Day 19 of Grateful Hearts
Friday, November 19, 2021
I am grateful for my pets — my current cat and my late pets. I have had pets since the early nineties, which is why I didn’t travel much after college graduation. But they are all my babies, and I loved them very much. My three late Shih-Tzus loved to walk a lot, and they were very extroverted. They also attracted a lot of attention because they were cute. Someone once told me that I should put them in commercials or movies, but I didn’t want to drive to Los Angeles. They also had a big mouth to make up for their small size. My late Siamese/Chinchilla cat was very sweet and cute.
In December 2008, when I was taking a walk in my neighborhood because I was getting stressed out from working on my second novel, I saw an ad, by the mailboxes, for a cat looking for a new home because his male owner had recently died from cancer. There was a snapshot of him, and he had a sweet face. It was love at first sight. I called the number on the ad. The woman looking after him wanted me to stop by and see him first. He was sitting quietly, almost like he had PTSD. I petted him lightly, and he said a sad meow. He looked sad, probably because he was alone for a while. I needed to take him home with me right away, but I had to do the transfer of ownership paperwork on the internet and pay a small fee.
The next day, when the woman was walking her dog, she noticed Gumby was sitting on my townhome’s backyard fence. I guess he picked up on my smell when I visited him, he went looking for me, and he found my townhouse. He was an indoor/outdoor cat. It was a sign that he wanted to be with me, from that initial meeting. Soon afterwards, I went to pick him up. We placed him in his crate, and he also had his luggage with toys, a knit blanket, and some treats.
Inside my townhouse, I showed him the location of his litter box and food area, and he used it right away. But he was a little scared of being in a new environment that he hid for one week — under my bed, behind the washer/dryer, on top of the fridge, on top of the bookcase, and behind other furniture. I talked to him a lot to make him feel comfortable, and he slowly crawled out from under my bed, and just sat by me. I petted him and held him for a while, and he started feeling more comfortable in his new environment, running around, jumping, and playing with his toys. I noticed that he loves to climb high places, such as the fridge and bookcase. Since I am keeping him indoors, I bought him a six-foot cat tree and placed it by my bedroom window. He loved it so much that he stayed in his cat tree all day unless he was hungry or he had to use his litterbox. But when he turned eighteen, I noticed he was using the cat tree less. He still had energy because he killed eight mice inside my townhouse, but he never ate them. He just gave them to me as little gifts of appreciation. Recently, a neighbor gave me his previous tenant’s pet stroller that was left behind. Since Gumby didn’t like walking on a leash, I placed him inside the pet stroller. He meowed when I stopped the stroller. But when I pushed the stroller, I think he enjoyed the ride because I could see his head looking around him, like he was sitting inside a chauffeur-driven limousine. Gumby is his original name. I didn’t want to change it and confuse him; so, I gave him a middle name — D’Arcy. He is now 21. He is doing OK, but I worry about him because he is my four-legged furry kid.