Echo – Part 2

22 10 2008

In the next few years, Echo managed to break the globe to a clock my sister & I bought for our parents’ anniversary, damage the mantle my dad built (both by sleeping where she is in the pic above & trying to “escape”) and basically leave cat hair every single place she could.

I always loved to come home, but when I came home and Echo wound her way to my room, meowed quietly and then jumped on my bed to sneak under the covers and sleep with me, I was in heaven. When my grandfather passed away, I came home and Echo did just that. But she fell asleep facing me, with one paw on my cheek. It took all of my self-control to not cry so hard as to wake her up. She loved me. And she knew I needed her. And then she moved on to explore the house.

Eventually, I graduated from college as did my sister from high school, and my parents moved to a new house and I into an apartment. By this time, or actually a few years earlier, Echo had become a scaredy-cat. Afraid of everyone & everything and we don’t know why. We can only assume one night that I wasn’t home the first year I had her, or at her little original farm home, something happened to her. One year later, I was moving out of that apartment and back home. My Mom did not want all that cat hair in her house, so she did some work and found a live-in care home that wanted a cat. My dad and I told her she was crazy – who is going to want a cat that hides all the time?? But my Mom held her ground. So we moved my stuff out of the apartment and my dad and I went back one last time to see Echo. My parents would take her the next day to her new home. I can’t even tell you how much I cried that night. My dad took pictures of me saying goodbye to her. I told her I loved her and that she’d be okay, and my dad basically forced me out the door to go home.

The next day at work, I got a phone call from my dad. He informed me that he and I my mom were “adopting” Echo, and I had to come sign “adoption papers” later that night. She was going to live with them – and with me too for the time being. I guess my parents finally realized how much I loved her, how much she needed us and how much we needed her.

So Echo moved in with the ‘rents. And she began her new life as a Pretty, Pretty Princess. Echo managed to not only gain Mom’s love, but she also would my dad around her little tail. But it started small. Tiny, considering where it went… What’s for dinner? Chicken on the grill? Love it! But Echo gets a small plate first. Almost any other grilled meat? Same deal. While Mom and I sit at the table with the side dishes waiting, my dad cuts up Echo’s portion for her. First. Now granted, you cooked something Echo liked, you had to endure the howling and “please feed me!” cries! But Mom and I laughed it off because we knew Echo LOVED him like none other. She tolerated us. But dad. He was THE MAN to Echo.

Echo lived an issue free life for a while, for the most part. Until the evil “Clyde” entered the picture. Clyde was my sister’s cat. She would sometimes bring him with her when she visited. Clyde just WANTED TO PLAY and be friendly. That’s just how Clyde rolls. And Echo, wanted NONE OF THAT. She would hide under my parents’ bed (closest way to get to my dad eventually) and Clyde would peek under the bed skirt. With my sister and I peeking on either side. And she would hiss at Clyde like her life depended on it. And Clyde was totally confused by the hissing cat under the bed. We eventually just sequestered Echo in my parents’ bedroom whenever Clyde visited.

A few years later, my parents decided to become “snow birds.” The spent April/May to September/October in Pittsburgh, the rest of the year in Florida. Echo tolerated the drive as best she could – she howled & hid. Avoided everyone at all costs. To the point that one time my parents were worried she slipped out (she was sneaky) and they lost her!!

Their original home in Florida was in the “no pet” section of the neighborhood. Mom was worried. My dad could have cared less. It’s not like Echo was always in the windows chasing people and animals! She still hid anytime anyone entered the house. Even me.

They were evacuated for at least two hurricane warnings I can think of. Each time, I got a phone call from Mom. “We’re going to be evacuated. So I’m trying to book a hotel. But it’s hard to get one that will take pets. So we might have to leave her behind.” And poor Mom had to hear me crying, “You can’t just leave her there!” while my dad is in the background saying “We’re not leaving the cat!” In the end, they took her with them every time. She was so scared every time that she didn’t cause a problem. Well, except for that one time that they apparently had to pry her from under the bed… but that was Echo.

More coming in Echo – part 3.



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