Jerry the Cat


My cat Jerry was a special cat. I had put posters around town with a picture of a lost cat and received a call from a woman in a trailer park on the river near Jefferson County Park. She said her husband had pulled this cat out of the river as he was trying to cross. He was not the cat I had been looking for and told the woman so. She said I could take him if I wanted. Knowing the flack I would get at home for bringing home yet another cat, I hesitated and said I would get back to her. I opened the car door and Jerry, as I later named him, jumped in. He was obviously my cat.  He lived for 22 more years. 

He was the gentlest, most polite cat I had ever seen. He was a handsome tuxedo cat and had a formal, dignified presence. He obviously had an owner, but no one claimed him. He acted like a mother to Rosie’s 4 kittens, licking them and carrying them around from place to place until they were old enough to be adopted.   

When I went off to ministerial school, Jerry stayed at the house in Iowa and I would come to visit once or twice a month. When Jim decided to join me in Kansas City, he gathered the cats (at the time there were 3, including Jerry) and Jerry jumped out of the car. Jim arrived without Jerry. I was going to go back up and look for him, when a friend who checked back at the house to see if he reappeared called, and sure enough he was there. I drove up and met her halfway and drove Jerry to his new home. I talked to him and sang to him all the way back.

Jerry was a peacemaker and was so accepting of Gracie, the cat who was my best friend at ministerial school. A number of cats have come and gone but Jerry was at least 23 when he left the earth.

In Kansas City, Jerry liked going across the street to a neighbor’s house. This neighbor was about to move and asked me if I had any connections to Iowa. A visitor with an Iowa license plate on his car was parked in our driveway.   He said his friend who lived near Jefferson County Park in Iowa had lost a cat who looked like Jerry! Coincidence?  It’s not that tuxedo black and white cats are rare but near Jefferson County Park and his familiarity with the neighbor across the street! His name had been Cassius after the boxer Cassius Clay. Well, maybe the similarity would be that they were both survivors.