Gershwin was born in 1996, he came to me in January 1997 as a 2-month-old kitten. He joined the white poofy kitty, Charlie, as well as Allie in the house. Paddy followed later that year.
His name became clear early on - with his piano-key white/black/white/black toes on all four paws. He was always dressed in a tuxedo and had grace and dignity.
He was a crowd pleaser at parties and our pet sitters always enjoyed his company.
All of my cats live indoors. Gershwin has always been an avid bird watcher. He would sit in the window and "hunt" from the windowsill. Poised, tense, tail swishing and making the characteristic hunter-chatter. His chatter was especially recognizable and endearing, earning him the nickname of "Twitter Kitty." Occasionally he would grace us with his hunter-chatter for the feather flirt pole as well if we made it sufficiently enticing.
In the early morning when everyone else (my husband) was still asleep, he would jump up on the kitchen counter to supervise my making dog breakfast. He would steal a few kibbles and I would pretend to be annoyed but really just laugh at the cat who loved dog food.
Gershwin was always game for catnip or catnap, whatever the situation presented. Agreeable and easy to handle, he was a blood donor in his youth, giving blood at the vet to help save the lives of critically ill kitties who came into the hospital where I work. He was the first cat I clicker trained and was wonderfully clever.
While I was in school, he would lie patiently beside me on the sofa, keeping me company and prodding me for attention from time to time saving me from the black hole that is writing undergraduate papers.
Last week after a few days of not eating his full ration, Gershwin earned himself a trip to the vet. Several days of tests led to the conclusion he had developed high-grade lymphoma. He had a good last few days at home, getting plenty of extra attention and delicacies to tempt his appetite. Today we helped him pass quietly to spare him any further suffering.
We will miss him very much.