Sometimes in the cold of winter, I would find that, although my arm had found it's way out of the warm blankets, it still was curiously warm with the lightweight soft warmth of a furry vibration resting on it, snuggled up close into the curve of my body. It was a friendly, affectionate, even intimate presence; a "you are not alone in your winter hibernation" presence.
And sometimes a little furry paw would reach out to tap my needles as I knit, or a sleek silky greyness would hop up on the tray between me and my weaving or onto the desk as I worked on the computer. This friendly intruder would remind me, "You have worked long enough, you need some social time. Don't take life so seriously; it's time to play!"
Many times when I would sink into a cushion in sadness, worry, or despair, I would quickly find a friend on my lap, letting me know that I was not alone.
Possum loved to stare down big dogs, intimidating them easily into a compatible submission. From him I learned that it is not size or species or age (or gender) that makes the difference. It is a courageous spirit that makes one indomitable. He was named Possum from T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Our old Possum was a practical cat... though, as with all cats, not really of much use at all, as usefullness goes. But he was a dear sweet part of our family for almost 18 years. He went through all of his nine lives, and perhaps more. We had to let him go today, and there is a hole in our family where he was for such a good long time. I shall miss you, my dear friend.