Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I've not yet done a blog about moving. I'd planned to blog about the experience and the emotions and perhaps I will at some point. But for now I just need to do a quick post about George.

George is my cat. I guess I'll still refer to him in the present tense, even though I don't know where he is or what happened to him. I got George from work - he was one of several cats who had taken up residence in the back lot over the years. Many people fell in love with him because he was adorable and friendly. At the time I decided to adopt him, it was not because I needed a cat. I already had a cat, Chief, and I'd already had him nearly seven years or so at that point, AND I was pregnant. So what I really didn't need was trying to get two cats to make nice with each other while dealing with my pregnancy. But threats were being made that George would be taken to the shelter if someone did not take him in, so I took him.

The first little bit was bumpy. My other cat was not thrilled to say the least. And even four years later, I'm not sure they ever really became friends, and instead tolerated each other.

Shortly after we got George he got this gaping wound that abscessed. I can't even remember exactly where it was, but the vet had to put one of those wonderful cones around his neck. Ever work graveyards, be sick-as-a-dog-pregnant (this was before the doctor figured out I needed drugs for the constant nausea and vomiting), have a husband who travels most of the week, and deal with cat with a cone around his neck who can't seem to figure this out so he keeps on licking the cone? If you have never had this experience I don't recommend it. I think he had to wear that thing for at least a week. The longest week of my life, I'm pretty sure.

George was a hunter. He loved to bring home what he caught. Mostly birds, but sometimes mice. While I appreciated that he was in tune with his primal side, I was not a big fan of this. I had been spoiled by having a cat for years whose idea of hunting was looking for the best person from whom to beg. Though I'm sure George meant them as gifts, headless bird carcasses are pretty low on any of my wish lists.

He grew to tolerate Kayla - maybe he even liked her at the end. And even though he'd scratched her a few times she pretty much had it coming. She would tell people, "George doesn't like you in his face or he'll scratch you." And there was no comparing him to Chief when it came to the kid - Chief is like a dog cat and Kayla is nuts about him. He is extremely tolerant of her and loves the attention. But even now Kayla says, "My job is to take care of my kitties, Chief and George, except now George is lost."

And how did I feel about George? Well, shoot. It's like this: Even Chief got majorly redheaded stepchild treatment after the kid came along, and I used to act like he was my baby B. K. (Before Kayla). So George came right before Kayla came, and we never bonded the way Chief and I had. Also he was always outside, looking for adventure, so it just wasn't the same. But ever since I split from my ex, George had become more a member of the family. This is going to sound weird, but it's almost like he knew there was some kind of void, so he tried to be more patient and more loving or something.

And he was a really a good cat, basically. Even though he was often dirty and wounded and loud - oh gosh, could he meow so loudly, and it always seemed he was the loudest in the dead middle of the night - he was still a sweet cat. He had this funny way of moving his head around when he wanted some attention... This is what I keep picturing when I think about the fact that I'll probably never see him again.

One week and two days after we moved in, he was gone. He'd been in and out several times at the new place and had always come back. What bothers me is that he was so street smart, and he really did love us - in spite of our ability to fully embrace him like maybe we should have, he was happy for what he got from us, so I know that if he could come back he would. Which makes me think that something bad happened to him, either accidental or intentional. As much as I hate to think anyone would hurt an animal on purpose, I can't help but have it cross my mind.

It really bothers me that the memory of losing George will always for me go hand in hand with moving to this new house, which is kind of like starting my new life. But then again, this beginning is filled with endings, isn't it? I just don't like that just like that, he's gone, and he's part of the bad stuff that goes with the new start.

Things happen. Life is about love and loss. So in the end, this is just to say, George, we loved you, even if we didn't show it enough, and you'll be missed.


Anonymous said...

another excellent post jm-s. tugging on the ol' heartstrings in an awesome fashion.

keep it up !


vanessa vichit-vadakan said...

"life is about love and loss." that just says it all. thank you for writing.