Here we go .. the second guest post about George!
(by our twitter friend Alex !)
This post is about George coming to live with me after Dad had to move to a place that had allergies and he couldn’t take George along. It’s also a story of transition that was absolutely the least heartbreaking surrendering of a pet when there’s no other choice. That had to do with my dad’s concern for this tuxie who’d stolen his heart.
My last post was on George’s horrible early life and how he came to be rescued and adopted. While my posts won’t always be about him, I will use my first few to explain this unusual feline and the mark he has made on all our lives, as well as one for “dem eyes!”
To summarize from before, George was one of 90 cats rescued in a two-county seizure for neglect and cruelty. He nearly died; many of them did. But he beat the medical odds against him and recovered to the point where he could be placed for adoption. He was estimated to be 1.5 to 2 years old at time of adoption, based on his teeth. So based on taking the top end of that age estimate, he will be four years old in October, 2015. But he might only be 3.5; I took the upper estimate.
My dad originally adopted him because Dad was sad and lonely. My mum had recently passed away and he also couldn’t forget the little calico kitten he’d rescued up north. Adopting a cat was constantly on his mind and while he saw a few calicos the day George was adopted, his heart went to the tuxie with one green and one blue eye (although strangely, I was the only one who noticed that at first). It was really George putting a spell on my dad so he come into our family.
So, things went really well. George and my dad were fast friends. When dad said it was bedtime, he’d head to the bathroom and come out to find George always sitting at the end of his bed. While my dad lived relatively close to my older sister and I (20-25 km) we couldn’t always be there. I invited him to move in here, as my folks had done for my grandmother, and he was thinking it over. He was 86 then, and while spry and alert, he had a few issues. Like, he couldn’t cook. Washing machine? What’s that?
“What about George?” he asked. “What about him?” I asked in reply. I reminded him of the promise he had had extracted at the time of his adoption. ‘If anything happens to me, one of you will take George, right?” I told him of course George would be cared for. “What about Molly?” She’ll love him the minute she sees him, dad.
My younger sister, who is a 6-hour round trip away by car came to see dad one day and before we knew it, the flat was up for sale, she and her husband had started renovations on a suite for him that included his own bathroom, lounge and sitting areas. He was excited to spend more time with his youngest daughter and grandson, whom he rarely saw because of the distance. Within a week, the flat sold and dad was moved in here, complete with George, and his plan was to stay five weeks to “transition George.” George couldn’t go with my dad because my nephew is allergic to cats.
I prepared a room for him, and the move happened. George didn’t need five weeks. More like five days. The first day he arrived, he met Molly. They ran into the living room, jumped up on the couch, and stared at each other. Molly tried to sniff him and George lifted his left paw and smacked her one. Then it was done. He was boss of the house, he was in his new home, he had a minion and a plaything and his papa was still around too.
I kept Molly in my room with the door closed at night so a) George and Dad could have their together time and b) so George could have the run of the house to explore his new home without interference from his pesky new sister, who was forever following him around and bringing him yucky dog toys covered in slobber. (This gesture on my part would later prove quite costly, but that’s another story.) George would just lift his paw, give her a soft smack and she’d go lie down somewhere. Poor Molly.
It shows how much dad loves animals when he decided to make it a five-week transition with him still in the picture. He started to go out for short periods (and to be honest Molly was more fretful about that than George.) Then he’d spend two or three long days with my sister, leaving in the morning and coming back in the late afternoon. Again, he always came back, so things were okay in the animals’ world. These were his departing words every time he left the house. “I’ll be back.”
Finally, moving day came. Things had been taken a few at a time to my sister’s so it was just a case of his duffle bag and a few personal possessions left here. He fit those all into his car and he headed down the road to the new life chapter in his life, but without his bosom buddy George.
The next day, dad phoned and asked me to put Molly and George on the phone, George first. He talked to them, said “I’ll be back” and he did that increasingly less. Every second day, every third day, then once a week. He didn’t want them to be upset he was gone.
Dad’s first return visit was a cause for joy for Molly, a situation of aloofness for George until he forgave dad for leaving. But he was all over dad the minute he sat down in his leather recliner, which he’d left here for his visits. Dad always stays about a week-10 days and always ends his visit to me, George and Molly with “I love you. I’ll be back.”
I believe the long transition dad set up (which benefitted him more than George but awwww) and the fact that George met me the same time as he met dad, and saw me every time I went to visit dad when he still had the flat, contributed to his successful transition. He already knew me, he now has his minion, and he knows dad comes back. But he’s my cat now. Don’t let my dad tell you anything different. He’s delusional. MOL (just kidding). And yes, when he phones, he still asks me to put George on the phone first, then Molly.
NEXT BLOG POST will be on heterchromia iridium, the genetic condition that gives humans and animals different coloured eyes. After that, I’ll do one on George’s reason for lifelong #unfug membership. He breaks things. Regularly, noisily, and with great joy.
Find me on Twitter @AlexandraLSmit2
(copyright all pics in this blogpost by @AlexandraLSmit2, used with her permission here)