Most of you that have met him are probably not-so-secretly relieved that you'll be able to visit our house without worrying about being trapped in the bathroom by Meanest Cat In World. You can cheer and revel amongst yourselves, I'm just a little verklemmt.
And for as mean as he was, Chico still had a sweet side. He almost always slept with us at night, and would rarely wake up at cat o'clock to do those things that most cats do - walk on your head, bat jewelry off of the dresser, play balancing games, yowl, scamper. Instead, he'd contently snuggle up behind Mike's legs, risking getting kicked in the head (Mike's a twitchy sleeper), and would only get up briefly for food before returning to bed.
Of the two of us, Chico loved Mike much more. Or, at least, he was more affectionate with Mike. This really used to upset me, being a cat person and all, but I eventually came to accept that it was not my lap the cat wanted. Chico would follow Mike from room to room throughout the weekend. If Mike was in the basement, Chico perched on a step and watched. If Mike was in the dining room, Chico sat on a chair and watched. And if Mike was just finishing up in the shower, Chico would start yammering at him as soon as the water stopped running.
That's not to say that Chico and I didn't have our good times. He'd sing along whenever I whistled "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Okay, so maybe he was really protesting and maybe I was antagonizing, and maybe I just figured out why he felt so compelled to jump on my head. Still, we had our moments - early mornings, the cat would snuggle up to my chest in-between snooze alarms. Winter evenings, Chico would wait patiently for me to get settled with knitting and a lap blanket before wedging himself in my lap. Lazy summer afternoons, Chico and I would sun ourselves on the deck. I never got the same treatment from him that he gave Mike, but I learned to love what I was given.
I hope we've done the right thing and I hope he's no longer in pain or angry or being just plain mean. He wasn't really a good cat, I'll be honest, but I loved him just the same.
Chico, April 1996 - October 2009