I've shared pretty much all of my life with at least one cat at any given time. They have brought me great joy and, at times, equally great sorrow.
This handsome boy is Cadillac dressed unhappily in his Christmas finery. Technically he belonged to Virgo but in fact, as all cat lovers know, cats choose the person they lavish their affection on and while he was quite fond of Virgo it was me he chose to spend most of his time with. When she left the nest she couldn't take him with her - most rentals won't allow pets and I suspect he would have fretted for me in any case - so he stayed with Pisces and me.
He was a rescue cat. All black except for two white hairs on one shoulder, he was found walking along a busy road when he was about eight weeks old and taken to a nearby vet. One of Virgo's friends was doing work experience there and was given the task of bathing and defleaing him. We had only recently lost our sweet Soxy to feline AIDS and I wasn't really ready for another but when K told us they were looking to rehome him I couldn't resist Virgo's pleas. When we went meet him he strolled out into the waiting room and climbed straight on to my lap and into my heart. He came home with us, already named Cadillac by the vet nurses who said he was so classy he deserved a classy name.
He stayed with us for the next eleven years and he was a delight. Affectionate, friendly and very tolerant, he accepted being dressed up for Christmas photos and other humiliations with good grace and even learned to walk on a leash. He accepted no nonsense from our two dogs and wasn't above giving a quick slap to the nose if he thought they were out of line but when the last of the two died he seemed quite lonely. While I had no intention of getting another dog then I only lasted about eight months before I found myself bringing home a puppy. Although he was a bit beyond games Caddy put up with her puppy nonsense and when Virgo prevailed on me to take in Angus - a rescue kitten from the vet she was working at - Cadillac accepted him quite happily too.
It seemed as if we would have many more years together but then he started to look ill. His fur lost its gloss and he spent all his time on my bed sleeping. We took him to the vet but there was nothing to be done. He had developed a kidney disease and all we could do was make him comfortable until the inevitable end came.
I still miss him deeply. These furry friends twine their way into our lives and without them my life at least would be less complete.