It was the end of March. I’d just turned 18 years old. My best (and only) friend had just left for Basic Training. I was making life changing decisions- where I was going to go to college, what I was going to study, who I wanted to be. I was getting Ds in 50% of my classes. It was hard to even open my eyes in the morning, let alone get out of bed, go to school, and be a person. Not only was I struggling to go through the motions of being a high school senior, I was battling my mental illnesses every moment.
We’d just said goodbye to our last cat a year earlier. There were no litter boxes, there were no tiny paw steps, there were no cats curled up on the couch anymore. My mom was sad. I was sad. We needed a cat again.
My mom decided that she would be on the lookout for a cat that needed a home. Not three days later, my mom called me from work saying that a woman had shared a post on Facebook that an adult tabby cat was looking for a home. We agreed to contact the woman and see if we could meet the cat.
We anxiously made the trip 30 minutes south to meet Sunny. When we arrived at his foster mom’s house, she invited us in and made us feel so welcomed. She introduced us to Sunny and immediately he curled up on my lap. Foster Mom Sue explained to us that someone had dropped Sunny on her doorstep, and because he was fixed- she thought he was a female cat. His original name was Hunny. When she took him to the vet, the vet gently told her she’d been wrong about his gender, and he thus became Sunny.
Sunny was so loving and gentle and he purred like there was no tomorrow. Foster Mom Sue told us that Sunny had been diagnosed with a heart murmur when she’d taken him to the vet. Tears filled my eyes and I exclaimed, “I have a heart murmur, too!”
I needed to bring him home with me.
But my mom wanted to make sure we were really ready to have another cat in our lives. We went home without him that day, with the promise to call Foster Mom Sue in a few days.
Three days passed. We couldn’t stop thinking about Sunny. We’d even nicknamed him Sunny D.
We called Foster Mom Sue and went back to pick up our boy. He was so anxious the entire ride home. My heart broke to hear him cry. I sat in the trunk with him and told him about how wonderful his life was about to be.
He made himself at home right away. Within two days, he was sleeping at the foot of my bed, purring away as the night went on.
Sunny developed an uncanny sense of “My Mom Needs Me”. He would lay with me when I was depressed and couldn’t get out of bed. He’d lay on my chest and purr when I was anxious. His purrs and his steady breathing calmed me down. His purrs healed me.
I had a purpose again. I had to be the best Olivia I could be for Sunny. I had to let him know that he was never going to have to live outside in the cold ever again. I took care of him. I slept next to him. I gave him all the pets his heart could handle. Sunny needed a Mommy. And I needed Sunny.
Sunny and I have celebrated 5 “Gotcha” Days together. He has been there for me in the worst moments of my life. Sunny loves me unconditionally. He loves me when I’m depressed. He loves me when I’m anxious. He loves me even when I drag him to the vet on the wrong day.
He loves me so much that he steps on my head at 3 in the morning when he is hungry.
Sunny has my entire heart. He saved me. He gave my life a purpose again.