I got a promotion and with it I had to move to Queretaro. I was living in a beautiful apartment in Mexico City just around Condesa, but when I got the promotion, I was ecstatic! I have always loved change, moving around and finding new places.
But shortly after I received news of the promotion, I met a guy, and our relationship became pretty serious in a matter of weeks.
The happy feeling of moving to Queretaro soon vanished because I didn’t want to spend a second away from this guy that had become so important so fast. I promised myself I would make it work, and every weekend for 4 months, I went back and forth to be with him. Until he broke up with me. I went back to Querétaro with a broken heart and no one to actually talk to about the situation. I was in this new place, living by myself and just crying my heart out. I felt lonely and sad, and all I wanted to do was leave this new place and go back to Mexico City and make the relationship work. I was devastated.
Every day I would drive myself to my office just to come back and fall down into that lonely abyss and cry myself to sleep every night. I was feeling so deeply alone.
A few days passed, and one morning I went down the stairs of my house to find a cat inside my living room. She didn’t move, meow, or get scared (God knows I sure did!). She gently and slowly walked towards me and then started rubbing herself on my leg. I leaned down to stroke her and ask her, “Hey! How are you? What’s your name?” I saw a collar but no name tag. She turned around and ran to the window and left just as silently and swiftly as she had when she entered the house. I remember smiling and taking a box of cereal back to my room. To my place of solitude.
Later that afternoon I called my mom and told her what happened, and she immediately said, “DO NOT FEED IT MONO! It’s not your cat! You don’t know where it’s been or if it even has an owner or anything! If you feed it, it’ll always go to your house just for food, and well, you are going to be feeding a stranger’s cat! PLUS, YOU ARE SO ALLERGIC! DO NOT FEED IT MONO!”
“OK, Mom! OK! I won’t. Thanks for your input.”
The next day, though, the cat was back in the house again. She explored a bit more, going all the way into the kitchen and now answered by meowing in reply to my random questions. It was very weird how she kept interrupting my solitude with her very mystic and majestic personality, as if saying, “Hey there! I’m just checking if you are still alive. OK, bye now!” And she left again.
The weekend was over, and I went back to work. When I returned home that evening, the cat was waiting for me ON MY BED! I was very surprised to see her there, but I was also quite happy to find someone to talk to. I didn’t feel so lonely. That day I discovered that “it” was a “she,” and I started calling her Gatita (Kitten).
A whole week passed, and Gatita kept getting into the house during the day and getting out during the night. I figured she was just going back home, but for the next week, she stayed over, and after that she never left. I never saw a sign asking for a lost kitten. I asked my neighbors, but they had never seen her before. So I started feeding her, and my mom went a little crazy (along with my allergies).
“I TOLD YOU NOT TO FEED HER! Well, never mind, send me a picture or something. Is she pregnant?! OH GOD, MONO! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH BABY KITTENS?! I hope she doesn’t have fleas! Does she have a name? AAAAWWWW, YOU SHOULD CALL HER FELIX!!! TAKE HER TO THE VET! WHAT IF SHE HAS RABIES?!”
“OMG, Mom! Do you want me to keep her or not?! How can I call her FELIX if its a SHE?! You know what? I’m taking her to the vet. I’ll talk to you later.”
The sadness that was instilled in me previously quickly disappeared with the thought of seeing with my cat every day. I never gave her a different name, and Gatita simply turned into Tita. She would sit next to me at night until she fell asleep and wake me up with little purrs in the morning. I started to feel better in no time. When I finally stopped thinking about my ex (whom I shall call Israel) he suddenly called me and asked me how I was and how was I feeling. Then I told him about the cat and how she had helped me with the sadness he caused me after we broke up. He was so excited about the cat and very sorry about what happened. He confessed he missed me and said a million other things, and eventually we got back together. Later on, he moved to Queretaro, and Tita was only the first of three cats we ended up taking in. Each of them found us exactly when we needed it, in magical and unexpected ways.
Israel and I decided we were going to move abroad, the 12,500-kilometer trip was a big deal. The first thing we knew was going to be difficult was moving away with three cats. There was never an argument about not taking them. NEVER. We knew they were coming with us, and that was it.
When we made the decision to move, we took the cats to the vet, and started the research for the trip. But then something happened. Tita started to leave the house and not come back during the night. Our cats were always free to go out and about if they wanted, but they always came back home for the night. Tita left for three nights straight, and we almost lost our minds. A neighbor told us she had taken care of Tita the same way I was now until Tita found me. Tita would go to the neighbor’s apartment for a few hours then leave. She began leaving for longer periods of time and then entire nights.
We realized right then and there that Tita had made the decision to not move with us, and Israel was very sad about this. We had actually learned a few days before that we could only take two cats with us, and we were thinking about paying someone to take one of the cats, or send it by courier or something. We never argued about this inside the house, but Tita just knew, and she made the decision for us. I also realized right then why Tita had found me when I was so sad and lonely and why it was time for her to move on now – exactly the same way I had needed to move on to the next chapter of my life.
It was time for Israel to leave and get all our things ready for our arrival to that foreign country. The day he was supposed to leave, no one could find Tita, not even our neighbor. A week had passed since we last saw her and we were afraid she was dead, sick, or something bad had happened to her. I remember feeling a huge hole in my stomach.
We needed to go to Mexico City to catch a plane, and Israel was crying his eyes out. He couldn’t believe that after three years, he couldn’t even say goodbye to his furry baby. We closed the house doors, walked to the car, and called Tita with treats, food, and jam – all the tricks in the book but nothing. Fifteen minutes passed, and we just started to drive away. I remember feeling so sad and lost. I also felt a little guilty, Israel was leaving before me and the rest of the kittens to get us an apartment and maybe a job, so that meant that I could go back home and see her again, but Israel would never have the chance to do so. We drove away.
I don’t even know how he noticed, but Israel suddenly stopped the car, opened the door, and ran back to the house. There Tita was, standing in our parking space! Israel grabbed her, kissed her, and we both cried as we said goodbye to our baby girl. It was one of the most sad yet magical moments I had ever experienced, and I was also so grateful that she was there to say goodbye.
The cat that had found me, that showed Israel and me a different way to love, was saying goodbye to us and letting us go. She was moving on and so were we.
I never saw her again. To this day I can’t believe the way she found me and showed me the path to find myself, as well as teaching me how difficult and extremely sad it can be to say goodbye. But sometimes you just have to move on and carry on.