July 31, 1990 - October 26, 2002

My Story – by Ralphie Kramden

Once upon a time, a beautiful stripey ladycat named Gypsy had a litter of babycats in a very horrible house in a place called Waterbury. There were lots and lots of sticky people in the house who were mean and rough with all the babycats there. There were at least 2 other mommycats there and they each had litters of babycats. There was no food because the people that lived there did not work and did not have any green papers to buy food or take the kitties to the v-e-t.

The mommycats were getting very sick and it was hard for all of us babycats to find foods. Then one day, 2 lady people came to the house and gathered up some of the babycats and took them away. While they were there one of the lady people picked me up and talked to me and looked at me. She saw that there was something “not right” about me – mine head was like a bubble and mine eyes were not looking straight out – they were looking out sideways and I could not see anything in front of me. She snuggled me a little and asked the lady person who lived there if I could go with her, but the lady person said NO, that I was the favorite of her sticky people. She argued with her but I had to stay. I was very sad. The one lady person said something about calling the “authorities” on the ladyperson who lived there. But they left with a lot of mine brothers and sisters. A couple of days later the lady persons came back and took a couple more of my brothers and sisters, and the one lady person picked me up again – saw that my whiskers had been cut down and they told the lady who lived there that they didn’t care, I was leaving with them! I got into a metal machine with wheels with one of the lady persons and we drove away from my mommycat. The lady person told me that the “authorities” were coming to take my MommyGypsy and the other mommycats out of the house, but that because they were so very sick, they would probably have to go to the Rainbow Bridge. The lady person told me not to be sad but that mine MommyGypsy would be watching over me – because I looked just like her so I had to be her special baby. All of mine other brothers and sisters had either all grey or all black furs, but I had grey and black stripes just like mine MommyGypsy.

After we drove for a while we stopped and went into another house. There was a man person there and some kitties. There was a fluffy ginger mommy kitty and a non fluffy ginger daddy kitty. The mommy kittiy HISSED and SWATTED at me, but the daddy kitty kissed and snuggled me. The man person looked at me and pet me but told the lady person that she had to find a forever home for me like she did for some of my brothers and sisters. The lady person said that she would try, but because I had “problems” she might not be able to. So after a sleep, I went to someplace called “work” with the lady person in someplace called “Naugatuck” up on a mountain. There were lots of lady persons there, including the other one that came to mine house before. I was very scared and nervous and I had to pee but I could not. The lady person was worried and called the v-e-t that was close and after “work” we went there. The v-e-t looked at me and told the lady person that she should not try and find a forever home for me because I was something called “hydrocephalic” and would have seizures and die before I was a year old. Then I peed on her.

After we saw the v-e-t, we got back in the metal machine and sat there for a few minutes. The lady person was trying to figure out how to tell the man person. I started talking to her and told her that I wanted to live with her and the nice man person and the really nice daddy kitty. The lady person’s eyes were leaking and she looked into mine sideways eyes. And then it happened - I saw right into her heart! And I knowed that she would never let me go, she was mine mommy! So we wented home – both of us crying the whole way- her ‘acause she loved me furry much and thought she was going to lose me before I was a year old, and me ‘acause I was so very happy to find mine forever mommy. Needless to say, the man person could not resist a crying lady person and I got to stay. The fluffy mommycat, Trixie, learned to love me, and the not so fluffy daddycat, Norton, was my best furriend. We all talked about mine name and it was decided that I was Ralph. A few months later, my mommy came home laughing and told my daddy that she found out what my name was when I lived in that horrible other house – they had named me Jackie Gleason. Mommy and Daddy laughed and laughed and said that it was fate that I should live with them. I never got it. People are weird.

A year came and went and I didn’t have any seizures. I had so much fun playing with Trixie and Norton and mommy and daddy. We lived in a place called Hamden but mommy and daddy decided to move to a place called Milwaukee. So we moved. Mommy and daddy did not have a lot of money at all, but they made sure that me and Trixie and Norton always had food and everything we needed. When they ran out of money they moved to a place called Rochester to move in with mommy’s mommy and daddy for a little while. Then we moved to a place called Philadelphia. We lived there for a long time. Norton got really sick and almost went to the Rainbow Bridge, but a very nice v-e-t saved his life. We had a lot of fun and life was very nice. I loved my mommy and daddy so much. I loved them so much that I even grew a heart in my stripes on my sides!! Eventually, we moved back to the place called Rochester. I loved living there and eventually we moved to a house with a patio. We had never been outside before, but we all loved rolling around on the patio and playing in the warm dirt. Our lives were wonderful! Every night I would follow mommy to the bathroom and sit with her while she sat in the tub. We would discuss our day. Then I would go into the bedroom with her and lay in her arms until she went to sleep then I would go lay at her feets. Daddy was my buddy and I loved him very much too. He would play awesome games with me like “Zoom Cat” and “fight like a baby”. I loved that!

One day in March 2002, mommy noticed that I was throwing up and then going to hide under the bed. This was not normal for me – I always had to be around mommy. So she and daddy took me to the v-e-t. The v-e-t poked me and prodded me and gave me some fluids under my skin, and then told mommy and daddy that I had a large lump in my abdomen, and that it was probably cancer. Mommy and daddy cried and cried and cried. The v-e-t said I probably would only live about 6 weeks, but that she would show them how to give me fluids under my skin to make me feel better in the mean time. 6 weeks came and went and I was pretty much back to my normal self. Summer came and I got to go out on the patio whenever I wanted to lay on the warm cement. I got my fluids every other day – daddy was so wonderful when he gave them to me – I hardly ever felt the needle! And after I got a ½ jar of baby foods! I LOVED baby foods!

After summer was over, I started feeling not so good again. Mommy was very worried and very sad, but I was still eating a lot, I just was not as playful. Of course I was still eating – eating was always my favorite thing to do. The weather was getting colder and it was October, and daddy found out that he had to move away for a new job. I got to go with them in the metal machine when they drove to where daddy would be working, to help find him a new place to live. I didn’t feel well at all, but mommy held me and snuggled me and I felt better about that. A few days later, I could not walk very well and mommy called the v-e-t to make an appointment for me for them to help me to the Bridge. She cried and cried and cried and prayed for strength to help me cross. That night she wrapped me up in a blankie and a towel and we went to bed, me snuggled in her arms like we had done every night for 12 years. When it was almost light I had trouble breathing and mommy woke up daddy and they held me and petted me. And then I saw my MommyGypsy, she had come to take me with her to the Bridge. I didn’t want to go, but MommyGypsy said that I would be with my mommy forever and ever and that the Bridge was a wonderful place. So I purred one more time and ran off with MommyGypsy. It was October 26, 2002

I still visit mommy all the time – we always had a special “mommy Ralphie time” at bed time and when mommy took a hot bath, and I’m still there at those times. I knew that she and Norton were upset when I left, so I sent them Sammy – I led him to the garden where I knew Norton would find him. I’m very glad that she has Miles and Billy and now Nicky to keep her company. Norton and Trixie and I are reunited here at the Bridge and we have met a lot of wonderful blogging cats here.

I had the most wonderful life with my mommy and daddy. A kitty could not have asked for more love- and that’s what it’s really all about – Love.

Good bye my sweet Nicky

 Good bye my sweet sweet Nicky.  You has a hard time sometimes with your brain injury, but you were always so sweet.  I love you to the moon...