Sabertooth is no more. He survived for over two years in the midst of many threats to life and limb--traffic, coyotes, disease and desolation--and he made us and this place his own. But it was the road that finally got him.
I have been accused of not liking him, calling him "stupid cat," for example. The truth is that he and I bonded in those late hours that I liked to be up and he liked to go in and out. In many ways he was getting to be like me: a little opinionated, a little curmudgeonly, wanting what he wanted because he wanted it. He would often take my chair if I got up for a few minutes, and he had an elaborate system of non-verbal communication to tell me when he wanted out or when he wanted more food--not the old food, fresh food.
The truth is I admired his independence, adaptability, and pure catness.
Above all, he was a family cat who enjoyed hanging around us, and put up with anything the kids could dish out. In moments of quiet when he would cuddle up next to Jeremiah or Isaiah he would reach out a paw and put it on their head or their arm. A touching expression of ownership and belonging.
I went out this afternoon to change the sprinklers and he didn't show up to tag along like he so often did.
I will miss him a lot.