The first cat I ever got was a 3-week-old long-haired tuxedo when I was about 11. This was my pre-puberty moment — and for all the dogs we had growing up that belonged to the family and that Dad kept to guard the house and his stuff — he was my only pet growing up.
Tiny little tuxedo who walked sideways. With that obvious freaked-out curve of his back. Bottle-brush tail included. I called him Zorro with a W: Zorrow. Dad suggested his mask merited the name. Adding the “W” at the end really made him mine.
I trained him to take naps with me when I came home from school and on those long Saturdays, when as a kid living in a small hometown, you really don’t have anything to do. I still remember him lying on my outstretched arms, using it as a pillow. Dappled sunlight would dance on the sheets on these lazy afternoons. I’d stroke his thick fur until he fell asleep.
Then I’d follow along right behind him.