Gino, Circa 2010
My sweet kitty, Gino, is afflicted by that ever-so-inevitable cat ailment, kidney disease. When I got him from the Bessemer Humane Society when he was oh so tiny, MAYBE 6 weeks old, he was a bundle of energy. He used to jump out from beneath the bed every time we walked by it, and latch onto a leg, scratching, biting, and kicking. My solution was to get another cat. That cat, whom we called “Cam,” took the brunt of his youthful ire until he grew out of it, but he outlived Cam into the era of Nomar, who apparently had a note from the grave to torment Gino on her behalf.
Gino was not, however, and is still not a cat. He doesn’t even “meow.” Instead, he makes this “mbuffff” sound that I’m sure some other cat makes, but it’s some other cat that I have not met, and probably will never meet. He looks at our other two cats like they are aliens. They investigate him and he ignores them as if they do not even exist. Smell his butt, hiss, whatever – he isn’t listening. This awesome cat-human has insisted on, for his past 8 lives, not only sleeping under the covers, but sleeping on my knee pillow; yes, he’s going to be under there, but on his own terms. In his frail state, and as of late, he finds a new hide-out where convenience dictates. For a couple of weeks, he slept in the bathroom on our clean towels, forcing us to find a new source of getting dry. For now, he is sleeping in the pantry on a soft cooler. I am having to set the trashcan on the counter each night, so our newest cat, Buddy, doesn’t turn it over again on Gino’s head, as he did recently. You see, Buddy was a “rescue,” found by my son, after he had been either thrashed by a dog, or bitten by a snake on the neck. Either way, he can’t see well enough to jump on the counter, so that’s a good, safe place for the garbage.
Some cats go easy. Some cats go in their sleep. But Gino – he’s fighting it. We’ll see what’s next for Gino Sarducci, Gino the Face, Sheen, Geen, Geener, Jeet, Jeter, Squib, Shib, Gib, Gibby. He’s ours for as long as he can hold in there.