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Julius [a.k.a. Li'l Cat, Little Boy, Silly Boy, Knuckle-head (pronounced "Kuh-nuckle-head", the 'K' is not silent), Max Entropy]

[29/Feb/04] — As his various nick-names imply, he's quite a handfull.

I definitely get maximum entertainment value from this cat.
I strongly disapprove of striking cats. When my beasts need scolding or need to be discouraged from doing something destructive or dangerous, I squirt them with a water bottle. All the other cats immediately quit their misbehavior when threatened with the water bottle* (I don't even have to use it most of the time). But not Julius. If I point the nozzle at him, he will lay back his ears, squint his eyes and swat at the water bottle with his paw. Even if I squirt him, he will still stand his ground and fight the water bottle.
(* The one exception was Blackjack. In all of his 19+ years, Blackjack had never done anything that merrited use of the water bottle. If you pointed the bottle at Blackjack, he will just look at it and ignore it. He had no experience with being squirted and, therefore, the water bottle had no meaning for him.)

When he's not getting into trouble (which is rare), Julius is a wonderfully affectionate cat. He likes to be held in my arms like a baby, or lie next to me in bed with his head on my shoulder.

[Jan/2009] — Julius was diagnosed with a thyroid problem that required radiation therapy. The thyroid problem made Julius a little hyper and was probably at least partially why he was always getting into trouble. After the treatment, he mellowed out a lot. Now he's a very mild mannered, affectionate little guy who likes to put his arms around my neck and hug me as he rubs his face against mine.

[18/Jan/2011] — Sunday morning Julius wasn't able to walk steadily. He staggared and swayed. I knew something was wrong, but it was Sunday and I wouldn't be able to call the vet until Monday morning.

When Monday came, he was in a very bad way. They took blood and urine to test and said they'd call me on Tuesday morning. They called this morning and the news was as bad as Julius looked.

I already knew what they were going to tell me before they called. He was in misery and I had to do the right thing for him. I drove him to the vet's office. As always, I was with him until the end.

Julius slept beside me every day of his life, except his last night. I placed him beside me where he'd always slept, but he crawled away after I went to sleep to hide himself – to be alone. I think he crawled away to die.

Sometimes, when I've had to make the decision to ease the passing of one of my furry kids, I've questioned whether I'd acted too hastily and deprived my beloved of days or weeks of life that they should have lived. It's often hard to tell when the time is right. Julius was so clearly at the end and suffering that I had no feelings of regret, only feelings of loss at the departure of my dear little friend.

[19/Jan/2011] — Last night was the first night I can remember that I went to bed and Julius wasn't there beside me. His spot on the bed was empty.

I rescued this little boy from the street (actually, from under the front porch of a neighboring appartment building) when he was still a kitten. If I hadn't, he'd likely have had a difficult life scrounging for food and struggling to survive. His life might have been ended early by a dog or a car. With me, he always had plenty of food and water (and occasional snacks), and his choice of warm places to sleep. He always had my lap to sleep on, or my shoulder to drape over, or my arms to lie in. And he always had my love.

I think Julius would say that fortune smiled on him the day I picked him up and took him home.

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