6 . 2 . 15
Gabriela “Gabby” King (4/2/1996 – 6/1/2015)
Gabby was the nicest cat I’ve ever known. My sister Amy found her when we were living in the church farmhouse in Greensburg, Pa. She was meowing from the bushes near the house. Someone had dropped her off as so many people had done to cats in the past on the country road where we lived. But Gabby was different. She was smart enough to make a lot of noise meowing. Everyone would wonder, “Where is that cat meowing?”. My sister found her in the nearby bushes.
I returned from work to see my brother and sister on the back porch. I saw a small long haired black and white kitten laying on the porch. She was on her back, with her front paws pawing toward the sky back and forth. She was very cute. Everyone wanted to keep her, the only issue was the other cat we had (“McEnroe”) did not like Gabby. It was impossible to turn her down. This kitten was unnamed, but we followed our tradition with naming cats after tennis players. So we called her “Gabriela Sabatini”, or “Gabby” for short.
I remember how playful Gabby was. We tied a stuffed mouse with a three foot string to the end of a yardstick. Gabby would spend hours jumping after the mouse. We noticed if you flipped the mouse while she was in the air she would actually do a full 180 degree turn in the air chasing the mouse.
Gabby survived several moves, which to a cat, are somewhat traumatic. The biggest move was a three day trip from Pennsylvania to Houston. At first she didn’t like riding in the car, but she did get used to it to a certain extent. She would try to hide in the hotel rooms so she didn’t have to go back in the car but eventually she did make it to her new home and adjusted quickly as usual.
We enjoyed giving her treats. Her favorite nighttime activity was laying in my mother’s bed while she watched TV. She loved attention. She would always purr loudly.
When she neared the end of her 18 year life she had some trouble with her health. As most cats do she hated pills. We took her to the vet a few times. We extended her life six months, and enjoyed every last minute with her. When it was her time, we knew it, and it seemed like the perfect chance to let her go. If there is a kitty heaven, I’m sure she’s in it.
I’ve met a lot of cats in my lifetime. Gabby is by far the most adorable and friendliest I have ever seen. My family and I will always hold a special place in our hearts for her.