Adopted Cats Are the Constant Companions Their Mom Needed Most

When Makayla needed a helping paw, Nymeria and Lady were there.

Makayla + Nymeria & Lady

Although Makayla was grieving, with purrs and snuggles, Nymeria and Lady were there to give her the very best loving care.

"In my darkest moments, I had two bundles of soft, furry love to remind me there was something to live for. The soothing weight of them on my chest assured me that goodness still existed and that I deserved the love they so freely gave."

I met Nymeria and Lady in mid-December 2018. They were 3 months old, sick, underweight… and, despite their small size, had already secured a huge, irreplaceable spot in my heart. I met them on a whim after a previously planned adoption fell through. I quickly transitioned from devastated to enamored; from the first sight, this bonded pair had my heart.

Adopted cats Nymeria and Lady

Waiting for their health to improve, I drove 45 minutes to visit them in their isolated room, awaiting the day that I could bring them to their forever-home.

A mere two months after these kittens entered my life, I left my job on disability following a severe decline in my mental and physical health. In the chaotic aftermath of my mother’s sudden death three years prior, I finally succumbed to the overwhelming grief, anxiety, and uncertainty of that loss and all it meant for me as a young woman. Spending my days in the confines of my small studio apartment, hardly able to get out of bed, I found indescribable solace in the warm weight of my two fur babies, and the security of their rumbling purrs.

Adopted cats Nymeria and Lady

On countless occasions when I would spiral into panic and despair, fearing what seemed an endless cloud of darkness, my kittens were there, freely and selflessly offering love; they provided me a priceless reassurance only such pure creatures can. In a season of life marked by 14-hour stretches of sleep, they let me know with their chirps, purrs, and licks that they couldn’t be happier to spend all day in bed with me. Their faithful presence soothed my doubts and validated my slow, necessary healing process from the inside out.

Adopted cats Nymeria and Lady

The isolation of those months is hard to recall, as it gripped onto me and threatened to overtake my heart… but I wasn’t ever truly alone. In my darkest moments, I had two bundles of soft, furry love to remind me there was something to live for. The soothing weight of them on my chest assured me that goodness still existed and that I deserved the love they so freely gave.

In the moments of aching sadness and maddening anxiety, their playful nature broke me open until laughter flowed out and a light shone in. Their love filled me with a new ache of immeasurable joy. I worked my way up and out of the darkness; through it all, they were there.

Adopted cats Nymeria and Lady

Now, 8 months into our life as a family, I am back at work and fighting hard to manage my mental and physical health with newfound hope. Every day, I return home to the purest love I could ever have imagined; I feel unworthy of it, yet my kittens continue to prove to me that I AM worthy time and again. I’m forever grateful for my furry, darling beacons of light and love for the patient, loving guidance they provided for me to find hope in life once again.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Makayla won Santa Maria Valley Humane Society in Santa Maria, California a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.