Okay... if you aren't a pet person, this won't make much sense to you. I am however. All my life I've had cats, with the occasional foray into other parts of the animal kingdom, but always cats. There were very short periods in between without any, but ultimately, somehow... sometimes from the blue, another pal would appear.
I've had equal mixes of females and males, colors of all kinds but mostly and sometime mangy little strays. I am and always have been a sucker for the underdog, or cat or human.
Many years ago, after a divorce ended forever the life I had then, (and rebirth followed) Holly and I moved back to Fort McMurray, sans cats. Young Whiskey was left behind in the care of friend Lorraine, and Pepper had moved to Grammy and Grampy's place, where she entertained for many years after.
The two of us moved into an apartment complex up in Abasand Heights. The largest in town, we got a 3 bed on the third/top floor. It was nice, had a fireplace, a rec center and was just on the edge of the woods, pretty quiet and that's what I needed at the time. Wasn't long however that niece Margaret pops over for a visit and says there is a scraggly stray kitten hanging around the building, obviously abandoned, would I take him in. I was reluctant at first, after all, money was very tight, both Holly and I were out of the apartment most of the day, and besides, we were on the third floor, not much roaming room for a young cat that was used to living outdoors much of his time.
Ultimately though I gave in and Einstein as Holly named him, came to live with us.
Boy, he was wild, biting at our ankles, bolting out the door at any opportunity, loud. Of course he really had no where to run, except through the hallways. Eventually he'd come back or we'd fetch him. He was always a very scared cat, wanting only to hang around with me close by.
October 31, 1994, while Holly was out trick and treating (I'd suspect mostly treating) Snoop gave birth to 6 kittens, Einstein was a great Dad, looking after them much of the time.
After we'd moved to Calgary with by then three felines, Einstein of course, Snoopy and their daughter, Scribbles... everyone seemed to settle in, but Einstein began having health problems that no one I took him to, could cure. He had a version of feline epilepsy. They said he wouldn't live more than a few years at best, perhaps we should consider the alternative. After trying several vets, I finally got a call back from a young woman that had taken an interest in him and his rare case. She said she'd been reading up, and suggested I get a cat food with a higher concentration of Tourine, that was shown to reduce the symptoms in same cases. I did and in the next 6 months his seizures became less frequent, he stopped twitching and foaming at the mouth and generally behaved like a normal everyday puss. When I called the clinic back to inform her and propose to her... I learned she had only been a fill in vet and had moved on to parts unknown. I sure owe that woman a debt of gratitude.
|Snoopy in her last days.|
|Scribbles in her last days.|
Scribbles died when she was 8 and her Mom, Snoopy at 12, both had kidney failure, common in cats.
Einstein, my cat boy on the other hand, the scraggly little bag of fur that had come to live with us so long ago, the one that shouldn't have lasted more than a few years, went on to live till he was 20.
Three years ago, in late March, tired as he obviously was by that time, showing his age, only occasionally going out into his back yard to explore, my Cat Boy died at home this day, March 31, 2010.
There isn't a day goes by that I don't remember the many cats that have enriched my life beyond measure. I could write a book. There was Smokey, a stray I befriended at age 5 that somehow found our new home after we'd moved 20 blocks across north Edmonton, Sunshine and Moto, Spirit, Sugar and Pepper just to name a few. Some disappeared without a trace, some died young, some were hit by cars. Then there was Einstein.
Through some of the darkest days of my life, when the odds were stacked against me, to the benefit of myself, Holly, Lisa and others, he was my bastion, my pillar, my fortress. Protecting me from harm, listening to me through my divorce and my troubles, comforting me as only a cat can.
I miss him every day. I miss all of them every day.
Today, there are three more of his ilk in our new home. Phoenix the stray that rode home in my Blazer from my home in Glendale AZ in January 2011. Abby, a 5 year old female we adopted from her home in Stratford... and the newest, a little boy named Willy, with long gangly legs and some health issues himself, adopted from the humane society of Charlottetown.
They are all treasured... but that "cat boy", who shouldn't have survived... but did, to spend nearly two decades with me... well he holds an exalted place in my heart.