Meet Shadow (a.k.a. Baby)

Shadow was my first cat ever. After my parents divorced and my mom bought a house , I got my first cat. Up until this point I had only been allowed birds and hamsters, this having something to do with my dad not wanting a cat for reasons that I didn’t know until later in life when he repented and got his own cat, but that’s another story. Anyway, when it was just me and my mom living in a house that we owned, I finally got to experience kitty momminess. Shadow came with his mom (I think her name was Whisper or Wispy, we just called her Momma). And eventually Shadow became Baby. I don’t remember where we got them and why Momma was an outdoor cat and Baby an indoor, but all the same, this is where it all began. I have an entire album of pictures of Baby. Just like I have an entire digital album of my current ones.

As you can see, I have always loved a good pun. This poor cat let me take so many ridiculous pictures of it. I have one of him wearing a sweatband and wristband. One of him covered with stuffed animals so that only his head is sticking out. He was a good sport about all of it and I loved that cat fiercely.

At some point here, we got his brother Sammy, too, but he was always outdoor and really skittish. He never really let us in but we tried to love him anyway. Until one day he disappeared and it turned out that my REALLY AWESOME neighbor had set cat traps because she did not like cats in her yard. I have never forgiven this horrible bitch woman because as a single mom, my mom didn’t have the money to get Sammy out of the pound. I hope in my heart of hearts that someone adopted him.

I don’t remember what happened to Momma. I don’t know why I can remember Sammy’s fate and not hers…but I do remember what happened to Baby because it was my first kitty heartbreak.

I stayed with my dad for 2 weeks. While I was there, my dad surprised me by telling me he knew someone with kittens, and my mom was letting me pick one and take it home. I think I was 12, so I hadn’t yet developed the skepticism I so famously flaunt now. BLINDED BY KITTEN EXCITEMENT.

Theeeeennnnn I get home. Mom tells me Baby is missing. I cry and cry and cry. And then I make signs. Put them all over the neighborhood. Go to the pound. Cry some more. Kittens are great and all but they do not ease the heartache of losing your other beloved, and while I appreciate what my mom was trying to do, it didn’t work.

We never found Baby. This is partly why I am now so adamant about keeping cats indoors only. There are assholes with traps out there and people who won’t brake, not to mention NATURAL predators. I will never forget Baby, partly because of the album of pictures, but also because he was, in essence, my first love.


  1. Tabi Deneweth (@tabi_d)

    Fun Fact: My Grandmother used to have a grey kitty similar to yours. Her name was Popsicle and she lived to be 21 years old. In the end, she was pretty old and gnarly, but she definitely had a LONG happy life.

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