Last Friday we lost our beautiful orange tabby, Cheshire Cat, fondly known as Chessie.
He was almost fifteen years old.
He was a loving, gentle, playful soul, who was fond of cuddling on my lap, and giving me "kisses" on my arm.
I have a unique way of calling each of my cats, their own "homing song", and it started with Chessie:
"Cheshire Cat, Cheshire Cat, Where ya at, where ya at? Chesa-peek-a-boo, where are you? Come on you!"
He had many nicknames: Monsieur S'pooplebutts (because of his unfortunate accident on the way to our home as a kitten), Chesapeake-a-boo (Chesapeake is a train name, Chessie for short, just like my kitty - and their symbol is a little kitten napping), Spunkers (? who knows why), Cuddle-bug (because he was one)... And pretty much anything that came out of my mouth while I was enjoying petting him.
Chessie did not like snow. He liked to drink water at night from my cup on the windowsill above the headboard of the bed, and would jump up on my head to get there. He got along with the other cats and our dog, mainly by leaving them alone. He liked numbles (numb-uls) which was canned cat food. He was a beggar when it came to food. He loved cheese and was always underfoot when I was grating it (which I seem to do a lot! - I like cheese too).
We live way out in the country, and he was an indoor-outdoor cat. But he was always in at night. He liked hunt and explore the yard, but never went to far afield. When I worked he would be outside all day, and being a "redhead" his ears would get sunburned and crisp on the edges. I took to rubbing sunblock on them in the mornings and that helped.
Chessie was mostly my cat, but sometimes would jump on hubby's lap and cuddle too. It has only been a few days, but it already seems odd not to have him following me around wherever I am in the house, bathroom included. Somehow I keep expecting to see him just around the corner.
When he was younger he would hide when we had company, it has only been in the last few years that visitors would see him. He also grew very vocal in his older years, letting us know he was hungry or when something bothered him.
The past six months he grew very thin, always wanting to eat, and still losing weight week after week. I knew he was not going to last long. But I don't want to dwell on that, and took no pictures of his decline. I am going to remember him as he was most of his life, the orange and cream fur, soft striped tail (I loved to hold his tail while he sat on my lap) beautiful orange eyes, my Wonderland kitty, Cheshire Cat.
Above are a few of the posts I have written about Chessie.
Now, whenever I look up at the night sky, and see the waxing crescent moon, which for most of my life I've called the Cheshire Cat Moon, I will know that my Chessie is smiling, looking down on me from his tree branch in the heavens.
Farewell, Cheshire Cat.