I got my Sabrina about a week after turning ten years old. I new we belonged to each other the instant I saw her, and still remember that moment with perfect clarity. She was being given away at a local mall during Christmas shopping season. I always asked my parents for these kittens, but that day I didn't want any of them for some reason - until she stepped out from under the towel covering the box. That was my cat, as no other cat ever had been. And I was hers. My parents gave in (they NEVER gave in!) and let me get her. The girl giving her away called her Taffy, and we thougt that wasn't right at all. My mom suggested Sabrina, but I tought that was WAY too stereotypical for a black cat, but since I didn't think of anything else soon enough, Sabrina stuck, so I gave her her middle name - Mae.
Sabrina put up with a lot of crap from me as we grew up together, and when I moved out, she stayed at my parents house because I knew she was happiest there. I lived close, and still got to see her all the time. Plus I took forever to be able to move out (went to a hometown college,) so it all worked out for us.
Shortly after her 15th birthday, I thought Sabrina must be nearing an end from some illness, as she had lost a lto of weight. We took her in and found her thyroid was overactive, and her idneys weren't functioning at their greatest. With careful management of meds and diets with regular bloodwork, Sabrina had nearly another five years of happiness and good health. She really only seemed to be getting bad the last week of her life, though we knew it was near the end anyway. About a week before I had to decide to say goodbye, she started going into organ failure. SubQ fluids didn't seem to alleviate her dehydration, and she just didn't seem well anymore. I spent the night at my parents' house and held her and talked to her and talked to the vets a few times and made the decision. I spent all day with her and loved on her. She even ate some and purred some her last day, but I could see the change in her and knew even with tose things that it was her time. She went in peace, and will be forever missed. All the staff at the hospital told us over and over how great it was that we gave her so much life, and that it was the right time. I slept with her ashes the first few days - couldn't bare to be apart from them. I still talk to her, and cry for her, and I probably always will.
Now that she has been gone almost five months, I realize how much I miss having a cat, and especially how much I miss giving that extra special care. I hope to do right by her through caring for others. I'll try to get some pics to work.
RIP my wonderful Baby Cat: 10/27/1993 - 9/25/2013
PS: Hopefully as time passes you will open your heart to another needy soul. There are so many that never know the love of a family who truly cares for then.