Sid is short for Siddhartha, and he does seem to be an unusually accepting, gentle soul. The Oakland rescue group Hop-A-Long took him from the Mendocino shelter, which had so many kittens that they were going to have to put some of them down. Sid had been put into a kennel with a tiny kitten who was very sick with a respiratory infection just too young for antibiotics. Because Sid had been exposed, both he and the sick kitten were particularly unlikely to survive the shelter’s difficult decision. Hop-A-Long saved them both. We stopped by Hop-A-Long that same day, looking for a new set of kittens to foster. We chose him because my mother, Dawn, had a strong sense that he was a special being, and when he reached his paw through his cage, he seemed to be drawn to me, too. I think we chose each other. To foster Sid, we had to agree to take the other kitten, even though Hop-A-Long told us he might die. We only did because of Sid, and that’s how Sid rescued our other cat, Timmy.
This all happened nine years ago, when I was only 3 years old. My sister, Emma, was almost 8, so of course she didn’t want to play much with me. But Sid was happy to be my new best friend. We would play dress up, do obstacle courses, play with his toys, and always snuggle at night. My moms kid me about it, but there were several times that I wanted to marry him, and my friends and I would hold weddings and invite all of our stuffed animals as guests. Except for the weddings, Sid and I still do all of the same things. No matter what, he purrs and purrs, even when he wears his Halloween costumes. At night, he sometimes purrs me to sleep. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have him. And I am never letting him go.