Lahea, our seventh cat (and last cat, because this is ridiculous,) is from Hawaii.
When we were on our honeymoon, (yes, we went to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary on our honeymoon) (shut up) Lahea walked up to Chase and meowed. I was photographing another cat, but when I saw her walking up to him, I turned to catch that moment she said hello to her dad for the first time.
Here’s the thing, though.
We both agreed we weren’t going home with another cat.
When Chase and I met, he had two cats, and I had two cats, so we were already at 200% capacity for an apartment, and 100% capacity for most houses.
Then a month before moving into our duplex, I almost ran over a kitten. Combine that traumatic moment with the familiarity of the parking lot—I was at the community college, where I work,—and my maternal instincts turned online. I scooped up DeeJAY, and meowed at me the same way Lahea meowed at Chase, so I had to keep him, the same way I knew Chase would have to keep her.
Lahea had to ride a ferry from Lanai to Maui, then an airplane from Maui to Los Angeles, before she rode home from Los Angeles in Fresno in Chase’s lap, with me chugging coffee at the wheel. Now she’s our Little One, Lahea Ikaika, once known as Rhea, if only that didn’t make me think “diarrhea” every time I said that name aloud.
We got Ikaika from the only Uber driver on Lanai, who told us she needed a Hawaiian name.
PS—Our kitten is cuter than yours.