There are times in life where the paths of extraordinary souls cross for a reason, where people help animals, and animals support people. So much power resides in human-animal relationships, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the brief love between a young girl with terminal cancer and the kitten who comforted her in her final days.
Kylie Myers was 12 when she was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer, and she underwent intense radiation procedures to treat the aggressive disease. Kylie asked her parents for a kitten, but her parents wanted to wait until she was home to get one. Then, they received heartbreaking news.
On Kylie's final day of radiation treatment, the doctors discovered that cancer had spread throughout her body. "They knew at this point, she wasn't going to make it," says her mother, Robin Myers. Kylie was not expected to live much longer. The Myers' brought their daughter home and decided to get her a kitten right away.
They made a phone call to Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, and the rescue had just the cat for the job. They had a kitten named Dolly who had a very rough start to life, but the rescue thought she would be perfect for Kylie.
"We got her [Dolly] healthy and she was waiting on her forever home when we got a very sad call," Angels Among Us Pet Rescue said. "A beautiful little girl named Kylie had cancer and right when they thought the treatment would be complete and she would be getting better, it came back."
The rescue stated, "The family was not planning to adopt a new kitten. In fact, we rushed Dolly (Eliza now) over there on loan, simply to be with Kylie during her final days on earth."
Kylie renamed Dolly, Eliza, or "Liza" for short, and once the kitten met Kylie, a huge smile lit up the young girl's face. The cat refused to leave the girl's side from that moment. Myers says, "She was completely devoted to loving on Kylie. She had this purpose and it was the most beautiful thing to see."
Witnessing the impact that Liza had on Kylie's last few days, Myers said, "I've heard people describe animals like angels. I never really understood what that meant until Liza met Kylie."
Before her death, Kylie asked her parents for one more gift: that they keep Liza and give her a forever home. Her parents agreed to do so, and after Kylie passed away, Liza was there for them every step of the way, curling up in their arms and laps and helping them through their grief.
"I've never experienced a pet, particularly a cat that is so in tune to what we need," Myers said. "Kylie told me to take care of Liza but it's also like she whispered to Liza to take care of me."
Myers and Liza now share Kylie's story to bring more attention to her type of cancer and raise awareness about pet adoption. "It just seemed to be the very best way to carry out Kylie’s last charge to us," she said. "It was just the very best way to honor her."
As for Liza, two years later she continues to be there for the Myers family, selfless and dedicated, just like the young girl who she crossed paths with for a short while. Myers says that when she is sad, Liza "just sits there with me while I cry. And it’s like she’s standing in for Kylie. Like she’s just snuggling with me for Kylie."
Watch the Mutual Rescue video below about Kylie and Liza, and then share this emotional story with your friends and family on Facebook.