How a beautiful cat named Kitty came into our lives and rescued us with eternal love

September 26, 2017 | Nestor Aparicio

incredible amount of fur her little body produced.

We thought it very odd that she immediately started answering and reacting to the new name we’d given her: Kitty. Her head would jerk and she would actually answer our call for her from anywhere in our place. It was weird – like she knew her name from the outset. And she behaved far more like a dog than a cat.

On the second day we had her in our home, my wife came home from work and I told her that – against all odds – I had totally fallen head over heels in love with this cat. Everything about her was magic. She was more like a person – like a friend you’d known your whole life – than like a typically obstinate, indifferent, aloof cat.

I wanted to hold her, pet her, get to know her, get her to trust me and want to be with me. She became my favorite photography project. She was just so incredibly beautiful.

A month into our instantly glorious relationship, it was time for us to claim a veterinarian and take Kitty to the doctor for a check up. It’s also mandated by Bmore Humane that you have medical care for your adoptee. Jenn told me to grab the paperwork and folder that Kitty came with from the back of our condo. I never knew such information existed because I wasn’t with her when Kitty was first brought home.

I grabbed the folder with six sheets of personal information about Kitty that her former guardian left when she was surrendered to the folks at Bmore Humane and it was incredible to see how loved she was in her former home, where apparently a child in the home had an allergy to her sometimes overwhelming shedding and fur, which is how this incredible little angel wound up in a cage on Nicodemus Road. Everything we leaned the hard way by trial and error over the first month had been laid out on paper but Jenn was too busy being in love with her new cat to ever read the instruction manual (or even tell me it existed)!

We’ll always be grateful to whomever got to enjoy her early life as a kitten and incredibly appreciative to the folks who led her magic to our hearts. We’ll never know them but they left us an incredible gift with her “story.”

And there at the top of Page One we solved the first and biggest mystery: her name. The first six years of her life, her guardians named her “Katie,” which is why she instantly took to us calling her “Kitty.” To this day, we think she must’ve believed that we were Scottish and just mispronouncing her name!

I suppose in the modern era of social media and timelines, you could go back and see how our lives changed when she came into our world. We announced “a big addition to our family” in the Spring of 2012 and we still laugh that some folks thought we were having a baby.

Kitty was born on June 1, 2006. She was almost six when she became ours. We got to share our love with her for only five and a half years and we feel so cheated but also so grateful for our time with her.

She was with us when we returned from New Orleans after the Super Bowl 47 win in February 2013. She helped me write the book in the aftermath, perched on my couch all night, every night as I recounted all of the Ravens magic, page by page.

Jenn and I spent our 10th anniversary in French Polynesia in the summer of 2013 and even 10 stunning days in Moorea, Tahiti and Bora Bora couldn’t take our mind off our special girl at home. Perched out on the Pacific Ocean in an overwater bungalow on our bucket list vacation trip, we heard the Jimmy Buffett song “Little Miss Magic” and both began to tear up because we thought of and missed Kitty simultaneously. That became her song for us.

That’s what she was – pure magic. She was a perfect creature.

It was always hard to leave Kitty to travel the world but we have a wonderful friend, Brandie, who would move into our condo and give her attention and care in our absence. She reported after our first trip that Kitty is “infinitely and indiscriminately affectionate.”

And she was right…

As you probably know, six months later on March 20, 2014, my wife Jenn was diagnosed with a rare double form of leukemia and her subsequent battle, relapse, bone marrow transplants and her life-saving German donor are all