I WAS A CAT HERDER, I LIVED ON A CAT RANCH!

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Submitted Date 11/26/2019
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There is hardly a time in my life where I didn't have a cat or many cats. Of course, when I was a kid, they were all the family's cats, but I was the one that could really talk to all the cats.

We got our first cat not too long after we moved into our first house in Florida. I was five years old when we moved in, so I was probably six when we got Boots. He was a brown, black and gray tabby with white paws.

To this day he is still the biggest cat I've ever had. He grew to be an unusually large, powerful brute of a cat that terrorized the neighborhood's cats and the dogs too. He could be a mean cat, but he and I were fast friends. His paws were like boxing glove size and it was with him that I first started to learn the art of cat fu. It's a bloody technique to learn and practice but it is a necessary skill to master.

A couple of years later we took in a small female cat that we named Tippy. She was a fun, friendly little fuzzball and our indoor cat. Boots was very much an outdoor cat that did not want to be inside.

Back then, every year when school would let out my mother would drive all us kids up to the Eastern Shores of Maryland where our grandparents' farm was. My father would stay down in Florida since he owned a very large electrical contracting business that needed attention and we would stay up there until school started in Florida again. We would take Tippy with us and she traveled very well in the car. Yeah, so like five kids and a cat in a car, not a station wagon. I think the first summer trip for Tippy was after my fifth grade.

Ridgely, Maryland

Back then there were hardly any interstate highways to take up and down from the Mid-Atlantic States to Florida. Interstate 95 was still being constructed and the route we would take was US Hwy 301. We would always stop at the "South of the Border" motel, restaurant and crazy sideshow of Mexican themed amusement park. That was right at where Highway 301 crossed the border from South Carolina going into North Carolina.

South of the Border Hotel and Amusements South Carolina

One of my earliest memories is getting to ride a donkey there at the age of around three or four years old.

After my sixth grade was over we went back up to Ridgely, MD. My parents had rented a two-story house on a large farm that was then being farmed for sweet and feed corn. The sweet corn was the Silver Queen strain. The plan was that we would stay there for a year this time and we all would do a year of school in Maryland.

Three farms to the south was the Pelican Skydiving Club. My father at the time had a pilot's license and a Cessna 182 and he would fly up for the weekend or longer throughout that year.

Tippy loved being there on the farm. She was the first cat that I taught how to get underneath my blankets to sleep with me, but also so she could keep warm when I wasn't sleeping. One day I found her under my blankets with her first litter of kittens. There were four of them in various colors. Scamper was a dark tabby male, Friskie was an orange tabby male and I can't remember the other two's names. It was a blast to have a mess of kittens around!

A few months later, after the kittens were weaned and starting to grow up a little Tippy went missing. I was freaking out, she was nowhere. Later in the day a farmer drove up the drive and asked me if we might be missing a cat. I said yes and he told me that we should check the intersection a few hundred yards from the house because there was a dead cat there!

It was Tippy. That day and the next was about the worse day of my life. I cried for hours on end. I buried her at our grandparents' house and I made a little tombstone for her. A month or so later the year was up, 7th grade for me was over and we drove back down to Florida. Only we were not moving back to the house in the neighborhood where we used to be.

Nope, Dad bought this piece of property that was sold as "The Ponderosa" (think at that time the TV show Bonanza). Nine acres with a long ranch style house and a barn. Besides the ranch to the south was a strip of woods that went the length of the property and was another four acres or so and we were the only ones to have access to it.

I remember when we saw the place for the first time having just driven down from the Eastern Shores, it was a nightmare. Before that day I had no idea that regular, Florida style grass can grow to over four feet tall without ever having to water it! OMG! Nine acres of it! What in the hell were we getting into?

We were told that there is a 1948 Massey Ferguson tractor, as well as a Bush Hog little tractor in the barn, but how do you get to the barn? How do you get the tractors out when there is that much grass? It was brutal, every summer day it would pour in the afternoon like clockwork and the grass just loved it. It was a never-ending battle trying to keep up.

1948 Massey Ferguson

It was not long that we bought two horses, one of which was expecting and so we had three horses to start helping with the pasture area of the place. Later we bought two more and then housed two more for a family friend. I was the one that mostly took care of them and would ride almost daily there for a while. Yeah, I was in 4H and would show my horse Amiga.

So during all this time, Tippy's kittens grew up there at the ranch and soon there were more litters. Then we took in some stray kittens and before we knew it, people were dropping off kittens and cats at our place without our knowing it.

We bought Purina Horse Chow, Cat Chow, Dog Chow and Chicken feed in 50-pound bags that were delivered from the feed store. The chickens were all Rhode Island Reds and we had a black mostly lab dog, Muttley was his name.

Soon we had many cats at our place. Though we always had a lot of them, the rule was that we would only have one house cat at a time. The rest lived out in the barn and the other shelters we had, as well as the carport.

To feed the cats we used garbage can lids as the bowls, two of them at a time I would fill up daily for them! One day we decided to try to get an official count as best we could. For sure there were at least 48 cats in one count! There were a few feral ones for sure, but most were very friendly happy cats. I had a way with them and could lead a bunch of them around the place.

Several times I went back to the old neighborhood and would find Boots and bring him back to our new home, but he would always leave and find his way back to the old neighborhood. In my last attempt at this, I brought him back to the ranch and used a dog chain to keep him from leaving. I was hoping that he would eventually call the ranch home. Amazingly, he broke the chain and escaped and that is when I decided that he was on his own.

One day we noticed a new cat in the mix, a Red Manx! We never found out where he came from, but it wasn't long that we started to have mixed Manx kittens hopping around with bobtails. (Manx cats have a very particular walk that is sort of like a hop.)

I was a stoner back then and I had a couple of cats that would follow me up the tree that I would smoke in and they would beg for a few tokes too. A couple of them really would hunt you down when they would smell the cannabis. Muttley loved to smoke and so he would smell it and be at the tree too.

Since we had a giant backyard, lots of vegetation and trees, to hang out and hide with, our place was the place to come hang out and smoke some sativa. Back then you weren't gonna find any indica. One of the things I used to do would be to invite someone to come over to smoke and then say after we got stoned we have to feed the cats. Of course, they had no idea what to expect.

Their eyes would get wide when they would see the 50-pound bags of cat chow and then when I did my cat dinner call, there would be dozens of cats coming from all directions and then let's just hope they don't have a cat phobia!

Cat herder animation

One day my friend Guy and I made a tent and we were able to get 21 cats and Muttley inside it with us and we got stoned. All those cats back then living in the same place as I was like having a bunch of extra friends around.

Back in the 80s for most of the time that I lived in Denver, I had a black sort of long-haired black cat named Bruford. He belonged to Henry and Renee before me and when H&R moved out of the apartment they were staying in, I moved in there and ended taking Bruford. He was named after Bill Bruford who is perhaps the greatest drummer of all time.

For a year we lived up in Summit County and when we moved into a house, he really took to being in the mountains. After a year or so I moved back down to Denver and into a two-story house that was converted into two apartments and Bruford became a city cat again. I would keep the window open enough for him to go in and out and he had a way of getting up to the roof to the other side of the house to the outdoor stairway.

Bruford was a super friendly cat and everyone loved him. But he was not the type of cat that would engage in any cat fu. He was way mellow.

I took a trip to Florida when airfare was dirt cheap on People's Airline. Just before flying back I bought a couple of pounds of scallops and put them on ice so that Bruford and I could enjoy them together. Man oh, man! Did he ever love them and he woofed a bunch of them!

The next day was a nightmare though, Bruford was deathly ill and I thought it had to be the scallops. He died in my arms as I was trying to get him to the vet. The vet checked him over and told me that it was not the scallops that killed him.

Something that I never knew before then is that neutered male cats that live above 5000 feet should be drinking only distilled water and they should always be getting some wet food daily as well. This is because urinary blockage can occur if this is not done. Bruford was always getting tap water, which in Denver is heavily fluorinated as well as being chlorinated and he usually just got dry cat food. I never made that mistake since. It truly broke my heart to lose him that way.

For any small animal, it is a bad idea to let them drink chlorinated water! If you're gonna give your pet tap water, at least let it air out for 24 hours or more before giving it to them.

It was not long after that that my roommate and I took in two stray kittens, a brother and sister. They hadn't been named yet when we had some friends over to play cards and the kittens were running in and out of the room. One of the friends asked where the kittens went after they were gone for a few minutes.

Right after that, the male kitten popped out and I said, there's him again and the female jumped into the room and I said and there's her again. That stuck and they became HimAgain and HerAgain. It was good to have some cats in the place again.

Around a year or so later I decided to split Denver and move out East. Him and Her stayed in Denver with my roommate who stayed in the same apartment for another year or two after I left.

It was then that I went the longest time without having a cat of my own. It would be about nine years before my next cat. I was constantly on the move during that time and having a pet then wouldn't have worked out. It was 1996 and I was living in Knoxville, TN when my friend Tom told me he had a whole litter of kittens that he had to get rid of and I had to take one. He had threatened to kill them if he could not find them a home! So I took a short-haired tuxedo male home with me.

Tom and I became good friends a couple of years earlier because we are both huge Florida Gators fans, which is a rare and hated thing in Knoxville. So of course, I had to name my kitten Wuerffel. He was just scarcely weaned when I got him. I had earlier that year bought a new Ford E350 extended van with the Powerstroke engine. Within two weeks of getting Wuerffel, we were on the road for the next three or four weeks, mostly in Scranton, PA.

Wuerffel at the Gators Game

Back then I had a very unique business, the only one in the entire world that specialized in the installation and isolation of ceiling-mounted surgical microscopes. I have worked in about 400 operating rooms across the nation.

My Tuxedo Cat, Wuerffel in the late 90s and early 2000s

It was winter and the first thing I taught Wuerffel in the van was how to get in the sleeping bag to stay warm. Now, this van was large and long, I had 12 feet behind the driver's seat. There was a refrigerator behind me and a mattress, pillows, sleeping bags and a cat box for Wuerffel and still plenty of room for all the tools and equipment I needed.

Back then I had a service contract with the USA Leica Microscope division to go to every one of their ceiling-mounted scopes in the USA and perform an upgrade to them. There were nearly two hundred to do and they were scattered out all over the country. The first year I had the van I drove 70,000 miles! Almost all of those miles included Wuerffel, many times riding shotgun. Since he started living with me, we were constantly traveling.

Ceiling-Mounted Leica Surgical Microscope

Wuerffel traveled to at least 38 states and Canada, two National Championship games, a few SEC Championship games and tailgated in Gainesville, Lexington, Jax, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rogue, Oxford, Miami, New Orleans, and Auburn! He loved it and he knew the van was home and protection and he would not stray from it even though he could.

In 1998 Wuerffel and I caught a few more away games for the Gators, as Knoxville was a good base to reach the most the away games. The Gators did not make it to the SEC Championship Game, but they did get to play in the Orange Bowl on January 2, 1999. They beat Syracuse 31 to 10 and of course Wuerffel was there too.

At the Orange Bowl January 2, 1999 Gators beat Syracuse 331 to 10

February 1999 I moved from Knoxville back to Denver and of course, Wuerffel came with me, but my living situation was not so good for Wuerffel. I was staying with Henry and Renee then and they had seven cats. Those cats were not happy with Wuerffel moving in but I had no choice.

Then the heart valve problem started to say it was that time and I had to have the aortic valve replaced via open-heart surgery. This was a real bummer and I spent a month in the hospital and Wuerffel was without me. He kind of went crazy and was a sad and pissed off cat. He had never been more than a couple of days without me before.

After the heart surgery I was a hurting unit and it was a crazy situation at Henry and Renee's and so my friends Mark and Carla offered to take me in, but I could not bring Wuerffel with me, he would have to stay at Henry and Renee's. I would visit him all the time, but he was not a happy cat and fighting with the other cats all the time.

Wuerffel yawning

A couple of months after the surgery I was hired to consult a hospital in El Paso that I had previously done work there before. Finally! Wuerffel and I get to go on a road trip together again. It was the first time that we were able to travel since driving from Knoxville to Denver.

While in El Paso the Gators pulled it off and were able to get into the Final Four for the first time. The games were to be in Indy and I had just enough time to drive there from El Paso! A Final Four ticket is one of the most difficult to obtain tickets in all of sports but I was lucky enough to find a fellow Gator with a spare ticket and sold it to me for cost. This ticket includes both the Saturday's two games and then the Monday night's final game. The Gators beat North Carolina to go on to the final game against Michigan State, to whom they lost. When we got back to Denver, I had to again keep Wuerffel at H&R's while I was staying at M&C's.

Animated GIF of images from the 2000 Final Four

2000 Final Four Plaque with Ticket

The following year I ended up with two more Mittmount installations, the first was in Hickory, NC and so Wuerffel and I were on the road again. Another trip to Knoxville first to pick up my assistant Tom and then to Nascar country. After that road trip I went to Hue, Vietnam for five weeks and then a month after I got back I landed another installation, this one in Boston. So I packed up my tools, equipment, and Wuerffel and headed back to Knoxville again to pick up Tom. I got there a couple of days early and was camping out there.

You can see the date of some of the pictures, like the two with Danny (Tom's son) and Wuerffel. It September 10, 2001. The following day changed everything for everyone, including the Boston installation. The installation would be stalled until mid-January the following year! Because of the delay, I was able to get a "hardship" addition to the contract of a few thousand dollars to cover the extra expenses and so Wuerffel and I went to Clearwater FLA and several Gator games while waiting.

Once the installation was completed Tom and I stopped at the very famous Captain Hook's in Boston to buy some lobsters to bring back to Knoxville for a big cookout. The largest lobster that we bought was eight pounds!

Me with an eight pound lobster

Before I headed back to Denver, Tom suggested that I leave Wuerffel there because he and the gray cat Quezzie (named after Gator Jacques Green) were good friends and it seemed that Wuerffel would be happier there. I hated to do it, but I thought that it was probably a good idea.

Wuerffel and his buddy Quezzie

It was a bummer though because I never had the chance to travel again until a couple of years later and by the next time I got back to Knoxville, Wuerffel had died. Tom called me the day he died, I think in 2003 and he said it was like the cat died of a broken heart. I was in tears for days. He was such a cool cat when we were together and traveling in the van. Just writing about him now brings tears.

It was October of 2004 and I was really needing to have another cat since I finally had my own place to stay again and I was catless. That month the Florida Gators announced that they had just hired a new head coach for the football team. His name was Urban Meyer. Since my last cat was named after a famous Gator, I decided that the next cat that I get will be named "Meyer". Mind you, the first game that Urban Meyer would coach for the Gators was nearly a year away.

When I went to the Dumb Friends League on December 16th, 2004 I thought I was looking for another tuxedo cat. But I was being open-minded and just wanted to let things happen. I ended up picking out two orange males to "interview". At the DFL they put you and the pet-to-be in a room together to see how the two might get along. The first orange cat started to act very oddly, like a psycho kitty which surprised both me and the assistant in the room with me. The second orange cat was Meyer. It was really cool, we both fell for each other immediately.

I signed the paperwork and they had to neuter him that day, so I could not take him home until the following day. Therefore December 17, 2019, will be our 15th anniversary.

When I had first brought Meyer home it was winter and so he stayed indoors, of course. One day, however, it was a very nice day and I let him outside and soon he was eating grass. The next day I let him out again and he soon ate grass again. Each day though he threw it up a little while later.

Meyer on fox fur December 20, 2006

Meyer in my lap at the computerMay 6, 2006

I decided that I would give him some pieces of fresh, raw salad spinach on top of his daily wet food. To my surprise, it ate it all! Ever since then, for the last 15 years Meyer gets a little fresh spinach daily with his wet food and only distilled water. I honestly think that is one of the reasons why he is so healthy and strong for his age.

Meyer left the DFL with a bit of a respiratory condition that he still has, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He was born with a blocked tear duct in his right eye and so it forever needs to be wiped clean. I do this for him many times each day.

As soon as I got him used to our apartment, then I introduced him to the van and whenever I could, I would bring him with me around town. The Mittmount installations were slowing down and I was relying on doing electrical service calls to make money in between the installations. On many of the service calls, I would bring Meyer with me and he would hang in the van. But he really never got to do the Gator tailgating like Wuerffel and I used to do.

In between having Wuerffel and Meyer, a friend gave me a fox fur that was made into bedding for a cat. I bought a cat pedestal for Meyer and he immediately took to it. He and I went to my storage unit one day not long after buying the pedestal and I noticed the fox fur bed and thought it would be the perfect thing to put on top of the pedestal.

Meyer was in the van waiting for me and I hid the fox fur from him until he was sitting with me on the driver's seat. When I showed him the fox fur, he totally freaked out and leaped away leaving me with the worse cat wound I've ever received. I still have the scar on my left forearm. After getting scratch so badly, I was determined that Meyer would get used to the fox fur. I put it on top of his pedestal and if he wanted to get up on the pedestal, which was right next to my computer desk, he would need to get used to the fur.

Meyer's Fox Fur Bedding

Meyer's Fox Fur and Pedestal November 2019

Within a couple of weeks, he got used to it and ever since it has been his favorite place to sleep and hang out.

Images of Meyer from 2006All of these images are from 2006

It wasn't long after I got Meyer that we did take a road trip to Knoxville. I had a lot of stuff, furniture and the like in storage there and I wanted to bring as much of it to Denver as I could get into the van. I stayed at Tom's for a few days and visited where Wuerffel was buried. There were some new cats there by then and Meyer was sort of iffy with them and he decided to stay in the van more than Tom's house while we were there. Meyer has never seemed to like being around other cats.

One of the things that I been wanting was my large bed as I had been sleeping on a small mattress on the floor for the last couple of years when in Denver. It wasn't long after I got that bed set up that Meyer was sleeping with me every night. He already knew how to get under blankets or into a sleeping bag, so he would get under the blankets and spin around to be facing the same as me and then he would lay his front legs over my left shoulder and lay his head next to mine. He still does that most nights for a few hours at times.

Mr. Meyer, as I call him many times, is probably the slowest cat I have ever tried to train in Cat Fu. He likes to play fight, but I can anticipate his every move before he even makes it. We have several sessions every week for 15 years now and probably he's just a green belt.

Meyer at four years oldMeyer 4 years old

Meyer in the snow animation December, 29, 2006December 29, 2006

The next road trip if I remember correctly did not happen until I got the installation in Savannah, GA in 2007. It was one of the hottest summers on record there and the job was not going well. The "medical" facility was an all-wood structure, including all the framing. We learned that as the hours changed so did the wooden framing by millimeters and that would introduce different residence which could interfere with the surgical microscopes. This was going to be an eye center.

While I was working there, I was going back and forth to Savannah and Knoxville so I could have Tom help me when needed. During the trip, I had to keep Meyer in the hotel rooms when not traveling or at Tom's because it was far too hot to leave him in the van, even in the shade with the A/C running!

That installation was a nightmare and the project was delayed several times so that the general contractor could do more work on the structure of the building. One of the delays was about two weeks long. Tom's uncles live in the Catskills so we decided to kill that time waiting by driving up there to visit.

The day that we had to leave to head back to Savannah Meyer was missing! During the previous night, he jumped at a window screen, probably chasing a moth. The screen collapsed and he ended up going outside. By morning time he was long gone and we couldn't find him! I was in a panic! We had to leave that day and I wasn't going to leave him. After hours of searching, Tom found him hiding in a small drainage ditch and then it took at least another hour before we could get him out of it.

December 2007 there is a hospital in Portland, Maine that is having a problem with a new surgical microscope that was just installed in the operating room ceiling without any isolation and it was vibrating beyond use. They flew me out there to consult that month and the following February I had to drive out there. First I had to pick Tom up in Indianapolis. He rented a car and drove from his place in Knoxville to meet me on the way there. It was a tough winter and it was a rough drive going up to I-80 and across New York State. The snow was piled seven to ten feet high in places all over Portland. Meyer didn't mind though, as long as he was in the van with the sleeping blankets he was cozy. While there in Portland we were staying in a hotel that allowed cats and always when I traveled with him or Wuerffel, I would try to get pet-friendly rooms.

When the installation was complete, I drove Tom to his uncles' place in the Catskills to visit with them for a few days while Meyer and I went up to Montreal to check out that city for the first time. When I tried re-entering the USA the border people gave me a difficult time because I did not have my passport. Why would I need a passport? They finally decided that they would only let me in if I let them search the van. I said ok because I was already ready for that I had my cannabis hidden deep inside Meyer's catbox.

I picked Tom up and drove him back down to Knoxville where I hung out for a few days before Meyer and I headed back to Denver. Once I got there, I unloaded a few things from the van, took a shower and got back on the road heading to Santa Fe, NM.

Adrian Belew's Power Trio was playing there the next night. The following night's show was to be in Aspen, CO at the Belly Up and then the next night would be at the Fox Theater in Boulder. So the Power Trio and I caravaned the back way, up the mountains to Aspen. The band's van broke down and so we put what equipment we could in my van and one of the two roadies. The other roadie stayed with his van and waited for AAA to come. He got to the gig just in time. We knew leaving Sante Fe that a huge blizzard was about to hit Colorado and by the time the Aspen gig was over, the snow was coming down heavy. Luckily we all were able to make it over the Continental Divide the next morning and to the Boulder gig.

Later in 2008, I got a call from an eye center in West Orange, NJ and it was about four new scopes to go up in a new location. They flew me out there to consult with them and I landed the installations and it was going to be a big project, building four isolation systems.

I knew it was going to take some time to get the project completed and that unless I wanted to drive back and forth from NJ to Denver and back a few times, I needed to plan on staying on the East Coast for a while and I was wanting a change. So I put everything I owned into a large storage unit and traveled back to Knoxville to pick up Tom and then shoot up I-81 up to NJ. Meyer was happy to be on the road again. Both he and Wuerffel considered the van to be a second home and a good way to be close to me.

Meyer would stretch out on the long, carpeted dashboard and enjoy the ride. When Tom was not riding shotgun, Meyer would like to stand on the passenger seat, put his front paws up on the window ledge and just look at everything, especially at people when stopping at lights.

Meyer would know better (maybe still does?) than to try to get out of the van from the driver's side when I would get out of the van. He would wait for me to come to the passenger door and I would open it and step away and he would leap from the van seat onto my left shoulder. He is still to this day always wanting to be on my shoulder.

So we got the "rough-in" of the project completed in November 2008 and it will be several months before the next phase happens where I would have to be there. I drove Tom back down to Knoxville and then Meyer and I drove down to Tallahassee to catch the historic game between Tim Tebow and the Seminoles. The game where he ran for a first down knocking over two linebackers, picking himself up off the ground, covered in red paint.

Tim Tebow defeats the Seminoles

The following weekend was the SEC Championship in Atlanta and since 1993 I have had four Club Level seats for that yearly game. So I went back up to Tom's to stay a few days and then we headed to Atlanta. Then back to Knoxville for a few more days before Meyer and I drove down to Clearwater/St. Pete, FLA.

Tim Tebow and the Gators Beat Bama in the 2008 SEC Championship Game

The Florida Gators whooped up on Bama in the SEC Championship, so that meant that the Gators were going to play the Sooners for the National Championship! I bought ten tickets to the game on Stubhub, knowing that when I got down to the game, I would be able to sell the other nine tickets for a profit and that would pay for mine.

There was an old Peaches Record Store friend of mine living in Ft. Lauderdale back then, so I paid him a visit and stayed in that area of Florida for a couple of days. Sure enough, it was a piece of cake to sell the other nine tickets, which more than paid for my ticket and what a game it was! The Sooners were billed as the most prolific scoring team in college football history and the Gators completely shut them down! National Champions again!

The Gators winning that game made college sports history as nothing like this has ever come close to happening...

The Gators won the 2006 National Championship for football and then the Gators won back to back National Championships in Men's Basketball and then another National Championship in football in 2008! That's the two biggest championships in all of college sports, a total of four won in a 24-month span. It is the most amazing feat ever in college sports!

After the game, Meyer and I drove back to St. Pete where I stayed at a Ramada Inn on Hwy 19. I soon convinced them to trade out a room for my web work and I stayed there until that March when things were supposed to have been ready in West Orange. I drove all the way there to learn that they needed to do more work before it would be ready for me to fine-tune my isolation systems. So I drove down to K'ville for a few days before going back to St. Pete. It was June before they were finally ready in West Orange.

The video below was filmed at the Ramada Inn on May 31, 2009.

There were only a couple of days worth of work once I got there and then the installations were complete. From there we drove back to Denver. We had been gone for more than half a year! My friend Keith had already rented a large 3-bay garage with a 14-foot ceiling and that is where I ended up living for the next two years. This was one of the first "large" cannabis grows within the City of Denver limits at the time. (Ten years later this would just be considered an average-sized grow, at best.)

Too much kitty porn for Mr. Meyer!

Too much kitty porn for Mr. Meyer! September 3, 2013.

Meyer in bed on South Broadway February 10, 2014Feb. 10, 2014

Nap time for Meyer September 7, 2014September 7, 2014

Meyer at the computer March 14, 2015March 14, 2015

Meyer animationNovember 2019

Meyer likes it there because he had a lot of space to run around inside and when I would let him outside, there were plenty of field mice to keep him busy. This was the last place that I lived where I could take Meyer with me in the van. When we moved from there I moved into the single apartment above the GB Fish & Chips on South Broadway, one of Denver's two main strips. The RTD bus #0 would stop right under my bedroom window. There was no way that I ever wanted Meyer to get out front where it would be very noisy, scary and dangerous for him. I would have to park in the customer parking lot, wherever I could find a spot, go through an outdoor dining area and up the outdoor stairway to a locked gate. Then I would be on the deck on the second floor where my apartment was. So that was too much to try to bring Meyer in and out of, so his trips became pretty limited. The van has been in storage for almost the last five years now. Meyer is not as fond of being in a car and I don't go anywhere far anyway these days.

Not long after moving in above the GB Fish & Chips I was given the rocker pictured below and that became Meyer's chair and the place where I would give him his catnip. To this day, it is one of the spots where he spends a few hours a day sleeping. The image below was taken on July 27, 2014.

Meyer's chair for catnip.

The video below was recorded on February 10, 2014.

Mr. Meyer on the fox fur September 27, 2013September 27, 2013

Meyer on April 2, 2014April 2, 2014

Meyer on his fox fur January 15, 2018January 15, 2018

Mr. Meyer November 19, 2019November 19, 2019

The above video was filmed on November 25, 2019. So was the image below.

Mr. Meyer and his catnip

It seems that Meyer's and my traveling days are over now. The states that Meyer has been to are Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Canada to boot!

My biggest wish these days would be to be able to go on one last road trip somewhere with Meyer, maybe to drive to Knoxville to see my old Gator friend, Tom who I have not seen in over ten years now.

I'm not the only cat person in the family, nope, my sister Holly is quite the cat lady. She will only usually only have one indoor cat, but up to a dozen "outdoor" cats. They might be outdoors, but they have their own house with air conditioning and running water!

For the last four years, Meyer and I have lived in two different basement apartments. This one now is only one bedroom, so things are crowded but Meyer is comfortable and happy. He's never lived in a carpeted place other than the hotels I stayed at until now and he really seems to like that. Meyer is not one of those hyper cats, not at all, he is Mr. Mellow. The ultimate lap cat, he is very satisfied to just hang around you all day and night. He's a little too persistent though wanting to be in my lap while I using my computers and it is difficult to manage since I am swinging back and forth between two laptops.

Meyer, the happy lap catMarch 31, 2006

Mr. Meyer is now at 15 1/2 years old is getting a little slower and sleeping a little more, but he is certainly holding up better than I am now and I am worried about how he is going to handle it when I am no longer around. My 3rd aortic heart valve is deteriorating and won't last much longer and I am not getting another one.

We are almost constantly together. For all his life I don't think I have been away from him for longer than five days at any time. Now since I am slowly dying and only leaving the apartment for about three hours each week, he is constantly at my feet or laying on his fox fur pedestal which is about two feet from my main MacBook Pro. When I am in bed, he spends time with me there.

My main MacBook Pro with Mini Meyer on guard I have a Mini Meyer on guard on top of my laptop.

Meyer on his Fox Fur August 30, 2019

Even though he outgrew his fox fur years ago, he won't give it up

Even though Meyer has long ago outgrown his fox fur, he won't give it up. The two above pictures were taken on August 30, 2019.

I'm not sure if he will be able to be a happy cat when I am gone. He's my best friend and I am the only friend that he has. But it has gotten to the point where I cannot pay my rent, let alone buy cat food and litter, since my Social Security doesn't cover all my rent and I am not able to work anymore. So it is only a matter of probably a couple of months more before I am gone.

 

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