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Psymon (the “P” is silent, as in “psychedelic” and “psittacosis”) is just the most recent of many feline friends to have ingratiated themselves unexpectedly but permanently into my life and heart over the past four decades. I first noticed him during the dead of winter 2018, when I saw him, often accompanied by an all-black cat I’ve named, ummm, “Blackie.” (The “B” is voiced, as in “bafflegab” and “blowsabella,” which, I’m sorry to tell you, isn’t the name of one of Old Possum’s Practical Cats. I completely agree that it should be, though.) I’d see the two cats hanging out in the barn, or running in the snowy woods, and sometimes, worryingly, on the road. All my best efforts to entice them onto the porch for food failed, and I’d resigned myself to the thought that they’d either freeze to death, be run over, or be killed by predators. “Can’t save ’em all,” I’d think to myself in an attempt to bring reason to bear, while I fretted from day to day. Story of my life.
But. One cold day, almost exactly a year ago, I opened the front door and found an orange and white cat waiting for me, glaring intently at the entrance and drumming his paws rather impatiently on the brick patio. The moment he saw me, tail waving high, he marched into the house and has never left.** Proof positive, I suppose, that any cat can be saved, once he decides he wants to be. (I think that’s pretty much the way it works for members of the two-legged species, as well.)More