Acquired: Pet store
Posted Sep 04, 2014
I was four years old when my parents took me to the pet store with my brother to find two new kittens to bring home. My brother picked out his and I picked out mine, a buff and white American short hair with deep green eyes.
I can still vividly recall the way he looked up at me and meow-ed from him pet store holding cell.
Instantly they became fast friends and would frolic through the house playfully while I would chase them around.
They were both intrinsically linked to my childhood and adolescence, an inseparable part of my every day.
At night, one or both cats would come up to my bed, slowly spinning in a circle as they kneaded the covers with their paws.
When we got a dog, later, the cats would team up, so that if the dog were chasing one, the other would flank and counterattack with commando-like precision and send the dog scurrying away with her tail between her legs.
My brother's cat would try to sneak outside, so she could lay in the sun and eat grass. My cat, on the other hand, was absolutely terrified of the outdoors (although, mostly nowhere else), so every time I would take him outside on the leash in the hopes that he'd come to realize the wind wasn't the harbinger of the apocalypse, he would break free from my grip and run to the nearest door or window of the home, frantically pawing to get back inside.
It was with them and in no small part because of them that I learned about life and what it means to live, and about the differences in personality of animals or what it means to care for something other than yourself.
My brother's cat was more regal and even-tempered. My cat had a certain melancholy quietness to him. Whenever he'd sit on my lap, it fell like a barbell in a fur pillow was on me. Occasionally his compact power was unleashed when he'd bolt around the house, as one time he actually jumped on top of the refrigerator from the floor in the kitchen.
I guess it's difficult to summarize a pet with whom I spent all of my life up up to my young adulthood. He was my constant companion at home, whether I were on the couch or studying for school or had just gotten home from running around the neighborhood.
After I graduated high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps and ended up being stationed far from home, with few chances to come back and visit. By the time I finally did make it home, he was a frail, older cat. I remember the sadness of seeing how he looked up at me with those same green eyes I'd seen so long ago and he meow-ed, as if to ask where I'd been all this time. I had a few months with him before he was gone.
Even to this day, I'm struck with a sense of sadness to think that he and those days are now long in the past.