Graden was a rescue kitty I adopted when I lived in Brooklyn. He was sick when I adopted him, had infections in both ears that the vet claimed to be the worst she had ever seen. I was told he would probably end up deaf, if not dead, if I made any mistakes in cleaning the infections and making him take the medication.

Well, his hearing survived, and he didn’t die. But he was extremely anti-social.

Then I left Brooklyn to go to school, and it was just me and him in a small apartment for six months. And during that time he became one the sweetest, most loving cats I have ever known.

He would wait for me at the window, and when he saw me get out of the car when I got home, he would go to the top of the stairs and wait for me, with an excited look on his face, like he were a dog.

He had an extremely expressive face. You could tell when he was happy, or mad, or just didn’t care. And his face would just light up when I came home. He would curl up on my lap and just purr until he fell asleep. When I went to bed at night, he was right next to me.

In 2015, Graden became a bit stand-offish and lethargic. I took him to the vet, where we discovered that his liver had failed, and that he was terminal. I took him home and made his final days as comfortable as I could.

He passed away in October of 2015. And he is very missed.