Star turned out to be quite social, smart, and dashing, with sleek fur and perfect tuxedo markings. Comet... well, we joked that these two were the George and Lenny of cats (from Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men). Comet always had slightly mussed fur, and he was huge – not fat, at least when he was young, just large – and he didn't seem to be terribly bright. He was easily startled, and spent much of his time hiding in the most remote corner of the house he could find. Despite all this, Comet adored me and liked to sit on my lap and purr while I did homework. Every time I visited my parents after I moved out, Comet would seek me out and insist on being held and petted and cuddled, as if to make up for all the attention he missed while I was gone.
I am telling you all this because Comet died today. He's the first real pet I've lost, and he wasn't even very old. My parents said they don't know what happened; he was sick about a week ago, recovered, then got sick again yesterday. They found him dead this morning.
Maybe this is the reason a tiny black-and-white kitten came into my life when she did. She turned out to be needed.