If I’m not on Facebook anymore, I want to take time to celebrate the things in life that I otherwise would post there, but in a way that is better suited to this blog of mine. I went through my pics and remembered this fluffy moment. This handsome gato is Napoleon. He is the sleekest and blackest of cats. He looks like he wandered out of the Wakandan ancestral plane. He is, without any doubt, my girlfriend Katharine’s actual god damn witch’s familiar.

Napoleon possesses a grace and dignity (and indignant reaction to being manhandled) that really read as being human. He wandered out of the wilderness into Katharine’s life when she was leaving in the mysterious East, and he made the journey with her to Illinois. He is an outdoor cat and will be no other thing as long as he lives. He does not strictly belong to her, as I say to the children – he really just comes and goes as he pleases, occasionally deigning to privilege us with his presence. The kids are deeply bemused that I insist on maintaining that he is, in fact, a wizard who has chosen the form of a cat.

(“Do wizards drink out of the toilet?” asked Katharine’s youngest, without skipping a beat.)

I will relate one story which I think sums him up perfectly, besides the picture, in which he is simply sitting on my notebook in protest, demanding affection. I was approaching Katharine’s house in the dark on foot not long ago. It was temperate outdoors and quiet, and a good night for the short walk over there. The neighbors have a porch light which clicks on when the motion sensor detects somebody moving along the driveway. It was pitch black out, and as I walked up the driveway, that light came on and, boom, there was Napoleon at my heel, as if he’d just appeared there by magic. He’ll often slink out of the bushes two or three houses down the block and trot along to accompany me to the house, or the girls home from the school that is literally right around the corner.

Katharine says that if ever there was a cat who looked like more than a cat – a powerful mage in disguise, or a trickster god – that cat would look like Napoleon. He really has made me see why the oldest stories shroud cats in mystery.