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The Story of Tas, Part 3: The End

23:13 30 May in Personal by Thomas

Yesterday I woke up and went downstairs to get ready to go to work. I walked into the kitchen with little cats Janet and Maddie dancing around my feet. It was their standard interpretive dance of “Our food bowls are empty, and please fill them or we will be forced to trash the kitchen.” It was a dance I knew well. I reached up to grab the Tupperware container where we kept the cat food. We had to keep the cat food in the contain because Tas and his razor sharp teeth and claws could easily tear open any bag or box of food should he decide it was his time to eat. I filled the bowls, starting with Janet’s as she was going to eat first, no matter what. It was then I did the second hardest thing I had to do all week. I filled the 4th bowl, picked up the 5th and put it in the sink. I tried to do this unconsciously, just like picking up any other dish for washing, and I almost got away with it too. But seeing it in the sink, while the other bowls were still on the floor, stopped me cold. It was a few minutes before I could continue with my morning, make my coffee and leave the house. I just stood there, looking at the bowl, and flashing on 8 years of memories. These memories almost wouldn’t let me go. It had been 3 days since I did the hardest...

The Story of Tas, Part 2: A growing boy

23:10 29 May in Personal by Thomas

In his first few days at the apartment, Tas stayed in the bedroom while we were at work, mostly, and unjustifiably, because we were worried Simbe might eat him. She clearly didn’t like him, but she grew to ignore him, like she has the other cats we’ve taken in since. Upon coming home and opening the bedroom door in the evening, Tas would leap out and attach his claws to my leg, where he would proceed to climb up my entire body, so he could purr in my face and lick my moustache. I started calling him ‘Puppy’ because of this. He did this to my wife as well, although that stopped the day she wore loose sweats, and got ‘pants-ed’ by Tas who was growing bigger by the day. At night Tas would curl up on the pillow next to my face, and as he got bigger, snuggling into my armpit, where he slept part of most nights for his entire life. He was becoming my cat, though he was a gift for my wife. The moment I knew he was my cat took place one afternoon in the living room when Tas was about 6 months old. To stop cats from repeatedly doing bad things, like scratching on furniture, or knocking things off of shelves, it is sometime recommended that one use a squirt gun to shoot water at the offending animal when they have been caught in the act. This is an idea my wife and I adopted...

The Story of Tas, Part 1: Hello There

22:24 09 May in Personal by Thomas

After 9/11, my wife and I were deeply affected, like everyone else in America. All we could do is watch the news, be scared, and theorize about other possible attacks. We were absolute zombies for a week, the TV or the radio, depending on whether we were at home or at work, blaring recriminations, guesses, concerns. We were being driven mad by inches, one channel and one station at a time. A few weeks prior, in the sunny summer of 2001, I met a man down the block by way of one of his children. When walking back from work one afternoon, a small boy, no more than 6 years old perhaps, skidded his bike to a tumbling stop right at my feet. Shocked and concerned, I said “You alright?”, to which the boy meekly replied “No”, in a soft and hurt little voice. I reached down, pulled him and the bike apart and set him on his feet. “Can you walk home with this bike?” I asked him. “No” he said again. I held out my hand, and asked him where he lived. He took my hand and pointed to a house just up the street. I picked up the bike, and held his hand while he limped next to me. As we got closer to the house, I saw another child look at us and go running into the house yelling “Dad!” We came up to the front of the property as ‘Dad’, whom I came to know as Roger, came...