We were actually hesitant to get another cat, but we talked it over and decided that Arty needed a friend. We went to the local shelter and I started to look around at the cats. Maribeth walked in the room and within 5 minutes had a tiger striped cat out of its cage and in her arms. It was the fastest bonding I had ever seen between an animal and a human. We found our Swarr.
We got him home and naturally he was hesitant of his new surroundings, but by the evening he was sitting on the couch with a little Declan hovering inches from his face. They exchanged sniffs and kisses and then whack. Declan hit him on the head with a Gameboy and under the couch he went for almost the rest of the night. If my memory serves me, I actually think he slept on our bed the first night and just about every night since.
He was fantastic. An instant part of the family. His bond to Maribeth was very strong and very visible. He wouldn't ever let me hold him for more than 6 seconds and he rarely slept on my side of the bed. When she had a bad day he would follow her and love her just the right amount. He was always there to greet her (and I) and never missed an opportunity to make it known that he was hers.
His patience with Declan was outstanding. He let Declan poke and prod. Explore and tug. Tickle and snuggle. And all the while he was happy. He would intervene with Declan at just the right times to get him to relax or help him do what we were asking. It was almost creepy, but he truly did.
Oliver was one of those cats that comes along once in a lifetime. He was an extremely loving cat who would always curl up on your lap. He would follow you around, but never get underfoot. He would nuzzle with you when it was needed and keep his distance when the time was right.
Although he was only living in this house for about a year and a half, he has more than earned the right to be a lifetime member of the family. He helped make this house a home and he will be sorely missed. And although (I'm sure) many other pets will grace the halls of this house, he will be the one to whom we will compare them all.
So to you, Oliver, we say, "Thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives and our hearts. You will always be with us."