After giving so much joy and love to so many people, our feline friend Kramer crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on May 9th.
Bob and I first met Kramer up at Rescue Village at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. For those of you who don’t know, Rescue Village consisted of four yurts and several RVs and was home to the cats of the Great Kitty rescue when they first arrived from Pahrump.
Kramer was always one of the more social cats – a mixture of innate personality and the fact that he had come from Sherri Allen’s home and not the compound that was F.L.O.C.K. Still, he did need to fine tune his social skills so he was enrolled in Miss Sherry’s Finishing School for Felines where he tended to get into trouble with his mischievous ways. But he was so lovable and all we could do was laugh.
Kramer was included in a mobile adoption event here in San Diego at South Bark in May 2008. He quickly captured the attention of a young man and his girlfriend and after a quick home check by Bob, Kramer was adopted. But it was not meant to be – Bob and I were back up at Rescue Village when the call came in that the young man’s roommate (who owned the condo they were living in) wanted Kramer gone. Bob and I knew something was up when a small band of staff approached the open door of the Wildwood where we were staying.
“So, Kramer’s adopter called. He can’t keep Kramer.”
“What?” Bob asked in disbelief.
“Oh no!” I cried.
After a little hemming and hawing they came down to it – “Would you be willing to take Kramer in and find him another home in San Diego?”
On the spot, loving the boy and caring about his welfare, we agreed to foster him. The day after we arrived home, the adopter dropped Kramer off with us. Amid tears – both the young man and his girlfriend – they handed Kramer and all of the belongings they had bought for him over.
Kramer was with us a very short time before our friends told us they were looking for a companion cat for their resident feline. We brought Kramer over to their home and the meet and greet went well and they agreed to give it a try. Everything was going fine until our friend’s mother and her small dog moved in with them. Kramer thought the dog was a brand new toy and chased him relentlessly – much to the mother’s dismay. Unbeknownst to us, they let another friend take Kramer. Her cat had just passed and Kramer looked so much like him that she was smitten. In the end, Kramer did not act like her cat and she gave him back. That is how he ended up with Bob and once again.
In his travels, Kramer had learned to play fetch and he would play it for hours if you let him. He had a cat wand that he loved and no matter where you threw it or how far, he would run and bring it back to you to have you toss it again. He would dive over couches, roll under chairs, rush down the hallway – he would do whatever it took to get that wand. We would have to impose a timeout when his breathing got labored, an act that he barely tolerated.
During this time, Kramer’s final adopter was struggling with fellow Great Kitty Rescue cat Hugo. Huge was being stubborn and was not coming around to living in her home as smoothly as we knew he could. She called and asked, “By any chance do you have a role model cat that I could borrow to help Hugo?”
She had been working with Hugo to help him gain confidence and trust, but felt that a positive feline role model would do wonders in getting Hugo to the next level. We will always believe that this was a fortuitous event, a step in the path that was meant to be for Kramer.
We took Kramer over and re-introduced him to Hugo – they had been close roommates up at Rescue Village. With his usual aplomb, Kramer made himself at home and did help Hugo blossom into a loving and confident cat. Bob and I took care of the two of them in our home when mom went on vacation and it was delightful to spend time with them and to see how happy they were.
Unfortunately, sad days were around the corner. Hugo developed an abnormal type of FIP and was crossed. Bob and I were there with his adoptive mom that day. Hugo was so peaceful and loving and welcoming the pets we had struggled so hard to get him to accept – it was one of the hardest goodbyes we had to say.
Kramer’s mom went on her first trip to Best Friends and up at Rescue Village, she met Thorne. She and her friend took Thorne on a sleepover and the next day she decided to adopt him. Kramer welcomed his old buddy and they became close friends, sleeping together, playing together and working to keep the other felines in the family in line 😉
Each cat from the GKR has a place in my heart, but it would be a lie if I said that my experiences with some of them make them just a bit more special to me. Kramer was one of those cats and I will forever cherish the special memories I have of him.
And now he is frolicking up there on the Rainbow Bridge with too many of his old friends…