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Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Kiara -- Home!

We all have them; that one special cat on the cam that is our special one.  Oh, sure we love them all.  But there’s always that one that, for whatever reason has reached through cyberspace and found a home in our heart.

Of course we love the kittens, who doesn’t?  Well, maybe Putter doesn’t, but we love those little ones, so full of spunk.  We know they will be adopted and maybe we’ll cry a little, but truthfully we want them to find that special family that will love them forever.

But there is always that one cat that when we first log on to the cam, we look for.  We scan around to catch a glimpse.  Of course the residents are everyone’s favorite.  Who doesn’t just give a big smile when Putter struts across the cam?  Sure, he walks like that out of necessity, but it’s the whole package with Putter that makes us smile.  He truly can turn any frown upside down.

Who doesn’t smile when Asha hops on bye?  It’s a different smile than the one for Putter.  It’s a smile that makes us remember how close she came to, well, we are always reminded how far she’s come.

Who doesn’t take a big gulp of air when Cutie walks on by?  We know she’ll get to where she is going because she wants to.  We know she’ll never give up; she’ll never be anything but what she is, a cat that just wants to be a cat. And what a loving cat she is.  When she baths the kittens, our hearts melt. So we smile when she walks by because how can you not?  She’s met a lemon and decided to make lemonade.

We smile when we see Magenta on “her” counter; for all is right with the world.  She is on guard, watching over “our” center.  Waiting for her meal or simply reminding us that the word dignity and cat go together.

For us oldsters, we smile a big smile when Ada Jane walks by.  She is the Grand Dame.  And if watch very carefully, you will see the kittens let her through the path, not because she intimidates them but because they seem to “know”.  Respect, you see, is not just a human thing.

And how many of us can remember the very first question we had when discovering the webcam; Why is that cat scooting across the floor?  Our sweet Bella.  She says loudly and clearly every day “do no pity me, for I am a cat and there is nothing I cannot do.”  And what a cat she is!  When she wants attention, she demands it.  When she wants her jar of baby food, it must be brought forth.  And when she wants to go and rest on the big pink poof, well so be it.  And we will watch her for hours because she is truly the Queen.

So we hold the “resident” cats close to our hearts, for they really are all of ours and we know we will “have” them until the end.  And just like a cat that we have within our walls, we mourn their loss.  I remember crying like a baby when I heard that Scampi had passed.  I tried to explain to my co-workers how it was possible that I could be so sad for a passing of a cat that I had never met.  Clearly, some people just don’t get it.  Whenever I see either Paddy on the wheel running faster and faster, I always think of dear Scampi making the wheel go round and round.  It will always be “Scampi’s Wheel” to me.

And then there are those special cats; the ones that have been there a very long time, who are up for adoption but for some reason haven’t found their forever home. We want them all to be adopted, to find that special home that will give them unconditional love.  We know that if they all stayed then there would be no room for any others.  So we love them with all our hearts until it’s time to say goodbye.  But for that one special cat that we hold ever so close to our hearts, we secretly whisper to the computer when adopters come in, “go in the cabinet, and don’t come out for 30 minutes.”

For me that special cat is Kiara.  Her name can be pronounced two ways, simply Kiara or the wonderful way that Cheri pronounces it; Keeeeaaaaarrrrrraaaaa.  Jacci calls her “KiKi”.  To me she is simply, Kiara.

Kiara came to FFRC on 7/24/2007, when she was just 7 weeks old.  Jacci remembers that day very well.  That is her Dad’s birthday.

Kiara’s birthday is 6/5/2007.  So in those first 7 weeks her personality developed without the safety and security of FFRC.  She learned first in the first 7 weeks.  Fear is something not easily unlearned.

Three times since coming to FFRC a family has come in and fallen in love with Kiara.  Three times she has been chosen.  Three times she has gone to a furever home.  Three times she has come back to the home where she feels safe.

The first time she was returned the very next day.  The next time she was returned three days later.  The last time she was returned 8 days later.  Each time the family returned her because they were so sad because she was so sad.  There are sad meows, and then there are meows which break your heart.  Each family reported that she “wailed” nonstop as if she was in pain.  She would just be so mournful being in her new home, crying, hiding behind a microwave or a washer.  She would potty in her hiding place yet continue to remain there, paralyzed with fear.

And each time the same thing would be said “we just love her too much to see her so sad.  We just want her to be happy again.

And each time when she returned home to her safe place, Jacci would open the carrier and out Kiara would stroll, go over and eat a bit then jump up on the dryer and take a nap.  The last time she was adopted, she had lost almost a pound in those 8 days.  She had eaten almost nothing.  But once back to her safe place, her appetite quickly returned.

But as safe as she feels at FFRC, any sudden noise and she runs and hides, either into Tonio’s Den or Dodger’s Pen.  Two years ago when some roof work was done, she even managed to squeeze into a counter drawer and hide out until the noise stopped.

But when it is calm, she is just the sweetest thing, and quite talented.  Kiara is a syringe catcher.  When she knows Jacci is giving shots out, she will hop up to the sink, wait for her to remove the needle and plays catch as Jacci gently tosses them to her.  She will pick them up and walk around the center with them in her mouth.  A visitor will often see Kiara’s “safe syringes” strewn about.  

Her favorite place is the dryer.  She will just lay there with her best friend, Ada Jane and sleep while it jiggles back and forth.

She gets along with all the other cats and dogs; is friendly with people she knows and feels comfortable with.  It is strangers and loud noises she struggles with.

One of my favorite images is of Kiara cuddling with Asha shortly after Asha came to FFRC.  Asha needed some friends but mostly needed to be reminded that things were now ok.  Kiara helped to reassure her.  Kiara quietly and very simply said to Asha “I will be your friend and it will be all right.”

Kiara is up for adoption.  That may or may not happen.  She has too much love to give and to be given to give up on that hope.  Someday, someone may walk in the door that will spend time with her, get to know her, maybe take her to Kitty Castle for a few nights, and assure her that all will be fine.  Someday, someone will walk in and Kiara will say, “I know you.  I trust you.  And I want to be part of your family.”  The choice will be Kiara’s. 

And until that day, we all get to watch her, to love her and to be her friend.  And when that person who Kiara chooses takes her home, we will cry a million tears but will smile so brightly a night will turn to day. 

UPDATE:  In April, 2013, Kiara decided she had found her furever home.  She discussed it with Jacci who agreed with her decision.  Kiara is now a permanent resident cat of FFRC.  It is the only home she has has ever wanted, and ever felt safe and confident in.  Welcome Home Kiara!