In the early spring of 1999, I was living in a studio the size of a pizza on 43rd Street and 10th Avenue. It was a cold day, and I was walking into my building against a cold wind. As I’m opening the door (I had a doorman who didn’t do anything at the time) I hear the quietest and meekest “Mew” that you could ever hear. I look down, and there’s this shivering ball of fur staring up at me. I couldn’t just leave here there, as pitiful and small as she was. So I picked her up. She immediately scratched me, then looked up at me with those eyes. That set the tone for the next 13 years.
Karma was my longest relationship, by far. She was there for me whenever I came home from a business trip, meowing her indignant “I’m hungry, pay attention to me” meow.
She kept me humble. I came home the day I sold HARO and was all like “My life is going to change, this is awesome, I’m so awesome, wow, this is amazing,” and I walk in to my apartment to the sight of Karma having puked all over the front hallway. It’s hard to be pompous as you’re on your knees cleaning up cat puke.
Karma… Karma was my girl, for better or worse. She outlived so many more of her nine lives. If there was a cat health problem, Karma figured out a way to get it. She had a hyperactive thyroid once, which required her to get radioactive iodine. She was a terrorist threat for three weeks, as she was radioactive.
She had some kind of kidney thing, where she had to be fed by a feeding tube for three weeks. Meagan’s first month on the job, and she finds herself feeding a cat through a feeding tube. Not what she signed up for as my assistant, for sure.
I was at Newark Airport this afternoon when I got the call from Meagan. She was watching Karma and called me – Karma wasn’t responsive – She was just sleeping, and nothing Meagan did would rouse her. Meagan brought her to the vet, and said she’d call me.
She called me two hours before my flight, and put the vet on. The vet told me that it was her time. She had a tumor on her lung, it was preventing her from eating, and she’d lost 20% of her body weight in two weeks.
I cancelled my trip, and headed back to the city. To cancel a speech 36 hours before it? That goes against everything in my professional life, but you know what? Family is family. And you take care of your family.
It was just my girl’s time. She went peacefully, and she felt no pain. It was just time.
Thank you, Karma, for being there for me as long as you were. You were the constant in my ever-changing life. You kept me humble. You were, without any question, my girl. No matter what happened, you, with your brother NASA, were always there. NASA is alone tonight, sleeping on my bed, confused that you’re not there with him.
You’ll be missed, Karma. I’ll always have a place in my heart for you.
Goodbye, my girl. I love you.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….