These are always very hard for me to write, as it means I have lost a good friend.
Geri was with us at Tabby’s Place for about 5 years. She arrived with her brother Ben, and to say the two of them were feral was an understatement. They had been living outside for several years, and only had each other to rely on.
Even more of an understatement is to say that Ben and Geri were bonded. I have never seen two cats love each other more. When they first arrived, Geri was terrified of us humans, but that didn’t stop her from putting herself in front of her brother whenever we tried to go near him. She really was prepared to defend him with her own life. When they had been living outside, Geri had been attacked by some wild animal, and she was very badly injured. Ben was unhurt, and I just know Geri was there protecting her brother, as she always did.
After they had been at Tabby’s Place for a while Geri, let her guard down a little, and I was able to form a friendship with Ben. He learned to trust me, and we became very close. Geri always remained distant, and would usually give everyone a good whack if they got too close to her. The relationship between Ben and Geri remained strong, and they would still curl up together in a basket or on a bed. About 3½ years ago we lost Ben, who had battled with kidney disease and a bad heart condition.
For the next few months, I saw Geri grieve terribly for her brother. They had always hung out together in the suite, but after he passed she moved out to the solarium and refused to set a paw inside for many months. I would go and talk to Geri, tell I understood her pain, that I too had loved Ben and grieved for him. We slowly formed a bond. She would never be my lap cat, but she tolerated pets, and even purred sometimes.
About 2 years ago, we found out Geri had a lung tumor. It was inoperable, and there was nothing we could do. We made her as comfortable as possible with whatever time she had left. She surprised us all by lasting two years!
We should not have been surprised by Geri, however; she was always a tough and determined girl.
This week, Geri let us know she was done fighting. She was not eating and was uncomfortable. It was time to let her go. I will miss you so much Geri. We can all learn a lot from your strong and determined spirit, and your willingness to risk it all for someone you love.
I do have to smile knowing that you are once again reunited with your beloved brother, Ben. I know you always loved him with all your heart, and would do anything for your Ben. I know you are with him again, and I know that is all you ever wanted. I miss you both so much, but I know you now run free and happy, together…forever.