Last week we said goodbye to our cat, Jesus. Now, some of the (very few) weird communications I’ve had over the years on this blog have related to the name of our long-lived and much beloved feline and all I can say to those who find themselves troubled by his moniker is that there is nothing inherently wrong (and certainly nothing disrespectful) with Jesus as a name, just as there was nothing wrong with Jesus, the cat. Jesus was 19. This is a long time to share one’s life with an animal.
He was Tom’s cat, when I met Tom.
A determinedly outdoor animal, Jesus lived out the majority of his years with Tom and I, in different cities. He was a particularly canny cat: he avoided roads and cars, saw off countless local feline interlopers, and devised his own unique way in and out of our first floor Edinburgh flat via a plum tree and the bathroom window.
(those are knitted mice, not real ones)
Jesus was resourceful and resilient. He once went missing for over a fortnight while on holiday at Tom’s mums, in St Annes. When a neighbour finally responded to our “have you seen Jesus?” flyers, he was reluctantly captured in a nearby garden. Later, he disappeared about a month before our move from Edinburgh (perhaps he didn’t want to leave). Tom had despaired of ever finding him, but through a chance encounter we discovered Jesus, happily being fed full cooked breakfasts by a neighbour who had renamed him “Fatso” and refused (at first) to believe that he belonged to us (Tom had to provide photographic evidence before she’d give him up).
Jesus was more than ordinarily interactive. He was one of the only cats I know who a had a trick that he would perform on command (waving back at you, like a Chinese lucky cat, if you performed the same gesture). It’s hard to know with cats, but I also suspect that Jesus had a sense of humour. Certainly he tolerated ours.
Jesus was remarkably hale and hearty. Over the course of his long life, he never suffered a single serious health problem – until his final months.
Goodbye, Jesus. Here’s to your long and happy life.