This I Believe

Ellie - Seattle, Washington
Entered on July 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Of this I believe.

I believe in the will to live. I believe in the force and power of the will to live.

After a series of traumatic events in my own life, I adopted two adorable little orange kittens, Lucy and Frida. I had a hard time naming Lucy, but I knew Frida’s name immediately. She was bold and defiant with a tremendous capacity to love and be loved. I had long been a fan of Frida Kahlo and admired the artist for her courage and also as a strong female figure. And at that time in my life, I needed a strong female figure.

I loved Lucy and Frida both with all my heart. I talked to them, cried with them, slept with them. They were my life force and absolute joy. Frida and I developed a strong bond and I became especially connected to her. I often had nightmares and trouble sleeping. But she was there, purring and comforting me during some very long, frightful nights.

Much like her namesake, Frida was tragically hit and injured early in her life. She was almost three years old when she was hit by a car late one evening. Frida’s first miracle and demonstration of her will to live was dragging her fatally wounded little body back to my doorstep. She has lived a miracle ever since.

I sat by her cage in the veterinary hospital for a week after the accident. Bringing blankets from home, feeding her, consoling her. Whenever she opened her eyes, I wanted to be there. She was so fragile that the vet advised against any surgical procedures. He and I agreed that she was too vulnerable for invasive surgery and left her life up to her. She fought hard and came home.

It has been almost three years since her accident. She is operating on less than one fourth normal lung capacity and the vet says she has been hiding her injuries from me. Maybe that is why I feel so connected to Frida. I too have serious injuries. But mine are marked by emotional scars that I can hide from most people. Frida knows about my injuries. Late at night when no one else is around, she has consoled me and loved me.

Two different vets told me yesterday that Frida cannot survive any longer with her severely diminished lung capacity. She spent all day yesterday on an operating table, being poked, injected, and tested. These violations are too traumatic for her little body to endure. I decided to respect her and allow her to die here at home with me and not on an operating table in a cold, sterile environment. So here we are. Still fighting.

Frida sits before me now and I believe in the force and power of her will to live. It may only be for a few more moments, but I am accepting that. And I hope she is too.