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After losing Petey, my companion kitty of 15 years, I vowed to not get another pet for a while. One year later, my neighbor told me I was going to get a cat, and I resisted at first.

A mutual friend had adopted a male cat from a shelter for his 90-year-old mom. The cat was friendly enough most of the time, but would bite suddenly for no apparent reason, and the lady was terrified of him. He hid behind the couch and she sat in her chair armed with a fly-swatter and a spray bottle of water.

When I met with my friend to talk about the cat I asked him how long he had had him. "About three injuries ago," he said, holding up his bandaged hand. It turned out to be three days. I said, "Oh, what the heck," and Boomer came to live with me.

"Stock up on Neosporin and bandaids," my friend said.

For a while, my friends called Boomer "the Cat From Hell" because I was always injured. He was skin and bones when he came to me and still had some wounds from his time on the street before the shelter people found him. His ears were notched from fights. It seemed he would bite out of anxiety, so I decided I could love him out of it, and that's how it has worked out.

With regular meals, he soon ballooned to a regal 23-pound creature. We have been together for three years now, and he is my good companion. He lets me know his displeasure when he doesn't get his way, but he hates to let me out of his sight.

Leslie Manes
San Diego, CA

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