23 November 2015


I decided to write a blog post about my BFF. Well, I don’t really have a BFF. If I did, I guess it would be my husband, who would just love being referred to as my BFF. But I’m not going to write about him. He is pretty much off limits when it comes to my public blog, and I want to respect his privacy. So this post is about a different kind of friend.

You have heard the phrase, “a dog is a man’s best friend.” Well, this girl’s best friend is her cat. And I would like to tell you about him.

I met Desi in September, 2006, after my husband received a telephone call about a litter of tuxedo cats. My mother-in-law found a litter of kittens abandoned in the park. When my husband and I went to see them that day, we were introduced to five little balls of fur. They were so small you could hold two in one hand.

After a visit to the vet, we were told the kittens were about five weeks old and in good health. There was one, however, who had a bad eye infection. The veterinarian gave my mother-in-law medication to treat the infection, and it was a waiting game to see if his eye could be saved.

I decided right away that I would take one. I never had a kitten before. I always adopt adult cats. Adult cats are harder to place, so I always left the kittens behind because I knew they had a better chance at finding a home, but now I was looking at five kittens, and I knew I had to have one. The question was which one.
Every time I visited these kittens, I would hold each one and try to determine their personalities. And they do show personality traits very early on. Some would squirm in your hands, wanting to run around on the floor, while others liked to be held. Some were hyper, and some were more docile. They definitely had different temperaments.

So every few days I would go and see the kittens, trying to choose one.  There was one that stood out for me, though. He always purred when I held him, and he never tried to squirm out of my hands. He wanted me to hold him, so he was the one I chose. He was also the one with the eye infection, and I knew he would be harder to place. So I chose him and couldn’t wait to take him home.
But I didn’t take him right away. I left him with his litter mates until each one was adopted. I didn’t want one to be left alone waiting for a home, so I left Desi there for company.  As it turned out, the last two were adopted together, so none were left alone. When Desi’s last two siblings went to their new home, I was finally able to take him to his.
Because the kittens were so young, we had to feed them cereal. Every morning I would get up early and feed Desi Pablum before I went to work. This is when he and I began to really bond. I would feed him his breakfast, and he would crawl up to my neck to nuzzle. He would then lick my chin and fall asleep. Even today, if he is in the right mood, I will ask him to give me a kiss, and he will lick my chin. Who says cats aren’t affectionate?
So Desi grew; his eye was saved, and he got himself into a lot of mischief.

About a year and a half later (in April, 2008) I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The few months leading up to my diagnosis, and the year after, I was sick—very sick. I could barely eat anything, and I was in a tremendous amount of pain. This went on until I found the right doctor and the right medication.

There were days when I would sit and sob out of sheer pain. My cat would sit and watch me sob, keeping his distance, but also keeping a watch over me. He knew something was wrong, and it caused distress in him. Animals are in tune with our emotions, and he knew I was sick.
There were also days I couldn’t pull myself out of bed because I was exhausted from pain, nausea, and an iron deficiency. On those days, Desi would be right there beside me, comforting me. The bond we already had became even stronger. I was alone all day, isolated, fearful of the future, and Desi eased my suffering. He kept me company on some of the worst days.
I named Desi after Desi Arnaz. I was in the habit of watching episodes of "I Love Lucy," and the name Desi seemed to fit my kitten perfectly. His full name, like Desi Arnaz’s, is Desiderio, and it is fitting. Desiderio comes from the Latin Desiderius, which means “ardent desire” or the “one longed for.” I didn’t really know the meaning of Desi when I chose the name. I just named him after a Cuban-born entertainer, but it is the perfect name for my cat. And I could never have known that a little kitten, abandoned and unwanted, would be my heart’s “ardent desire” and take me through one of the most difficult times of my life. So in the end, maybe I really do have a BFF.

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