The Tale of Chaucer
It was a frosty, cold Thanksgiving eve in ’93 when Keith and I decided to take a walk through our neighborhood in Shelby County, Indiana. We heard a kitten crying and stopped. A little flea-bitten, frost-bitten, battle-scarred ball of golden fur, climbed up Keith’s leg and convinced him to take him home (even though we had a cat, Velcro, at home who was very used to her own way). Keith didn’t want to hurt Velcro’s feelings by bringing a stranger into the house, but we couldn’t leave him out in the cold. We decided to smuggle him into the house in a paper bag. That didn’t fool Velcro. She saw the bag move and then out popped the little kitten. She ran up the stairs, wanting nothing to do with him. After a flea bath and a good meal, he told us his name was Chaucer and he had chosen us to be his family. After many months spent upstairs, Velcro decided that having Chaucer around wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was nice to have someone to sit with and play with while Keith and Lauren were at work or on vacation. For his part, Chaucer liked having an audience for his tales and was sure to run to the door when we got home to tell us all about his day (even tattling on Velcro every once in a while). In 2001, Velcro went to heaven very suddenly just before we moved from Indiana to Maryland. Chaucer had to adventure to a new state by himself, but he buckled up in his “car seat” and drove to his new home with Lauren. The only problem came when we passed over the Appalachian mountains and his ears must have popped as we were going downhill. He soon settled into the new home and became known as the “Lion King of Oxbow Place”. But he was lonely, and so Isabeau and Thistle came into our lives. This worked out very well for all of us. Lauren had Chaucer, Keith had Isabeau, and Chaucer had Thistle. Thistle loved Chaucer and followed him everywhere, slept next to him and made sure he took care of her, you see Thistle only likes cats, not people. In 2004, the next big adventure occurred when the whole family moved to Colorado. Chaucer and Thistle rode with Lauren and Isabeau rode with Keith. Driving cross-country was quite eventful since Thistle hid under the bed and in one case we had to take the bed apart to get her out. Thistle would sometimes cry in her kennel, and Chaucer would soothe her with a few tales so she wouldn’t be so scared. After 4 days, we arrived in Colorado and Chaucer was fascinated by the new birds and animals in our new home. There was a tower with 180 degree view and lots of sun so he could take naps in sunshine most of the time. Soon the years passed and Chaucer became a very old gentleman. His gimpy leg started giving him trouble and he couldn’t see or hear as well. Keith and Lauren found a great place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and moved the family to their new home in Sedona Hills. That’s where Chaucer discovered mule deer. He’d never seen anything like them before and they were right outside his window! Chaucer loved lazing in the sun with Thistle and Isabeau. One night in late June we all knew the end was near. Isabeau and Thistle stayed with Chaucer, and Thistle purred so loud and long that night that we knew she was saying good-bye to her best friend. The next day Chaucer went to heaven and will be greatly missed by everyone in the family.
– Tale told in loving memory by Lauren Kuczka
Chaucer Kuczka 1993 – 2011
Lion King of Oxbow Place MD and Roma Valley CO
Mighty Hunter in the wilds of Indiana
Gentleman Cat of Sedona Hills Colorado
He Had Many Tales to Tell