The Life and Times of Pork Chop: Happy Birthday, Pork Chop!; or: Pork Chop's Origin Story, Part 1

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Today, Pork Chop is celebrating his sixth birthday—he was born on tax day (approximately). And I thought it would be good to look back at an old post to see how our love story all began....

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Fostered and Adopted
May 12, 2003

Robert is evil. Several weeks ago he rescued kittens—one black and white, one gray, and one orange. The first two had extra toes. He took them to the SPCA to be fostered and adopted.

Backstory: When I was a kid (I can’t remember my exact age), our next door neighbor had a gray cat that I called Gray Kitty. (I was a very imaginative child.) Gray kitty was a small cat with extra toes. It basically looked like it had thumbs. As the cat grew older, it never grew. I was like a dwarf cat, if there is such a thing. A dwarf cat with thumbs.

Gray Kitty always snuck into our garage to eat the food of my two cats. So my sister and I would always chase it away. But Gray Kitty kept coming back. On those occasions when my sister and I were able to catch Gray Kitty, we would be very mean to it—shaking it hard, poking its forehead, and choking it with its collar. It got so bad that I think at one point we temporarily damaged Gray Kitty’s vocal chords, because its usually pathetic meowing transformed into something weaker and sad. (Its vocal chords healed in time.)

Despite all this cruelty that we inflicted upon it, Gray Kitty kept returning to our house. After a while we realized that Gray Kitty liked the attention—no matter how abusive we may have been. I suppose the next door neighbor lady wasn’t particular affectionate with it, and the neighbor lady’s bastard son actually humiliated the cat by dressing it up and such. So me and my sister’s puerile abuse became a sick source of comfort for Gray Kitty.

We grew to love Gray Kitty as our own, lavishing it with love in an attempt to repent for our evil ways. We were children. We didn’t know better. And we hoped to be forgiven. And we were. Gray Kitty adopted us as its own.

One night, because it was cold outside, Gray Kitty had snuck into the backseat of my mother’s car without anyone knowing. The following morning, my mom drove to work. Halfway there, she was startled when Gray Kitty jumped onto the passenger seat. My mother panicked and screamed, and Gray Kitty jumped out the window, running off into some random backyard. My mother called for Gray Kitty to come back. No such luck. It wasn’t going to be that easy.

Because her after-work attempt to find Gray Kitty failed, my mom broke the news to my sister and me. We were devastated. On occasion, my mom drove out to the same spot where Gray Kitty jumped out and called after it. Gray Kitty never appeared. My mom felt guilty for a very long time (which we used as leverage to get her to buy us things), and my sister and I felt we were being punished for all the cruel things we had done to Gray Kitty in the past. We didn’t put up signs or anything—technically, the cat wasn’t even ours. And our neighbor lady didn’t bother to care that her cat was missing.

Several months later, I was playing in the driveway when, in the distance, a small figure appeared. As it got closer, I realized it was Gray Kitty. It looked a bit battered and weary, but it was intact. Somehow it had found its way back. We were happy to see each other, and my sister and I lavished even more love and attention on Gray Kitty. For several years, it was owner-pet bliss.

However, one day Gray Kitty disappeared. Days passed. Weeks passed. Months passed. Years passed. No sign of Gray Kitty. And it never turned up again. Ever. I can only assume it died somewhere. But it lives on in my memory.

Which brings us back to the present day. Loren and I have been discussing getting a cat. Robert knew this. So he called almost immediately after he rescued those kittens. He told me that two of them had extra toes. I screamed, “Oh my God, is one of those extra-toed kittens gray?!?!?!?!?!?!” He replied, “Yes.” And I knew I had to have it.

However, I was in San Francisco at the time, and we weren’t really ready to take in a pet, especially one so young. So, as a temporary solution, Robert took the kittens to the SPCA. Those kittens will not be available for adoption until they are fostered for five weeks. I asked Robert to contact the woman who is fostering them to see if we could have first dibs on the gray kitten, though the SPCA said that it might not work out that way for some reason. (You can’t really “reserve” a pet.)

And here is why Robert is evil. He keeps sending me pictures of the gray cat and showing me footage that he videotaped. It is the cutest cat in the world. THE WORLD. And because there is the possibility that we might not get this cat, it is cruel and unusual for Robert to be torturing me like this. If we’re unable to adopt this one, I will cry. I’m crying already. Because I feel this cat belongs to me. Can’t you see?! It’s Gray Kitty reincarnated! There is enough love in my heart. There is.

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BAMBOO NATION: The Life and Times of Pork Chop: Happy Birthday, Pork Chop!; or: Pork Chop's Origin Story, Part 1
The Life and Times of Pork Chop: Happy Birthday, Pork Chop!; or: Pork Chop's Origin Story, Part 1
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