Last night I had to say goodbye to my cat Calla Lily, known as “Callie” her preferred name. A Maine Coon mix, I adopted Callie from a lady who operates a pet rescue mission in Harlem. She told me that Callie and her mother and siblings (those that remained) were found living on the streets of Harlem. They had had a rough start but from the moment Callie and I met, there was an instant connection. I remember that the minute I entered the room, Callie came over to me and began rubbing on me furiously, almost insisting that I take her home. And I did.
From the beginning, Callie exhibited a loving but fierce personality. She was part wildcat (Savannah mix) so this part of her came out all of the time. She loved to play, was a ferocious hunter and loved attention. She would follow me from room to room and hated when I went off to work in the morning. She also loved to sit with me when I was writing and often like to mess with my laptop and touch the screen to make the screen light up. My mother joked that she was the co-author of my novel and I really think that she believed this too.
She had a strong and ferocious temper when she was really young but grew up to have a very sweet temperament. In fact, she acted like a dog so much that we often joked that she was a “dog trapped in a cat’s body.” Callie was very social and loved meeting new people, but was especially fond of children. One of my old neighbors had a little girl named Genesis and she in Callie would play in my apartment for hours together. It was so sweet to watch.
Everyone in our building knew Callie and her brother Machito. The two of them would go out into the hallway and greet our neighbors. I called Callie “the socialite” and Machito “the man about town.”
Unfortunately, after Tiger Lily passed in June, a few weeks later Callie developed a mass tumor under her eye and cheek which the veterinarian believed was cancerous. We treated her with a veterinary-sanctioned holistic treatments and Callie fought valiantly. But in the end, she crossed over to Rainbow Bridge.
I miss her terribly…Between Tiger Lily and now Callie, Queen Aretha sang it best…See the video below…
Still In Mourning,