Pet Spotlight: The Sparkle of Sparkle Abbey

Adding Some Sparkle to Our Lives

by Sparkle Abbey

Our pets carve out a space in our hearts that makes us better people. So, when we lose a pet it can be difficult to decide when we’re ready to again open our hearts to a new friend. My mother had just passed away when I came home one evening to unusual quiet. Kokomo was definitely “my” cat. Always there to greet me, sleeping just behind my head when I sat in a chair, weaving in and out of my legs and scolding in her slightly strident Siamese tone to let me know food or water needed attention. But this night…nothing.

I found her behind the drapes, unable to walk, a weak hoarse cry that make little sound. We gently wrapped her in a blanket and drove like crazy to emergency care where the vet gave us little hope. She’d had a stroke. Undaunted and sure this vet was wrong, I took her to our family vet the next morning. The news was no better. She was struggling to breath and would not last the day.

My faithful friend who’d been there as I dealt with the hard truth that my mom was slipping away as Alzheimer’s disease looted a once brilliant mind. My comfort when at the end of a long day you’ve done all you can do. My joy as she helped me keep perspective on living in the moment. Sometimes a romp with friends and a catnap are exactly what you need for an attitude adjustment.

By the end of the day, Kokomo was gone. And I had a hole in my heart.

I always knew we’d get another cat but it took me more than a year before I was ready. We finally visited the local animal shelter. I didn’t want a kitten (they’re more easily adoptable) and so we looked only at adult cats. The new addition to the family needed to be easy going enough to deal with Matisse, our elderly dog, who had some health issues of his own. I had in my mind that I’d like a tabby. I was inside the enclosure and deciding between a dark chocolate brown guy and a gray tabby, when I felt a tap on the top of my head. I reached up and encountered a pure white paw. Bap, bap, bap. My hair had become a cat toy. I turned and sparkling green eyes met mine. She tipped her head and bapped my hair one more time for emphasis.

Sparkle had been taken to the shelter by someone who found her wandering along a busy street. She had some dental problems and several back teeth had to be removed. But boy did she have “cattitude.” She was so affectionate we had the sense the shelter staff was a bit reluctant to part with her. Since she’s become part of our family, we’ve realized more and more that we were very lucky when this special feline chose us.

Sparkle is the quintessential writer’s cat. Evenings when the critique group meets at my house, she makes the rounds from one lap to the next, perusing pages. When Anita and I write at my dining room table, she often looks over our shoulders and if a laptop is left unattended, it’s fair game as a cat warmer. If I’m in my office working, she relocates nearby and stays for the duration. Sometimes she edits.

Is that Kokomo hole in my heart filled? Of course, not. But a lovely, white-haired, beauty has added her own unique “Sparkle.”

Sparkle Abbey, is the co-writing team who authors the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. When choosing a pen name they were inspired to use their rescue pets’ names – Sparkle, Mary Lee’s cat, and Abbey, Anita’s dog. Book One: Desperate Housedogs; Book Two: Get Fluffy (out now); Book Three: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (coming Fall 2012). They can be found on Twitter, Facebook and their own site.