First, a digression, and some noting of other cats before proceeding:
It was some time before Gumby died. He was in the final stages of kidney failure, despite being regularly given subcutaneous fluids to keep up his comfort and appetite. 2010 and 2011 were bad years for us regarding cat deaths. In 2010, there was my old Sammi at the age of 18, then our girl Misty from cancer, both of whom I’ll post on later in more detail. Then, between late 2011 and 2012, Gumby finally passed, euthanized after refusing all food and secluding himself beneath my mom’s bed. But the years we gave him were likely the most comfortable he had in his long life.
With no Misty, who hated him, and no Gumby, who he intimidated, Eccles, as we now called him, had free run of the house. He had grown enough that we no longer feared crushing him by accident. And he had shown himself one rather intelligent cat, not to mention adorable. But he had also developed a mean streak in play as I mentioned last post, and we have since had to play with him carefully lest he loose his claws. I’m unsure if that was a flaw in our rearing, or something he picked up on the street before we found him. In any event, we commemorate his birthday as August 31st.
We’ve since found that the street behind ours, closer to the beach, has a house were his probable siblings, and cousins, were kept and fed. We’ve seen his probable father feeding from bowls of food and water we leave out for the neighborhood strays. Eccles’ apparent baby-daddy looks much like him, but with a clipped ear showing he has been “fixed” and with somewhat scruffier-looking fur. Eccleston’s fur is smooth and shiny, probably because of the good diet he’s had since adoption, after no one came to claim him.
Eccles grew quickly, and for me, he’s the closest perhaps I’ll have to raising a child, though feline, not human. So I guess he’s like a son to me. He’s mischievous, smart, fast, agile, and has an aggressive streak that needs an older, larger cat to keep him in check. The first such playmate for him was Old Rockykins, whose backstory I’ll deal with next installment.
But more recently, we gave Ricky the role of protector, playmate, and buddy to Eccles, and it is to that story that we will deal with next, as I recount Ricky’s first time with us, some of late Rocky’s, and the status of both as giant, adorable fluffy guardians to the wayward Eccleston.
I’ll see you then!