He came into my life as a tiny, 2-month-old refuge baby, brought home in a cardboard box by my ex. The very, very best birthday present I could ever have wished for (and it's never been bettered). He miaowed, asserted his personality, staked his claim to my life, my heart.
He grew (boy, did he grow!), from a big-eared freako-kitten (though always unbelievably cute) to a truly handsome elder statescat. He is indeed stately (not to say portly), but he can still be playful, for whole minutes at a time if the rolled up ball of tin foil is shiny enough, if the patissier's ribbon is wavy enough.
He likes to sleep on my bed, now that there's no competition. He curls up, sometimes at my feet (sometimes, less comfortably, ON my feet), sometimes in the small of my back, sometimes right up near my pillow. I don't care that this probably skeeves out half of humanity. Me, I love it. He makes me feel less alone.
He also likes to sleep on C's bed, basking in the sunshine my bed never gets (it could, I suppose, but I'd have to open the shutters for that, and I don't remember the last time I opened my shutters). Sleeping there isn't allowed, and he knows it (C's Dr Asthma-Allergy told us so - wants us to get rid of him altogether, in fact, but they'll have to carry me out in a box before that'll happen), but he's a Rebel Cat, so he disobeys.
He likes to eat. Really, he loves to eat. Not just anything, though. He likes tinned tuna, sliced ham, white chicken breast, Yop and once went totally crazy over pain d'épices (not really gingerbread, but sort of that type of thing). He does not like fresh tuna or actual steak. He rarely gets the foods he likes because they're not the best thing for his health, but a cat can dream, right?
His fur is silky smooth (except when it isn't), long, with a fluffy smell. He has three colours: white, black and brown. He is the most beautiful cat in the entire world, even though I may be a little biased. He loves to watch sport on TV (anything with lots of movement - unlike anyone else in this house, he loves cycling (watching it, I mean, not doing it obviously) and he used to show an appreciation for Jimi Hendrix. He seems to have outgrown that now (possibly because I never listen to Jimi Hendrix; he seems ambivalent to Glee and Leonard Cohen).
He owns this building - pads from floor to floor, making sure his minions know he's keeping his eye on them. He protects and serves, a fearless guard-cat (OK, OK, I may be exaggerating a little here), ever ready to pounce on any unsuspecting lizards or suicidal crickets.
He's more than "just a cat". So much more. He's my raison d'être, he's my stability. He's the one who has always, always been there for me when I need him (helped greatly by the fact that he never, never goes anywhere). He understands my moods, my feelings, my pain. He knows when to come to me.
He is a cat. My cat. The cat. The archetypal cat. Or just "Cat".
His name is Tom, and he is a prince among cats, a king among cats, the King of all Cats.