Yes. He got killed. On Friday night. By another cat. It is disheartening and sad. He had a puncture hole in his neck. Poor fella probably bled to death, and wasn't able to even walk back home at least. I found him sprawled while walking the dogs on Friday evening. His eyes lifeless.
Dyan came over to help me bathe the dogs and cats that day. Instead we ended burying Crusty... life really knows how to flip you about...
Now, Crusty's story is one of nostalgia. He was basically the first stray cat that wandered into the back of the house sometime in Oct/Nov last year, all filled with mange around his ears and forehead. Scratching and licking. He just came and slept at the back. Not expecting anything. Just a warm place to sleep.
We eventually started feeding him. And that's when I gave him the name, because of his crusty mange. He was always friendly, from the beginning, not like how most cats run away with fear. Quite a dare devil in a way. He was almost 6 years old. And an old timer there.
I eventually got more involved with the Independant Pet Rescuers, and took him to the vet, got him treated, vaccinated and neutered. And he bloomed into this handsome old man. Fur all nice and fluffy and his true personality began to surface as well, now that he felt much better.
He used to come and eat, sleep in his cage when he felt like it, but he still remained a roamer. Male cat la... what to do. And he had this funny way of following me wherever I went, like a dog somewhat. And come and make his signature prrreeooww... yes, Crusty never meowed, he 'prreowed'. It was just the way his voice was I guess. So one could recognise it was him miles away.
He is also the one who made Scuttles comfortable enough to come and eat and hang out at the back. Scuttles is this orphan kitten which I found one day literally scuttling away from me. I went later with some food with Crusty in tow by my feet, left the food on the pavement, and she came and ate after we disappeared. The next day, she was at the back, with Crusty. So maybe he kinda gave her the confidence to come and eat at least, that I wasn't the monster she thought I was. She still scuttles away, but she does allow me to get a little closer than the first time I met her. I have never managed to hold her, but thanks to Crusty, she is still here with me.
These past few months, Crusty was basically the ring leader of the cat-pack-at-the back. I rescued Jub-Jub from the side of the highway, on the same island where Julie and Bobo, the mommy and puppy, were abandoned. He was there one night when I went to feed the doggies. And Roadyboy was rescued after being run over right in front of our eyes one night after one of our Beckett shows. Crusty would come like a big boss, get irritated by Jub-Jub, scowl angrily at Roadyboy, and play around with Scuttles, his favourite. Then he would disappear.
Simone and Crusty had this funny relationship too. He would just plonk himself on the kitchen floor, and Simone will circle him like as though she were rounding up her prey, and growl at him. Adn he would just sit there. Psychotic cat.
Somehow Crusty also found his way to the front of our house. The past week before his death, he used to come to the front gate and preow away until I let him in. Tori and Skeeter will look in disbelief, I'll open the gate, and Crusty will just saunter in, all proud and oblivious that two dogs are watching him come into their territory. But Tori and Skeeter were already used to him and his afternoon sprawls in the hall and under the dining area anyway.
One of the days a few months ago, he came home injured, after being away for 2 days. Had a cut on his lower lip which needed stitches, and his fang was chipped. He had his surgery, and was ok to eat normal food within a few days... in fact... the chipped fang was another point of proof that it was Crusty boy lying there on the alley pavement... there I was wishing I was wrong.
He had a fluffy mane and body, with stumpy legs, almost cute and child-like. And his tail was a piece of fluff too (Jub-Jub's fave past time-> whacking/biting Crusty's tail). I suspect he had some sort of Persian cat blood in him la. He was a normal grey tabby cat. But a gorgeous one. He had huge eyes, and a big nose. Which is why I used to call him Vadakethu Crusty. Now, Vadakethu is my grand dad's family name on my dad's side. Most of the Vadaketh's had big noses, including my grand dad, my dad... me to a certain extent. And Crusty had one too.
He had a funny walk. He always had this jerk incorporated in each step, and with his fluffy mane, jerky walk, stumpy legs and big nose, he looked like quite a character, and he always made me laugh when I saw him walking towards me...
I know that if he could have walked back that night, he would have. And at least died at home.
I only found him almost 18 hours later, thereabouts. Because he would have been killed in the wee hours of the morning. I went out at 1am to call for the gang at the back, all were there except him. Then in the morning, I put the food out for him, and when I returned form work, it was untouched. I was slightly worried, yes, but he has done it before, and I didnt think he would be actually killed, dead, lying lifeless.
And I think I know who his killer is. This Mafia cat named Naughty (by me). He is this mean looking old cat, and Crusty and him always never liked each other anyway. There was this unspoken dislike whenever they met their eyes, and Naughty used to come more often of late and steal Crusty's food. So I am 90% sure it's him.
One thing I did not do and took for granted was take a picture of Crusty. I put that off and now, no one will be able to see what a funny looking gorgeous loving cat he was. I will always have him in my memory. He is the most well behaved, obedient, faithful cat I have ever met to date. Like I said, almost like a dog.
Buried him in the walkway area behind the house, where he used to hang out. By a tree. So I can visit him whenever. At least he is buried close to home, in his area. At least I managed to give him that.
Old Man Crusty, am missing you already. So are the other kitties. Sorry I wasn't there for you. You take care old boy. God bless you.