In April, I lost my favorite cat. I rescued Jackson at PETCO’s adoption day in Union Square and from the moment I met him, he was my boy. He had scrapes and scratches on him and I thought he was the most adorable, scrappy kitty I’d ever seen – completely in need of a really masculine name.

We became besties and even as I added another kitty to the mix to keep him company, there was something special about Jackson. Our relationship remained that way for more than 16 years. Right before my daughter Olivia was born, Jackson got really sick and I spent lots of money at specialists trying to figure out what was wrong. I remember begging him to hold on until Olivia was born because I couldn’t imagine him not meeting her. Somehow, he held on, and even better, lived for another 4 years.

In April, we knew it was time to say goodbye. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. But, in a strange coincidence, a litter of kittens was born right around the same time in our garage (ok, admittedly, I’m a sucker for helping animals and yes, we feed the neighborhood cats.)

One of the three kittens was an orange tabby and looked nearly identical to Jackson. When my husband asked if I wanted to keep him, I was like “There’s no way. I can’t replace him…” Well, Olivia had other plans and when we moved him inside to keep him safe, we knew he was staying. She wanted to call him Baby Jackson but I convinced her to find another name. His name is Pooh Bear and if ever there was a kitten that came at the exact right time, it’s been him. He will never replace my Jackson, but man, he reminds me so much of him that it makes me happy to see his face every day. And, I know that Jackson would be happy to know that we saved the life of another cat.