Sebastian was a pretty special guy and I was fortunate enough to share 9 1/2 years with him. He "picked me" on one of my visits to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary years ago.

I used to work in the state prison system and would spend my vacations sometimes at Best Friends in Kanab, UT. After a lot of daily stress it was a good way to unwind and just get away from it all. I would come home with lots of fresh cat hair on my clothes but relaxed and ready to go for awhile again.

The first time I visited was in April 2001. I was helping with the cats in a building that housed a lot of feral and special needs cats and was cleaning under one of the tables when I noticed this beautiful black cat sitting up on his "perch" watching me. When I stood up he literally jumped on me, wrapped his front legs around my neck, hooked his back toes into my bra, and gave me a huge kitty hug! I petted him but couldn't get him to let go at all. Finally he let me peel him off but then followed me until I was finished cleaning his room. Later I asked one of the caretakers, Bob, about him and was told his name was Sebastian and that he had been there for 6 years. He said he's usually shy and had a history of respiratory infections but that he was available for adoption.

I was there for two more days and went to spend time with him before I had to go home. Each time it was the same----huge kitty hug, lots of purring and then trying to free myself so I could pet him without his claws in the back of my neck. He was wonderful but I didn't know if I really wanted another cat.

I knew I would be back in the area in two weeks for a car show in Kingman, AZ and could decide by then. Well, once I got home I called Best Friends and had them send all of the paperwork to adopt him. Two weeks later I called from Arizona and let them know I would be there the next morning.

When I got there, Vivian (manager of cat HQ at that time) had all of his papers ready, he had just been microchipped, and was ready to go. I got to where he was in a little exam room and he just lit up when he saw me. We got our picture taken and started our 6 hour drive home.

He was great on the way home. He yowled at the top of his lungs for about 10 miles then just sat in his carrier quiet for the rest of the trip.

I expected cat fights when I got home, but he just moved right in and everybody got along. If he ever had a real home before he had forgotten a lot of things. He was baffled by the TV, ceiling fan, and walking on carpet was tricky.

Though he was billed as having health problems he was never sick until he got quite old. About a month after he moved in he started shedding profusely - to the point where I thought something must be wrong with him! He had had an almost oily feeling to his fur up until then. I must have brushed a grocery bag of hair off of him over the course of a week. Then it just quit as quick as it had started. From then on he had the silkiest, shiniest coat. It's almost like he shed his "shelter coat" and grew a "house cat coat".

Sebastian lived a lot of happy years and was always happy to give a "hug" to the people he liked but I think I got the best hugs. He loved to play and loved a warm lap even more. He was a good good boy in every way. I doubt there will ever be another one like him. He was very special.

Thank you for your invitation to tell his story. I know healing takes time but this helps a lot. Once again, thank you again for everything. The care you provide means so much to us.