Let me tell you about my friend Bailey.

When I was about 10 we got a cat.  His name was Sam.  (You can see pictures of Sam here.)  He lived for 20 years.  Towards the end he was a frequent flier at The Cat Clinic of Folsom.  These wonderful people brought Sam back once or twice, but in the end he had to leave.  He is still missed.

Sam didn't live with me.  He stayed with my parents in Sacramento so my dad was the one who took him to the vet all the time.  And while he was visiting the vet he met Bailey.  Bailey was staying there pretty often because he was unhappy at home.  He was spraying which is not a good sign for boy kitties.  Especially ones that are all grown up.

A few months after Sam had left my dad suggested that Bailey and I might be a good match.  Dr. Standen assured me that his spraying was probably just stress and suggested that I take him home with me and give him a try.  I said sure, why not.  I was a bit afraid - I had not had sole responsibility for a cat before.  But one weekend I drove up to El Dorado Hills to meet this little guy.

When I got to his house he was an unhappy kitty.  Maybe because of the toddler that was chasing him.  He looked at me and said "Get to the choppa!  DO IT NAO!"  I was like "WTF, do I look like Jessie Ventura to you?" "Whatever, dude.  We're audi."  And so he came home with me:

Dude, seriously?  This is your place?  Well, ok.  I guess.

And thus began a six year relationship.  One that wasn't nearly long enough.

Bailey had some truly wonderful traits.  He loved to be petted, but not held.  His tummy was to be rubbed and often:

My tummy.  You shall rub it now.

He was terribly friendly with strangers.  Not all of them got to rub the tummy like Chris but they were expected to at least pet him.  He was a "butt cat".  He loved his butt scratched.  And his face.  And pretty much anywhere, to be honest. 

Also, unlike Sam, Bailey loved his catnip toys:

Which was always terribly cute to watch.  Those toys would get tossed around and end up in the strangest places.  He also loved laser pointers and would chase that little red dot for hours.  Dr. Standen gave him one for Christmas one year and it was well used.

I think the thing I will miss the most about Bailey is our little private rituals.  He would sit outside the bathroom while I did my morning routine.  He would sometimes even meow to me to hurry up.  The reason is he knew that after I was out I would go sit on the end of the bed to get dressed, and if he got up on the bed he would get petted like this:

Thank you for being my friend, Bailey.  I will miss you very much.  You were the best housemate I could ask for.  Everyone who knew you will miss you.