About seven years ago, Nolemana and I had dis appraisal up in Battle Ground, Washington. Was one foreclosure kine appraisal; da homeowners wen get evicted, and da bank wen hire us foa appraise da hale so dey could try sell it again to try recoup some of dea losses. Da hale stay out in daboonies, and one Saturday we wen holoholo ka‘a up dea.
We had one nani drive; I love daboonies of da makai side of da Cascades; everything alla time stay green and we get to see places we neva been befoa. Was one nani day, and I wen sit out in da sun while Nolemana wen inspect da hale, which stay vacant.
Nolemana stay taking photos of da outsai of da hale, and dea I was, soaking up da rays, when suddenly I wen hea what I thought was one pitiful meow. I wen look around, but neva see nothing. Den I wen hea it again, and I wen tell Nolemana, “Eh. I tink I hea one pōpoki around hea.” We wen look around, and dea, from unda da hale, came dis poor litto gray pōpoki , meowing in dis sad kine voice. She wen walk right ova to me, and I wen pick her up.
Ho! Da poor ting nothing but skin and bones! I wen figga da peeps who wen vacate da hale jass wen leave her dea, da stupidheads thinking, “Oh, she going be okay, can live off da land.” And because of dat attitude, da poor pōpoki stay starving to death.
We wen look around and wen find one small empty bowl in da garage. Get no watah, no food, nomo nothing. Da poor thing; her ribs stay sticking out, and she wen keep meowing in one pitiful kine way. She was reeyo small foa her age; I figga she was about 6 months old, maybe less.
I wen tell Nolemana, “No way I going leave her hea!” He wen tell me, “
Eh, we awreddy Mokihana, we already have three cats. We can’t take in this one too!” I wen give him my bestest tita kine look, da one dat says, “Eh. No mess wit me, brah!” and wen tell him, “Nolemana, if we leave her hea, she going makediedead; try look how skinny she stay! She wen come to us, trusting us foa give her kokua.” Den I wen tell him we can take her home, den I promise I going find one good home foa her. He wen agree to dat, and we wen look all around and wen find one old, beat-up kennel dat we wen put in da car. We get some dog food in da back of da car, and wen give her tiny bit of it and some watah… and oh my gosh, da litto pōpoki wen whack um like she nevah eat foa one week! I get so much wai maka foa da kitty, and so much hūhū foa da peeps dat jass wen abandon her lidat. She coulda been attacked by one raccoon, oa one coyote oa something, not to menshun starving to death.
We wen take da skinny, gray pōpoki home, and Nolemana wen take her downstairs to his office so Xanax, Makanani and ‘Ukulele no gang up on her. Da next day I wen get on da phone and wen call around trying foa find one home foa da pōpoki; but no one wanted her. And no way, after all her pilikia, I going send her to da Humane Society!
So Nolemana wen keep her downstairs. And litto by litto, he wen connect wit da sweet cat. We wen get her shots. I wen name her Hinahina [gray]. She wen curl around Nolemana’s legs while he stay hana. He wen buy her one platform next to his computa wea she could watch da world go by outsai da window. If he wen take nappie during da day, she wen lie down next to him. Slowly but surely, Hinahina wen become Nolemana’s pōpoki. And he wen grow to love her so much! He even well tell me how happy he stay dat we wen rescue her. Hinahina wen fill out; her fur wen come shiny, and different colors wen appear along wit da gray, like da tiger stripes ontop her legs. She wen have dis amazing transformation, from abandoned and starving to one pōpoki with hinuhinu [shiny] fur and one gentle personality. See? I wen find her one good home, yeah!
At dis time, Nolemana’s papa-san stay living wit us. He stay in his 90′s by dis time, and da pōpoki he wen bring wit him when he wen move up hea wen make [die] several years befoa. And although we wen block da stairs so Hinahina no could come up and beef [fight] wit da odda pōpoki, she liked to wander into Papa-san’s living room and spend time wit him. He liked her plenny and loved it when she wen jump on his chair next to him. Dey wen watch TV togedda during da afternoons.
As Papa-san wen get moa and moa close to da end of his life, we had for get one hospito bed foa him. He wen spend most of his days in it, and often Hinahina would come in, hop ontop da bed, and curl up next to him. Da two of dem wen lie dea togedda, Papa-san stroking Hinahina’s soft gray fur. But Hinahina only wen go in dea during da daytime; nevah at night.
But dis one night, was around 2 a.m., I stay sitting up wit Papa-san. By dis time, Hospice was one big part of our lives, and dey wen tell us dat he no get too much time left. So I wen sit up wit him, talking softly to him, telling him how much he meant to me, how much aloha I get foa him, how spesho he stay to me, dat he like my reeyo papa-san, not jass papa-san in law. I had soft music playing in da background, and photos of his ‘ohana all around him so dat he could feel surrounded by peepo who loved him.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, Hinahina wen walk silently into da room and wen jump up on Papa-san’s bed. She wen settle herself down on his bed, right down by his legs. And dea she wen stay, until about three hours latah, Papa-san wen leave dis life foa da next.
Plenny times I think back to da day we wen rescue dat litto pōpoki. She wen get abandoned without much hope of eva staying alive but I think was in da plan of ke Akua all along dat we would be dea dat day to bring her home so dat she could bless Papa-san so much during da final months of his life.
I get chicken skin and wai maka just writing about it.