The story of how Yumi came into my life
|This is the true story of how Yumi Nyoko came into my life.
Yumi Nyoko Milliken
She was just one of the neighborhood cats, and I had no intention of getting to know her any better, or of adopting her. I already had way too many cats, and I just could not keep taking them in, even though my heart went out to all of them. Cats that roamed the neighborhood, not quite feral, but obviously not really cared for. Cats who had litter after litter, and how many had I already adopted in the last 38 years. Too many. I had finally decided they were NOT my responsibility. I had reached my limit a long time ago.
But you couldn’t help noticing Yumi and her sister Yuriko. They were beautiful Birman cats, and they definitely stood out in the crowd. “They could easily be pure-breds”, I thought to myself. And I couldn’t believe their owners would just let them run loose.
Then, in the fall of 2003, Yumi gave birth to a litter of kittens in my yard. I walked out my back door one day, and there were four of them with their mom. Oh, what darlings. They couldn’t have been more than 5 weeks old. And I immediately decided I had to have at least one of them. So I walked over to where they lay, reached down and grabbed one. Oh, what a wild little thing. She was all claws and hiss. Having raised over 100 cats in my life, I was undaunted. I immediately wrapped her in my shirt and held on for dear life. She calmed down quite quickly, and I took her into the house and bathed and fed her. Next I headed for the vet’s. I hoped to catch the others, and the mother too, but as fate would have it, I never did. I had to leave for the weekend, so I took the new kitty with me. I only saw the other kittens one time after that, and I assume they all died.
I did keep an eye on the momcat though. And about six months later, she had another litter, in my neighbors yard. She had become a little tamer, and often ate on my porch, where I put out food for my porch kitties. Meanwhile, in my neighbors yard, the new litter of kittens was becoming friendly with the huge Saint Bernard who lived there. They loved climbing all over him. So I said to Mr. Neighbor, if you can catch them, I will take them to the no-kill shelter. Maybe they will be adopted. The next day he came over and said he had trapped the mom, and her five kittens in a cage. I brought them to my house and kept them all in a huge carrier in my laundry room, until I could take them to the shelter. This lasted about 5 weeks. Meanwhile, one of the kittens died, and my neighbor adopted three.
Finally one bright Saturday, I loaded up Momcat and her one little boy, Venture, and off to the no-kill shelter we went. Well, they took Venture, but said that Momcat was too wild to be adopted. They did offer to have her spayed, if I would take her to the vet’s. They just said to get her spayed and put her back out on the streets.
Well, of course, I got her spayed, but I couldn’t see putting her back out on the streets. So I ended up adopting her. I named her Yumi Nyoko, which means Beautiful Treasure. She has tamed down considerably, and has indeed lived up to her name. And so I have one more cat.
Although I work closely with the no-kill shelters in my area, and support two shelters here in the US, I have always thought it was best to work with animals on a one-to-one basis. Most of my cats have been strays that have been dropped off on my porch, or cats that have been born to the many neighbor hood cats that roam the streets. Other than that, I try to focus on education. I believe that the only way to finally solve the feral problem is to educate people to have their animals spayed or neutered, and to become responsible pet owners.
Meanwhile, life with my cats is never dull.
Hugs and purrs, Cynaemon
20 October 2015
How I came to love my beautiful little Yumi cat, affectionately known as White Nose. She was the most beautiful, tame and loving cat I have ever owned. She loved to sleep by my pillow and purr loudly, so that I would know she was there. But today sadness reigns in my heart. I had to have my little girl put to sleep. She was sick and I knew she was dying. She had pneumonia, and her liver and kidneys were failing. It was such a hard decision, and I pray that it was the right one. I could have given her a couple more days, but I hated to think of her being unable to breath. I know what that is like since I have asthma.
I sat there in the vet's office and whispered her name over and over, telling her that I loved her. I will bury her in my yard next week. Meanwhile I still have her two daughters, Mimeenah Roshan and Kapaea Ku'u'ipo Savannah. And there is still little BugBug and Socksie.
So much sorrow. So much loss. I feel like I am sitting on the edge of forever, but I am not ready to go there yet.