I love animals, always have and always will. In a traditional sense, I am much more of a dog person, but, when I was fourteen my sister and I wanted to get a cat. My sister and I wanted a cat because our family cat Caesar (the Barbarian) had passed away some time before. It felt like our home was not full without both a dog and a cat, and since we had the dog… why not let us get our own cats? For some amazing reason, my mom said yes… to two cats! You rock mom, seriously.
Luckily, I had a friend in softball whose cat recently had a litter and she agreed to let me have one of the kittens. Before she came home, I spent tons of time searching the web for the perfect name. I found Cleonie, it was unique and I knew no other cat would have that name. It also seemed the perfect fit because growing up, I had a dog named Cleo who I absolutely adored, it felt natural that my kitten would become her namesake.
Cleonie came to me during a softball game the summer before I started high school. She was perfect. We took to each other immediately. She was mine and I was also very much hers. I spent the summer dressing her up, walking her around the house and holding her like a baby, singing to her and bonding. She quickly developed a quirky and hyper attitude (a lot like myself). When I started high school she became my confidant, spending many nights cuddled with me while I whispered secrets or cried into her fur.
I was fourteen when Cleonie came into my life, and now sixteen years later she has seen me graduate with a high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree. She has been there through every good and bad moment in my life. My cat has seen me through marriage, endometriosis, divorce, four dogs, moving out on my own, finding myself, and finding real and genuine love. She has adapted to everything life threw into our paths and I will forever be grateful to her for that. She is my sanity, and my comfort, even though she goes on meowing rampages at all hours of the night!
Sixteen may seem old to some, but I know she has plenty of goofball life ahead of her. We’re going to sing, and meow and run around until the very end! The past year has been very eventful for us and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store for me and my girl. I try not to think of a life without her because, in all honesty, it doesn’t feel possible. I know when that day comes she’ll have had a life filled with love and adventure and I’ll have that to hold on to. But until then, I’m going to keep kicking it with the coolest cat around.