Our tech manager walked in carrying a loaf of a cat she found wandering one day outdoors. He weighed in at over twenty pounds, tested positive for FIV, and under his matted black fur hid a nasty abscess. At first, I was against the idea of having a clinic cat, not because I am not a cat lover, but because I wondered what kind of life he would have in a fast-paced emergency hospital. Everyone seemed to agree on a plan to help this cat heal from his abscess, lose weight and find him the perfect home.
Enter the naming process. Obviously, this cat needed to be called something other than “hey cat” or “fat cat” so the day came that he was bestowed with the name of Gerald Wallace. During his first months with us Gerald Wallace, being a cat, after all, destroyed some costly food bag stock. He was finding a way around his diet, and this destruction was his protest. When we were slow at the clinic, Gerald would be allowed to stretch his legs a little, managing to heft his twenty-pound body onto counters with shocking grace and a not so silent thud of the countertop.
We are still searching to find Gerald a forever home, but I must admit that at least for myself, I am not looking so hard these days. This loving black lump has grown on me, and I find myself going to him for hugs which he allows for a short time. We now have a feeding schedule in place and initial when he has been fed, because Gerald Wallace is also a liar, and will try to persuade the next shift that he has not been fed and is indeed wasting away to a mere 18.5 pounds. As far as my questioning if he would be happy in a clinic setting, it is evident that this cat is most likely one of the most attention-spoiled felines around. Gerald has brought much joy to all of us, and his feline wisdom is unsurpassed. I have learned a lot from Gerald, and his list of life lessons continues to make me smile. Life is short, eat the food, go for what you want, never take no for an answer, a hug is the best medicine, and home is where the love is.