It has been a year since Fagan passed away. I still miss him (hell, I broke down in tears talking with my mom about it today), but the pain has receded somewhat...I can talk about him -- most of the time -- without crying.
Fagan came into our lives memorably...Boe and I were newlyweds in March of 2001. We already had 2 cats in our apartment -- Frank was four? and Odin was still a kitten of about 6 months or so. I was working at the plasma center as a phlebotomist, and often worked until 8 at night or so. At 8 in the evening in March in Indiana, It. Is. Dark. I pulled into the apartment complex parking lot in my giant 1987 hoopty station wagon, parked it, and walked up the front steps to the building...
Where a black and white tuxedo cat sat on the top step. Since I don't think it's weird at all to have conversations with cats, I asked him, "Hey buddy, who do you belong to? Where do you live?" The unnamed cat looked up and me, meowed, and trotted to the side of the biuilding, where he sat down, looked at me, and meowed again. Well, I'm not ENTIRELY stupid, I can understand that much Cat Speak. So I followed him. He mosied his way to the back of the building, where the private patios were. He walked straight up to my back door, sat down, and murrrrrred at me. I tried to explain to him that we already had 1 cat over the apartment limit, that I couldn't take him in, and that I was sorry that I couldn't bring him in with me. He just sat there expectantly. I went into the apartment, explained the situation to Boe, who reminded me we already had one contraband cat, we couldn't have another. So I put some food and water outside for the patiently waiting tuxedo cat, and made plans to take him to the local cat rescue as soon as I had a day off of work.
The next night, the same thing happened...the tuxedo cat met me on the front stoop, followed me around to my patio, where I fed and watered him. Then the cat would sit patiently at my back door until I went to bed.
The night after that, it stormed. Sleet, freezing rain, 40 mile per hour winds, the works. Boe watched me set up a plastic crate with a flap to keep the rain out, towels as padding, and yet more food and water, carefully placed to avoid as much rain as possible. Boe then sighed, opened the door, and let the cat in. All Boe said to me was "Well, we'll just have to get a new place and get him neutered." The cat just waltzed in as if he had planned this outcome the entire time...which he did, no doubt!
We had just over nine good years with him. He was incredibly sweet. Boe always called him Fagan, but after a while I had given him quite a few nicknames: Fatfat, Buttbutt, Mr. Butt, Chubby Boy, Little Dude, Mr. Pink Nose, Mr. Man.
Fagan was amazing, and we were blessed to have him in our lives.