Today it is July 7, 2007.  I am reminiscing... Bittersweet memories of the beautiful cat, Seven, that once was "mine"... Years go by so quickly... Ten years ago, that's when I met him...

I named him "Seven" because I got him on 7/7/1997 at 7:00 PM, and for $700.00!  He was a beautiful Sealpoint Himalayan few-months-old kitten.  I remember it all so vividly…

I lived then in downtown Manhattan, and had to go midtown on that afternoon to take care of some business.  Although it was a very long walk all the way back, down to 12th Street, I decided to do just that.  It was an unusually bright and beautiful day, not too hot, and there was a very pleasant breeze blowing.  It felt great to walk down Fifth Ave. in my beloved city of New York…

Then, as I was approaching my neighborhood, I decided to walk a few extra blocks down to a pet store on 6th Ave. and 10th St. (or thereabout).  A few weeks prior to that, I had been to this pet shop with my granddaughter Katryna.  We had gone in allured by the cute puppies in their window display. Once in the store, I did not like at all the condition that the puppies were being kept in, as they were in very overcrowded cages that didn't even look clean, and without a designated "bed" for the little guys. I made phone calls to the Humane Society complaining about the store. So, I figured, let me go by there again, and see if there had been any improvements.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some improvements. I saw that they had added some cages, and that the cages looked cleaner. But, here's where Seven's story begins:

At the back of the store, two young Asian women were playing with this beautiful Himalayan kitten, over the counter (they must have taken him out of his cage, upon their request). I was so impressed with this kitten! He was so calm… totally undisturbed by the loud barking of the dogs and the overall reigning confusion… He was not afraid at all, just playing and being irresistibly graceful …

I was not looking to get a cat, at that time... Jera (AKA Mlle. Jera) had been the "only child" in my household for some three years, since the passing of her companion, our beloved cat Kittums, and that was working out alright...  Besides, I have always preferred to adopt homeless pets from shelters, as opposed to buying them from pet stores... But, here I found myself so drawn to this kitty... so, I decided right then that I wanted him. Hey, but what about the Asian women? They seemed just as enchanted with him, and they saw him first!… So, I started to mentally say prayers to all of the saints in heaven above, wishing that the women would desist of buying him. I thought I'd help the odds, and started to tell them "gee… they want too much money for this kitten… most pet shops sell Himalayans for much less!"

I realized that there wasn't much else that I could do. Knowing the competitiveness of human nature, I figured if I show an interest in buying him, that will only fuel their own desire to do so, themselves. So, with my heart pounding hard, I decided to leave the store, go for a short walk, hope for the best, and come back a bit later…

So, I took a walk around the block, and entered a couple of other stores, just to kill time. Then, I went back. Lo and behold! Asian women gone! The kitten was still there!!! I wasted no time: I told the man behind the counter that I wanted him. Tried to bargain on the price, no chance… Thank God I had a credit card with me… I asked the guy if they had something I could "wrap" him with (a towel, perhaps?). He went to the back of the store and returned with this little newborn infant blanket; he explained that someone had lost it at the store a few weeks before, and that no one had claimed it…

By the time I was leaving the store with my precious bundle of joy wrapped up in this cute baby blanket, the time was 7:00 PM.

I seldom remember feeling as happy as I did then, as I walked with this kitten in my arms. I felt as carefree and excited as a happy kid! The kitten was not afraid at all of being in the street, and looked at everything with calm curiosity. Passersby stopped to admire him and comment on how cute he was and what gorgeous blue eyes he had. I started thinking what will I name him? I have always preferred to name my pets with names that had an actual "meaning"... So, I started thinking hard what was it in the vein of "meaningful" regarding my finding of this wonderful treasure, and suddenly "it hit me"! It would have to be the intriguing coincidental abundance of the number seven! Then, the name came as a natural consequence… His name had to be Seven!

Seven turned out to be one of the most special cats I have ever had the privilege of having in my life. He was incredibly social, smart, loving, and oh… so very special!

Today it is the 10th anniversary of that beautiful day in July, when I found him. For the short time that we spent together, he brought so much sunshine into my life! Seven left behind wonderful memories, and his little soul will always be with me, until the day I cross the "rainbow bridge", myself…

There he was... one of his favorite antics: hiding behind the shower curtain...

Seven had a very short life. Only a year later, on July of 1998, I lost him in a quick fateful moment. I don't like to talk about how the tragic accident happened, because to this day it is just too painful for me. So, I'll end this little story, instead, by quoting once again this wonderful poem, today specially dedicated to Seven:

"If I could have a lifetime wish, a dream that would come true,

I'd pray to God with all my heart, for yesterday and you

A thousand words can't bring you back, I know because I've tried

And neither will a million tears, I know because I've cried

You left behind my broken heart, and happy memories too

But I never wanted memories... I only wanted You." - Debbie Shoop

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