Derica was not even two months old when I first obtained her while still living in
Tomsk, Siberia. She was the most beautiful kitten that I had ever seen. She stole
my heart from that very moment. She was so exceptionally beautiful that I thought
she would fit right into the royal palace!

Right after I met Derica, my life began to change rapidly. I met my husband, fell in
love, we married and Derica and I moved to Texas. She was there to share it all
with me and my husband. That first year of our marriage, there was only three of
us, Bruce, myself, and Derica. It was a very special time.

Before coming to America, I bred Siberian cats in Russia, but in the US, it all
started with Derica. She was the beginning of Astera as it is today. She was the
reason that I decided to continue breeding, as she was my inspiration!

On December 15th, 2007, after giving birth to four precious kittens, Derica passed
away. Her death was very sudden and unexpected, as it left deep scars in our
hearts. Often, I am reminded of her last minutes here with me, of the last time I
held her in my arms not knowing it was the last time, of me saying goodbye to her
when she still looked like she was just resting, of bringing home her babies who
would be raised without their mother, of me looking at her four little girls trying to
see her in them and realizing that  there is never going to be anyone like Derica
again. Those were all such painful moments! However, as big and horrible as a
tragedy as it was, this is not what I want to remember. I want to remember our
Derica the way that she was to us: sweet, loving, and as beautiful as anyone can
imagine!  

We miss you, Derica, but we will always remember you and we will see you again!


November 5, 2002 - December 15, 2007
Derica's gift to us:
Derica's most precious babies, Jabari and Nova Vita
Derica's last babies:
Nega, Nika, Nova Vita and Nadia
born December 15, 2007
Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that
pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our
special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food,
water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor;
those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as
we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each
miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly
stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager
body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the
green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally
meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The
happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved
head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long
gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...
We are very thankful to the staff of I-20 Animal Medical Center and especially to doctor Silvia Duncan,
who did all that they could for Derica and her newborn babies, treating them and us with professionalism and kindness.

They were the ones who sent us the most touching and comforting
Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you to all who signed Derica's guest book, who was there for us with kind words and understanding!
On December 15th, 2007, our beloved Derica died due to delivery complications. Her sudden and unexpected death is unbearable.
Our Derica was the sweetest and most beautiful girl in the world. She was our best friend and companion, always so lovable and cheerful.
It is impossible to believe that she is not here anymore. Anywhere I look, anything I think about, there is a reminder of her everywhere.
She was a big part of our life. She will live in our hearts forever.
June 15th, 2008.
Today is six months since our sweet Derica passed away. Her daughter Nova Vita, as
well as Vita's three sisters, are also six months today. Nova Vita came into this world just
a few hours before Derica left it forever. How is it possible? How can the same day be a
celebration of life and a reminder of our tragic loss? Every time we celebrate our Vita's
birthday, we will also be reminded of Derica's untimely death. I keep asking myself why it
had to happen this way? I keep searching for an explanation, a reason or any meaning to
this loss. What if the reason is to remind us that often the price for life is death? Often the
cost of life is life, another, someone else's life. Sometimes, somewhere, someone had to
give away his life so someone else could live. I was taught many life-lessons through our
cats and maybe this was the one given me through Derica and Vita.

Our Nova Vita is a stunning beauty! She has her mother's looks and personality. It is as if
Derica came alive! We are so happy and grateful that we have her with us! She is a living
memory of her mother and a true blessing to us! Thank you, Christ, for your blessings on
us!