Taos Bark

Moli was different: A kitten from Tonga changes a family


Throughout the years, from time to time, this column has shared with you a story written by a beloved pet’s owner-guardian. The story of Moli is told with his “mother’s” permission and request. The following is a heartwarming representation of a “love story” that will touch the hearts of anyone of us who have felt this deep love and connection with a pet. Enjoy.

Yes, Moli was different.

Moli was born in the vicinity of a small shopping center in the capital city of Nuku’alofa in Tonga in the South Pacific. His mother had been killed while she carried him to a safer location. The owners of a nearby restaurant rescued him and had laid out a box of shredded newspapers with a sign “Free Kitten.”

He was an orange tabby with a white face and white socks, and I named him Moli which is the Tongan word for orange. That was in 1999.

I adopted Moli to share our home with our two other cats, Ana from Guyana in South America and MezzyTwo from New Mexico.

When Moli and I arrived at home, my two female cats had quite a few questions and comments.

Why do we need another cat at our house?

Does he have a name?

Will he be your favorite?

We don’t want a boy cat.

Can we give him back?

I was frequently asked, are Tongan cats different in any way? So proud was I to tell people that Moli was from Tonga in the South Pacific! I would have liked to research his DNA and ancestry to find out exactly how he had gotten to Tonga. Where did his ancestors come from? How were they brought to the Tongan islands or islands nearby before reaching Tonga?

Different? Yes, Moli proved to be different. He was the best companion, confidant and friend ever. He was a perfect flight passenger, crossing the Pacific Ocean once and the Atlantic three times, traveling in the business class cabin right next to us. He had a very complicated surgery, perineal urethrostomy to remove stones from his bladder and recovered in record time. His tail would double in size when he was called “Molly.” He was the big brother to all our cats.

Recently, seemingly overnight,  Moli became blind. He was 18 years of age, but different and tough as he was, he had already used his instincts to find his way around our home. After visiting our veterinarian, he warned me that caring for a blind cat would be a challenge requiring a lot more energy and time. However, there was no question that I would make whatever accommodations for dear Moli. Perhaps we can keep him with us for another few years, our vet told me.

Moli had other plans. A day later without fuss or complaint, he left us unexpectedly. I still see him here and there in our home, and I expect him to come to the breakfast table for his butter treat.

Yes, Moli was different. He was also thoughtful. He would have said to me these exact words,

from the tender poem of Isla Paschal Richardson:

Grieve not,

Nor speak of me with tears,

But laugh and talk of me

As if I were beside you.

I love you so –

‘twas Heaven here with you.

Novella Wheaton Nied, El Prado

Special Reminder…..If you have puppies or your pet is about to give birth, you can call or email me to make arrangements for transport to foster care for the pups. Please, no more Walmart giveaways. This past week I took puppies from the Pueblo for transport to Colorado. Thank you, Colorado Puppy Rescue and Pat Steele for making the arrangements. Just received word today that all pups were adopted...YES!

For information or to leave a tip regarding animal welfare, contact taosbark@gmail.com or (575) 613-3448.