Saturday, November 24, 2007

Missing Gerald

I’m still very sad this afternoon because I keep thinking about my brother Gerald who passed away a couple nights ago and I keep expecting him to come bouncing into the room but he doesn’t, even though the poo box still smells like him and his fur is all over the house. I know that Daddy and Uncle Kevin talked about Gerald a lot this morning because I kept hearing them say his name and I know that they’re remembering all the fun times we all had together so I started thinking about Gerald too, especially when I got my turkey treat.

Here’s a picture of the turkey that my Daddy cooked today and his favourite teddy bears are in the picture since Daddy didn’t trust me next to the turkey because one time I stole a turkey leg off the table. This was nine years ago in Ann Arbor Michigan when Daddy and Uncle Kevin started living together and they moved Gerald and me with them into a new apartment which had a great window next to a bird feeder and we used to sit there and watch birds and squirrels all day. I was only three years old and at Thanksgiving my Popo (Daddy’s mother) and my Gung Gung (Daddy’s daddy) and my Uncle Joel (Daddy’s brother) and my Aunty Beth (Daddy’s old roommate) all came over to eat turkey dinner but they locked Gerald and me in the bedroom and I could smell the turkey from under the door and I said to Gerald, “As soon as they open the door I’m gonna run” and Gerald told me to stand right by the door and be special patient so I waited and waited for over two hours and finally someone opened the door and I was right there and I ran out and jumped on the dining table in one leap and opened my mouth as big as I could get it and I lunged at the turkey leg and grabbed it with my teeth and hightailed it back to the bedroom and didn’t look back and I could hear my Popo crying “Oscar!” and everybody scolded me even though they were laughing and I didn’t care because I had the turkey leg all to myself and no one asked for it back so I took it to my special corner in the bedroom and ate and ate until Daddy came by and took it away from me for some reason but I had a good snack and after that day they always put the turkey away before they let me out of the room on Thanksgiving Day. Gerald didn’t run after the turkey or anything else because he never liked people food except for the onion bread he used to snack on when he was a kitten and because he didn’t steal anything everyone called him the “good kitty” and called me the “naughty kitty” but I didn’t care because they all laughed when they talked about me and I got to have turkey leg! But Daddy and Uncle Kevin did give me a turkey treat today and here are some pictures of me eating it.

I love eating turkey but it feels funny in my mouth since I had two of my teeth taken out by the kitty doctor four weeks ago after I went in for my check-up. I’m still a little mad at my Daddy for taking me there even though he says it was for my own good but I remember how he took me to the doctor’s office and they stuck me with a needle for my “shots” and they shaved the bottom of my tail and wrapped a band around it that got tighter and tighter so they could check my blood pressure and then they stuck a thermometer up my poor little kitty ass and then they stuck another needle in my bladder to take some urine and then they poked and prodded all around me and pried open my mouth and looked at my teeth and the doctor kept saying something about a “dental” and then they took me into the back room to draw blood from my paw for some kind of test and by that time I kept saying, “Are we done yet?” and I kept trying to get away and run into my Daddy’s arms and finally they were done and put me back in my cage and I kept saying “Please take me home!” and finally we went home and Gerald sniffed me and saw the base of my tail had been shaved (which we call our “shame” whenever it happens) and he ran away and hid in the closet since I think he thought his turn was next. And then a couple days later Daddy took me back to that horrible doctor’s office where they took me in the back room again and they did something to make me fall asleep and when I woke up two of my teeth were gone, including my upper right canine that was always my favorite. But I’ve forgotten about it mostly and I was only thinking about it today because Gerald got so sick and his time at the doctor’s office must have been worse than mine.

Here’s another picture of Gerald and me.

I remember how Gerald taught me all about how to be a cat. He taught me that every cat needs his own kitty spaces, and his spaces here in Australia were the left side of the bed and the dirty laundry and sometimes the inside of the closet or the inside of the kitchen cupboard if he could get in there, and my spaces are my kitty tree and my basket on the floor and the right side of the bed, and sometimes we both shared the arm of the sofa and of course we both love to play in boxes. Here’s a picture of me in my tree and me in my basket and Gerald in his dirty laundry and Gerald playing with a new box.

Gerald and I spent every day together and many times we would sleep together and groom each other because after all we’re the only kitties in the house and he’s my big brother and he’s always taken care of me, and that’s why I’m so sad today because now I have to take care of myself.

Every day Gerald and I used to play with each other so I’d run up to him and spook him and his back would arch up and I start running but look back at him and try to get him to chase me and when he did I’d run as fast as I could until he caught up and then I’d start chasing him and he’d lie with his back on the floor and put his ears back and egg me on and if I jumped at his tummy he’d grab my cheeks with his teeth and all the time he’d make a playful growling noise and sometimes he’d shriek and make Daddy say something like “Boys!” and I’d say, “Come on, Gerald, let’s see if we can make Daddy notice us some more” and I’d grab his side with my teeth and get Gerald’s ginger fur in my mouth and Gerald would pretend to be upset and shriek some more and we’d run and play until we were tired out, and we looked like this:

And I remember when I was a little kitten one of our favorite games was to play with the feather toy with Daddy and the toy was a feather tied on the end of a string and whenever Daddy brought it out Gerald would coo and run towards him because Gerald always wanted to play first and Gerald always liked to pounce at the feather so Daddy would drag it across the floor or across the bed and Gerald would crouch down real low and watch and watch the feather and he’d swish his tail behind him then he’d start to balance himself on his legs and then at the right moment he’d pounce across the room, sometimes in one leap, and grab the feather and sometimes Daddy would pull it away before Gerald got it but sometimes Gerald would catch the feather and hold it with his front paws and mouth and kick at it with his back claws and then he’d drop it and scamper away and get into another pounce position. Then when Gerald was done it was my turn to play feather toy and although Gerald taught me his way of playing I decided I would be different so I always jumped at the feather instead of pouncing, so Daddy would drag the feather towards the bed and I’d jump on the bed, like this:

and Daddy would make the feather fly up high and I’d jump as high as I could about six or seven times and if I didn’t catch it I’d sit and pretend I was bored until Daddy was almost tired out and then I’d jump at the feather again and I’d catch it and grab it in my mouth and run away and pull the whole feather toy from Daddy’s grip and I’d be very proud and drag the feather toy towards my kibble dish and sometimes the handle would make scratching noises as I dragged it across the floor because of course I wanted everyone to notice that I had caught it and I wouldn’t let the feather out of my mouth until I was ready, even if Daddy tried to force it out of my mouth, but eventually I’d let it go and he’d make me chase it again and we’d play feather toy at least three times before Daddy would give both Gerald and me treats for being such good kitties and getting our exercise.

Gerald also taught me how to get attention from Daddy and Uncle Kevin by coming up to them and patting them on the shoulder with my paw and if I acted cute enough they’d let me sit on their lap and purr for them and they’d stroke my chin with the back of their hand or rub my jowls with their fingers and they’d massage my whole back and play with my tail and I love having my tail stroked (but Gerald never really liked that part until he got older). Gerald was always a bit more demanding than me since every evening after dinner he would insist on sitting on his Kevin pillow (which is Uncle Kevin’s tummy) and sometimes Uncle Kevin would say no but Gerald would always insist and sometimes Gerald would just sit on the arm of the sofa and sit and sit and sit until Uncle Kevin was ready and then when he leaned back Gerald would be in his Kevin pillow within five seconds and would purr real loud and be so happy. And at night time after our midnight snack Gerald would run into the bedroom and climb onto his Kevin pillow just as Uncle Kevin was getting into bed, and every night Gerald would sit there and purr until Uncle Kevin fell asleep. Here’s a picture of Gerald getting his chin stroked.

I miss my brother Gerald very very much but it helps me to remember all the happy times we had together. But it’s a very hot day here in Australia and it’s time for my afternoon nap so think I’ll crawl into the dirty laundry where Gerald always used to sleep and I’ll catnap a little bit and dream some happy dreams about Gerald before I write again.


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