How Eddie became Jack
By Marilee Morgan
Special to The Star Herald
In 2003, a young married couple, Pete and Kris Lento, adopted a 6-week old kitten from a friend. He had an orange coat and brown stripes subtly down his sleek body. He had a fine-line white mustache and a white bib down along his chest. All four feet were white with extra toes on both front feet. They named their new “friend” Eddie.
As Eddie grew, he displayed several quirks unique to him. He napped in the bathroom sink. He would jump from flat on the floor to a perfect landing on Pete’s shoulders — one of his favorite resting places. He was in love with shoes. Ed buried his head all the way in and rolled around wearing the shoe or boot on his head. He kept their household busy just taking care of “Needy Ed.”
When he was three years old, the Lentos had their first child, a beautiful little girl they named Paige. The new addition to the family had health issues and her doctor advised giving up their feline friend. So Eddie went to live at the local animal shelter. The Lentos hated to give him up and they visited him several times for a couple of weeks. And then, one day, Ed was gone. The family could only hope that he went to his perfect “forever” home.
One day in mid-March 2006, I adopted two kitties from the local animal shelter. One is female with a black and white luxurious coat. The other is male with an orange coat and has brown stripes subtly down his sleek body. He has a fine-line white mustache and a white bib down along his chest. All four feet are white with extra toes on both front feet.
I named my new “friend” Jack. He displays several quirks unique to him. He naps in the bathroom sink. Jack jumps from flat on the floor to a perfect landing on my shoulders — one of his favorite resting places. He is in love with shoes. Jack buries his head all the way in and rolls around wearing the shoe or boot on his head. Jack keeps my household busy. He thinks he’s needy.
He was in the hospital for some dental work scheduled for a 9 a.m. procedure. His doctor called to say that he was pushed back and I should call for him around 4 p.m. Then his doctor started to laugh. She said, “I’ll bet things are quiet around your house today!” He was letting them know, in his own unique language, that he was not happy being there.
He is happy to be home where he can “hunt and stalk” critters living in the tall grass and bushes in his backyard. He enjoys the outdoors so much that I had a chip inserted in him in case he wandered off. He never has. He is always close by. He doesn’t like cars. Most usually when I take him in the car, he goes to his veterinarian.
Within the last year, I started a new job working with people who I didn’t know. I am a receptionist whose job is, among others, answering the phones. I was there for a few months when Jack had a problem and started biting one of his front feet. I looked at it and discovered a toenail that had grown itself into a downward curve that had pierced the pad on the bottom of his foot. He needed help.
Since I work until 5 p.m. and his doctor’s office closes at 5 p.m., I asked one of my co-workers to tend the phone for me while I made a personal call. He listened to my story as I was making an appointment for Jack.
When I was finished, my co-worker began to ask things like, “Where did you get your cat? What color is he? When did you get him?” All the time I was answering his questions, he was grinning more and more. I thought to myself, “What is this guy’s interest in my cat?” Then he asked the big question, “Did they tell you his name?” I replied, “Ed.” His grin turned into an ear-to-ear smile. Then he said in the happiest voice I had ever heard, “That’s my Eddie!”
My co-worker’s name is Pete Lento. I also grinned and laughed and shared stories that we had in common. It would remind you of new parents showing off. The next day we brought pictures to share and some of them were identical, like sleeping in the bathroom sink.
One day I brought Jack into our workplace. Pete was ecstatic to see him.
Pete and Kris can rest easy with the knowledge that Eddie, now Jack, is having a good life. Jack runs, he jumps, he climbs, he chirps, he chatters and he loves. He also hunts in the tall grass of the backyard. It would be a sure thing to say that Eddie/Jack is happy and has had an experience of a lifetime.