Family life, it seems, is all about transitions. Just as we get used to one stage of life, something comes along and we transition to something new. As soon as we get used to one baby, here comes another one. One yahoo gets potty trained, and another one is ready to start the process. We begin to grow our roots in one place, and it's time to move again. I suppose it keeps things from getting boring or old. Sometimes the transitions are fun and exciting, other times they are difficult and bittersweet. Today we began a bittersweet transition in our family. Last night we lost our dear pet of almost fifteen years.
When Brent and I got married, neither one of us could wait to get a kitten. The three months we spent in the apartment in Tuscaloosa seemed so very long to wait, but finally that September of 1996 we picked out our first family pet. A lady Brent worked with had a cat with kittens and so we went to her home and claimed one as ours. He was a feisty little gray tabby with the biggest ears we had ever seen on a kitten. Constantly running around the big dog's legs in her kitchen, we knew he was the one for us. We had tried to choose a name before we met him, but couldn't agree. Once we got him home, his curiosity and constant wandering around led us to name him after a mischievous little monkey I loved as a child. Curious George Archer.
George had quite the personality. Everyone who met him has at least one "George story" they can share. George moved with us four different times and to three states. We knew when we got here that this would be his last home. George had many close calls through the years, and we marvel that he made it to fourteen and a half. The last two weeks we had begun to notice dramatic changes in George that let us know the end was nearing. He had stopped eating and drinking a few days ago, and so each day we said our "goodbyes" thinking it was probably his last. After the boys went to bed last night we went downstairs to check on him, and he was gone. Our hearts are heavy today, and we are missing our healthy, playful kitty of long ago. George helped us through the long wait for our boys, and now they are helping us through this sad time.
George, we love you. You were such a good pet for us, and in many ways you have set a high standard for future pets. We hope you are enjoying sunshiny days filled with tuna juice and butterflies to chase. There will always be a special place in our hearts for our first yahoo.