I found Snow, or maybe he found me, in Southern Cali when I was living in my first apartment. I'd just gotten out of trade school, 19 years old, and was so psyched to have my own place and of course cats of my own. Snow was not part of that plan though; I'd gotten two cats from a co-worker and figured I was good to go.
I'd started noticing this gorgeous white cat hanging around, very friendly, no collars, etc but he looked well fed, good condition, etc. He started waiting for me by my door a lot. I'd feed him every once in a while. Right before Christmas I got home and he was waiting by my front door so I opened it and asked him if he was coming in. He walked right by me into the living room, highly pissing off my other cats.
I found out later that the people upstairs had been feeding him because he charmed them as well but nobody owned him; looked like he'd been left or run away.
He was so pretty I thought he was a girl at first and called him Nova for about a week until I examined him a little more closely and found boy parts hidden by his fluffy white fur. Doh. No boy names seemed to suit him at all so he became simply Snow.
I have had a lot of cats in my life. Never one like him. Snow was super smart. I called my mom and told her I had a genius cat that can understand what you're saying and would get really mad if you said anything bad about him. She didn't believe me, of course, so when she came to visit she petted him and he loved her. Then she smiled at him and called him a couple of names. His ears went back, the claws went out, and he chased her all over the kitchen trying to get her. We were both laughing so hard we couldn't speak, and we had to lock him in the bathroom to calm him down. He had timeouts in the bathroom two or three times a day and he'd just curl up on the floor, take a quick nap and be all cuddles and purrs in about ten minutes instead of the snarling demon he had been.
Snow was a great, loving cat but he had attitude to the max and wasn't afraid of anyone or anything. When we got our first St. Bernard, a year old dog that was already 120 pounds and growing fast the first thing Snow did was walk up to him and smack him across the face. After that he just went about his business, pretty satisfied that he had shown Beowulf who the man of the house really was. (Beowulf was terrified of him forevermore). He did the same thing when we got our second St. Bernard Miawho was a little tougher. She had attitude right back at him but she could still never, ever get him to back down. She wouldn't walk down the hallway if he was blocking her way because she knew who'd win that little confrontation.
He could also be very intuitive about when it was time to be gentle. I wrote about one experience here and there's a picture further into the thread: https://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat...s-moments.html
Snow was with us almost sixteen years through my marriage, through the birth of three children, through moving back to Oregon, through our family almost being homeless - we stuck by him and he stuck by us. He'd been losing weight the past few years, been to the vet of course where at first it just seemed from old age and then it was hyperthyroidism and arthritis. He also had multiple infected teeth and surgery to remove them three times. This last time he was too weak to be operated on. By the time we could stand to let him go, he was literally a shadow of his old self. Snow wouldn't have wanted to go without a fight, and I think we gave him his fight, but at the end he deserved to rest, and now he is. Life will never be the same without him.
Here's to you, Snow. Try not to get into too many fights at the Rainbow Bridge. I can't wait to see you again someday.