Two unlikely friends have come together and unknowingly saved one another in a cemetery in San Francisco. The duo, a homeless woman and a cat, were both down on their luck when they first encountered each other at the Serbian Cemetery in Colma. They became fast friends and, without even noticing, they lifted one another up and were both able to turn their luck around.
For Rosa Katovitch, it’s been a tough 14 years: the now 56-year-old’s world came crashing down after her long-time boyfriend Rich passed away due to a heart aneurysm. If that wasn’t traumatic enough, her father died a mere three days later. Katovitch took the experience hard, spiraling into a depression preventing her from returning to her job. Then, two years ago, the poor woman lost her apartment after the building was sold. She ended up spending most of the days since then in the Serbian Cemetery, where Rich’s grave is located.
“I’d come here, sometimes 6, 7 hours a day, and just sit. If you’re quiet, you’d be amazed at the things you see. God’s whole creation – skunks, raccoons, moles, birds … and cats,” Katovitch said. “One of them was Miss Tuxedo. I think she’s the reason I’m still here.”
The Cemetery boasts a lot of feral cats who hunt the gophers and rodents in the graveyard. Miss Tuxedo, a black and white cat, was the one cat who started following Katovitch around. The female feline wouldn’t let the woman touch her for the longest time, but slowly she was able to get her tail, then her head. The day she finally let the woman scratch her ears, that was it – Miss Tuxedo wouldn’t leave her alone! It was exactly what she needed: the cat helped to make Katovitch feel like she wasn’t alone. Not only did the woman need the cat, the cat needed her! When the feline needed a cancerous spot on her nose taken out, the woman was the one who took her to the vet.
Since their meeting, it’s been nothing but uphill for both Katovitch and Miss Tuxedo. Being with the feline helped the woman overcome depression and was even able to apply for affordable housing. She ended up getting a place and moved in December, taking the feline with her.
“I got permission to bring her,” Katovitch said. “My doctor said my life depended on it. I guess it does.”
Photo Source: Michael Short, The Chronicle