It was April, 2003. Leon's elderly cat had died about six months before, and he had decided that, a suitable period of mourning having elapsed, he would bring a new kitty into his life. I went with him to the animal shelter- mostly for moral support.
While Leon was doing some serious kitty shopping, I wandered around looking at some of the caged cats and poking my finger into a cage here and there to stroke a appreciative nose. One cage contained a very handsome grayish tabby with brown ears. I stroked his nose for a moment. Apparently this kitty was lonely, because when I withdrew my finger, he stuck his paw out of the cage at me in a gesture that could only mean "please, don't stop." Leon did not end up finding a suitable cat that day. I fell in love.
I asked for an interview with the cat. Leon came with me into the kitty interview room. The cat was very friendly. He loved being petted. He purred. He sat in our laps- but made it quite clear that he was more interested in me. About two weeks after he came home with us he figured out who the real feline pushover in the house is and became Leon's cat, though he always remained very affectionate with me.
About 2 1/2 years ago, Cinnamon began losing weight. A trip to the vet revealed that he was in the early stages of kidney failure. We have kept him going by feeding him a (very expensive) special renal diet. He stabilized on the diet, however the kidney failure eventually caught up with him. Cinnamon died last night.
I've shared my life with a total of about 8 cats. All were different, and all were much loved. Cinnamon was very special. I've only had one other cat that I would place in that category, and he has been gone for 20 years now. The sensation that the house feels very empty will fade and other cats will come into my life, but Cinnamon will always retain a very special place in my heart.
Good kitty. Bye.