If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen this yesterday, but this is why posting has been light so far this week. The picture below was taken just a few months ago.
I will add, since most of you no doubt recognize the name, that when he was younger, whenever you called his name, a few minutes later he would stroll up as though by purest chance. Probably he was in fact a sorcerer in disguise. He always had kind of that look.
Eighteen years ago, Chrestomanci strolled out of the woods and moved into my home. He was completely unfazed by the dogs. He spent his whole life being completely unfazed by everything.
Except the vet. He had “bad cat” in red ink on his chart — with four exclamation points. Fortunately he never got sick or injured.
Naturally he wasn’t a “bad cat” at home! I could always pick him up or pull him out from under furniture or lift him out of whatever cabinet he’d opened — he could open all the cabinets. When I was gardening, he’d ride around in the wheelbarrow or sometimes on my shoulder.
Chrestomanci always had great patience with all my dogs. He never once swatted a rude puppy with his claws out. He would tease puppies to chase him, then go up a tree — or if a tree wasn’t handy, he’d just stop and sit down, letting all the dogs skid to a halt around him.
When Chrestomanci was on the stairs, none of the dogs could go up or down. They’d stand and bark for me to make him move. When he occupied the giant dog bed, sometimes a brave dog would creep onto the edge of the bed and share, but mostly the dogs would bark to try to get me to move him so they could have the bed.
Once when the dogs found a black snake in the yard, they all barked hysterically and lunged forward and leaped back. Chrestomanci sat on a tree stump nearby with his back turned to the whole circus, embarrassed to even watch their hysteria.
He was a young cat for 17 years. But this year he started showing his age and gradually losing weight. Recently he started failing in some indefinable way, and last week I realized he had gone blind. On the morning of 10-23-2018, I lifted him onto his favorite windowsill so he could enjoy the sunshine. Then I went out and dug a grave in the woods, not far from the place where he appeared eighteen years ago.