We acquired a kitten a few years we just fell in love with. With the hole in our lives caused by the death of our oldest cat, we found a cute little tuxedo cat who scampered around a lot. But we returned to do some paperwork related stuff and saw this gorgeous little domestic shorthair male who had a riot of caramel, black, white and brown fur. We fell in love with him and adopted him and called him "Monty". He and Xena were inseparable, but within a few weeks we saw him fighting for breath. We took him to the vet and after a course of antibiotics he seemed to be better,but then started to take a really downward turn. We returned him to the vet, and the following day got the news that he had died of feline peritonitis which is incurable and 99.9% fatal.

He was a really, really sweet animal, and we took his death pretty hard.

We had noticed after our oldest cat Gigi had wasted away to half her weight. She wouldn't eat, she was clearly upset, and if anyone thinks animals don't have souls and don't mourn, they're wrong. So we headed this off for ourselves and for Xena by looking at cats again. We found a similarly colored domestic long hair with huge paws - he must have some Maine Coon in him, and adopted him. Gigi hated him right away, but Xena and him were playing right off the bat. We wondered just what the hell to call him and settled eventually on Bo.

Bo has absolutely no idea how to cat.

Hobbes is annoyed because Bo will just charge at him. Xena and Hobbes just realize that's what he does, but Gigi has always taken this as a threatening gesture and responded in kind. Now he just charges at her with his claws out and she attacks back. But he's not aggressive, in fact we think he's just clueless, and partly blind - or at least shortsighted.

Him and Xena are close in age and they play together a lot. She took a maternal interest in him: it took a long time for him to realize he's supposed to clean his fur - he got the message after the other cats did it for him constantly and started doing it himself. He's tried mounting her a few times but can't seem to figure out why, even though he's been neutered. She's expressed her disinterest in this pretty forcefully, and he seems to be operating on some kind of instinct he doesn't understand.

They will occasionally lie together, her quietly licking him, and he'll start licking her back. And then like two old ladies increasingly fighting over who is going to pay the bill for their luncheon, it goes from a paw getting involved to hold one down in order to maintain licking supremacy to playfighting and the odd play-bite. It always ends this way, which bemuses us as to why it even starts.

But his absolute favorite thing in life is chasing a laser pointer. The wife keeps buying a certain brand of them from the dollar store, and Bo knows exactly what the sound of the chain on it sounds like. Even inaudible to us, if you bump the pointer in any way, he comes sprinting from wherever he is, looking furiously around for the laser dot and staring at us pointedly to make it go. We can't pick up, relocate, or even inadvertently touch the thing without hearing what sounds like the thunder of hooves bashing through the house to come to our midst.

But to keep himself busy, he likes to play a game that sets off our alarm. He races through the house to build up steam and then leaps into the seat of the wife's office chair. It's on a wooden floor, so he's able to coast across the room riding it like a skateboard. If we have motion detectors working, he won't set it off, but the chair does. He will then drop down, use his big paws to turn the back around, bite the back cushion, and drag it back to its original position so he can do it again. We thought he might be developmentally delayed for a cat, but seeing him do this makes us wonder.

Animals clearly have souls, or at least the Buddha nature, which is the closest thing a Buddhist will get to admitting to a soul. It's always a delight seeing what kind of weird personality you get when you acquire a cat. Bo might occasionally trip one of us up, set off an alarm, or otherwise annoy the other cats, but he's a big goofy ball of weird, and we've all come to love him. Except Gigi.