A little white panther with an attitude to boot, Fontleroy is
as enigmatic as his name. Yup, it derives from "Little Lord Fauntleroy,"
but Gavin changed the spelling so he'd have a more typographic
nickname -- and as for the "Jones" part -- well , Gavin simply
says it sounded like a good, solid "pimp name." Right...so now
that that's all cleared up... Mr. Jones adopted Schooly
G about seven years ago, when Jerry's daughter, Arlene, took in
a stray cat and her litter. Font's sister, Mitzi lives with Judy
and Jerry, and though they haven't seen each other since kittenhood,
they still have many of the same habits (namely the characteristic
"head-butt" which signifies deep affection). As Font's favorite
human by far (Robin comes in a distant second), Gavin is most
frequently on the receiving end of these gifts.
Font possesses a truly unique personality -- equal parts mysterious
and macho, playful and aloof -- he often seems to be in his own
separate universe. Perhaps he's pondering a difficult physics
theorem, or simply plotting to break into the catnip drawer...we
just don't know. Over the years, we've toyed with the possibility
that he is actually an alien sent to earth in feline form to examine
the human condition. Skeptical? Try waking up in the middle of
the night to a pair of enormous black pupils framed by a ghostly
white countenance floating inches from your face. Did we mention
he's pure white with no markings and little pigmentation (perhaps
an alien clone)? Other telltale signs: he enjoys rolling in fresh
litter and crunching on Miller moths -- bizarre behavior which
can be easily explained away as alien experimentation.
All in all, it's an interesting close encounter with another
species! Font reminds of the ways in which cats are intriguingly
different from humans, but we also realized how painfully similar
we all are when he was diagnosed with kidney stones in 1998. Since
surgery was too high-risk, we elected to change his diet and monitor
him carefully. He was doing wonderfully up until a month ago,
when he had his first episode of renal failure. After he spent
five days in the hospital on an IV, we were thrilled to bring
him home, and have been slowly getting used to a daily regiment
of pills and a fluid injection (to keep him hydrated and give
his kidneys a break). We are lucky enough to have an incredible,
caring vet to help us with the transition. (Thanks, Dr. Daigler!)
Font has adapted amazingly, and is nothing short of a hero in
our eyes. We are happy for every day we can keep him with us and
watch him stretch in the sun, give himself a thorough bath, and
engage in other decidedly "un-alien" activities.
Interestingly, he and Electra have begun to form a stronger
bond since he came home from his long vet's stay, and seemingly
even more so now that Peanut is gone. Font graces Electra with
head-butts and the occasional nose-kiss, perhaps conceding, "hey,
big mama, you're alllll right!" But then, who knows, maybe it's
just another calculated experiment.
In Memoriam Fontleroy Jones Graham 1993-2004
We said goodbye to our incredible cat, Fontleroy, on February 1st, 2004. He was diagnosed with kidney stones in 1999, and we had been treating him for chronic renal failure ever since. As Font’s disease progressed, we all adjusted to a routine of daily meds and procedures to keep him as healthy and happy as possible.
In the meantime, Font repeatedly amazed us with his patience, personality, and passion for life! Even our wonderful vet, Dr. Christine Daigler, was dumbfounded by his endurance, and dubbed him the “superball” as he continued to bounce back from related illnesses. Font was doing quite well until early January, when his kidneys decided they’d had enough. We ultimately realized he couldn't continue in his extremely weakened state, and after making the painful decision to let him go, all four of us (two humans/two cats) had a hard time adjusting to a house that suddenly seemed a bit emptier.
Thanks to all of you who rooted for him, sympathized with us, and endured long explanations of exactly the right way to administer subcutaneous fluids to a little white cat with a typographic nickname! We’ll always remember him as our hero, and we’re grateful for everything he taught us about life.
< back to catnip corner
fontleroy jones a.k.a.