09 April 2013
Six years ago today, I took Max into my home.
A few months earlier, my friend Millie rescued him from a street that divides a shop in which metal is cut, bent and welded from another in which auto bodies are painted, sometimes in bizarre schemes. Just down the block from it is a commercial bakery that supplies restaurants in Manhattan as well as in Queens: the place from which Marley was rescued.
Millie kept Max in her house for a time. But she already had other cats, and a guy who briefly moved into the neighborhood took him in. He disappeared, as he was wont to do, for two weeks. A neighbor heard Max’s cries. Fortunately, the guy returned a day later, and Millie took Max from him.
I offered to take Max home—when I was ready. You see, during that time, Candice, who had been in my life for twelve years, died.
I jokingly referred to her as my “ballerina”: She was pretty and thin even though I fed her what I fed Charlie. And she always seemed to be walking en pointe.
In some ways, Marley reminds me of her. She liked to jump into my lap, cuddle and curl, as he does. Also, she was a bit skittish, though very gentle, as Marley is. While Max always seems ready to greet anyone I bring into my apartment, Marley is more cautious: It takes him some time to work up the nerve (or whatever cats have) to meet my guests. However, once he “comes out”, he rubs himself against my guest and licks his or her hand. Candice was like that, too.
She died a little more than a year after my first Charlie. They were about the same age (15 years), though Candice spent a little less time in my life because I adopted her when she was three years old, while Charlie came home with me only a few weeks after he was born. But both he and Candice shared some important times in my life, including the early and middle parts of my transition. And I owned about a dozen bikes (though not all at the same time) and rode about a dozen more during that time!
Then Max came along. I’ve gone through some more changes (and bikes) and he has just loved, and loved some more. He doesn’t have to do anything else.