. ;)

Lushy said...

That's a great story! I'm sure that when I'm feeling down about certain things in the future, I'll think about Kashmir. :)

You Can't Afford Me said...

thank you :)

Marel Lecone said...

Such a beautiful story. Like a story that could be passed on to kids. Thanks for sharing it. You told it so beautifully. I love this. As I am about to post this, this could be a beautiful children's book. What do you think?

Brookelina said...

Lushy - I'm so glad Kash's story touched you!

Sandra - ;)

Marel - oooooohhhhh....you may be onto something. I've always wanted to write a children's story.

sunshine said...

What a beautiful and inspirational story! Thanks for sharing.

evercurious said...

I loved that. Very heartwarming. I am so happy for her. I love pets. They touch our lives so remarkably.

MoDigli said...

Brookie... I loved this, too, just like everybody else who dropped their comments before me!

So true, so true!

At the beginning of the story I was thinking -- why can't falling in love with a guy be as simple as falling in love with a pet? We fall instantly and madly in love with out pets, and often it's based on an immediate response. We just KNOW.

But by the end of the story, your lesson was deeper than just that original thought I had.

Thanks for the reminder that I should trust my feelings based on my own wisdom. I hope we all get our Cinderella (or CinderFella if you're a guy!) stories come true.

You're so fabulous...
write that kid's book!

Brookelina said...

Thanks Sunny and EC. Glad you appreciated Kashmir the Kasual Kat.

MoMo - I hope we all do too. I was actually writing that story to show the irony of how she wound up better off than I did! But then it suddenly hit me that I could learn a lot from her. She was actually a bitchy cat...lol...but sometimes you gotta be a bitch to get what you want. Another lesson from her!

Shan'Chelle said...

I am inspired! I agree with the comment that pets and people come into our lives at specific times for specific reasons...thats exactly what happened with my cat. Kash sounds divine....wish I could have met her :-)

JJ said...

Nice.

Melanie was here said...

What a perfectly lovely post. Well done.

gone said...

well, my cat ran away from me and it still makes me cry to think about it. I'll never be able to watch the end of "Breadkfast at Tiffany's" again.
she never came back, i never got another cat, and i know that if i can get a man who is 1000x's greater than what i thought i would want, than my goodness brooke, you will have someone who is absolutely amazing. you are precious, i mean that.

joanne said...

Love this. Love the visual of a handsome guy pulling up in a red "carriage" to the rescue as well. Maybe you could find out who is and call him to go visit her?

Diedre said...

I'm crying at work again, damn it.

And It would me a great children's book!!

Thank you for the inspiration!

Brookelina said...

Shan - I agree. I can't wait to have a pet again.

JJ - ;)

Mel - thanks! Hope it made you smile.

Sarah - you are too sweet. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Jo - this all happened many many years ago. At the time I did try to get the people at the Humane Society to let me contact the guy, but they didn't seem to believe that I only wanted to see Kashmir. lol

Diedre - awww...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brookie, it's joanne. I had to delete my blog, unfortunately. Mo has my email. Can you email her (she has an email link on her profile) and get it? Just wanted to send you a note to keep in touch and let you know why I dissappeared (long story). :-(

Bryant said...

That's a great story

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com

Brookelina said...

Thanks for the link Bryant. :)