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Jerry's Tale

Story ID:10233
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio usa
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I think all of us who have taken in a homeless cat or dog probably does not know their
whole story. In the case of Jerry – a beautiful long-haired orange cat who today looks
like a miniature lion, I know his story pretty well.

It started on a summer day –maybe in the year 2000. Could Jerry be soon celebrating
his 15th birthday or is he a few years younger? I am not sure -but I got him as a tiny
beautiful ball of orange fur who two young girls asked me to take in. How could I say no,
even though I already had too many cats to care for? However, I hoped that because
he was so tiny and adorable that I would find him a home quickly.

And so it was. My next door neighbor – Judy, just loved cats. Even though she had two
of them already, she couldn’t refuse this darling little kitten. Gratefully, I even told her
that I would pay for his neutering when the time came.

I had hoped she would name him Jesse because her last name was James. Her kitten’s
full moniker would have been Jesse James! However, she told me that she was not fond
of a woman who had that name, so she named the kitten Jerry.

Occasionally, I would visit Judy and Jerry and somehow he turned out to be a very
bashful young cat. When I came for a visit, he invariably found some place to hide.
Oh well, every cat is different, and clearly Jerry didn’t like visitors.

In time Judy moved and I didn’t hear from her any more. But Allen her friend would
keep me appraised of how she was doing. Sadly, I knew that she had been afflicted
with Aids but I felt she was handling it well. Then some years later – the unthinkable
happened. Judy committed suicide with a gun. Why? I don’t know, and it seemed that
no one knew either. At least I have never been given an explanation.

Judy had a son and two daughters, but I never got to know them. Obviously they didn’t
share Judy’s love of cats and they told Allen they didn’t want them. Allen was kind enough
to say that he would take them.

However, Jerry wasn’t too happy about this, and when Allen went to pick him up to take
him home, he fought him –even managing to scratch him. But Allen prevailed and
Jerry and the two cats found themselves in new surroundings. Allen has a beautiful
dog who the two cats didn’t mind, but it seems Jerry did, and so when the opportunity
presented itself, Jerry was out of there.

I would see him around the neighborhood and I and a neighbor began putting food for
him on our two porches. With winter coming on, I hoped that one of us would be able
to take him in. If he came to me, I would add him to the cats already in my partially
renovated basement. He would not then suffer from inclement weather or hunger.

Maybe it was weeks later when I was able to pick him up and bring him in. Basically,
I think he is content -but he sometimes manages to slip out when I open the door and
find some clean laundry to doze on in my side of the basement. Happily, he has never
tried to make a mad dash to the steps and into the hall for a return to the outside. For
this I am grateful.

I always tried to treat new cat arrivals with flea medicine but a few years later I noticed
that Jerry’s once lustrous coat became sparse and thin. At the same time I had to take
Gracie to the animal hospital because she wasn’t eating and her beautiful long- haired
coat was now matted. The vet saw that she had a bad tooth which had to come out, and
she said she saw some flea dirt in her coat.

When taking her home, the vet said that I should treat all my cats for fleas and that
I could keep the costs down for this flea treatment by purchasing 3 tubes of the
dog flea treatment. I should simply open them and pour the liquid into a small
container and with an eye dropper get the required amount she prescribed.
Bless her heart – this worked fine and saved me money.

Now both Gracie and Jerry have gotten back their beautiful long haired coats. Gracie’s coat
is multi-colored and Jerry’s is the color of a baby lion- at least I think so. I haven’t seen a
baby lion up close and personal to be 100 percent accurate in this description.

So ends my tale of Jerry. In his lifetime, he has had some experiences – some good and
some not so good. But he has survived and for that I am grateful. I am grateful too for any
happy resolutions for the many, many cats and dogs who through no fault of their own,
have experienced either cruelty from humans or lost their home as in Jerry’s case. Gracie
too had lost her home when her original owner had been evicted. He did not take her
with him, and then following a winter where she had to fend for herself - I managed to
bring her in. She has never shown any desire whatsoever to return to the outside where
she had suffered so much before I took her in.

God is good. He has given me the compassion and resources to help these cats. I wish
that people generally would learn to alter their cats- so that the horrendous over-
population of them would stop. Every cat born should be wanted and loved. And every
cat should be altered so that we would not have an over-population problem.

And I just remembered something about Jerry. In order to keep him from going into
my side of the basement, after each meal I provide some cat treats for him and the others.
He really loves them. I knew one foolish woman who gave her cat only treats because
that’s what he liked. Of course, this was bad for him, and I finally persuaded her to stop
doing this. My cats get the treats at the end of the meal. The treats never compose
the whole meal. I think she finally got the message after having to take her cat to the
vets for clearly a faulty and unhealthy diet.