It was tough leaving work that day because I had developed a little ritual where I would always say, "Time to go home and see Boot!" as I left the office parking lot. I actually started to say it when I realized that, no, I will not be seeing Boot ever again. Granted, I have 2 other kitties and a dog to greet me when I got home, but Boot was my special little guy. He was always the most happy to see me. He would rub furiously on my shoe to the point that I couldn't take them off. I'd have to give him pets and "cat spank" before I could finally take them off. Then it was off to play in the yard with his sister.
Boot was special in that he was "the afterthought." We had definitely wanted to adopt 2 kitties 2 years ago, but were unsure about adopting the 3rd. Boot's cage was right below Yoink's and he extended his paw through the bars as if to say, "Pick me!!!" That sold us on making him our 3rd adoption. When we got him home he became even more special since we read his file and saw that even though he was only 4-5 months old, he had already endured a broken paw. We also saw that he had been adopted and returned because he had been "too aggressive." We certainly saw his aggression as he constantly pounced his sister. He got put in his place, however, when Yoink (who was bigger) came home the next day and wouldn't stand for it. Boot then came down with a respiratory infection which laid him low. His sister then took advantage of that. Pretty soon everyone established their hierarchy and got along as if they were from the same litter. We knew we had arrived at a happy point when we found a massive furpile on the bed with all 3 of them snuggled together.
So even though he was only with us a relatively short time, Boot certainly held a very large part in my heart. I shall miss him immensely. It will be some time before I can step out of the shower and not look over at the toilet seat expecting to see him sitting there purring waiting for pets.