Sunday, November 25, 2007

Remembering Gerald Again

During my mid-morning nap I was dreaming about my brother Gerald, and my Daddy says he could tell I was dreaming because my little paws were twitching and my whiskers were moving and I was gritting my teeth even though my little eyes were closed. Daddy says I look a lot like Gerald when I sleep but I think all cats curl up in the same ways, but even if that’s not the case, it’s not surprising that I sleep like Gerald since Gerald taught me everything I know about being a cat, so of course I imitated Gerald in all things, so here’s three pictures of Gerald sleeping and one of me, and you can decide whether we look alike:

Last time on this blog I was remembering about moving houses when I was one year old, and Gerald and I helped my Popo and Gung Gung and Uncle Joel move to Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Gerald and I loved the new house in Harbor Springs because there were great stairs to run up and down, so here’s a picture of us resting on the landing of the stairs after one of our romps:

and the basement was furnished and that’s where Uncle Joel had his room, and whenever Gerald and I visited (which was usually at holidays like 4th of July and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years) Gerald and I loved to run down into Joel’s room because we knew it was forbidden territory and we would wait outside his door and listen for the sound of Joel’s footsteps coming up the stairs from the basement and whenever he opened the door we would race down the stairs and hide in our special kitty hiding places and make everybody look for us, and I would always hide under the big brass bed which I decided was the hardest place for people to get me out of, but Gerald had a special hiding place that he never told anyone about, not even me, and one time Daddy and Popo and Uncle Joel spent four hours hunting for Gerald in Joel’s basement and even looked outside for him but they never found him, so they gave up, and then Gerald finally came up the basement stairs with the proudest look on his face and everyone to this day wonders where Gerald’s special hiding place was and he never told anybody, not even me, because he was a proud cat and that’s the way proud cats are.

When I was two years old, Daddy met Uncle Kevin and I would try to sit on his lap whenever he came over to visit our place on Lawrence Street in Ann Arbor, but Gerald was being “Mr. Independent” and didn’t always want to say hello to Uncle Kevin but would prefer to hide in Aunty Beth’s sweater drawer or sit in the closet, but I always liked Uncle Kevin. Gerald liked the smell of certain people and whenever Uncle Jim (who worked with Aunty Beth) or Uncle Jeff (a friend of Uncle Kevin) would visit, Gerald would sniff their shoes and the cuffs of their jeans and follow them all over the house and try to get in their laps and we never figured out why Gerald was so attracted to these men unless they smelled liked dogs. And speaking of dogs, my favorite Rottweiler Becca came to visit our place on Lawrence Street a couple times and when she walked through the door, Gerald and I would just yawn because we’d seen her lots of times and we weren’t afraid of a huge Rottweiler like her because she never barked and besides we’re cats and she’s just a dog, and that would always make Daddy and Aunty Amy laugh.

Here’s another picture of me and Gerald together:

When I was three and a half years old, Daddy and Uncle Kevin moved in together so Gerald and I had a new home in their apartment in a part of Ann Arbor called Traver Ridge and that’s the place where I stole the turkey leg and watched birdies in the bird feeder like I described in my last post, and it looked like this:

We were there for only one year and then we moved to a place called Ypsilanti, Michigan, to an apartment complex called Roundtree which had a really neat enclosed patio called a “Florida room” and Uncle Kevin used to it grow his orchids and Gerald and I would try to sneak inside because it was forbidden territory. Gerald and I loved this place because we were on the third floor and had lots of windows, so we had fantastic views of the outside world and we would spend hours sitting on the windowsill watching the snow fall in the winter or the stars come out at night, but our favorite pastime was chasing each other through the whole apartment and jumping up on the bed. And Daddy bought us a wicker basket and Gerald claimed it as his kitty space:

and Gerald would sleep in that basket all the time although sometimes I snuck in too and they put the basket just outside the glass that looked into the orchid room so that Gerald could look at all the plants without going inside since they knew that Gerald’s one weakness was chewing plants and he made Uncle Kevin cross a couple times when he snuck into the orchid room and chewed on the leaves of some of his orchids.

Here’s a picture of some of Uncle Kevin’s orchids here in Australia. Don’t they look yummy?

We lived in the Roundtree apartment for two more years until Daddy got a job in Australia but Gerald and I couldn’t move there right away so we went to live with Popo and Gung Gung and Uncle Joel in Harbor Springs for about seven months. We were very good kitties, and Gerald loved to sit on Uncle Joel’s lap and sleep in his bed, and we spent a lot of time sitting with Gung Gung and purring for him, because he was getting older and had diabetes and had stopped working and we knew he needed our kitty company. But Gerald could be ornery sometimes and once he hissed at Popo when she tried to put him in our bedroom at night, but Gerald wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet so he hissed at her, but Popo would have none of it and she scolded him, but Gerald just hissed back. And Gerald always used to open the kitchen cupboards with his paw and climb in and hide behind the pots and pans and both of us would try jumping on the kitchen counter or the dining table whenever anyone was around, because how else were we going to get their attention? And I think Popo thought I was a rascal just because I jumped on the record-player that one time and knocked it over and broke it, but they weren’t using it anyway because I always heard them say that no one makes LP records any more, so doesn’t that mean I can play with it? And one time I waited for them to come home from the grocery store and I stood by the front door and when they opened it I ran outside since I hadn’t seen the outside world in so long and I made them chase after me, and just for that they called me a rascal, but I had so much fun. We lived there until Christmas 2001 when they all decided to move to Florida, so Daddy came back from Australia and helped them drive down. We left Harbor Springs on Christmas Day and Gerald and I were in our carrier cages in the back of one car with Popo and Daddy driving, while Uncle Joel drove the other car with Gung Gung, and our first night we spent at a hotel in Findlay, Ohio (which is where Daddy and Uncle Joel grew up and went to high school), and it was one of the few hotels that allowed pets, but when we got there it took over an hour to check in because there was only one person working there on Christmas and she couldn’t find a room that had a stove, since Popo wanted to reheat some dinner they had bought somewhere, so they gave us a room that had no heat and was so cold that we had to change rooms. But Daddy took Gerald and me to visit Aunty Amy and Becca and Alex one more time, and that was the last time we saw them, since Alex and Becca both passed away a few years ago.

On the day after Christmas we drove down to Georgia and Gerald and I were so good that Popo kept saying she was amazed that she hadn’t heard a peep out of us but Gerald and I had figured out that we were travelling and we’ve always been well-travelled cats so we knew how to behave, although this was the longest trip we’d ever been on so far. At the hotel in Georgia we shared a room again with Daddy and Uncle Joel and I don’t remember much about the room except that Daddy snored. And on the next day we drove down to Florida and stayed at a motel in Ocala where the windows were nice and big and looked out onto a parking lot, and Gerald and I would sit in the windowsill, and people would walk by and point at us and say things like “Oh, look at the adorable cats!” and we would smirk because we loved all the attention. Here’s a couple pictures of Gerald in our window in Australia, and I bet he and I looked a lot like this to passers-by at that motel in Florida:

Finally on the next day we drove down to our new home in Port Richey, Florida, and Daddy put us in the room that would become our bedroom and set up our food and water and let us out of our cages but kept us in that room for a few hours while they adjusted the furniture in the rest of the apartment, so while we waited Gerald and I sniffed out the whole place and decided where our kitty spaces would be, and eventually we got let out and we walked around the whole house and checked out all the windows, and one of them looked out over a pretty lake and I think that was Gerald’s favorite window:

But I decided to climb on the kitchen counter and jump up on top of the refrigerator to see what was there, and there was a cool high ledge that ran along the walls of the kitchen just below the roof, so I stayed up there and everybody wondered if I would ever come down. But Gerald enjoyed scouting out the inside of the cupboards and crawl spaces under the stove and other kitty spaces like those, and above all he liked Uncle Joel’s room with the big brass bed, and he liked to jump on the bed and wait for Uncle Joel to find him, and he loved to sit in laundry, especially warm laundry after it was dried in the machine, and here’s a picture of how happy he was:

It’s time for my afternoon catnap now but I’ve had a good time remembering Gerald again and it’s made me feel better and I know I’ll have happy dreams about Gerald during my nap. I’ll tell you all about our trip to Australia next time.


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