In January 1992, bypassing in their cages some showy long hair beauties and playful kittens, I chose instead a small 3 year old laid back cat to be my new companion. Just returned from a stay in South America and lacking inspiration, I named him for his color, Gris. (Pronounced Grrrrrisss). He turned out to be sociable and funny as well as a master hunter in his younger days when he presented me with unrequited mice and birds and remained baffled by my lack of gratitude. More than once in the early morning hours his deep throat purring warned me that a bird was flying about the house desperately trying to escape my leaping cat. With age, his skills diminished though just a couple of months ago I was stunned to find a (minuscule) mouse in the family room. Gris never met a stranger, never scratched or bit anyone and was mostly a peaceful neighbor to other cats. I used to joke that ours was my best and longest lasting relationship.
Last month his great age finally caught up with him. I miss his insistent morning calls for breakfast, his familiar presence on my desk, and his weight on my lap as I watch television.