Pookey, having wonderful taste for a cat, adored my mother and followed her everywhere. He especially liked being picked up and held for long periods of time, especially wrapped in a towel. I've never seen a who liked being held as much as Pookey did.
Pookey liked to sleep on Mom's bed at night and she never seemed to mind him waking her up at all hours to "let him out". He also enjoyed burrowing up under the sheets of a freshly-made bed, where he would lay under the covers as a "hump" in the bed, sleeping for hours. Pookey was my Mom's best pal and companion, especially during the last few hard years of Dad's illness when Pookey gave her one small thing to celebrate each day. And he has kept her close company over the last year after Dad went into the nursing home.
Pookey especially liked to go outdoors, climb on the wood pile, cross the road, and chase mice. He was known to have confrontations with foxes, neighbour's dogs, and other cats. Even though he only weighed 10 lbs (max) and was mostly fluff, he had an enormous personality, oversized paws, and an-almost-human character. In fact, he was kinder and more loving than most humans I know. He was a doting companion and kept my Mom indoors many evenings to "spend with the cat puttering around the house". She worried about him when he was outdoors and she was away, but as soon as her car came in the yard, he always came running to see his Mom.
He had a fondness for cat nip and always got a Christmas present with some tucked inside.
Pookey liked to sleep on the bed in my old room, in his kitty basket, and especially enjoyed sleeping on any light-colored furniture where his black fur could accumulate. He enjoyed scratching furniture, scratching his post to shreds, and chasing those little toy mice. He had a whole basket of toys. He liked to be rocked in the rocking chair, roll in the dirt (see below), and sleep in the laundry basket. He often had leaves or sand in his whiskers. He liked to be held whilst one was sitting on the toilet. And he liked to drink the leftover milk from cereal bowls. All this was indulged with nary a word.
He was also permitted to occasionally walk on the table and the counters, but we don't mention that.
About two weeks ago, he started feeling badly and seemed to be having laboured breathing. Mom observed that he was not himself and thought that maybe he had worms after all his summer exploits. She planned to take him to the vet to be de-wormed and checked later this week, but then a couple days ago, he began to not eat and started to dislike being picked up. Mom was worried and when today he seemed worse, she made the hour's drive to the city to the vet, assuming he would get medication and come home.
At the vet, after a thorough exam and withdrawal of fluids, he was diagnosed with FIP virus (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), which we'd never heard of. It is a lethal virus. He had fluid build-up around his lungs and was slowly suffocating. Due to his worsening condition and struggle for breath, there was no choice. The vet said that he would not recover, so a horrible and sudden decision had to be made. He was put to sleep peacefully, with his loyal Mum by his side.
He is now in kitty heaven, I'm sure.
They may seem like "just cats" to some, but they are beloved friends to others. Pookey will be sorely missed. We learned many lessons from him, most importantly the meaning of unconditional love (even when your hair is not done). He came into my mother's life at a time when she needed something to make her smile and get her out of bed each day. He has been a ray of sunshine every day since, until today. And he will live in our memories until we are no more.
Rest in Peace little angel.