Pauly was an Italian stereotype of a cat. He was a fat grey furry beast who loved to eat and yell. He always had greased-back hair. He would put his head under the running water tap and create a pompadour between his fuzzy grey ears. His resulting “do” always sticking up and was consistently wet to the touch. He was frankly vain about it. That cat knew more about life than I did, you could just tell. He loved to eat and yell. He lived to a respectable age and died suddenly. He broke our hearts.
Runty was Pauly’s brother, a smaller, browner furball. He had been the runt of the litter and it was a bit of a miracle that he survived at all, thanks to the careful tending by his Mike. In Runty’s younger years his main feature was an unstoppable cuddliness. He is a dog of a cat, coming when he is called, welcoming us when we get home, and generally making a nuisance of himself. He loves to cuddle, he is happiest asleep on our laps and he gets irritable if we don’t make our bodies available for his frequent naps.
Today Runty has the added distinction of a truly impressive longevity. He is a nineteen year old cat and still amazingly vital, without any major health problems aside from an increased grumpiness. In cat years he is something like 120 years old and that number increases exponentially with every added year. We hope he lives forever.