But he's probably dead. Being abandoned in a place where coyotes and hawks hunt freely tends to lead to that.
Sagremor wasn't always the friendliest cat, at least not as I remember. He wasn't my favorite - Guinevere and Arthur were - though my ex-girlfriend claims that he was hers (along with Tristan, from Gwen's first litter). As such, the first year-and-a-half of his life is lost on me. Upon preparing the leave Wilmington in early 2006, my ex and I made the decision to give up two of our cats. We had six, and trying to move nine animals (counting the three dogs) from North Carolina to California didn't seem like an ideal situation. So, using a strange method of determination, Kay and Sagremor were selected to be given to my ex's mother.
Now, as I implied, I didn't spend a lot of one-on-one time with Sagremor and even though I wasn't giving him up lightly, I felt that it was something that wouldn't keep me up at night. The day before he and Kay were supposed to go to their home, that all changed. For whatever reason - be it animal instinct or some other paranormal observation - both of those cats knew something was up. One at a time, they came up to me as I watched television, climbed into my lap, and pulled a cute act... cuddling at purring as if begging to stay. Obviously, given my attachment to my pets (and animals in general), they were loaded into the back of the truck with the other seven four-pawed members of my family.
Once in the West, misfortune forced all of us to settle in a small desert town in Northern Nevada. It was there that four of the cats - Isolde, Guinevere, Arthur, and Tristan - disappeared (I later saw Isolde and Guinevere hunting together in the middle of the desert a few miles away, but that's another story). Sagremor and Kay, however, stuck around as if to emphasize their loyalty to me for making the choice to remain loyal to them. I miss the others, sure, and often dream of them, but Sagremor and Kay became my favorites... and not just by default of them being the only ones left.
Sagremor was, by all accounts, a cuddling cat. He liked to hunt, loved the outdoors, but he always came back within a few hours to use the bathroom and take advantage of a free hand for a petting. He had an obnoxiously loud meow, but it was an effective tool to let one know that he wanted inside (or outside, depending). He loved being picked up, held upside like a baby, and having his stomach rubbed. And he had ridiculously long teeth... so long that I often called him "Vampire Cat." He also had a recurring problem with his wrists and could often be seen limping, particularly after attempting too high a jump (usually from the top of a refrigerator).
Like all cats, he hated traveling by car, but he tolerated it as we returned to Wilmington in the summer of 2007, settled in a sub-let, then settled again in our own place (barely 15 minutes from where he was born), then left again in October of 2009. He tolerated living in a garage outside of Fort Bragg while I tried to tie as many loose ends as I could before returning to the West.
Upon our return, I knew that I would need to place him temporarily with someone while I yet again found us a home. So I left him with my sister, thinking he would be well-taken care of and babied as much as he was used to. While I stayed with her, she let him (and Kay) in the house, got familiar enough with him so he'd sleep on her lap, and everything appeared to be going according to plan. But, on Wednesday, May 12, I left for Seattle to take care of some things. I last saw him cleaning his brother's forehead in my sister's living room. He looked happy.
She kicked him out of the house while I was away. In my head, I know what happened, because I know Sagremor very well. No doubt from his "let-me-in" meows being ignored, he took off in search of friendlier pastures... pastures that were never meant for him to find. I've been scouring the desert, all through the night for the past two days, in an attempt to bring him home.
There's a chance this eulogy is false, rash, and the result of too pessimistic an imagination, and I hope this to be the case. But in that there are no signs of him, combined with the strange behavior of his brother - behavior I saw in Tristan when Isolde disappeared - he's probably dead. And I will lose sleep over it.
*Serendipity smiles upon me... within 20 minutes of this post going up, the chubby bastard came home. He'd been gone for almost 8 days. I'll admit, I overreacted. But I'm happy and don't care if you sneer, roll your eyes, or laugh. And neither does his brother, who seems happier than I am.