I wanted another orange tom, and we found one in a Glencoe barn, the only orange kitten of a rather large litter. I was a bit worried, though, because he was a longhair, and we have enough problem with shedding animals. We called him 'Harry.' Although just a barn cat, Harry has pretensions of being a 'Turkish Angora.' All of our cats have been indoor/outdoor cats, but we have never had a cat that loved to be out of doors more than Harry. All night, every night, and most days, despite the cold and wet, in four seasons, he is 'out there,' burning the candles at both ends. He doesn't like a lot of human interaction, he won't tolerate being petted much. Every relationship has to be on his own terms.
The vet who fixed him says that Harry has a heart murmur. We think Harry knows it, he knows that his days are numbered, and he just throws himself into life, living every moment to the fullest, because every moment is borrowed time.
We admire Harry. And every morning when he shows up and plops his face down into the bowl and eats eats eats whatever happens to be placed in front of him, we cheer, thankful that he has survived another night, grateful that he has graced us again with his presence. Hershey wags her tail in greeting; she is as excited as if the prodigal son has returned.
And sometimes, when he is absolutely exhausted, Harry finds the perfect quilt indoors to curl up on, and he throws himself into sleep.
Recently one morning when he appeared at the back door, I told Harry that, because our son's girlfriend is so terribly allergic to cats, he is likely to be the last cat we will ever own. He listened carefully and appeared to take on the responsibility for being that most significant last cat of our lives.