On Easter Sunday, my sophomore year in college, we went over to my old high school friend – Mike Pekowski’s house to pick out a new kitten. I had just played my annual trumpet gig in the Episcopal church. Spring was in the air and life was new and fresh. It was Easter and seemed the right time to bring a new cat home. A new life. An Easter cat. We picked out a little yellow, baby fur covered, fuzz ball and brought him home. He was so little he fit in one hand. We put this yellow powder puff down next to the family dog to see how this new pairing would work. We noticed a little sound of air escaping in the room coming from somewhere. We heard it twice more before we realized it was the teeny thing attempting to assert itself by hissing at the dog. We all laughed and fell in love with him immediately. Jack, as he would eventually be called, became a beloved family pet. We even had a chair for him at the table. He saw me through many a time. Good and bad. He was a good friend. Or maybe I just projected these traits on him. Maybe that’s what a friend is in any form. Who knows.
At any rate, Jack lived to 15 years. Somewhere around this time he developed a lesion in his eye that looked like a cracked marble at the bottom of grandma’s jar. I was not living at home by this point but when I’d come back I remember telling my mother we needed to take him to the vet and get this checked out. My mother always said this was the way things were and there was nothing you could do about it. “Nature.” Being a little more pro-active, I didn’t then, and don’t usually prescribe to that philosophy, but that’s more my mother’s outlook on life. Jack died soon after this. I wonder what would have happened had we acted sooner.
My youngest, Nicholas, has trouble functioning and relating in his preschool classroom setting. Despite a very advanced verbal skill set for a child his age, his teachers have given us a long laundry list of things he does, and doesn’t do, that we’ve noticed at home but have learned to live with. Or just wait for him to grow out of. We have an appointment to take him to a behavioral and sensory specialist. My mother says “he’s three years old and there’s nothing wrong with him” ….” he’ll grow out of it.” I don’t know if this is another example of Jack or not. We’ll find out next Wednesday when he has his first assessment with the specialist.