Saturday, November 24, 2007

Remembering Gerald

I’m sitting on Uncle Kevin’s legs and thinking about my brother Gerald who always sat on Uncle Kevin’s tummy or chest, which he called his “Kevin Pillow.” Here’s a picture of Gerald on his Kevin Pillow:
Gerald was not just my big brother but he was also my best friend and he’s always been with me ever since I was two months old when my Daddy chose me at the Humane Society in Toledo, Ohio, and took me to his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Actually my Popo, that is my Daddy’s mommy, signed my adoption papers, and so she has always technically been my legal Mommy, but Daddy says I’m her grandkitty.) Gerald was already two years old when I came along and Daddy was afraid that Gerald might be jealous of me and try to beat me up because we were both males and so when Daddy brought me inside he locked Gerald in the bedroom and let me wander through the whole house by myself so I could smell everything and meet my Aunty Beth and my Uncle Brian and my Auntie Sarah (who were Daddy’s housemates) and after a whole hour Gerald was finally let out of the bedroom and he ran up to me and Daddy was afraid he’d try to bite me or beat me up but Daddy didn’t know Gerald because Gerald took one look at me and licked my head and groomed me all over and everybody was so happy that Gerald liked me. And Daddy kept me in a cage at night time to keep me from getting lost in the house until he thought I was old enough and sometimes Gerald would paw at my cage because he wanted me to come out and play. And when I was about four months old Daddy had to go away for a few weeks and only Aunty Beth was around to take care of us and they weren’t sure if I was old enough for them to trust Gerald with me so they kept Gerald at home but sent me to stay with my Aunty Amy who was Daddy’s friend in Findlay, Ohio, and she had a cat of her own called Alex and a big Rottweiler dog named Becca and we got along so well because even though Becca was big, she was so gentle and so sweet and we took naps together and she was always my favorite dog. Here's a picture of me and Becca and Alex in those days:

And when Daddy came home I went back to Michigan and from that day on, Gerald and I were always together and that was for almost 12 years until a couple nights ago when he passed away.

Here’s a picture of Gerald and me together when I got back home:

When we lived in Ann Arbor in a house on a place called Catherine Street, Daddy used to take us outside sometimes if we wore a harness and I remember one time Uncle Brian tied Gerald’s harness to a tether than stretched the length of their back garden so he could explore anything he wanted without running away and he would chew the grass and roll in the dust and chase butterflies and sleep in the leaves and one time he chased a squirrel that ran up a tree and peed on Gerald. And I would sit on Aunty Sarah’s lap or Uncle Brian’s lap in the back garden because I was still really tiny and they weren’t worried about me running away because I couldn’t run very fast and they played with me and teased me by tickling my face with grass.

When I was almost six months old, Daddy and Aunty Beth moved house to a place called Lawrence Street and Gerald and I had our poo box in Daddy’s closet and we loved to sleep in Daddy’s bed each night but in the daytime we’d sneak into Aunty Beth’s room and sleep in her sweater drawer or under her bed or we’d jump up into her window. And we weren’t there very long when Daddy took me to the kitty doctor to have me “neutered” and to have me “declawed” in the front paws and I was so young I don’t remember it at all but Daddy says that because I have mitten paws I had two extra claws on each paw and that cost a little bit more money than it cost for Gerald, who also had his claws removed because we were both “indoor cats” and don’t go outside every day. And Gerald was already two and a half years old and he did not appreciate having his front claws removed and whenever he saw Daddy come into the room he would walk with a limp to make Daddy feel sorry but Daddy could tell Gerald was acting and called him a “wounded soldier” but Gerald was always very good and letting people know when he was mad. Every once in a while we’d visit my Popo (Daddy’s mother) and Gung Gung (Daddy’s daddy) and Uncle Joel (Daddy’s brother) who lived in Toledo Ohio and Gung Gung would drive the car and we’d fit both our cages in the back seat of the car with Daddy and sometimes Daddy would let Gerald out of the cage because he “trusted” him and Gerald would sit at the back ledge of the car and look out the back window and whenever a big truck would pass by he would sit up and get all excited. The ride to Toledo only lasted an hour and after the first half hour Gerald would curl up on Daddy’s lap or lie on the floor of the back of the car and go to sleep but I would be kept in my cage because I was always too rambunctious and would have tried to climb into the front of the car and jump on Gung Gung while he was driving.

A week after my first birthday, my Popo and Gung Gung and Uncle Joel moved to Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Gerald and I helped them move, or at least I remember Gung Gung driving one car with Gerald and me in our cages in the back seat with Daddy, and Uncle Joel driving another car with Popo, and it would ordinarily have taken four hours to drive on the freeway from Toledo to Harbor Springs, but we were also traveling with a moving truck and we kept stopping for breaks and meals and at one point Daddy was driving Uncle Joel’s car and the engine blew and his car was stuck at the side of the highway so Gung Gung drove on ahead to try and catch the truck and he had me and Gerald in the back seat all the way and then after he caught the truck he went back to pick up the rest of the family while Uncle Joel’s car was towed and it was well after midnight before we got to see our new house. But as soon as we got there Daddy put us in the room that would be his bedroom and let us out of our cages and gave us some food and water but Gerald was only interested in exploring since he told me that every cat needs to stake his territory and figure out what belongs to him in any new place and so when Daddy let us out of the bedroom we ran through the whole house checking out each and every corner into the wee hours. But it was weird because the man who drove the moving truck spent the night in the guest room and he had a dog named Britta who was an Irish setter which wasn’t as ferocious as Becca but Daddy didn’t let us check her out very much.

It's getting late so I'll write more tomorrow, but first here’s a picture of Gerald in one of his kitty spaces.

It's been only about 48 hours since Gerald passed away and I miss him so much and all I can do is think about him, and the hardest part is that he was my very best friend and I'll never see him again.


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