This was Dirty Cat, a former ski bum cat who came into my life a mere month after I lost my two cats to an apartment fire. I didn’t want, and felt I wasn’t ready for, another cat, but she was about 11 years old, and wouldn’t have done well in an animal shelter.
So, I had her owner (who was moving and couldn’t take her) drop her off at my place. I still remember how Dirty Cat paused to take in the place, before making a bee line for my room. That night she jumped up on the bed to sleep by my head, where she slept every night for six years thereafter. Kidney failure required one final trip to the vet last June, but she will live with me forever.