Treasured One

By Melissa Ramirez (staff)

Keiko rarely meowed. When she did, she just opened her mouth wide and out came a faint sound. This outburst usually meant we had forgotten to feed her two hours ago. She was a cat that always acted like an old, tired dog, content with following us around house and sleeping when possible.

We adopted Keiko when she was three years old, the same age as my child who desperately wanted a pet. Keiko graciously endured the curiosity of being a young child’s first pet. Only once did the claws come out – she would not tolerate wearing a bonnet.

I am grateful for Keiko’s connection to my child and me. She was always present as we dealt with life’s ups and downs. For instance, whenever my daughter cried or was upset, at age five or thirteen, Keiko would come running to my daughter and sit in her lap to offer comfort – a warm cat pillow or needed cat hug.

Keiko became an important connection to everyone in our home. We turned to her to help relieve stress, overcome a disappointment, or to feel connected without having to tell another human being that is what we needed.

Keiko passed away in December. When we adopted her we were told her name, Keiko, meant “treasured one,” and we kept it.