Our beloved kitty, Kramer, continues to persevere despite his illness that’s slowly making it harder and harder for him to do so. I will cherish these special moments I’m having with him for a long time to come.
In honor of our loving and loyal companion, I wanted to capture some stories of the joys, trials, and laughter that Kramer has given us over the years. Welcome to the Kramer Chronicles, Part I: Welcome Home.
Just a year out of college, Missy and I had an apartment in West Springfield, MA. Missy knew how hard it was for me living in an area where I knew no one and nothing. She grew up in this part of the state, so had lots of connections – family, friends, familiar sights. Since she and I were still acclimating to our relationship, we hadn’t announced it to anyone in our lives. I’ve never experienced a more isolating feeling. To help keep me company as I got to know the area, Missy surprised me one night with a super-fluffy, super-cute kitten. I burst into tears and held him close to my heart. I was immediately in love. And now that I think about it, that would make Kramer the first one to know about Missy and me. 🙂 Just one of the many special roles he has played in our lives.
As I held him, he was trembling a bit and talking in his little, kitty voice. I put him down so he could explore, and explore he did – under the bed, behind the couch, and any place else he could hide. Although it was hard not to constantly pick him up and squeeze him, we let him have his time to get used to the sights and smells of his new home. He scurried about, a bit erratically, as we sorted through ideas for names. “‘Abu’ could be cute,” I said. “You know, the monkey from Aladdin?” (We had recently been to Disney World so it seemed relevant at the time :-/). With a shrug of her shoulders, Missy didn’t seem too enthused with that name. Then, with a clawing sound to catch our attention, we see our new addition climbing the door frame as if it’s a tree. ” How about ‘Kramer,’ like the character in Seinfeld? I’d say he seems a bit spastic, too, don’tcha think?” Missy smiled. “Yup, Kramer it is.” Well, technically his full name is Kramer Abu Richardson Silk. But, when he misbehaves, it’s just Kramer Silk (said in a firm, parental voice) ;-).
It wasn’t long before he was entertaining us with games of fetch. His toy of choice? A balled up piece of paper. Yup, it’s the simple things in life that matter – a lesson we gleaned from him early on. He learned quickly to get in position either by the sound of our voice saying “Get it, Kramer!” or the sound of the paper being crinkled. He’d get low, ready to attack, shaking his little butt back and forth. We’d throw the paper ball into the kitchen from the living room and watch him launch, run, and slide across the linoleum – often past the paper ball, and sometimes right into the wall! He’d then pick up the ball in his mouth and jog proudly back into the living room, dropping it at my or Missy’s feet. “He does know he’s a cat, right?” I said. And we’d throw again. Throw, repeat, throw, repeat. I don’t know who was having more fun, us or him. We would be hysterically laughing at the idea of this cat playing fetch, and his energy and spirit would be beaming at the excitement of it all. Oh how I loved this little fuzz ball!
That “Get” word, followed by the desired object, would trigger him to “Get the ball”, or, if we looked up, to “Get the buggy” if there was a fly or moth in the house. He loved to play with the moths. Alright, some would call it torment, but I know he saw it as playing. He’d gently take the moth’s wing in his mouth and toss the bug. Then he’d chase it and do it again. When he’d get over excited and actually eat the moth, he’s spend the next 10 minutes or so searching for it. “Kramer, you ate your friend, honey,” I’d tell him. “He’s all gone. They’ll be another…”
Sometimes just a “Get it!” alone would grab his attention. Even today, at almost 15 years old and not feeling his best, we whisper “Get it!” and we still get a bit of a tail wag. It’s so fun to see his kitten traits still shining through.
Below are some more photos of our time in West Springfield (click the thumbnails to make them larger) –
- Kramer claiming his favorite chair. Despite our intent to get rid of it many times over the years, we couldn’t bring ourselves to take it from him. He still sits in today.
- Our one and only Christmas tree in the apartment once we learned what he was doing during the day.
- The bathtub – another of his favorite hang-out spots
- And he loved to rip up toilet paper. If we didn’t remember to remove the roll before leaving for the day, they’d be nothing left but shreds
I look forward to re-living more memories of our precious companion in future installments of The Kramer Chronicles!
Coming up next: The Kramer Chronicles, Part II: The Separation