In Memory of Mei Mei

Once upon a time in 2005, in a nearby garage, a young skinny sable black kitty found shelter in a pipe in Santa Monica, California. He would pop his head up from inside the pipe to see if it was safe to emerge. I never had a cat before so bringing him to live with me was out of the question. I posted a flyer with his picture around the neighborhood. Still, maybe a week later, this sweet kitty, so grateful for food and a small toy, was living in my apartment with me.  I thought he was a girl but that’s another story. I named him Mei Mei, which was a fitting name for a sweet yin male boy.

We were both awkward as we looked at each other and wondered what to do next. He had been surviving by himself for who knows how long. I had been alone too, living in an isolating apartment complex. Another cat I tended in my building, a beautiful golden tabby, which was left when my neighbor moved, didn't appreciate Mei Mei's arrival. I sat on the floor in an impending cat-inspired depression as I felt I had brought the enemy home. A day later, I saw 2 cats rolling around in a kitty roll, as only cats can do. They were never apart again.

As I got to raise (and be raised by) this beautiful boy kitty, a gentle soul emerged. This boy would wait by the door for me to come home. I got to know his patient wish. He simply wanted to go for a walk on the landing in my building. I would say, “C’mon Mei Mei let’s go for a walk.”  It seemed as though he had experienced being locked out of a house before because he would hover by the front door and beg to go back in. Gradually, he would walk side by side with me all along the landing. He would look up at me to see if I was still there.  My own fear of abandonment would disappear as I found the right tone and words to soothe Mei Mei’s very real fears.

It turns out, Mei Mei was a great listener and he would “critique” what I wanted to say at the HOA meeting with great interest. He would just give me that cat look and I knew I had written something of merit.

It was March 5, 2011. I was sitting by the arm on the sofa when my Mei Mei jumped up to cuddle next to me. We had come full circle.  Mei Mei had taught me cat-ish and I came to understand the importance of sticking my neck out for one so deserving. Mei Mei and I were friends that time and space would never separate.

Sadly, Mei Mei passed away May 13, 2011.  Mei Mei represents the joy of having true love in my life, and I wish this for you too!

This Memorial remembers Mei Mei, and in his honor I hope others will donate to help other animals that need to be rescued from homelessness, abandonment and abuse to find a new loving home in which to live the rest of their life.

Kim Garner

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