Back in 2001, I had just turned 26 and had been through a rough breakup. I owned a three-story townhouse and it felt very lonely and big. Katrina had just occurred and I heard in the news that many Katrina animals had been evacuated to Denver. They were right down the street from my house at the Denver Dumb Friends League. Even though I had always been more of a cat person, I decided I needed to adopt one of the Katrina dogs from Texas. I went several days in a row to look at dogs and each day the dog I was most interested in got adopted right out from under me. On the third day, I decided to look at cats as well. As I walked by the wall of cats, I saw one tuxedo cat that looked completely at home and comfortable. I have always had a weakness for tuxies and black cats. I asked to spend some time with "Slippers" and loved how comfortable and confident he seemed. I adopted him immediately.
I renamed him Toulouse because Slippers seemed a bit undignified. Toulouse had lived with an elderly lady the first three years of his life. When she moved into a nursing home, Toulouse had to be taken to the Dumb Friends League. He adapted to his new life and name right away. He never answered to Slippers but he would always answer to Toulouse.
Toulouse did have some naughty kitty tendencies at first such as using my furniture as a scratching pad. The vet suggested Soft Paws and he wore those for years. I used colored ones so I could tell when they fell off. Everyone always asked me why I painted my cat's nails. I would never do such a thing!
Toulouse was an indoor only cat and loved spending time looking out the window and luxuriating by the fireplace. I would often light fires just for him.
He got me through my wild years in Denver and was there when I met my husband Gary.
When Gary visited me during a blizzard, we opened the back door and let Toulouse explore a little bit. He came right back inside.
Like many cats, he wanted to be right in the middle of whatever I was doing. I think he is yawning in this photo but I think he looks like he is smiling or laughing.
He was not excited when Noodlebug came along and pretty much ignored him the first few years. Toulouse was never much of a lap cat but, for some reason, he spent a lot of time purring on my belly when I was pregnant.
Towards the end of his life, he liked Noodlebug more and would sometimes sit on him. That made me happy. This is one of my favorite videos of all time that was taken when Noodle was about 1.5 years old.
I was so blessed to have Toulouse for 14 wonderful years. He really wasn't himself anymore over the last year. Gary and I did everything we could to save him and make him more comfortable but I couldn't watch my beloved kitty suffer anymore. We said goodbye yesterday. My constant companion of 14 years is gone and I don't know what I will do without him.