Puck was our first cat to choose US.
1994. Me & Brett had just gotten married. I’d also just started working for CompuServe; they offered a PC loan program, so their employees could get computers. We’d gone to a local computer store, found them closed, but saw a Jack’s Aquarium next door. We’d been discussing getting an aquarium anyway, and decided to walk in and look & price fish & supplies.
So we walked along the aquarium wall, commenting on the fish; we got to the back wall with the bunnies & hamsters & guinea pigs & puppies ("oh how cute!") . We got to the section with the kittens ("oh how CUTE!"); Brett had walked on, I was just about to move on — when a little ginger kitten who’d been asleep woke up, saw me looking down, and proceeded to put his paws on the bars of the cage, SHAKE the bars, and meow/yowl his lungs out.
Brett heard me go, "Breeett…." and came back over. Said, "Chris, we’ve got two already. We can’t go over lease." But he didn’t sound very firm about it.
The little kitten was still yowling and meowing and shaking the bars. I asked the clerk to bring the kitten out; kitten shut up the minute he was in my hands and refused to let go.
Yeah. Cat went home. The little kitten figured out within 30 seconds of the car ride how to get out of his cardboard carrier; Brett had to hold him all the way home so he wouldn’t crawl all over the car or mess with my driving. The kitten wanted in MY lap, and he wanted it NOW.
He was "Puck" by the time we reached home — and got dubbed "A-Puck-alypse Meow" a day or so after he was home and causing total chaos with our other two cats (Robin & Misty). Robin (the big fat boy) would wrestle Puck to the ground and lie on top of him; all you’d see was a kitten head sticking out under Robin’s chest; Misty initially didn’t like the newcomer, and licked all her fur off until the vet gave her steroids & kitty ‘ludes to calm her down. I did work at home with CompuServe — Puck was constantly on the top-back of the computer chair, a warm purring neck-rest.
He took it hard when Misty died; he was depressed for weeks, laying in her favorite spots around the apartment.
He became our fuzzy orange alarm clock; he’d meow right at 6 AM until Brett got up. He’d lead Brett to the food bowl and eat. At 7:30, he’d either be lying at my feet or head-bumping my hand to wake me up so I’d open the back shades for the sunbeams. He’d be waiting for me when I got out of the shower & dressed; the first 10 minutes after that was cuddle time before I went to work. He’d spend his day sleeping in the warm sunbeams, accepting more cuddles and petting when I came out on break.
When I was working on my websites or sitting at the desktop computer, he’d be right there, meowing until I lifted him into my lap. When I’d write in the evenings, I’d usually curl up on the sofa with my laptop, and Puck would be with me a couple minutes later, either squirming between me & the laptop (and totally unaware that my Macbook has an onboard camera; there’s some great photos on my Facebook page resulting from those "MOMMM STOP WRITING AND CUDDLE NIAOWW!!" sessions) or he’d curl up in the crook of my legs and nap. He was my NaNoWriMo cat — he was with me whenever I was at home & writing, head-bumping, purring, napping.
He was my friend. He was my buddy. He was my Goddess-given animal companion. He was 16. Puck died purring and being cuddled and hugged and stroked by his two humans.