Mr. Cat, or the cat previously known as Cat, has been us for almost 13 years. When my now ex bought our house in a rapidly decaying urban area, there was this lovely orange cat who spent a lot of time on our porch, and on our front porch steps to get belly rubs. The house had been vacant for quite some time and I don't know if he belonged to the previous owner, a recently deceased WWII vet. Neighbors reported that the man had not pets. So there was just an orange cat living on the porch.
That first winter I insisted that my ex bring him in on cold nights. And we did, and Cat hid in the basement, usually in the old coal cellar away from our house cats.
The following spring Cat walked in the house and stayed. Except for a few times when a careless visitor let him out. But he always came back for a fresh can of 9 lives.
We have no idea how old he is. I know he is getting up there in years, living on the streets cost him a lot of teeth, some scars and who knows what else. He drools, cannot always control where his tongue rests, and has the worst breath you have ever smelled. But he has always been kind and gentle to people, my children in particular.
When we brought baby #1 home a week after being born, the ex assembled the bassinet and we inserted the baby and Cat got in there with the baby (at his feet). He would lay next to the co-sleeper in the bed. He did the same for baby #2 and #3.
They grabbed at him as soon as they learned how. He would lay there and take it. Never bit, scratched or harmed them. He would leave when it got to be too much, but always came back.
When I divorced and moved on, my current husband added the "Mr." to Cat's name. Seemed more fitting. I had named him for the orange cat in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but Mr. Cat was a title he more than deserved.
To this day Mr. Cat sleeps with the boys every night, he moves from bed to bed during the course of the evening, lays with them on the couch, checks on them when there are meltdowns or tears. He still gets his tail pulled, whiskers pinched, and picked up and carried, yet he still watches over my babies. When they are at their dad's he wanders the house, mournful cries; finally settling for me or my husband.
Mr. Cat has always favored the first born. Mr. Cat knows he's different and has put up with so much, yet never gives up on him.
This cat has been an angel for us. When the other cats and dogs run, Mr. Cat is always there for all of us.
When I get frustrated with the meltdowns and almost have my own, I try to be mellow like Mr. Cat because he has provided all of us with the balance that we sometimes lack.