I held her aloft- one hand supporting her front legs and the other holding her tiny haunches.  She turned and looked at me with complete trust.  I was smitten.  This little black and white kitten that I named Sashay had my heart from that moment. She and her brother, another tuxedo, were in a little room at the SPCA set aside for meeting prospective pets. But there had been no doubt that these little cats were going home with me. I was excited about having these fur people as family members.  Raised in a dog-only home and then living places where pets weren’t allowed had postponed this day for a long time.  Now my husband Mark and I could have “children” to love and spoil. We named the boy Saki after my favorite short story writer and Sashay Sashay because Mark thought that was a good cat name. Sashay fit her name perfectly.  She took over the house immediately, putting her brother and us in our appropriate places.  Brother was much bigger but she was the quick and fearless. She claimed my lap and if Saki tried to sneak up, she bit his butt and he got the idea.  How could one cat have so many endearing habits and quirks?
For years I kept my bedroom door closed so I could have one area dander-free.  I was afraid my minor cat allergies would worsen if I didn’t.  Sashay put up with that until one day when she didn’t.  She scratched and meowed and butted her head against the door.
Who cared about allergies?
She jumped on the bed and surveyed her new kingdom.  She had a dozen darling ways to snuggle.  She would pick which ones she would use for that night.  I was happy regardless. I could always, always count on her love and attention and she could count on mine.
Then she got sick- really sick.  We couldn’t afford to begin to try the treatments that could help her.
Then a miracle happened and Dr. Marcus, our vet, told me about Dyana Klein and Dr. Fradkin.  They had established an foundation to help people and kitties like us.  Max’s Helping Paws made it possible for Sashay to receive extensive and comprehensive treatment.  I had her for five more weeks because of the indescribable generosity of Dr. Marcus and Max’s Helping Paws.  Most of my tears are sad now except for the ones that I cry when I reflect on the loving kindness of Max’s Helping Paws.
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