Apr 15, 2010



A little about Gomez, the family cat.
Gomez was born with a silver ball of catnip in his mouth. The runt of the litter, Mr Go struggled at first to find the hind tit. A little encouragement, and interference from Laura, and Mr Go was happily suckling said hind tit and began to develop, growing almost as fast as the rest, but not quite evolving as he should. You see - Gomez has no hind claws, a real disadvantage in a fight or flight situation. He doesn't have all his teeth either, another disadvantage in a full blown- scratch, claw and bite altercation with man or beast. Okay, the silver ball of catnip may have been a bit tarnished but he was lucky all the same.
Gomez came into our lives while we were building the cabin. As with any rural area, Go's mom was dropped off, great with kitties, by someone who couldn't care for her (or didn't care for her). Since we were in the habit of sitting on my mom's porch during breaks in construction it was only fitting for our newly-adopted cat slut to reside in a box on the porch, a safe place to do the spitting out of the litter, when time came for that. But cat slut wanted no part of the box. When nature took it's course, cat slut spat those kitties out on Laura's foot. Gracious Laura, Mama Laura, caregiver Laura just sat there and was awed by it (growing up on a farm, first hand accounts of animal birthings were no stranger to her). Me - I nearly puked.
So Gomez, Taz, Calpernia 2 and the other cat (who shall remain nameless) came into this world and were universally loved and cared for. Lucky them!
We chose Gomez, or he chose us because of two things- I have always been one for the underdog, and Gomez, clearly behind in the race, was already my favorite. The second thing was an incident which squarely put Gomez in the lead as far as I was concerned. The incident went as follows:
We were working in the cabin framing the interior walls, all the kittens had been moved here by their slut mom, and they were all sleeping peacefully amidst the noise of construction, all laying at the foot of the air compressor. The air compressor kicks on (and it made a hell of a noise) - slut mama cat and all the kittens scattered to the winds in a flash...except for one. Mr Gomez lazily lifted his tiny head, yawned and lay back down for some well-deserved shuteye. As soon as the compressor cycled off I told Gary and Laura that Go was our new pet. Mr Go...Meesa Go...Mr Gomezio! My buddy!!
Time goosesteps on and Gomez made his new home our new home. After we moved in with him in late 2006, he was a bouncing kitty, playing with Laura's yarn, chasing imaginary critters through the yard, and training us to be good stewards of the cat. He liked the way we talked, we liked the way he mewed, we got along pretty well, I reckon. Mmm hmm.
As he grew, he became more and more adventurous, despite his not-so-obvious birth defects. He chased real varmints, small though they were, across the yard and ended the chase by scurrying up the nearest small tree, looking like a wildcat. Unfortunately, because of the missing hind claws Mr Go couldn't stay up the tree for long...except for one morning...(dreamy flashback sequence here).
Go is scared shitless of lightning. One cloudy morning, as the storm clouds blew in, a sudden crack of thunder and flash of lightning upset the Go's world. Why he headed for the cedar tree I'll never know. Take a picture of this:
6:30am. I'm on a 16 ft. ladder in a 30 ft. cedar tree, shirtless, no belt on my pants, trying to rescue poor Mr Gomez. If he could come down to the limb below then I could reach him, but he seems to like it just fine right where he sits.
Another crack of thunder and I'm just about ready to let him sit in the tree, if that's truly where he wanted to be.
Then the rain starts. Heavy rain. Hard rain! Bad for me, but worse for Gomez as he begins slipping on the now wet limb. As he falls towards me, I let go of my pants (yes... holding them up because of the no-belt thing).
As I grab Gomez, my pants fall to my ankles, he's pissed and scared by the whole turn of events and starts clawing away at my bare chest. Lucky for me I only received half the agony because of the missing claws.
Gomez securely in hand, I pulled up my pants as best I could, scampered down the ladder, looked around to make sure no one saw the whole thing, or part of the thing, and ran to the house.
He was named after Gomez Adams, after the Adams Family TV show patriarch. His most recent moniker is "Meesa Go", spoken with an oriental flavor. I was on the phone with a bill collector, who was trying to convince me that I had missed a mortgage payment of which I had proof that I had made, and the conversation went on and on. Meanwhile, Gomez was darting in and out and around my feet, making it difficult to walk. The oriental lady was getting on my last nerve, Gomez was busy trying to trip me- I don't know what came over me but in my best oriental voice I shouted out "Meesa Go". The lady on the phone replies "No Meesa Go...meesa payment!" From that moment on...

The missing teeth and hind claws were brought to our attention by our vet, who assured us that he would be a great house cat, but not so great at security detail. And by security I mean the annual blue jays nesting in the tree right in front of the porch and the protection of pedestrians as they wander under or near the tree. Do not count on Mr Go to to come to your rescue. Blue Jays are notorious for protecting their area, and they dive on and peck the heads of anyone who comes too near the nest. Mr Gomez had a curious, but painful fascination with the jays. He got too near, they dove in and pecked his little head, he hit the ground as if someone had just yelled "grenade!", and they laid in on him like the peckerhead he can sometimes be. The first couple of years saw him blindly making his way into the house, head all scarred and bleeding from the vicious attacks, to find a place in the corner to 'sleep it off'.
By the third year, Gomez had grown into a handsome young fellow. Laid back, reasonably undemanding, he took to his neutering like he had been born nutless. I remember the day he got his balls back. Spring morning, Gomez is chilling on the back deck, I'm there in my chair having my morning cup of joe, the birds are singing and flying onto the deck bannister for a seed breakfast. A small bird takes a wrong turn, swoops a little low as he corrects his heading, and in one fell swoop Gomez leaps and comes down on that poor bird like Shaq making a mighty dunk. In a story as old as prostitution, down comes Gomez with bird in paw, slams it to the deck and claims it as 'his kill'. Yes son...you're a man now!
After that incident, he learned how to deal with the blue jay situation. Now, instead of hitting the dirt when they attack, he runs as fast as his little paws will carry him...across the yard to the porch...where he lies, looking up at the jays as if to say...'one day, my friend...one day!'

1 comment:

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Great story, Mr. Reid! I love the fact that your little bud was named after Gomez Addams.

The rescue- from- the- tree- during- the- lightning- storm story, though, is the kicker. It reminded me of G. Gordon Liddy's story of how he overcame his fear of lightning when he was a child: he climbed a tall tree during a thunderstorm, and forced himself, through buckets of rain, to open his eyes and wait for the storm to abate.