Inari #1

March 17, 2013

in Blog

I mentioned this on twitter and my FB page but this is the first time I write a post about the recent saddest event in Derek and my life.

Exactly a month ago on February 17, our sweet kitty, Inari passed away. She was 17 years and 9 months old.

R.I.P Inari (1995 ~ 2013)

I'd look into her eyes and kiss her on the forehead after this. She loooooved it. (may not look like it but she really did!)

I wanted to do a special blog post before going back to the regular blog but the sad feeling is still fresh and it’s been hard for me to write about her. I was actually keeping a detailed journal since the day she got sick on January 31st, hoping that I’d share it on my blog after she got better. But unfortunately she didn’t.


Derek's favorite photo of Inari.

The last couple of weeks of her life weren’t exactly the best moments of her life or for us. She suddenly got sick on January 31st and she spent 10 days at the ER before finally coming home. We got to spend one week with her at home before she had to go and we cherished every millisecond with her. We miss her every day but we have no regrets for what we’ve done.


Whenever I tried to take a photo while she was lying down, she'd stretch out her arms, asking me rub her belly.

I want to write more about her in the future when I’m ready but since I can only write so much without getting all choked up, each post will probably be a small post. Don’t worry. I’ll try inserting it between my regular blog posts so this blog is not going to be just a “memoir of my cat.”

I’ll just start with when I met her for the first time.

I came to the U.S. from Japan on August 1994. Soon after I started living with my roommate, I started fostering a wonderful kitty named Lisa for my friend. She was a super mellow grey tabby and totally opened up my eyes to the love of cats. The thought of the day I had to hand Lisa back to her owner made me decide to adopt a cat of my own.

The first time I went to the animal shelter in Albany NY, I looked at cages of kittens and made my first, second and third choice. But I needed someone who was a U.S. resident to sign the paperwork, so I couldn’t adopt any kitten that day. A couple of weeks later, I went back there with my ESL teacher. But all my choices were not there anymore. Probably adopted. I was disappointed and started looking at the other kitties in the place.

When I stood in front of one cage, this tiny black and white kitten, started climbing the door of the cage while meowing loudly. It totally made me go “Awwww.” I asked them if I could hold her. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about adopting her. I thought it’d calm her down if I held her for a bit. But as soon as I held the fur ball weighing less than 1 lb, I knew I’d be going home with her.

I bathed her as soon as we got home. She was not particularly pleased but after drying her fur, she became a fur ball full of curiosity.

Inari 1995

I can't believe how tiny she was!

Inari 1995

One time I found a pretty red leaf on the street so I put it on the wall. Inari would stare at it for a long time before jumping to swat the leaf.

Inari 1995

You can do pretty much anything to a sleeping kitten and they will never wake up.

After thinking about it for days, I decided to name her after my most favorite food, “Inari” from Inari-zushi. It’s a Japanese food in which you stuff rice in a pocket of fried bean curd that’s been soaked in mixture of water, sugar, soy sauce and dashi.

Inari zushi

We actually made Inari zushi on the day Inari passed away. It was a sad day but Inari zushi was delicious.

At the time I wasn’t fluent in English so I had a hard time trying to explain what “Inari” meant every time someone asked. But Derek and I still know that it was the BEST name for her.

Inari 1995

Inari 1995

Inari 1995

Lisa was still living with me. And she did an amazing job as a big sister kitty to Inari.

Inari 1995

Lisa playing with Inari with her tail.

Inari 1995

Lisa and Inari's favorite spot

Inari 1995

She'd hang out with Lisa by the window and wait for me to come home every day.

Inari 1995

We realized later that this photo and the one above this were "flipped." (Her spot on on her mouth was on the wrong side.) They were on a film and developed at a mall so they must've made a mistake.

Inari 1995

Lisa didn't teach her this. Glad that she grew out of the "destroy all toilet paper" phase.

Inari 1995

She used to play on the umbrella like it was a balancing board.

Inari 1995

On the bunk bed of my first apartment. Inari went everywhere Lisa went.

Inari 1995

Lisa was the first and last cat Inari would follow around.

Not only were Lisa and Inari awesome kitties, they were excellent partners to study English with.

I was still studying English at school and I’d just speak random words and phrases to her in English as I watched episodes of the Simpsons and Seinfeld over and over again. My neighbors probably thought I lived with someone who almost never talked, or that I was just crazy.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

JoelNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

So sorry to hear about your loss, Anna. Thank you very much for sharing it with us. Inari was one cool cat.


GinaNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

She was a beautiful girl, I’m sorry you had to lose her. It’s never easy, especially when you try everything to make them better. At least you had some time with her before she had to go, something special not everyone is able to do.


MaryanneNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your Inari. My cats are very special to me, and I take it very hard if they get sick, or I have to let one go. I can see you feel the same way, and have taken wonderful care of your friend because she lived such a good, long life.

Please take your time in telling Inari’s story.


Avina "Lana" RoseNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

As someone who lost her 11-year-old dog that she also grew up with last year, this loss is all too close to my heart. She lived a great, long, life, and all the love you gave her will definitely come back to you in the form of good things.

I would love to hear more about Inari. I just started following your blog today because of your Ghibli feast, but reading about beloved animals is also a definitely positive to this blog.


HadleyNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm

So sorry for your loss, but I’m so glad you got to have such a wonderful friend.


giselleNo Gravatar March 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I have a 5 year old cat myself and I can only imagine the heartache you are experiencing. It’s amazing how much you can miss a cat, Even though they are independent creatures, they somehow manage to burrow a hole in your heart and fill it. :(


LauraNo Gravatar March 19, 2013 at 6:31 am

Aw man, I’m so sorry. I can tell she was very loved and had such a wonderful life because of you.


Mary LeeNo Gravatar March 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I’m sorry for your loss. But you were lucky and had an especially long time with your dear friend, Inari. I hope that your memories and the love you shared will help you cope with the grief. It will never go away completely, the sadness of losing your pet, but time does help you heal. I lost my dog five years ago this past February. I still cry when I think of her, but I found a wonderful dog to love and he brings me such joy. You will find another friend, in time, and it is the best way to honor Inari. To find another animal to love is the best tribute.


helyantiNo Gravatar March 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

my youngest sister is 18 years old now.. losing 17 y & 9 months of bond must have been a great loss to u.. i am sorry to hear about your loss..


cindyNo Gravatar March 23, 2013 at 6:30 am

this helped when we lost our favorite cat


BeckyNo Gravatar April 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautifully written story! She was very beautiful.


anivylNo Gravatar June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I had my cats for a maximum of 4 years before my ex ran off with them to some place I don’t know where. I am still pained by it and i cannot even begin to imagine your attachment to your cat of 17 years – your loss would be bigger in many ways.

I am sorry for your loss but I am glad she found you that day.


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