Nash Bridges, despite what her name suggests, was a lady. We just didn’t know that when she was a kitten. My mother found a litter of strays and when animal control came to collect them she asked the vet to pick out two boys (one for myself and one for my brother). So, while discussing possible names mom suggested we name the cats after her TV boyfriends, Walker, Texas Ranger and Nash Bridges. A few months later when both Walker and Nash were taken to be neutered, the vet gave my mom the surprising news: Nash was a she, not a he. But the window of time for a name change had long past.
As I will claim until the day I die, and probably after that as well, Nash was my cat. If you ask my mother or brother they would also claim the title. (Such is often the problem with family cats.) They are wrong, but this does serve to highlight the extent to which she was cherished, because nothing shows adoration more than a fight over ownership. In all honesty my mother probably (definitely) spent the most time caring and tending to Nash. While I loved her deeply from the moment we met, I was 8 and devoid of any sense of responsibility for myself, let alone another living, breathing creature. My brother, age 9 at the time, was in a similar boat (certainly not the same boat because we were terrible sharers). But just because she fed, nurtured, and covered all of Nash’s medal expenses, that doesn’t mean Nash was my mother’s. Nash slept in my bed for the longest amount of time and played with my hair (especially if it was wet and freshly washed).
My brother’s claim to ownership was a bit more far-fetched. He believed I gave up all rights to her when I abandoned her to go to college. Please note during these same four years my brother’s permanent address changed more often than some people’s Facebook statuses and the times he was living back home he was not caring for anyone or anything including himself. It was a rough time in his life and Nash was there for him.
A week after her death, I received a call at roughly 3am. It was my brother calling to tell me he loved me, and that he knew I took great care of Nash. He was, clearly, drunk. He confessed to hating me when I first stole Nash 3 years ago, and brought her to live with me in my first apartment after college, but he had forgiven me now. He blamed himself for never visiting when he knew how old she was getting. He asked for a copy of a recent photo of her, so he could put it on display in his and his girlfriend’s place. Yes, of course, I assured him.