Courage for Gord

FullSizeRender 3We adopted a kitty and I love him. I named him Gord.

FullSizeRender 5He said

So, as Emelia has told you, we have added another member to our family. It all started this week when Emelia was at her friends down the street for a sleepover. Their Dad was walking home from our neighbourhood pub the night before and a cat followed him home to his house. Emelia fell in love with the cat and immediately began pleas for us to take her in to our home. The cat followed her back from the neighbours the next morning and camped out on our front porch, and as far as Emelia was concerned, that meant we could keep her.

IMG_3004As we began to try and find her owners posting everywhere we could, we explained to Emelia that the cat might belong to another family and just got lost. Once we Danielle asked Emelia how she would feel if it was were kitty and some other girl took it, she was understanding of the process we needed to do in order to try and find where her home was. Between calls into a service that helps try and find animals current families and then after failing that, adopting the animals with new families, Midnight as Emelia had deemed her, disappeared—we assumed had gone back to her home. A day later, Danielle noticed the cat going in and out of the house of the neighbour who lives behind us.

IMG_3006All this kitty talk among our family and we realized that maybe we were ready to have another feline friend in the house since Skylar’s departure from our lives. So, then the search began. Daniele started to reaching out some of the rescues services in the city to see if there were any kitties up for adoption. It turned out one of them was having an Adopt-A-Thon this weekend. Danielle and Emelia went and fell in love with a black cat and started to enquire about the adoption process. The really frustrating part was – as much as we understand wanting to make sure the cat is going to a loving and suitable home –the process was almost (and in our case) prohibitory. Seems the cat that we fell in love with had a brother and sister with him and they do not separate siblings. Over and above that, the woman Danielle spoke with was overly rigid about the sort of expectations they had about our home. So, in the end we decided to cut our losses with that organization.

FullSizeRender 4The good news is the pet stores in the city now sell cats that have also been strayed or rescued, so after a few minutes Danielle and Emelia today found a wonderful ginger coloured male kitten that was only three months old that the mother had been abused and then abandoned while pregnant. After a few text messages to me we agreed that this lil’ furry friend should join our family. And Emelia had already chosen a name for him – Gord – which she decided upon to honour Gord Downie the singer of a band we love called The Tragically Hip who announced in May that he had terminal brain cancer and was performing a string of shows that ended with a final show in Kingston last night. It seemed with Mommy and Daddy talking about what an amazing person he is and how many people love him, that Emelia wanted to pay tribute to him. I think it’s a perfect name.

IMG_2980Last night as I mentioned was the last concert of The Hip’s and thankfully after we found out it was sold out before we could get tickets, the CBC announced that they would broadcast the concert live. Once we knew that was happening, the next step was to borrow Dad’s projector so that we could we watch the concert out on the front porch because it seemed like the right place: Sitting with the people I love on the porch that convinced me we were going to buy the house, listening music—the thread that through us all. It was a very emotional night as we saw the band put on an amazing show and we watched someone when faced with his more immediate mortality, going out swinging for the fences.

IMG_2987This week marks the second birthday without our friend Gabi who we lost to cancer. Linda, our sister-in-law is in her own battle with the with the disease too. And one of my close friends Charlotte just had a malignant tumour removed from her. As we sat and watched Gord Downie stare into the face of the same horrible disease and firmly flip it off, it was a very heavy moment for us all. But one I am so glad I was able to take in. Especially in that setting. Because i recognized that even in the shittiest of circumstances, there is still joy you can rip tearfully out of the grasp of something much darker and more sinister. And the people sitting around you, in those moments are the ones worth dying for. Because the reality is, for those people that you love – the ones you share your life moments with – there is never enough time.

IMG_2977The phrase Courage for Gord based on one of their songs Courage was something that became a tagline of this tour and his battle. For me it took on more meaning last night as we sat together and watched it. I realized how fortunate we are to experience life – no matter how short (or long), that it comes with a start and an end, that makes all of these moments mean so much more. And I hope I have very same courage to go out swinging for the fences just like Gord is.


FullSizeRenderShe said

What a whirlwind week since returning from our vacation. It started out with Emelia having a sleepover at one of her best friends Marin’s place. The girls were over the moon excited that they got to have this time together, the night was a huge success and they came home with some big news. The big news was that they had found a stray that had become attached to the girls especially Emelia. The cat was well taken care of other than being quite thin. We looked for a collar but no luck, Emelia of course was begging for us to keep this little cat. I explained to her that there was no way we could, this cat clearly belonged to someone but she could help me find its owner and we would take care of her until we found her home.

IMG_2992So began the search, I posted ads on every place I could think of, all social media, every cat rescue site I could find and online classified sites. Sadly that didnt bring any results but shortly after the little girl moved on from our care I saw her happily lounging and going inside our backyard neighbours home. So thankfully she seems to have found her way home.

FullSizeRender 2But what this little cat started was a conversation that had been coming for a while. We had been speaking about adding to our family to a pet that would be a strong connection to Emelia, we talked about dogs but relized that they would not fit in our lives. We adored our cat Skylar and there was a hole around here without her. So the conversation was officially in high gear, we were going to adopt it rescue kitten.

IMG_4034The hunt was on for the perfect kitten for our family, we found a few that we loved but it was proving harder than I though to find a pet. We found a beautiful black boy cat at one rescue but going about adopting him proved to be obtrusive and in the end we opted to walk away from a sweet kitten because of the policies of the rescue organization. So we were looking again, Emelia and I looked around a lot today and still didn’t find the same connection to a kitten. Emelia was off to gymnastics and I told her I would continue to look, if I found the perfect little boy I would pick her up early and we could go adopt him, if not we would continue to look around. Well I went to a few places until I ended up back at PetSmart that had a number of rescue kittens for sale. It didn’t take long to find our little boy. He was one of three boys and the one just stood out, he was snuggly and loving from the first time I picked him up. There was a sweet letter from the foster mom of the kittens describing each of the boys personalities and I knew then we had our kitten. So Gord Downie Teeter is now part of our family, he is the sweetest ginger kitty so we have another ginger in the house!

IMG_4033The name for the newest member of our family was chosen by Emelia, we had been speaking to her a lot lately about why the Tragically Hip was such an important part of our Canadian culture. I told her that Gord Downie was our own Canadian poet, the band was Canada’s and Canada’s alone, they spoke to Canadian culture, history and what makes us all connected as Canadians. And that as a band they had stayed true to their Canadian roots. When Gord announced that he had terminal cancer in May and that in spite all obstacles the band would do a Canada wide farewell tour, Gord was going to do what he loved to the very last moment. He is a true test of what it is to be Canadian, never give up, live life to its fullest and do it with modesty and dignity.

IMG_4020The concert last night I watched with my family, there were tears, smiles, more tears, lots of singing and trying to take in every single second of that amazing concert. I hope that this is how everyone lives their lives, and it was a moment in Canadian history that the country was truly united, almost every person I knew was watching that concert, it flooded our social media and it is a moment I know I will never forget. Thank you Gord, for everything.

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