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November 1998. I was in the 12th grade when I decided to adopt a cat from the animal shelter. There were a few cats running around for me to interact with, but this one sweet 4-month old girl got my attention. She kept coming to me for pets and apparently she decided I was the one for her; I took her home the same day. I promised her that day that I would do everything in my power to keep her safe and happy.

I named her Nala, and she was the sweetest, most well-behaved cat I could've asked for. When she was 7, she was diagnosed with diabetes. During the transition period where I was learning to administer her insulin shots and taking her to the vet for regular blood sugar checks, she was a total champ. No fighting or biting; it's like she knew being calm would make the pokes go a lot faster. Everyone at the clinic loved her and commented on how sweet she was. Friends who didn't like cats changed their minds when they met Nala.

I was able to manage her diabetes with few problems for almost 10 years. Unfortunately, her health started to decline in May 2015. Her diabetes became unstable and caused her to go into kidney failure. Her body started shutting down and there was no way to salvage her quality of life. I had to say goodbye to my best friend on May 18, 2015. She was 2 months short of her 17th birthday. I miss her every single day. She taught me to be strong, responsible and to not give up. She was always there when I was sad or sick. Honestly, I'd say she was the love of my life. I hope I see her again one day.


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