Mister Eccles: From Monkeyface, to Doctor Mew(se), to Eccleston

Mister Eccles . . . what to say, what to say. We found him in the latter half of 2011. He was mewing his tiny head off from a dumpster across the street from our place, starving, and apparently lost, outside. So we caught him, and took him in, not knowing what an awesome cat he would grow into. A tiny kitten, even by the standards of most kittens, he was barely a couple of weeks old.

He was so small and nimble that we feared stepping on him, so we tried containing him. Our attempts were woefully unsuccessful, as even as a kitten he was no dummy. He easily figured out how to escape the pen in the kitchen, so we eventually kept him in a makeshift hutch in my room. We gave him time out, to wander the room, play, and other activities essential to growing kittens. And we cleaned up after his, “ahem,” mistakes.

He seemed as smart and unpredictable as a monkey, so we first called him ‘monkeyface,’ and then Doctor Mew, but didn’t stick with it for social media use because that’s copyrighted by another artist. Once we had him sexed at his first visit to the vets, we decided to call him Eccleston, after the actor who played the Ninth Doctor in 2005’s Doctor Who reboot. We contracted that to Mister Eccles in common usage. We first kept Eccles in my mom’s room in a cat-carrier. He had newspaper for easy cleaning, food, water, and a toy Star Trek tribble to cuddle up with for warmth. It was beginning to edge into autumn.

After he had grown a bit, we let him wander my room more freely. We kept him in a separate room from the other cats, as he had developed an aggressive streak in his playfulness. He was jumping on the head of our old cat, Gumbyman. Gumby wasn’t in the best shape, a bit late in years, and increasingly feeble. He’s since then gone, but when still here, we tried to make his last times comfortable. You see, Gumby was a hurricane Katrina survivor, found in New Orleans abandoned by his former owners, with two or three of his, “harrumph,” lady friends. His former owners used him as a breeding tom, and they never tried to reclaim him. So for a few good years, Gumby was ours. It was at the tail end of that time we found Eccles. Gumbyman would keep watch over the tiny mewing tuxedo kitten in the cat carrier, fascinated by him, and totally unsuspecting of his energy.

To Be Continued

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