This handsome boy is Alex. His fur is ridiculously thick and soft, and he is (we are fond of saying) a dog in a cat suit. He goes for walks with us when we walk the dog, he comes when he is called, he loves to play with the tennis ball, and he adores me; in fact, he adores most everybody.
Alex will wrap his arms around the neck of a complete stranger and lick their cheeks and hands until they cry for mercy: he's just one amazing bundle of unconditional love. I've had cats all my life, too many to count, but I was never really a cat person until I met Alex -- the best, most intelligent and affectionate cat it's ever been my privilege to know.
... But in a late night run to the emergency vet last night -- our only choice after multiple attacks of wheezing -- he was diagnosed with heart disease.
Bad prognosis. Many tears.
Fortunately, 2 x-rays, a night of oxygen, and $800 later we are thrilled to learn it was just an asthma attack, probably brought on by a change in cat litter. (They stopped carrying our old stuff, so we had switched.) But what a lesson, to go through that. Now I get another chance to give some of that love back. I plan to make time to do more of that.