As I was considering this week’s topic, I was watching my cat playing inside his new tunnel-tube he received for Christmas from a friend. He LOVES that tube! It was then I realized I had yet to introduce the Hastings readers to my roommate, Willy. So, this week, I’d like you to meet the feline who thinks he’s human.

Willy’s been with me since August 2010. I was in need of an animal friend to take my mind off the loss of a human friend. When I came across Willy, 7 months old, sitting in that case looking as forlorn as I was feeling, I knew we needed each other. I told the Pet Rescue lady I was going to give “Frasier” a home; however, that name HAD to go.

I was raised a dog person. The first cat I had to tolerate was in college when I lived with a few guys in the home of a retired woman who also lived with us. Her cat instantly took a liking to me. It wasn’t love at first sight, but over time, the little critter grew on me. So began my love affair with cats.

My next cat came more by accident. Let’s just say I was cat-sitting for my friend for an extended period of time until the cat became ill, and my friend took her off my hands to live out her final days with him.

Willy was the first cat that came into my world because I was in the hunt for a pet. My sister warned me if I were to get a dog, she’d disown me. My sister is a dog person and she knows how much time they require. I was still teaching and would often be at work hours beyond the normal school day. So, for fear of being disowned, I steered clear of dogs. I really had no issue bringing a cat into my home.

I know there are two schools of thought on this next issue. Declawing. Many of my friends told me I’d regret not declawing Willy eventually, especially if I wanted my furniture to stay in decent condition. The idea of doing this to the little guy made me sick, but I also didn’t want him shredding my couch and chairs, to say nothing of my legs and arms. So, I moved ahead with the process as soon as the vet said I should. There was that period after the removal of his front claws where my heart just ached for Willy with his front paws wrapped. He got lots of lovin’ from me during that time. He was, as I had been warned by the woman at Pet Rescue, an affectionate cat. “Affectionate” turned out to be the understatement of the decade.

Once healed, life returned to normal for Willy. One of my favorite memories of him in the early months was also captured in a picture I snapped of him in a “cute-as-heck” moment. It was our first October together. I was sitting at my coffee table eating a pork chop for dinner. Willy was apparently hungry. So, he walked to the front of the glass coffee table, sat on his back legs, put one paw on the table, and merely looked at me. It was the first time I’d seen his “Sharing is caring, Dad” look. I was forever in love with this cat.

I’ll return from time to time sharing “Adventures With Willy” stories. I hope you’ll enjoy them. I think the chances are good you will.

If I had more time, I’d share one quick story with you about how Willy likes his recliner tent I have to create for him, but …

Time’s up! See you next week!