We found him at the MSPCA, a marvelous little manticore with a sign on the cage that said he played too rough. The sign did not mention that someone had cut his whiskers short. Who exactly was playing rough?
When he was little, he would fly up your back and perch on your shoulders. While I still kept goldfish, he was fascinated by them. As I changed the water and cleaned the tank, he would sit on my shoulders and try to reach the fish. Sometimes he would lounge on top of the fishtank, hoping.
He learned to hunt outside, and he did his job well. He chased the squirrels, caught a few birds, and killed many mice, too many to boast about. Possibly because of his early abuse, he was short-tempered, and it took years before he would let you pet anything but his head. And only a fool would try to sink a hand into his fluffy belly. But as he mellowed, he grew more affectionate, especially in the evenings. Somehow he trained me so that before I was allowed to fall asleep, I had to lie on my back so he could sit on my chest. It was so soothing to feel his breathing against my breathing.
Now our sweet kitty, Mucha (Moo-sha), has the house to herself. He mostly bossed her around, but they have also exchanged a few licks on the head. I’m glad the cats could be nice to each other. I’m glad I have lots of pictures of them to look at. I’m glad he was such a magnificent creature. But mostly, I’m sad. I want my cat back.