They say you never forget your first.
2 years ago today, I welcomed Rengo into our home. A few months before that, I had just recovered from rehab so he played a big part of my new beginning. He taught me how to be responsible for another living being, but most of all he taught me a new kind of love. I didn’t know a selfless, unconditional love for an animal could be possible until I held this tiny kitten that was the size of my palm. He was a special one-of-a-kind cat, always making me smile. He wasn’t just a pet— he was family. He was my little sunshine that I woke up to and came home to.
A month ago, it was his 2nd birthday. I wish I could have spent many more birthdays with him. I would've done anything in the world just to live another day with him. To show him how much he means to me, to give him all the fresh salmons he wanted. When my beloved ran away 6 months ago, I had to live everyday not knowing if he’s starving, freezing in a snowstorm or is living well under someone else’s roof. The thought of me losing him forever was slowly killing me during every waking moment and even when I’m trying to sleep. I dream about him coming home and it makes me not want to wake up on some days. Even without closure, it’s irrational to dwell in the past and let myself suffer. It took time to grief and the courage to accept that he’s part of my past, as it’s also my choice to find happiness without him and let the good memories stay. Whether I’ve only been his mom for 2 years or 2 days, every day was a blessing.
Hoping he would come home one day, I set up cameras with food/bed out on the front. While I’m not certain if he came by, it attracted other strays that were struggling to survive. In some cases, I rescue the ones that follow me home, foster and bring them to the shelter. When I hear news that they have been adopted, it brings me a different kind of joy I haven’t experienced before. Because of him, it motivated me to help other cats and will continue to do so.
Even though he’s no longer with us, his presence still lingers in the house. He lives within Reina due to some of the little funny habits she picked up from him. He left a positive, irreplaceable trace in my life that I’ll forever remember.