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Memorial to Cali

December 21st, 2009 · No Comments · Cat Accessories, Cat Collars

 In Loving Memory

  Cali – August 2008 to December 10, 2009

 cali-cat1jpgAs most of you know, I recently found something to brag about at least as much as I did my grandson, Cali, my precious kitty. She adopted me in August. Out of 100+ cats housed at Nine Lives No-Kill Shelter in Redwood City, she wasmy first choice. Although there was a second choice cat, she didn’t even come close. Probably because Cali picked me! Every time I walked by her cage my little kitty reached through the bars with her paw and batted me. I knew she was saying “pick me, pick me!” When I took her into the get acquainted room I knew she was the perfect kitty for me. She immediately snuggled into my lap and rubbed and purred so loud you could hear her clear across the room. “Check!” I wanted an affectionate kitty. Next she ran across the room and started scratching on the scratching post. “Check!” I wanted a kitty who wouldn’t claw the furniture. Next she found a feather on the floor and started batting it around. “Check!” I wanted a playful kitty. Next she climbed into a little cubby and curled up. “Check!” I wanted a kitty who would sleep in her kitty bed. Next, she started eating dry cat food. “Check!” I wanted a kitty who would eat dry food. Next she ran over and climbed into her litter box. “Check!” I wanted a kitty who was potty trained. Not to mention that, “Check!” she was a girl kitty and “Check!” she was a small kitty and “Check!” she was about a year old kitty. I could go on and on and on.

 I completed the adoption papers and then waited anxiously for her to be spayed and micro chipped. It took longer than expected because the vet ran out of micro chips. Alas, when she was finally ready my roommate gave notice that he was moving out. I decided it would be irresponsible for me to adopt a kitty when I needed to find a roommate because so many people are allergic. I told my friend and employer, Emily, about my problem and she suggested that I ask the shelter to hold Cali for two weeks while I found a new roommate. Oh happy days! I found a roommate who was more than happy to share the apartment with a kitty.

  When at long last I picked her up, the clinic said they would hold off on sending in the micro chip information for two weeks to make sure that kitty and I were compatible. When we got home I took Cali out of her carrier and she immediately curled up in my lap, rubbing against my hand and purring to no end. I immediately ran to get my phone and called the shelter. I told them not to bother to wait two weeks before finalizing the adoption. “There is nothing this kitty could do that would make me want to return her.” From the first moment I spent with her I knew she was born to be my kitty. I loved her with all my heart. When I came home from work I could hear her collar jingling as she ran to the door to greet me. She had to sleep right on me. She even got up to go to the bathroom with me in the middle of the night. She was more like a dog than a cat in personality. She even rolled from side to side on her back to make sure I scratched all over her belly. Curious isn’t the word. Cali would jump into any cubby that was open. She loved to hang out in the 5 quart dutch oven in my pots and pans cupboard. I had to be very careful when I picked up bags off the floor because 9 times out of 10 she would be hiding inside. She loved to frolic and play and purr. 


When I went to spend time with my son in North Carolina after his one year deployment in Iraq I hired a 24/7 babysitter for Cali. I literally called every day to make sure she was sleeping with her and feeding her and cuddling with her. When at last I returned home, I was sad because Cali didn’t run to greet me at the door. In fact, she seemed so depressed I thought she was traumatized over my leaving. Give it a couple of days, I thought and she’ll be back to normal. Well, a day turned into a week and it became obvious that something more was bothering Cali than feeling upset over my being gone. She became lethargic and, although, she would still purr I could no longer hear it. I had to feel for the vibration in her neck in order to know she was purring. Her fur started to look mangy.  


Last Monday night she sat on me all night just staring at me. She didn’t really sleep. Rather she just stared at me with her head drooping down. It was hot so I kept moving her off of me but she would climb back on immediately. Tuesday I rushed her to the vet. The vet put her on IV fluids and antibiotics but it was obvious after 48 hours that she was not going to get better. She went down hill rapidly. The vet diagnosed her with FIP, a fatal cat disease. All cats carry the virus but only 10% ever develop full blown FIP. Unfortunately, my little Cali fell into that minority. 


The vet told me the most humane thing to do was to put her to sleep. I sobbed hysterically and I didn’t want to do it. I especially didn’t want to watch her die. But I couldn’t stand the thought of her dying alone. I decided it was worth feeling the pain of watching her die in order to give her comfort. I would want someone to hold my hand if I was passing on. I petted her and kissed her and thanked her so much for bringing such joy into my lonely home life. After she passed, Dr. Thompson tenderly curled her around three little pink flowers. Cali was the best kitty ever and even though she wasn’t with me very long, I will forever miss her and I still believe that she was born to be my kitty.


Poor little Cali had lived in a cage at the shelter for 8 months before I adopted her. I can tell you that although she only had 3 and 1/2 months with me she lived like a princess and was loved as if she had lived a hundred years.

The vet who took care of her is Dr. Thompson who also runs the no-kill shelter in Redwood City. She donates (literally) all proceeds from her veterinary clinic into taking care of hundreds of cats at the shelter. Dr. Thompson is a rare person who is trying to save all cats, a dozen at a time. She is very compassionate. As a matter of fact, Dr, Thompson only charged me $65 (an outside lab fee) for all the care she gave Cali, including two days care with IVs, antibiotics, various tests and euthanasia. 

 It is very expensive to run a shelter of that magnitude and I would very much appreciate it if you would donate something to the shelter in Cali’s memory. It doesn’t have to be much. Every bag of cat food or sack of litter helps.

 Here is the link to the Nine Lives Foundation:


 Please forgive me if this email is full of typos. I cannot bring myself to proof read it because it will make me cry.

 Love you all,


 The above memorial was a customers email we wanted to share with all cat lovers.

Joey & JJ 

 Thank you for sending me such a beautiful cat collar for my beloved kitty, Cali. Unfortunately, Cali went to kitty heaven on December 10th. She died of FIP and I am heartbroken. I know you probably won’t want to spend time reading a tribute to a kitty you never knew but, just in case, I am attaching the one I wrote for Cali.

The reason I am writing to you is that I have been wearing Cali’s collar as a bracelet to honor her memory. For some reason the little heart that came attached to the collar fell off and I can’t find it anywhere. The large, engraved heart is still attached but I want to keep the whole collar intact. Would you please tell me how much it will cost to replace the heart?

Last but not least, I am debating whether or not to buy a new kitty her own collar or replace the heart ID tag and use Cali’s. Is there a protocol on such quandaries?

Again, thanks for brightening Cali’s world if only for a few weeks.


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