Kora was my brother’s cat. She was adopted when she was a few months old. She is a very sweet and shy cat. You probably have seen countless mischievous cat videos online. But she is an exception. She does not give a hard time to anyone, stays mostly indoors, she has a few favorite spots around the house to sit and scratch. Her favorite list keeps changing but her all-time favorite space is always next to the windows.
She hides underneath the bed or sofa when she sees a stranger. She does not mingle with everyone but if she picks you then that means you are special. I’ve always loved cats but never had one of my own. So whenever I would go to visit my sister’s place (my brother lived in my sister’s home), I would spend time with Kora. My sister has two very sweet dogs as well. I am not a very big fan of big pets. All three of them (cat: Kora, dogs: Cheeky & Woofy) are small and very sweet animals. Spending time with Kora means basically watching TV or doing something on the laptop while she very cozily sits next to me slowly wagging her furry tail. But I never have seen her asking for attention, well, she did occasionally from my brother but not from the rest of us.
I would only see her occasionally and hear stories about her from my brother. Then a lot of things happened in my life. I finished my electrical engineering degree and went through a lot of job interviews. That time of job seeking and unemployment (or I should say underemployment) was rough. No, it was not like a fairy tale as everyone believes, you don’t always land a decent engineering job right away even if you are the best of students, come from a well-known school, have many “relevant” experience under your belt. That is a whole different story of how I overcame that short dark period and landed in something that was beyond my expectations at that time. So fast forward to everything that happened, let’s assume I got two job offers: Job A & B around the same time. While I was at job A, I figured out in a few days that I am in a wrong place, got an offer from job B and was going through the employment process of Job B. Job A is not what was promised, career-wise not very fulfilling, pays a low salary and makes people work for an insane amount of hours without overtime pay (on exempt salary). Job B is a dream job for many to start their career in my field, it pays according to industry standard, great work-life balance, career-wise provides meaningful work and is located in a ridiculously gorgeous area. Job B takes time to process due to security clearance requirements. I was tired and fed up of being at A, it was sucking the life out of me and I was praying to God almighty to get me out of here ASAP. Finally, I could not take it anymore and decided to quit A and spend the remaining time of the job B process at my sister’s place.
My brother had moved to his college dorm, so I was staying in his room with his cat Kora. I did not inform anyone in detail except my mom about the job B offer. Because of the things that I have been through, it was hard to grasp at that time that this was happening to me, that I got an offer from them and it is just a matter of time to finish the clearance process. I have a clean slate so passing the extensive background check was not an issue for me. But I was still going through a mild depression because I did not know how much longer the process would take. There is a general time frame but because it defers for each individual, the officials would never say anything specific in an email or on the phone. There was another prospect of job C but they would only go forward if for some reason I would not finally go with job B.
So when I came to my sister’s place, I was an apparent idiot in my siblings’ eyes who quit her only job at that time. I said there is a possibility of job B but did not reveal yet that I got it and just waited for the process to be over.
The first day when I entered into my brother’s room I turned the light on and I saw Kora continuously meowing. I closed the door, sat on the bed and she is asking for attention, which is very unlikely of her. I texted my brother and he replied how Kora misses his company because my brother is not home anymore except for the weekend. Kora does not mingle with other family members. I think cats have this strong sense about who loves them and they would only seek those people. I took her in my lap and rubbed her belly and as she was purring, I was crying. I knew deep down that I did not do anything wrong by quitting that job but I was stressing on the fact that “what if” something goes wrong and I don’t get a start date from job B? Vacationing in a relative’s house is different than living in there during your hard time.
In the middle of the night, Kora would wake me up, tap my hands asking to pet her, kiss my nose with her nose and rub her scent on me with her head. I would gently pet her and calm her down. I would imagine if I die now I can go to heaven with this cat, I would contemplate she and I are sitting next to a heavenly tropical waterfall. Then I discovered, whenever I was depressed, she would ask me to pet her. As if she is trying to divert my attention from negative thoughts. Animals do have telepathy. I believe that.
That evening was her playtime. I would point laser light on the floor, on the wall and she would try to catch it. There were other cat toys too, to play with her. Every day she would very promptly during that time ask me to play with her. At first, I did not understand, why all of a sudden it seemed like she was trying to verbally communicate through her meowing. My brother said she is asking for something. She does not do that to everyone but asks me because she knows how I was taking care of her. I thought that was very adorable.
Then finally that day came when I heard the good news of getting a start date from job B. Thank goodness it was only a few weeks and my prayers were answered. It was time for me to move on. I was supposed to adopt Kora in my brother’s absence. That seemed most appropriate. But renting in San Diego is a whole different story. I live in northern California. While San Diego is not San Francisco, I know, it is still very expensive, especially the main San Diego county area. And why wouldn’t it be, it is the happiest and the most vibrant place in the United States. The beauty, the beaches, the Pacific ocean, the crisp and wonderful weather, so many things to do here. But bringing your own pet is a special struggle for a renter, most properties don’t allow pets if they do they must be cats or small dogs but with a high deposit and monthly extra fees. I could not afford it at that time. One of my co-workers suggested that I could adopt her as an assistive animal. And why not, she is a very therapeutic cat. But I thought about that and figured out, I am very busy and I don’t have much time to look after her. She would have to spend all day in a tiny apartment that I am currently in. It won’t be much different than her current situation in my brother’s absence. I want her to stay in a better place where she is better-taken care of.
So we decided to give her up for adoption. She is in a different place now. Wherever she is, I hope she is having a great time, getting all the love and care that she deserves. Thanks, Kora for giving me company during a tough time!