February 2nd, and still in Chicago! I won’t bore you with the details. It really doesn’t matter.
I spoke with my lovely and gorgeous and patient and understanding wife Amanda a little while ago. She was headed to bed after a long day getting Lester from his extended hospital stay. She did find some time to blog today though. Check out Maddie’s Minute for a peek into the life of an expat 4 year old living in Shanghai. I gotta say that I have a beautiful family!
Lester- The last note
After we had our little incident in Yanbu on May 1, 2003 we spent our last year in Saudi. It was a long year with lots of tense days and nights. Amazingly we stuck it out, worked our way through a nerve-racking job search and found a way to work in Shanghai. I had, in m head decided that our Saudi cat Lester needed to stay a Saudi cat and I had found someone to adopt him; a nice family with twin girls who would love him and take care of him.
Amanda had other plans though and one night after having a couple of glasses of wine for bravery she boldly told me that Lester was coming home with us. No questions asked! It was my job to figure out a way to get him to the USA, and then to China. I spent the next weeks calling Jeddah, Saudia Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines and…. CHINA to get our free cat arranged.
He landed safely in Illinois, then Arizona, then Oregon and at last in Shanghai. Over 3500 USD later he was safely tucked into his new home where he has lived for the last 2.5 years. Our free cat was now a multiple continent passport holder, and he still thinks I am the best lap to sit on, even if I have a lap top there at the time.
*Note that cat hair is very hard to get out of a keyboard.
Over this last Christmas we left him safely tucked in the house, with our housekeeper coming in every day to check on him, give him a few cuddles and some attention and of course food. He had grown dramatically since his summer walkabout in Saudi and his fat needed some more fat for company. Who are we to deny that! So, he was ok till the day we arrived when he slipped out of the house probably to go look for us. When we got home he was no where to be seen and I looked for him half-heartedly that first night knowing that he would just show up as he always had before. 3 very cold days later still no Lester.
Amanda was convinced that Lester had hopped a freighter for America knowing that we were there, and frankly I was a bit concerned that an obese black and white cat was going to crawl off a Chinese cargo ship in Portland, Oregon and make his way to my parents house. One more day went by and Amanda was now really peeved. She was going to fire the housekeeper who let him out, and I could see that we were going to probably adopt a horse or mule or something if we didn’t find Lester. My secretary helped our distress by informing our nanny through translation that Lester was missing and Ms. Zhou decided herself to take Amelia our 4 month old for a walk to look for our darn cat. Low and behold she found him in a bush, with his paw in a large rat trap. Lester seemed fine. Sore foot but fine. He walked on it for the first few days and then infection set in the foot that was in the trap. The darn implement of rodent death had done it’s damage and Lester spend 2 weeks in a Korean vets clinic (more money!) to have his foot amputated. This darn cat will not die!
Lester made it home today, as I said, and first thing he did was eat and eat and eat (as reported by Amanda on the phone) and then hide under the stairs thinking that he was going to have something else trimmed off. Last I heard though was that he was walking on his stump just fine and was making himself at home again. He will be fine and we will continue to dump resources into him as he is just one of us, and he keeps us entertained. I rely on him to complain about, and Maddie and Amanda love him as well. That’s what pets do for us… giving us something to care for, love and to come home to after long vacations.
I am sure that Jake the Moosehound is in heaven now awaiting Lester’s arrival and looking forward to those ceremonial butt sniffs and a cuddle. Jake, if you are reading this, I want to let you know that it will be a loooooonnnnnnnggggg wait for Lester. For some reason God thinks he needs to stay around a while.