His name was Morris,he was named after Morris the cat,a well known ginger cat on tv commercials for cat food.
Morris was a large heavy orange cat a.k.a ginger haired ,he was 10.or 11 years old.
Morris was the cat my sister and her first husband got when they lived in Toronto with their two young daughters.
By now my sister had remarried and husband number two was not very fond of Morris.Morris was old and smelly ,husband no. 2 , seven years younger ,good looking if you like boxers types ,and more confident , had complained.
I came to help with the move.
i flew in as the helper. I had a helper syndrome i was unaware of at the time…
“Don’t do anything. we just need you to watch the kids, just look after the girls.”
My older sister by ten years had said .
She didn’t like the way i washed dishes or folded clothes.
“just be with the girls”she said.
“you’re so good with them and they love the stories you tell them .”she said.
I came for a month. I just finished the year at the university ; switched from too much Math and labs Biology major to humane psychology.
I was always raising animals since the point of time ,around six years of age,when i could convince our mother to stop sending the strays i found in the streets or backyard with my father driving them to the shelter, and she finally gave in and agreed to let me adopt first a dog then a kitten from a shelter in St.Louis ,Missouri.
The cat moved with us several times from house to apartment and finally flew home with us.
I named the kitten “Pinky rose” ,i always got to name the animals and take care of them.
Pinky survived a fall from our New York city apartment balcony on the 7th floor with only a few scratches on her pink nose.
Pink flew back home with us in a box but she sadly did not survive a fall from our first floor balcony while hunting pidgeons in Tel Aviv.
Her luck ran out…
My parents had been afraid to tell me.I was 16 at the time. I had Pinky since st. Louis when i was ten years old.
I searched the city streets for Pinky every day for two weeks until my mother finally broke down and confessed Pinky had been mysteriously killed and found dead on the street and was already buried in the back yard.by the garbage containers. I didn’t ask for proof.
My father said he thought it was a shame to have buried her,rather than kept her like an Egyptian mummy.her white fur had been so beautiful.
At the time Morris was around i was 24 years old;a student and a very proud aunt.
I enjoyed entertaining the girls,i brought them clay from a local art place and painted and made animal sculptures with them.
At night i tucked the girls in with stories about fairies and imaginary figures i made up .
My sister and husband no. 2 were busy packing and loading the rented van.
One night the family finally moved.
“Where’s Morris?”Jennifer asked me that night.
“I don’t know”
Truth is i could not go against my sister. I was afraid of my sister since she punched me in the face one time for telling my mother something she did not want her to know. I was also staying with my sister and was her unofficial marital.advisor even though i was single and childless at the time.
I was always my sister’s advisor even though i was ten years younger ,she always asked me what i thought about her troubled two relationships but she never did ask me about Morris..
“Norman really hates Morris and Geoff(first husband)doesn’t want him.his new wife has three cats already.”
My sister’s mind was made up already.
“what about the girls?”i asked
“what are you going to tell the girls?”
“that we could not find him”
Norman (husband no. 2)
will drive him somewhere far away..
so i told Jennifer that i don’t know where Morris was.
I lied but i could not make up.a story about where Morris could have been.
Jennifer went to sleep that night very sad.
I don’t remember if Jennifer cried but that was the last time i helped my sister move. she sold and bought the next house and the next.
I did not help my sister move but i never did lie to a child again.
not even mine.
And i never abandoned a pet.
We moved three times because the neighbors complained about the dog .and the children.
The dog is sleeping at my feet every night and i tell her stories about children.