I called him Mister Soft as Silk and the name so truly fit. His fur, even as an adult, was always kitten soft, each strand separate and fluffy, not a stiff guard hair in sight. He loved sitting like what I call his 'little old man pose' up against the sofa, his eyes huge as he waited for the next shoe to drop. He was so easily frightened by any sudden movement or loud noise.
He had been that way ever since he had lost his all but identical wingman to a liver destroying virus. They had eighteen months of inseparable togetherness and Mister Soft as Silk never quite recovered from their parting. He waited constantly for his shadows return, expecting to find him again at every turn of a corner. He and the Wingman had come from opposite sides of Houston to the local rescue that I worked with raising bottle babies. Both were less than a month old, but brothers in their hearts if not by blood.
Nine years passed. Mister Soft as Silk endured. He was a gentle but not especially cuddly cat. This all changed in the last months of his life.
In the first of 2006, I was recovering from being hospitalized with nearly fatal pneumonia and a fractured spine. Mister Soft as Silk knew I was in extreme pain, and gave endlessly of himself. He would stretch out along my back, purring like a diesel in overdrive. He pressed hard against me, purring nearly continuously, easing my pain and depression. He healed me, as he was slowly slipping away from life himself, never showing any outward sign of his own failing to sudden, hidden cancer. I lost him on March 30th 2006.
Because of him I know the power of the purr.