When a Cat Isn’t Just a Cat | Meet Gerald

Our beloved shaggy pooch, Blackjack needed a haircut. It pretty much went downhill from there.

Blackjack is a Lab, Catahoula hound mix and needs to be shaved down at the beginning of summer to avoid cooking in his own dense, but luxurious locks. With J’s retirement and the move, I hadn’t had a chance to take him to the groomers yet, but with temps over 100 degrees each day, he really needed a trim. Plus, his rabies vaccination was about to expire, and I needed to get him in before that, or find a new vet.

Flipflops and I took him to get his haircut at our local Petco before heading to the bank to sign the paperwork on Flipflops’ new checking account (how do I have a kid with a checking account?!?!) I went pick up a newly streamlined Blackjack later in the day and checked out the assortment of cats and kittens up for adoption, as I always do. There, in the corner, was a sweet, 9-week-old grey tiger cat.

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I was in love.

It wasn’t because he’s adorable (he is) or because he curled up under my chin when I held him (he did), suddenly I was awash in a sea of homesickness. The weight of moving halfway across the country with my new husband and new children and new dogs to a new house and a new job and a new church and a new group of friends seemed to close in on me. J and I went back to visit the little guy and while I debated and talked myself out of adding another heartbeat to our brood, I started feeling this overwhelming sadness. I’ve always had cats. From Sammy, the aging fat cat of my childhood, to Hope, the Thanksgiving surprise from my grandmother, to Stuart, who chose me at a time when I felt extremely alone, cats have been part of the landscape of my life.

We decided not to get the cat and I went home and lay sobbing for all the things I left behind. I suddenly missed my mom and Stuart and my old job. I missed my old friends and my old commute. I missed my old church and the familiarity of living in the DC area. Yes, the traffic is terrible, people aren’t always pleasant, and the cost of living is astronomical, but it was home.

20180725_211658J realized that it was about more than a cat, but the cat would help. So, after stopping by Wal-Mart to pick up the essentials, we went back to the pet store and brought home Gerald.

This kitten isn’t going to fix everything. I’m not suddenly fine with all the transitions. But he’s cute and snuggly, and that helps a little.

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