Monday, November 5, 2018

Milita's Memories

Close up photo of Lita when she was young.
When I brought Lita to Colorado, I moved into graduate housing for my first year in my MSW program. Lita wasn't supposed to be there, but I knew I needed her for emotional support. At the time, I didn't know official ESAs existed, I just knew that having a cat companion would help me tremendously.

So, I put double-sided tape in the windowsill to try to keep her out of the window that looked into the courtyard where people often congregated. That didn't deter her, unfortunately.

One day, I was locking my door, and this little boy came up to me and says, "Do you have a cat?" But he had a strong accent, so it sounded like he asked, "Do you have a cot?" I was puzzled as to why he was asking me if I had a cot. I said, "No....." He says, "You have a cot. I saw a cot." I said, "No....." I ended up kind of rolling my eyes and going to get my ride to my internship.

Later, it dawned on me that the kid was asking about a CAT! I was thankful that I hadn't understood because there were others congregating in the courtyard who could have overheard.

Another day, I had gone up to see if the woman who was good with computers could help me with mine. I put Lita into the bathroom so the woman wouldn't see her. I thought I was so clever!  

But apparently the door didn't latch all the way, and while sitting at my computer, the woman says, "Hey! You have a cat!!" My heart skipped a beat - sure enough, Lita was out wandering around! She told me she'd keep my secret, and as far as I know, she never told anyone.

When they did their yearly inspection, I hid Lita's food, litter box, etc. I even had a friend cat sit Lita for a few hours in her apartment. But somehow they discovered I had a cat. Maybe the community advisor had seen her in the window or something. 

In any case, I got a letter demanding I get rid of Lita within a week or I'd be charged $25 per day until I got rid of her.

Panicked, I began to research other apartments so I could move over Spring break, if I needed to. There was NO WAY I was giving Lita away!! 

Fortunately, when i told my doctor about the problem, she mentioned that Lita could be an emotional support animal for me because she did help me with my Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD. She was as essential to my mental well-being as my medication. 

So she wrote me a letter that I promptly took to Disability Services to get an accommodation for. They wanted to fight me on it, I could tell, but they agreed that I could keep Lita until Summer. That was satisfactory to me. I made plans to move when the quarter was up and found a cat-friendly place. 


  1. Oh that silly Lita, she was there for you and wanted everyone to know it!

  2. We're glad you got to keep Lita and not have to move.

  3. I am glad you didn't have to move right away. I don't know why so many places are anti-pet, so sad.

  4. Holy crap Sierra that was a very close call!! There is always some 'nosy parker' trying to make trouble for people. I am SO glad you got the Doctor's letter & could keep Milita! I turned dowa a lot of places when I first had Mingflower because I refused to give her up. And when I was doing paperwork for Housing my 1st question was could I have Mingflower & then Nylablue...if they's said No; I'd not have moved. None of my cats ever caused any damage to any place we lived in! In fact my cats were/are more well behaved than most children!
    ((Hugs)) Sherri-Ellen

  5. Oh my gosh, what a scary time for you! Thank goodness that your doc had a good solution.

  6. That was a huge worry! I am glad everything worked out well in the end.

  7. What a wonderful story. What a darling picture too.

  8. That was certainly a stressful period of time for you and Lita! I'm glad you got it all worked out.

  9. I remember when I first found my Angel Bobo I was living in a "no pets" apartment complex and also thought I was clever "hiding" Bobo. Nope. Bobo used to play in the window when I was at work, I also got a letter telling me to get rid of him. I didn't. I promptly moved. No way would I have given him up, just like you would never!

  10. One of the on-campus apartment complexes at the University of Illinois allows pets. I lived off-campus with Parker, and worked full-time while I studied there.

  11. Oh, MY. Glad you were not easily deterred and found a good solution!