I try to remember when Ishqa was little. I don’t know if I have any pictures of him as a little one. But one day he wasn’t there- not even the idea of him as a pet. And the next day he was.
He was a pound kitty when I got him, like each of the three I’ve adopted, and he was a youngster and he was my first, and he probably was all of a pound. He was a short hair cat, and he was, like them all, black. He was quiet, but subtly investigative. He watched everything. He didn’t talk much at all. He liked to stay near me. He was lean until he got sick. He seemed to do well in the small apartment though. It was his, and he kept it up well, despite my messiness ad piles of clutter. He was like a first child to me, except he was a cat, and I knew little more than to feed him and water him and change his litter box and pet him. He would sleep sometimes at the feet of my bed, especially in winter. He liked to lay on the desk near me as I worked at the computer. He was handsome and a cat trapped in a small apartment and my friend.
When he was two, he started exhibiting odd symptoms and losing weight rapidly. One of his eyes went kooky. I was thrown into a panic and was grateful Mike, my old friend from childhood, was the head vet at the Albuquerque Animal Humane Society and that he was just generous helpful. He walked with me through the diagnosis and attempted treatment of Ishqa. Ishqa had FIP and would not live real long he told me. But he gave me prednisone for him every few weeks and waterboarded him several times toward the end.
Ishqa was a rag of an animal with dull fur and barely enough strength to stand that last week, but he would drag himself up to follow me around the apartment when I was home. I sat with him as much as possible.
When his bowels went on Friday, it was time, and with the touch of a needle on Saturday morning in a private room with Mike at the AHS, he was gone.
I was sad that I had had him for only two years, but I was grateful he was my little buddy. I had been watching a lot of Bollywood movies at the time of my life when I got him, and I had quickly learned that “ishq” was a word that appeared in films a lot, and it was an Arabic word that meant love. It was a ideal name for that cat, if not because he was a good first run for me as a pet owner, but because he let me love him.
That pet made a difference in my life.