I want to take a moment to talk about Stratus. Stratus was my cat of 10 plus years, that I often made mention of during the morning show. Unfortunately, Stratus passed away this past winter.
Even now, there aren't a lot of days that go by without someone asking me about Stratus. He became fairly popular with our morning show viewers, even though no one ever saw him on air. I certainly wanted to bring him on the show a few times, but Stratus had some anxiety issues when it came to meeting new people.
It took over 6 months of dating before my current wife every even saw Stratus. It was, without exaggeration, over a year before she ever touched him....and not without quite a bit of fear. But eventually Stratus did warm to Tara, one of only a very few people besides myself.
When I got Stratus as a 4 week old kitten, he was one of a litter of 6. He was all gray from tip of tail to top of ear, and cowering in the back of a box, while his siblings were running all over the place. He was definitely born quite shy, and never really got fully "socialized". As hard as it was for others to get close to Stratus, it was hard for me to get away from him. From the minute I got home from work until the time I started snoring Stratus was either in my lap, at my feet, between my eyes and the book I was reading, or on my shoulders as we walked around the house. We were buddies.
I fully understand now, what I didn't 10 plus years ago....pets are family members. It was a tremendous loss when Stratus passed away, and still brings a twang of pain for time to time. But the memories certainly bring more smiles than frowns. We still have our 1 1/2 year old hound "Brandy" with us...and hopefully will for many years to come, but I have not been able to bring a new cat into the house just yet.
Stratus's memory lives large in our house and always will, even after I do eventually bring a new cat home one day.