I bought him "on sale" at a pet shop, yep poor little guy was on clearance. If you know me, you know I can't resist a good deal. I felt sorry for him being put on sale, and that his future was maybe questionable with that price tag. So I bought him. My husband came home from work that night and I said "I bought a cat, but it's ok, he was on sale" :) We loved him and treated him like a child, as all childless couples do with their pets. He sat at the table with me while I ate breakfast, in his chair. He followed me everywhere I went and slept on my belly until I got pregnant with Maya and then things changed. I suddenly couldn't stand the cats. We also had a very shy, somewhat awkward female cat named Little Girl. (Clearly, we were very creative in naming our pets.) When we decided to move to Pennsylvania a few months after Maya was born, we found a nice couple in graduate school to adopt Little Girl. We were unable to find a home for Stu, and because we couldn't keep him at our new residence while we stayed with a family member, my mother in law graciously kept him for over 9 months until we settled into our own place in the city.
By the time he returned to us, Maya was walking. He didn't really like being around her because she wanted to pull on him or scream in his face.
(Above: one pissed off kitty)
He constantly hissed at her if she approached him but we maintained a happy relationship. Stu chose to stay away from Maya, either hidden in another room or on a place higher than she could reach and come around desperate for attention once she was asleep. Maya, being the unconditional loving child that she is, didn't care. She thought all cats said "HHHHEEEHHH" (hissing sound) and even made him a play-dough birthday cake one year.
I soon got pregnant for Oliver and decided I just couldn't handle the cat. I found an extremely amazing home for him with a man who was in charge of one of the area YMCA's and his elderly mother. I think Stu needed a home where he could get the constant love and attention he deserved. I just couldn't provide that anymore. I knew he was better off. We told Maya he went to live with a new family. She really didn't understand and I felt no need to try to explain something beyond her comprehension. Occasionally, Maya will talk about him. Like tonight, she made a picture of her and Stu, on the back she wrote him a letter. She gave it to me before bedtime and said it was
"an invitation for Stu to come live at our house again."