Adopted Kitten Heals Two Broken Hearts

In the wake of loss, Frankie’s feisty, fun-loving antics helped her family find joy again.

Summer + Frankie

After an enormous loss, Summer and her cat Oliver were devastated. Then they met Frankie, a kitten who purred and pounced her way into their lives and became their new family.

"When I am down, she doesn’t let me stay that way because that’s not how she lives."

There isn’t a rule book telling you how to come back from losing your cousin, your aunt, and your mother within the span of two months. All unexpectedly. For a long time, it felt like my world was falling apart, and my foundation was gone. My 15-year-old Tabby, Oliver, and I only had each other—we had also lost our ginger kitty, Tabasco, to pneumonia.

Frankie the kitten

Oliver became clingy and began to cry so I was afraid I might lose him, too. I didn’t know how to address my needs, but maybe I could help Oliver. I put out the word that, maybe, I was looking for another senior cat for him. Maybe. And only the right fit.

Frankie the kitten

Looking for another cat kept my mind off the numbness I felt, but weeks went by and the right candidate never appeared so I almost gave up. Then I saw a kitten being fostered for Meow Parlour on Instagram. She was 4 weeks old, and managed to live up to her name: Tyra Banks. She smized, she fussed, she kissed people on the lips, and slept inside a handbag. She lived on a constant seesaw between zoomies and naptime. I wasn’t sure if Oliver and I were ready for a kitten, but Tyra didn’t have the patience to wait for me to decide. She came home right after the New Year.

Frankie the kitten

Oliver immediately stopped crying, so she stayed. The kitten brought joy back into our lives. Small, but with a big personality and a flair for the dramatic, she reminded me of my mother so I renamed her Francis. When she’s being mischievous, I call her Frankie—and she is Frankie a lot. Despite her antics, Oliver’s anxiety dissolved and he began to play like a young cat again.

Frankie is the type of cat who is up for every challenge. When I shower, she jumps in and out, debating whether the peril of being sprinkled with water is worth being with me. She makes me laugh like I haven’t laughed in a long time. Her favorite spot is on my shoulder, where she can get the best view of any room while being close to me. There is never a dull moment around her and never a chance to think about the what-ifs. When I am down, she doesn’t let me stay that way because that’s not how she lives. Every day in Frankie’s big adventure reminds us to live in the moment; she has helped two broken hearts love again.

Frankie the kitten

We have lost so much in the last few years. I am so grateful that a lightning bolt like Frankie is making sure Oliver and I keep moving forward.

Each year, Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Summer won Meow Parlour Cats, Inc. in New York a 2018 Holiday Wishes award.