Gemini is many things. First it is a constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere and one of original constellations described by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The word Gemini means twins in Latin and is associated with the Greek mythological twins Castor and Pollux. Secondly, Gemini is the astrological sign of late spring from May 21-June 20, just before the summer solstice. I have many wonderful friends and relatives born under the sign of Gemini and they are fun, joyful and the life of the party. They bring so much life to my more staid Taurus personality. Gemini was also a NASA mission from 1964-1966 that explored the ability of humans to handle spacecraft that laid the groundwork for the first moon landing in 1969. Now there is one more personal meaning of Gemini and that is where I will begin my story.
Alexandra was in Houston at NASA filming an upcoming documentary about astronauts. She is the producer and has all the intense responsibilities that come with that job. One evening the crew was having dinner at an outdoor patio when a little black kitten jumped in her lap and spent the entire dinner snuggled up to her. Young and underfed, this kitten was a little lost stray with an amazing personality. Alexandra is a cat person like her mother and sister. Cats are essential to our daily happiness and equilibrium and she was desperately missing her own kitty. She took mercy on this little one and took it to an emergency vet to be checked out—she could not bear that it wasn’t eating and so underweight.
Well…things didn’t go well at the emergency vet and Alexandra felt this precious one’s life was on the line and it was her fault and so she did what all mama’s girls do —-called her mommy sobbing. My baby had all the responsibility she could take and needed her mama to take a burden from her overburdened life. I knew she needed me right then, so I did something I have NEVER done in my life. I booked a plane ticket to Houston, packed a change of clothes and boarded the flight less than two hours later. Fortunately, Houston is one of the few direct flights from my airport, so I was there quickly and picked up a rental car and was with her just a few short hours after her call. Thank goodness for smart phone and airplanes—I will never take them for granted.
She came to the car with the precious 5 month old kitten who just happily curled up in my lap as I started to call veterinarians to get a health certificate to fly her home with me the next day. It was Sunday and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task. But after several tries, I found Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital who could fit me in and issue a certificate and give a rabies shot so I could take the kitten on the plane the next day. The staff was so kind to me and quickly got me on my way to Petco to pick up an under-seat carrier for the plane and supplies to get us through the night. I then headed south to the NASA area to a pet friendly hotel where Alexandra joined me for the night. I couldn’t believe what a day it had been. One minute I was quietly drinking my coffee and reading. The next minute I was on a mission to rescue my daughter and this very special kitten.
The entire afternoon my girls and I had a texting chain to name our newest family member. I knew it needed to be something celestial. So after several different suggestions we decided on Gemini because of its multiple meanings and I liked the nickname Gemmi. And she is a gem.
The next morning, I put little Gemini in the new carrier and heading north to the far side of Houston to the airport. It’s a long way up the side of this enormous city. I passed the oil refineries with the steam making billowing columns against the pink morning sunrise. I could see downtown in the distance as I made my way up and around the toll road. It all seemed surreal as I thought back on the events of the last 24 hours. All went smoothly in the airport and Gemmi easily handled security and except for a few meows was perfectly content to be heading to her new forever home. Flying with a rescue kitten defiantly gave me full lifetime membership in the Crazy Cat Lady Society and now I have the baggage tag to prove it.
Caroline picked me up at the airport and Gemmi had a heroine’s welcome with a fancy ride in friend Anthony’s Tesla. We got her set up in the guest room until we could make sure she was disease and parasite free before we introduced her to my unsuspecting elderly cats Persy and Tim. Gemmi continues to be a spunky but very snuggly kitten. She has no fear but is happiest curled up in my arms while I read or watch TV. She is a cat lover’s dream kitten. I haven’t had a kitten in 12 years and I feel like a little girl again with my new kitten to carry around and play with.
Well, that was an adventure for the record books. Never in my life have I done anything like that. But you know it was fun, a big adventure and I never doubted that I needed to go. The Call came and I knew what I was to do. I got to find out if I was up for the mission. My daughter had the comfort of knowing her mother was there for her no matter how old she is. And little Gemmi is now a precious member of the family with a big story.