My cat died tonight. His name was Shelly, after Percy Bysshe. He was the best cat I ever knew and He was one of my best friends in Chicago. I got him as a four month old kitten, in August, last year, just before undoubtedly the worst winter of my life. Through it all, he was a great friend. He was the only cat I ever knew who would come running when I called; not because he expected any sort of treat, or even because he was well trained (he responded that way from the beginning) but more because he wanted to see me. I think he really liked me. He had a way of cuddling with you, and getting petted and purring, but then moving down to the other end of the bed where he could stretch out. He knew I liked to have room to myself in bed, and he did, too. He had a way of winking at you, like he knew all sorts of things, but was pretending , playing some game... He used to bite and scratch up my arm, the way cats do, playing 'kill the Thing' with you, but early on he learned how not to use his claws, and how to only bite halfway.... he was by far the smartest cat I've met. His siter still hasn't figured out how to open the bathroom door, for example. He would look at you, too... and he always knew when you were paying attention to him, looking at him. I really loved him.He loved the Outdoors, and would beg me piteously to let him out. If he had to die, I'm sure he would have wanted to die Outside, having Adventures. I miss him already. We buried him in Humboldt Park, by the bridge, near the Viking. I plan to visit him there from time to time, and have picnics and play my fiddle there. Rest in Peace, Shelly. April 27th, 2003 -- April 27th, 2004. --