An exceptional cat has left the Earthly building. This was an handsome gentleman, able to effortlessly win over countless human female hearts (female cats--not so much from I had observed), but also won admiration from cat non-fanciers. They had to admit it. He was big, elegant and sophisticated.
Anyway, ten years earlier, at the local animal shelter, I had been looking for a replacement cat. It was less than two weeks since my PREVIOUS (capitalized for the memory impaired) cat Macguffin had died suddenly in the middle of the night. I also, at one time had a cat named Courageous. He was not courageous by any stretch, and fled the coop. Macguffin and I had an unusual relationship in that he was a grouch, and did nothing to hide it. He dealt out affection sparingly, as if it was only being dangled before us humans in order to secure favors, treats, or maintenance. I had it in mind that I wanted to get a black cat...mainly because they look so cool (bad luck be damned) and they go with everything. They make any piece of furniture that they sit on look cooler, and they evoke a sense of mystery, etc.
When I inquired if any black cats were to be had/adopted, someone there showed me a cage, isolated from the other cats. Inside it contained a striped cat, and what looked like several black cats curled up together. I was told that there was only one black cat in there. I took a quick look, couldn't decide and went home. The next day (I think), I called up and went back to take another look at the black cat, with the plan to adopt him. He was somewhat reluctantly pulled out of the cage and held out towards me. The TEMPORARY name they had for him was Mushball, because he was so mellow. That moniker had to go. Well, he bit my hand very gently (no pressure at all on the bite) and looked up at me as if to say..."Uh-oh. Is that frowned upon?" It was then that I decided on the spot to bring him home. He had attitude!
At home, he was very well-behaved, as one might expect (or hope) any houseguest would be. At one point, I let him know that this was his home, and that he could relax and be himself. Apparently, that could be likened to flipping a lightswitch inside him, because within minutes he was racing around, barreling into doors, taking flying leaps, doing cartwheels (ok, maybe not cartwheels) and all sorts of tomcatfoolery. Eventually, he settled in and we became best pals. His name was determined by reading off a list of names for a male cat in an even tone of voice. When I said "Fabian", he lit up. And Fabian you shall be.
He averaged around 18 pounds, so when he jumped up on your lap, you knew it. Spoiled? Of course. When he walked around in here, he looked like a panther. He had a slow and elegant way of walking.
Everything was going great until about 5+ years ago, when Fabian began to have seizures. Seizures in animals, not unlike an epileptic seizure in an human I suppose, are horrific to witness. The cause was unknown, but the medication proved miraculous. He slowed down a little bit, but still liked to run the length of the place (usually post-poop), as well as all manner of playing (cat owners will know).
Fabian and I had telepathy, and I would test it every now and then. Without saying anything, knowing full well he was asleep or just in another part of my place, I would ask him to come and hang out. Might take a minute or two...sometimes less than that, and he would jump up, or at least come up to me. When I was out for an extended period of time, he would sometimes greet me at the door, and in his way, be very talkative...as if he had lots to fill me in on.
He was a great companion, and would snuggle up and generate a lot of warmth. He would also jump up on my chest and do the kneading/massage/purring thing for at least 10-15 minutes, which often relaxed me to the point of passing out. Maybe it was all part of a plan...
Here then, some choice Fabian moments:
Once, I was running late for a doctor's appointment, and Fabian was insistent on playing and acting silly. In the way people speak to pets, I said, "Not now. I've got to find this form." He gave me a sarcastic look, walked immediately over to a stack of same size unopened envelopes, took a swing at the middle of the stack, and the EXACT envelope with the referral slip fell onto the floor before me.
"You're good!" I told him.
Another time, I was feeling rather depressed about any number of things and went into the bathroom. As I glanced into his litter box, there was a perfectly pooped-out smiley face. I burst out laughing. Such hidden talent!! Sorry, no photos.
Thirdly, I was on the phone one time, sitting on the floor and hearing something unnerving/depressing and Fabian came over and patted me on the shoulder with his paw as if to imply that it would be all right.
Lastly, and this is miraculous. The other night (Thursday), I got home around 9pm. Fabian was waitng at the door. We hung out for about an hour, and nothing seemed particulary different, as it was hard to gauge his response/reaction to the latest additional medicine, other than he appeared to hate the taste. Then, I decided it was medicine time. I was giving him his nightly medicine dosage(s), and he was laid back and looking up at me. He started to emit very human-like sounds, and said, I SWEAR (in a very similar sound/human voice approximation as the youtube video of a huskie saying the same thing) "I LOVE YOU." I was taken aback, and said that was very sweet and I loved him too. I set him down gently. He staggered into the living room and emitted 3-4 VERY LOUD guttural yowls. I'd never heard him like this and gently put my hand on his back. Again (I SWEAR I SERIOUSLY HEARD THIS), a very (pained) voice emerged from him. RO-B-ER-R-T!!
I gently scooped him off the floor and held him in my arms/lap while I sat in a chair? "What's wrong, Fabe?" A few more moans, and very deep breaths (he was not maintaining eye contact, but was instead looking skyward) and he seemed to be gone...right in my arms. He went completely limp. Perhaps, re-reading this has made it sink in.
In conclusion, what a magnificent animal. I always told him how lucky I was to have found this particular black cat who was there for me on way too many occasions. Our pets do love us, too.