In 2004 we were living in San Francisco, and I was volunteering at the SF SPCA, when I came across a little black kitten named Gimli. One of a litter of kittens names after LoTR characters, Gimi (as we called him) was the least healthy of his siblings and spent a lot of his first few months in the bowels of the SPCA trying to kick his persistent upper respiratory infections.
Eventually, he came out into the kitten rooms, but as with so many black cats, he was regularly overlooked by potential adopters, despite his friendliness and a purr that just wouldn’t stop. I was enthralled by his cute little feet that looked like they’d been dipped in white paint, his soulful eyes, and that nonstop purr. As I came home from my volunteering sessions talking about him more and more, Scott finally said “why don’t we just adopt him?” and Gimi came to live with us when he was just shy of six months old. He thrived in our home and grew into a big, goofy, loving cat. And the purring didn’t stop.
The next year, we started fostering kittens in our home and made a wonderful discovery. Gimi absolutely loved kittens. He would hang out with them, clean them, play with them, and generally mother them in a way I would never have expected. He was never territorial with them, just patient and accepting. Over the year, dozens of kittens have gone on to their forever homes better socialized and more ready for their future lives thanks to him.
Gimi was a social, friendly kitty to humans as well, always coming into the living room with his tail held high to say hello to workmen and guests alike. Even my father, a lifelong dog person, decided Gimi was OK.
Gimi’s health had always been excellent, but sadly we had to say goodbye to him today at age 13, thanks to an aggressive and fast-moving cancer.
He was deeply loved, and will be deeply missed.