This is a long overdue note to thank you for some things you may not remember.
1. Even though you were the smallest kitten in the little display at the New Orleans Cat Fanciers' Show, you were the only one who jumped at my hand and purred when I picked you up. That's why I took you home. I remember looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing Sara, my friend Betsy's granddaughter, holding you. Even then, when you might have been scared, you were sweet, letting Sara coo and pet you all the way home.
2. You managed to fit into the house without forever upsetting your older step-sister Grady. She asserted herself on the bed each night, of course, pushing you off several times, but once she settled, you joined us, lay across my neck, and fell fast asleep. You were such good company to both of us from the beginning.
3. When Grady fell ill and died suddenly before we moved to Sewanee, you mourned. For days, you looked for her, and cried, and seemed lost. Over time, you adjusted and became the lap kitty I had always wanted as a little girl.
4. In Sewanee, you have had exciting adventures. You have watched an owl snatch a Cardinal baby and fly to the deck rail directly above you, pivot, and soar off into the forest. You didn't even spring up into Everready cat position. You stayed still, and the owl never saw you. For several years now, you have watched Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird on the deck, gathering nest materials and hunting from the posts. You have consented to my company, even allowing one particular cat sitter to welcome you onto the sofa as she re-read Harry Potter. I think you actually liked her. You put up with the neighbor's little cat, who decided to live outside for a year and spent much of it on our deck. You never spat at her through the kitchen door, which I still find incredible. You knew she needed a temporary family.
5. You always have something to say. If I am sick, you hop right up on me and talk and talk and then purr. If I watch a movie, you hop right up on me and talk and talk and then purr. If I read, you hop right up on me and talk and talk and then purr. If I work, you jump up to nestle yourself between me and the desk edge, but you don't talk while I do my paper reviewing.