“I’ve wanted a cat of my own for so long, but I’ve moved a lot the last three years and there was always something in the way. I never felt settled enough, or the apartment was too small, or my housemates weren’t on board. I have three bodega cats I visit as often as I can, but it’s not the same as coming home to a little creature of my own.
When my mother Donna passed away suddenly last month, I had the responsibility to re-home her cats in the middle of everything else that was going on. She had five! Two ladies that we got when I was in high school, and three siblings from one of them. They were her joy and companions, and it was so important to me to find safe and stable homes for them. She would always send me photos of them curled in her lap, or hamming it up, and tell me whatever antics they were getting up to. We joked that she would have to mail one to NYC. When she passed away, it felt like the right thing to do to adopt one of them.
We didn’t choose Frikki at first. Her brother is a lot more social, happy and almost comically beautiful. But I realized that with her skittish temperament, she’d need a lot of patience and love. And my decidedly not-a-cat-person boyfriend Max even took to her right away (it was her giant cartoon eyes), so little Frik flew with us from Oregon to New York. It’s been less than a month but she’s warming up a lot, and so is the household. Max initially didn’t want her on the bed, but he caved within 3 days when he realized the power of a cat snug. I’ll often catch them cuddling in bed, and he will text me “How are my girls?” if I am working at home — sometimes with her in my lap. They have bonded already and it warms my heart.
This isn’t the way I ever imagined getting my first cat, but having her around has been a major comfort in my grief. Sometimes I just sit and pet her and imagine my mom doing the same thing just a month ago. She’s a living piece of my mother’s life, I’m so happy to have her in my home.” @100skulls
Athena Wisotsky is a writer, editor and artist living in Brooklyn.