Rex is the Latin word for king, which has nothing to do with what I’m going to talk about.
A few years ago, Mary and I decided that we wanted to adopt a purebred cat. We researched the breeds and Mary discovered the Devon Rex. Most cats have three types of hair, guard hair, awn hair, and down hair; the Devon Rex has no guard hair and little awn hair, so their coat is curly (or “rexed”), like sheep’s wool. They have great big ears and pointed faces with curly whiskers. Some Devons have bald spots on them. But it’s their personality that sets them apart: someone compared them to a combination of a cat, a dog, and a monkey, with a mischievous toddler thrown in there for good measure.
There was a breeder in the Atlanta area, and she had a cat that had been returned that needed a home. Soon, Mary and I were the people for a pretty girl named Coconut Curl, a/k/a Connie.
Connie had some major health issues and died less than a year later. I wrote to the breeder to let her know, and she put us on the list for one of the new kittens they were expecting. About three months later, Milton came to live with us.
Milton was a sweet little guy who took immediately to Mary. He’d follow her around, and when she sat down he would immediately climb into her lap. On more than one occasion, when Mary would be bent down looking in a cabinet or something, Milton would jump onto her back and hold on for dear life, digging his claws into her to try and keep from falling off. We learned early on that Milton was not really the brightest crayon in the box: If Mary had been in her “office” in the basement and had come back upstairs, he would still be in the basement, scratching at the door. Or, she would have been on the second floor and returned to the living room, and a few minutes later we’d hear him crying for her. Mary would call “Milton! I’m down here!” (or “I’m up here!”), and he would run from wherever he was and let out a little cry, as if to say, “Oh, there you are!”
Having very little hair, Milton got cold pretty easily, and he would climb into the laundry basket when we brought clean clothes up from the basement. I know, every cat does that, but in Milton’s case, he needed to, and since he really didn’t shed, it didn’t cause too many problems. He was very warm to the touch, and when he’d sleep next to Mary they would keep each other warm. He was like a little furnace.
We brought home a couple of kittens, who we named Minnie and Max. Pretty soon Milton and Max were inseparable: they’d sleep together, and Milton would groom Max. One day, he coughed up a hairball, something Devons don’t usually do.
Milton went to the Rainbow Bridge a couple of years ago, and both Mary and I still miss him.