I had been volunteering for a local shelter for several years when I saw a picture of a black cat on their Facebook page. He was wearing a bandana that said, "Born to love" and looking rather uncertainly at the camera. I found out he was 13 years old and had recently lost his home because his owner died. Somehow no one in this wealthy family could make room for him, and they dumped him in the shelter. I went to meet him and he sat in my lap very quietly. I took him home and named him Mickey.
I soon realized he had been quite depressed at the shelter. In my home, he blossomed, and co-existed reasonably well with my other 2 cats, also both rescues. I found out he did not like to be picked up and the first time I did that, when I put him down, he ran up behind me and whacked me on the leg! All I could do was laugh. Gradually he warmed up. His favorite things were to lie on his back (he snored!) either on the back porch or on the top of the back of the couch, and to snuggle. He was not so crazy about most other people, but he loved me.
In late September, he had a cold, and I took him to the vet. The cold lingered and in early November we found out he had a tumor in his sinus and mouth. There was no treatment. I just took him home, fed him food that he loved, and loved him. He spent even more time snuggling with me. For a couple of weeks, he ate well, but then he started to go downhill. Eating was a struggle and his energy was not what it once was. I made the appointment for a Monday afternoon, and knew it was the right decision when he hissed at himself in frustration that weekend. I was with him to the end.
He was with me only 2 years, but it seemed like 20. Good-bye, Mickey. I'll love you forever.