While traversing Scout Rallos at 9pm, I had noticed incessant meowing of teeny proportions coming from a stacked heap of plastic garbage bags. I looked down and saw a small black kitten, barely a week old, running towards me and finally parking itself haphazardly on my new Flossy Mary Janes.

“Gera! It’s a kitten!” I was unsure if I wanted to pick it up. It was so tiny, so scraggly, so pitiful. Plus, it was crying nonstop. Gera, who had walked on ahead, turns to me and tells me sternly, “You don’t pick that up, Kira! It’s so dirty and we’re late to a party!” She trudges on leaving me behind.

I take a deep breath, try to walk away, but later decide to take in this little critter. I yell, “Gera, we are taking this kitten home and you have no choice but to come with me!”

There was no plan to take on another pet, not to mention a kitten. I had grown up with dogs, chickens, turtles, pigeons, pigs, fishes, rabbits, even squirrels at some point — but never did a feline join our household.

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So as any responsible pet owner would do, I fed it Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR for short also known was Kira Mae Ramirez lol), housed it in a comfortable kennel, took care of it, and tried to make her ready for adoption. The last one was a major fail as we ended up loving her so much.

My first Tortie

Mittens, as it turns out, is a tortoiseshell with a very strong “tortitude” — she’s strong-willed, very vocal, and feisty. It’s true what they say that a cat will change your life. I watch her every day, amazed with how she’s grown, admiring her soft feminine features. I can stare into her amber eyes and wonder what the hell she is thinking: Is she content, is she going to swat me, does she love me at all?

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Her curiosity is boundless, I watch her play with the curtains gently flowing in the afternoon breeze and I am smitten. When she swishes her tail I know she’s up to something, but I can’t quite place my finger on it. It’s that mysterious thing that keeps me on my toes.

Having a cat is quite literally, very satisfying. I am a nurturer and spoiler by nature, and I can’t help but always try to “seek approval” from Mittens. As opposed to having my Epsilon and Meerkat (my chihuahuas) who will love me no matter what I try to do (or not do), owning a cat means having to court her every single day.

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On a lazy afternoon, I’d lie on my bed and watch her sleep while stroking her belly. Or I’ll read a book while she’s perched on my lap. It’s a very chill life, no wonder a lot of people prefer the company of cats over dogs.

Now bordering on her 4th month with us, Mittens is very much a part of our family, much to my Mom’s dismay who still wants to get rid of her. My Mom does not like cats, but she’s outnumbered so she’s sort of forced to like Mittens but secretly wants to let her loose in the streets. My Mom is a terrible person, haha.

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Mittens on her 110th day with us looks quite regal, her gold patches are more prominent and her fur is soft and fluffy. She is a beautiful tortie!

So that’s really how it all started. Out of all the strays I’ve encountered in my lifetime (we’ve fostered several in the last couple of years), it was only Mittens that spoke to me. So you could say Mittens chose me, and boy am I happy that she did.