Before I lived in the Day Job, but not very long before, I lived in a place called the Hamilton Hotel. About a block away lived a friend of mine, who had thirty cats. The cats ruled the apartment, and my friend's life, except as to one issue: he would not feed them meat. Eventually it came about that my friend decided to move to California. I figured that pretty much meant that I would be gaining about thirty cats to add to the one stray I had already come to own--a crusty young long hair with a broken off tail and no claws by the name of KC Cat. Turned out that my friend actually found homes for most of the cats and I ended up with only two little kittens, born on April Fool's Day in 1985.
They were so opposite in personality that it was hard to believe they could have the same parents. One was bold from the beginning-- a real people cat. The other was very shy. He spent most of his time hiding under the furniture. And when he did come out, he followed KC Cat everywhere he went, despite KC's fervent attempts to stop him. No human was able to get near him for ages. Eventually, a combination of the adoration I inspired by feeding him cat food with meat in it, and the hours I spent lying flat on my back on the floor so I wouldn't be threatening got past his defenses. Then he followed me everywhere, apparently to see if I left cat food anywhere else.
We named them Samson and Delilah. Samson the bold one, Delilah the shy one. This proved that we knew about as much about cat anatomy as we did about rat anatomy. Anyway, people-cat Samson was run over by a car. But my cat's cat Delilah kept following KC Cat and got street smart and wily and lived long enough for us to notice that she had nuts. So we cut his nuts off, changed his name to Delbert, and there he stayed.
He stayed with me through all the moves, through the psycho cat that lived at Day Job One, through the children, the hippies, the mess and the chaos. He didn't always like it. The first time that we moved-- into the Day Job-- he and KC Cat hid in my room for the first month. First too depressed to move then later bored and chasing each other in circles around the room, over top of me as I tried to sleep, they finally got the nerve to go deal with psycho kitty. KC eventually gave up and moved down the street, but Delbert established himself as alpha cat.
This year he started to lose weight. He'd always been on the chunky side, but he got skinny, then scary. His personality changed too. He had been getting more crotchety as he got older, but now it accelerated, he would walk up to the dogs and pick fights with them. With humans he got really bold, he made friends with people that he had run from all his life. Eventually, I had to admit that something was wrong. It turned out that he had diabetes. My vet and I started the process of trying to get his blood sugar adjusted. Measured food and measured shots. It was hard. Not the shots. He didn't seem to mind them. But keeping him from eating at other times. Keeping the other cats happy even though suddenly they had to eat on Delbert's schedule. We were suddenly surrounded by cats that thought they were starving to death. They would beg for anything, jump up on the table and try to take your food by force, cry when you stopped them. Then on Monday, the three of them got together a gang and tried to take away the dog's food by force. Not sure how long it could have lasted. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance. A housemate came home last night to find him dead. I came home last night to find him already buried. He will live in my heart forever..