Your stories are all so sweet it made me remember my own little Wallace, so I thought I would share.
I belive you always remember the first animal you own all by yourself in a special light.
When I was 19 years old I had just moved out of my parents house and was working close to full time and going to school. An apartment is too empty without a pet and I knew It was not the right time in my life for a dog.
I fell in love with a cat (scottishfold) that came to the vet hosp. where I worked and knew thats what I wanted. If you have never seen a fold your missing out. Fat little apple heads perched on round bodies. Only half of scottishfolds born will have folded ears and for my first fold I knew I wanted a folded ear boy. When I picked him up from the breeder he rode the whole way home belly up and purring and became glimse into the future of who he was.
I have worked with animals and I have owned animals, all my friends have animals. I have never met a animal that was as sweet and well mannered as Wallace. By 5 mths old he had already gone to schools and hospitals and was well on his way to becoming a therapy cat. He was a shadow cat and would keep a consistant pace at my feet. My parents cat is a devil who likes maybe 4 people on the planet, she is a CAUTION at the vet and other than my family will let noone near her. The moment she met Wallace, she curled up next to him like he was hers. He had this effect on everyone.
Aggressive dogs, cat haters alike fell in love with him. When I came home he was always sitting by the door (usually with his teddy bear) and then would walk sweetly by my side for the night.
A week past his first birthday I came home like clockwork and Wallace was not there. And I knew.
I found him on the screened in porch laying in his favorite basket. It was evening and the crickets were singing in the trees. In the dim light I could make out his shape and as I walked closer I could see he was curled up with his little stuffed bear. When I reached my hand out to lay on his side I was shaking, and I started to cry when I felt the cold of his body.
Wallace died of Cardiomyopathy and had never shown any signs of the disease.
It took me a year before I could think about another cat. I finally went with a local rescue who told me over the phone they had a "small grey boy".
Tucker has become a light in mylife and an important lesson in the joy of loving a pet again.