A lot of people don't understand why I love and appreciate my cat so much. He's been with me for about 15 years and our bond is something many of our friends and family love to witness and wish they could find with a pet. But our bond wasn't something that just happened. Here is our story:
When I was 14, my mom decided it was time for me to have my own pet. Me being me, I of course decided on a cat because I have always loved them like crazy! (insert future cat lady joke here). So she took me and my best friend at the time to the animal shelter in town who it turned out had a huge selection at the time because of well, "Spring time". When we got there they explained that a virus had hit quite a few of the animals there and was causing a lot of them to develop asthma and drippy eye goobers that most likely wouldn't go away. Not to mention the litter of kittens that were missing eyes, legs, ears, you name it. Honestly I can't remember what they said had caused the litter to be born like that, but I remember how enamored my mom and bf were with them. I do admit they were cuties, but I just didn't feel a pull towards any of them. Then I heard it: The loudest, most pathetic and attention grabbing meow in the place coming from a cage on the top row where a couple of bright orange kitten arms were sticking out as far as they could go. He was looking right at me and after meeting his stare, I immediately knew he was the one I was here for. I told my mom and she had them open the door so me and my new life-long friend could meet properly. He clung to me like over-cooked rice. While filling out the adoption paperwork (back when adoption meant actual adoption (free of charge), we decided on a name. At the time I of course wanted input from my best friend (thinking we would stay friends forever but alas, we didn't) and so together we decided his name would be Orange Julious. Later I added Caesar to it so that it would be just a little more unique and cool, besides at that time one of my favorite stories was that of Cleopatra, so to name him after a strong and epic love was ideal.
Almost immediately I think both he and I knew that this friendship would last forever and we just naturally fell into doing practically everything together. He came to memorize my habits and would rush to me every time I was sad or mad. When I was told to go to my room, he would always go with me. When I took a nap he was always there either wrapped up in my arms trying to shove his paws into the crook of my neck or at my feet keeping them warm. I was a pretty lonely kid, and somehow even though he's a cat, we could communicate and talk to each other. Growing up had a lot of trauma and trials that came with it and eventually, we moved to another state, Julious always coming with. I started calling him pet-names like my little lion (his favorite to respond to) and my little Cheshire, both of which he knew and easily responded to. He became my fellow student while I was homeschooled and when I finally started High School, he was there immediately to greet me when I got home and every morning to give me a hug and kiss and say goodbye.
In my room at the time I (being a teenager) had my door closed most of the time, but that never for a second stopped Julious from finding a way in. It was a basement bedroom so while walls were up, the ceiling hadn't quite been finished and there were a few holes above the "wall" where the ceiling still needed insulation and finishing. I remember stuffing pillows in that hole so that I could have more privacy but more often than not on the weekends I would be woken up by those pillows falling on my face because Mr. Julious had pushed them out of the way to come snuggle. Eventually I got so tired of being jipped out of my sleeping-in time that I just left the pillows out unless he was already in my room. I came to trust his judgment completely in my dating years because every single boy he didn't like (which was most of them) never lasted long and would end up being one of the examples of what I refused to have in a relationship. The ones that he did like ended up being my good friends that I still have today.
Sadly though, after finding out that I couldn't graduate High School, I fell into a deep depression. I felt useless and like I didn't belong in this world. My mom got remarried and the relationship between my new step-father and I was very rocky, I was hanging out with delinquents and criminals and even though I never took part in drinking or drugs, it was a very poor situation to be. Nothing seemed ok and I had no idea what I was going to do. I really started to feel like the world would maybe be sad without me at first, but then it would move on and be just fine. So I decided that I didn't want to be here anymore.
One day while my mom and step-dad were gone, I went down to my room with a plastic bag. After much deliberation, suffocating myself seemed like the best option. I sat on my bed, placed the bag over my head and put my pillow over my head as well. Things started to fade and my mind started to panic at the loss of air, then I felt a jolt on the bed. I sat up quickly, causing my head to spin and tore the bag off letting my lungs take in the air they lost thinking 'oh god I don't want my mom to see this!' and wondering how I hadn't heard her come in or even enter the house (the floorboards in that house were hilariously squeaky). After letting my head catch up and focus, I realized it wasn't my mom at all who had jolted the bed. Julious was sitting in front of me with the most watery eyes I had ever seen. He didn't say anything, didn't make a peep, and this is the most talkative cat Iv'e ever known. He did the most human thing and instead plopped himself on the plastic bag, reached out his paw and placed it gently on my hand. I broke down and cried my heart out until my mom came home. She knew I had been depressed, but was shocked when I finally told her I had attempted suicide. I promised myself that I would never try it again.
Even if it does sound cheesy, Julious saved my life that day. He and I have been through so much together. I went to Job Corps and had to be without him for two years during which my mom says he acted depressed until I came home. Honestly not having him for that time was unspeakably hard. When I moved back home we were both much better. He started talking and being himself again and I had become someone with more confidence, strength and capability.
It's been 15 years now since I heard that hilarious and obnoxious meow and there are no words to convey how much Julious means to me. He helped me find my now husband, helped me realize my spiritual path and as such has become more than a pet, but is my familiar. Most of all, he has saved my life in many different ways time and time again. He and my husband are my boys that I hope to never part with. Julious refuses to become and old man and has no aging hairs, still plays like a kitten, is still very out spoken and even though the asthma risk from his childhood still gets him sometimes, he doesn't let it change the way he spends his days. When I nap I still wake up to him at my feet or curled up by my head. He still checks up on me and still acts like he's dying when he goes even an hour without food in his bowl.
He still finds a way to get to me. No matter what.
That is our story and while I'm extremely happy that it isn't over, I know a part of me will go with him when he goes and I am so happy to have a friend in my life that loves and understands me so completely.
Thank you for the time you took to read this, and I wish the best for you all.