In Memory of Chynna

Spring 1987 – February 19, 2008, 5:30AM

My sweet, beautiful, and regal, Chynna.

I was sitting in my front yard in the fall of 1987. I had a box with Angel’s kittens inside. I was letting them get some fresh air and sunlight. A woman in the neighborhood stopped by and told me one of my kittens must be in her yard. She said if I did not come get it, she would have to take it to the pound. Despite the fact that my kittens could not crawl out of the box and that she lived four blocks up the road, I went to rescue you from a terrible fate.

I brought you home and hoped that Mike would not notice that you were at least a half a year older than these stripped kittens and that you were solid white with a black tail and butterfly patches on your ears. You had the most gorgeous blue eyes that sparkled. You were as dainty and elegant as a china doll. You were special and I knew it. You won our hearts and outlasted many other precious pets.

How do I condense all the memories of almost 21 years? You were there when my sons were 3 and 5. You would check on them when they were sleeping; getting right under their noses just to make sure they were breathing. You would play hide and seek with them. They are now 23 and 25. When Justin was three and a half, he came into the den to tell me there were Wots of kitties in the wiving woom. Come wook! He cried. I went in to find that in the bright sunny living room in my brand new wing-back chair you had proceeded to have three little kittens. Right beside poor BoBo, who was a male cat. Neither of you tried to move. This was a sign that nothing about you would be like the typical cat. You loved and you trusted always.

I brought you from South Carolina to Georgia in ’92. We have never lived one day in this house without your presence. You have been here for all of our holidays. You have always been here with me as I decorate the Christmas tree. you’ve shared my Valentine and anniversary flowers. (You loved to smell fresh flowers!) You have sat with me at my computer everyday. You have greeted me at the door every time I come in. You have slept with me every night. You have comforted me through the losses of many loved ones. You played Gatekeeper — at the top of the stairs. Running up ahead of me to stick your head thru the banisters. Then waiting for me to give you a kiss on the he’d before I could enter the hall. You have been my constant companion. My shadow.

Over Thanksgiving of 2007, while out of town, I got a call from the kennel that you were very sick and probably would not make it. I could not give permission to put you down. I had to take you home. We helped you through your illness. You gradually regained your health but everything was harder for you. You fought so hard. You loved your life. So Mike and I gave you fluids and medicine and were thankful for everyday we had with you. You never gave up and were determined to live as you always had. Jumping over the doggie gates. Jumping on the counters.

We gave you your fluids on February 17th. Your body was not absorbing them. The next morning I found you twice on the floor listless. I called the vet. I knew that if I brought you in I would have to make the decision to put you down. I felt that you would rather go with God’s grace in the peaceful setting of your own home and with those you love. I sat with you all day and all night making a point to read aloud “The Little Cat that Went to Heaven” as you laid there. Finally, at one point, I thought that you had passed and went up to tell Mike.

He came down and as I uncovered you again; I saw that you were breathing. I tried to make you more comfortable and you gave me my final gift. Chynna, you purred so loudly. I had resolved myself to the sad truth that I would never hear you purr again and as if you knew, you purred as if to say you loved us. I kissed you and told you again how much I loved you. You had one last seizure and you were gone. You did not want to go; I know. You never closed your eyes through it all and your ears responded to the tiniest of a sound.

I know that you will be waiting for me on the other side. My life will be so much emptier without you now but I am so grateful that God gave you to us for a while. We were blessed to have you in our lives for almost 21 years. 21 years — that is a long time. Babies have grown to be adults in the time we had with you. You taught us about devotion and love. You even made Mike, who never had much tolerance for cats, a cat lover. The boys and Jasmine will miss you so much. They can’t remember life without you.

Thank you for your companionship and love.

I love you, my dearest friend, Chy Chy.
Alee Godwin