My name is Bayla. I'm a cat. I was born in 1994 near Chicago, Illinois. My human got me on the same day she was moving to a new house, and I had to spend the day in an empty fish tank. Fun.
In 1998, we moved to California. That was my first experience with a long-distance road trip, and I was glad it only lasted a few days. There wasn't anywhere dark and cozy to hide inside our cage, and it's hard to nap when everything is noisy and shaking.
In 2008, we moved again, and this time the road trip lasted five months. I know what you're thinking: How could any self-respecting feline spend all that time on the road? I got used to it. We made plenty of stops. The humans brought a lot of my stuff, and there was always a bed for me to hide under.
We drove all around the United States, to lots of different places with many interesting smells. Still, five months was my limit, and I pointed this out to the humans by puking in the car. They got the message and settled down in Vancouver, Washington.
But the humans still traveled by themselves, and I got lonely when they were away. So in October of 2009, I went on a hunger strike. That got their attention. They stopped running around so much and spent more nights at home with me.
I suppose I should mention that I've always had a bit of a skin condition. The medical term is "eosinophilic granuloma," but it basically means my belly itched all the time. The humans used to worry because I would lick the fur off until I started bleeding, but it got much better after the vet prescribed THE MIRACLE DRUG--I think she called "cyclosporin" or something.
Anyway. Fall of 2009. Hunger strike. Despite subsequent force-feedings of icky meat-pudding, some good things also happened: I got to play with curly ribbons and eat anything I wanted (the humans are obsessed with weighing cats--go figure), and I finally had my own pillow on the bed. Life was pretty good.
I died on December 9, 2009. The humans were driving me to the vet for a check-up, and a few minutes before we got there, I felt weak and lay down in my carrier. I never got back up.
I think I had a heart attack. It didn't hurt. The last thing I felt was one of the humans holding me and stroking my fur. She was making unhappy noises, and I wanted to tell her: It's okay. It's okay.
I died in the car where I'd spent so much time the year before, traveling all over the country. I wasn't afraid. I was glad the humans were there. It was familiar. It felt like home.
My name is Bayla, and for fifteen years, I was part of a family. I loved them, and they gave me a good life. The end.