I remember George as one of the first RAPS cats I photographed. Looking back through my files, I see he was the first cat. I didn’t know his name at the time or anything about him, but he was willing to take a moment out of his day of doing cat stuff in the front courtyard to sit on this table and blink at me, so I snapped his picture.
I asked about him and learned that his name was George and that he didn’t get along so well with other cats. When I came to do my volunteer shift I’d sometimes see him around, looking faintly exasperated. Poor guy. If he was human, I imagine him wearing one of those t-shirts that say “help I’m surrounded by idiots.”
He did like people, though, and it would be hard not to respond to him in kind.
Leslie tells me that he came to the sanctuary as a kitten nine years ago, with his two brothers and their mother. The mother is a feral named Maisie Gaye. She’s FIV positive, but fortunately didn’t pass it on to her kittens. Leslie describes George as “a lovely boy, but a bit of a troublemaker” who would get into fights on occasion.
George is sadly no longer with us. Having developed serious abdominal tumors, he became so ill that he had to be euthanized last month to save him from needless suffering.
This was something I found out only after the fact, when I wondered why I hadn’t seen him around in a little while. His portrait is still one of my favourites of all the ones I’ve taken at the sanctuary. I wish I’d had a chance to get to know him better and longer.