But as I said, I was drawn to him. The time spent with the little pack of five dark furballs involved a lot of care and trust-building, and was easily one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. I've always grown up with cats as pets, and even raised one since she was a newborn, but had been without an animal companion after moving to California. Though the five kittens were not technically my fosters, I helped socialize them now and then. Byron was always the one I inevitably found myself spending the most time with, but it wasn't until a mere couple of days before they were scheduled to return to Hopalong that the extent of our attachment became evident. I offered to take care of their food and litterbox while the fostermother was out of town for a day or two, and in that time, Byron refused to leave my side. He had a fondness for resting on my right knee, and I jokingly referred to him as my Kneebuddy, though as pictures show, he's learned that my lap is much more comfortable.
It was only a day or two, but I knew then and there that Byron wasn't someone I could let slip away from me. He loved me and he won my heart... I suppose the rest of the story is obvious. I adopted him, and brought him back to the home he was fostered in. He was already used to the surroundings, and ultimately was much more interested in me, purring mile-a-minute and giving me little loverubs and headbutts. Since then, he's been renamed to Chococat, after the Sanrio character who is dark-furred, just like him. We call him Choco for short, and he leads a positively happy, adventurous life with his brother, who was adopted by my roommate. Generally his days are filled with rambunctious wrestling all across our hardwood floors and over my bed, and periods of rest, right next to my right hip, if not directly on the center of my chest. He also has a fondness for squeezing into the comfortable spot between my laptop and my lap - admittedly, he's "helped" me out by pushing the space bar
for me - and as pictures show, he likes to reach out and act as my paperweight, from time to time. An easygoing, happy life, which has brought me moments of peace that I haven't felt in a long time. The kind of peace a pet owner shares with their pets, and I have Hopalong and my roommate to thank for that. Thank you for giving little Choco a chance to find me!