Albert on the computer, Mar 16, ‘10
March 26, ‘15
Yesterday was Albert’s birthday. He’s now 6 years old. He and I first met on May 25, ‘09, when I went to my veterinarian’s office to see the kittens there, instantly fell in love with him and adopted him to come home and be in my life.
There have been a few ‘events’ where I haven’t been 100% pleased with his behavior, but overall, and perhaps because of/despite those ‘events’, we’ve forged a strong and satisfying human / non-human bond.
The few ‘events.’
One: In our first 4 ½ years he’s peed 3 times on my feather comforter, feather pillows and once on my feather mattress.
The first time was somewhat forgivable as he was 5 months old and committed this act the day he was neutered and still coming out of anesthesia. The 2nd and 3rd time were ‘territorial’ – when he seemed to have felt threatened by other cats.
The laundry load was incredible for all 3 events. Feather filled comforter, mattress and pillows are extremely difficult to wash and take a very long time to dry. The pillows and comforter I washed in the washing machine but the mattress had to be done in the tub. I was fortunate we had days and days of sun, because it took days and days for those things to dry and had we had rain — can’t even think about it…. By the time the 3rd event rolled around, Albert had spared the mattress and only got the pillows and comforter and by that time, I had a Washer and a Dryer which made wash and dry time much easier.
After events #2 and #3, I gave much serious thought to sending him to live in a no-kill cat sanctuary and donate money for his upkeep.
I twice chose the option of attempting to change his behavior which (so far, knock on wood) seems to have worked. Hopefully, the 3rd time was the last….
Two: 5 years ago, he slept on the keyboard of my then computer and caused it to ‘fry.’
I lost everything that was in that computer. The first time I caught him sleeping on the keyboard, I thought he was cute and photographed him, so I had no one to blame but myself for the death of that computer; cats like to sleep in warm spots and I went away for the day inadvertently leaving the keyboard uncovered and a warm spot for him to sleep. Since that time, I’m more scrupulous about putting the lid down on the laptop when I’m leaving the room or going away for a few hours. He’s also learned to keep his feet and body away from the new computer.
I had to use a Netbook that up until then I only used to store material for teaching watercolor classes. I used the Netbook for over a year until I could afford another full-size computer. The Netbook was a lousy computer but better than no computer at all.
Three: I’m certain that Albert – who, up until his illness, liked to sit on tables and knock things off –had something to do with losing my car, house and client keys 5 years ago, which was a major pain in the neck to replace all keys.
I’m fairly sure that he knocked the keys into a trash basket under the table and I unknowingly emptied the trash in the basket into the trash going to the curb, before I knew that the keys had gone missing. That’s the only way I can explain that particular mystery.
There’s challenges to every relationship and those were the toughest ones to deal with between me and Albert. Looking back these past 6 years, I have to say that, overall, having this sweet little non-human being in my life has been worth any hardship because there’s been much laughter and happiness with him in my life.
Yesterday, being his special day, the atmosphere in this house was celebratory. Also, the sun was shining. I celebrated his life with heartfelt speeches and a blossoming Gerbera Daisy dedicated to him as well as cooking chicken thighs for his dinner. Family and friends sent best wishes. Friends came to visit last night and we sang “Happy Birthday” to him. He greeted and touched each and every one of us. We all felt pleased and happy that he joined us for the entirety of the visit and seemed to have a good time. We all applauded him when he ate his chicken and then his ice cream with great gusto.
Celebrating helped lift all our spirits from the terrible pall of this winter and Albert’s illness. Even Albert seemed uplifted.
The terrible winter, while obviously winding down, is still somewhat with us as today is gray, dreary and unusually cold for this time of year. Albert is still ill, but very much alive and having as good a life as possible.