Christopher came into my and my ex-wife’s life from our favorite taco restaurant in 1991 or 1992. Eberly and I were eating at the now-gone Happy Taco in St. Louis, when one of the owners came up to us. “You seem like such nice people. Would you like to adopt a cat?” He was a tiny flea-ridden kitten with frizzy orange fur, found by the owners in the alley, but he was very cute, and of course we took him home.
For the first week or two Eberly brushed and combed him constantly, until finally he was rid of fleas. Our other cat, William, took to him right away. William had a bad habit of chasing and attacking Eberly’s bare feet as she walked around the apartment; clearly he needed a playmate. William and Christopher became fast friends, and they would often be found curled up together.
After the sweet and wonderful William passed away about seven years ago, I adopted two new kittens to keep Christopher company. Trjegul was a grey, striped fluffball, and Bygul a sleek little black kitty.
As Trjegul got older, she became Christopher’s girlfriend–a love that could never be, as both had been neutered as kittens. Still, Trjegul and Christopher loved to curl up together, and Christopher would occasionally make a pass at her, although neither really knew what to do.
Although Christopher was in charge of the cats, a responsibility he took seriously, he was not above having fun.
Mostly, though, Christopher loved me. He loved to sit in my lap or curl in my arms. At night he would settle down between my legs as I slept, and he was the one responsible for waking us up in the morning to make sure all the cats got their breakfast.
Christopher loved Kristina, of course–how could he not?–but with all he and I had gone through together, we were special buddies.
A few months ago, we took Christopher to the vet because he seemed to have trouble eating and his breath was bad. The vet extracted the bad teeth, and he was able to eat better, but the wound didn’t heal properly. After a biopsy showed he had mouth cancer, we decided to take care of him as long as he was able to eat and as long as he seemed to be in little pain. He was always a sweet, sociable kitty, and he loved to sit in my lap on the couch as we watched TV in the evening. We put him on a special diet that was easy to swallow, and he kept going. He slowed down, and didn’t play much, but he still loved to cuddle with us.
Yesterday Christopher wasn’t able to eat. He tried licking at the liquidy food the vet prescribed, and that he had been eating well for a couple of months, but it was obvious that he was in pain. We knew he was ready to go.
We took Christopher to the vet this morning, and he passed away peacefully in our arms. He was always a brave little kitty, and my best buddy. Kristina and I, and the other cats, will miss him very much.