Four years ago my husband and I walked into the Mission adoption center with intentions to adopt a kitten. It was Mother's Day 2012. I had a fluffy white or Siamese kitten in mind. Well, it didn't work out as planned. First of all, there was no kitten to be found. It was not kitten season apparently. Secondly, the cats that we thought we liked didn't give us the time of day. We walked in and out of every room to no avail. Right when we were about to give up, one volunteer walked us into a small room with a tiny 7-year-old black cat. I was hesitant at first. I didn't think it would work out since she was an older cat, but as soon as I sat on the floor this tiny reddish black cat, with a tipped right ear jumped from the top of her cat structure into my lap purring her loudest. She gave me head bumps and licks and made me laugh.

We knew immediately she had us at, "Hello!" So, that was how our love story and family with Ayumi started. That was her name at the shelter and that was the name that stuck with her. She was the nurse to our pitbull Kona when Kona was in excruciating pain before surgery. She gave kisses to everyone except Kikay her little toy poodle sister who slept right next to her on our bed but was just an annoying little one when they were awake. Ayumi was full of love. She was always at the door to greet us, sashaying her sleek body down the hall ready to give kitty kisses, waiting for treats, on her three level kitty condo, or waking us up for breakfast. She was mine and my husband's baby girl.

For four whole years we loved her more each day, then three weeks ago we noticed her tummy was bloated. We brought her to the emergency vet, and the prognosis was bad. I cried but didn't give up on her. We brought her back the next day to see a specialist and found out two days later she had liver cancer. Dispite her illness, her disposition never changed. She was still full of love until June 28 at 5:30 am. She gave a loud meow, and we knew she was saying goodbye. My heart was heavy on the way back to the Nor Cal emergency hospital. I whispered in her ear that we loved her and it was okay to go. We kissed her and hugged her as she crossed over that rainbow bridge. It's weird coming home to an Ayumi-free house. I still hear her purrs and miss her dearly but wanted to thank the SF SPCA for this opportunity to be loved by such the lovebug that Ayumi was. Thank you to that volunteer who was the bridge to our kismet with her. We are forever grateful for her. In time, we hope we can be adopted by another black cat who is filled with as much love as Ayumi was.