I dwell in the “People’s Republic of Michigan” and can’t have a dog where I live, but I do have a cat that is a mixed breed Maine Coon with Hemingway paws.

Boomer came into my life four years ago when I came home late from work one August night. As I came to the stairs of my apartment building, I heard a mournful “meow” and looked up to the next story to see a small, fuzzy gray face starring down at me from the second floor of the building. I then made the mistake of saying “hello” and with a joyful cry, a long, scrawny and very filthy feline bounded down the steps and leaped directly into my arms.

I gave a moan, both from disgust as this cat was really was that filthy from who knows what and also from the fact I knew as he melted into my arms that I was now a cat owner.

My neighbor, who is major animal lover then stuck her head out of her door and said; “I thought I heard a cat out here!” I grumbled to myself about the fact she didn’t open her door a minute later, but she made up for it by offering to bathe him and gave me some starter food and a spare litter box.

Later she came over and we talked and she offered to contact a local cat rescue as I really wasn’t prepared to take on a pet, but as he slept soundly next to my chair I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.

He picked up his name when another friend of mine came over and started to play with him and noticed if you playfully tossed him across the floor, he would return and let you toss him again and again. She then told me; “you ought to name him Boomerang.” I thought “Boomer” sounded a bit better.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs since then, especially living in a state with such a depressed economy, but I return home knowing that I have someone waiting for me that truly does crave my attention and offers unconditional affection in return. When people visit, they are shocked when my cat actually obeys my commands and answers his name, much as a dog will. He’s also my morning alarm clock as Boomer bats me awake at the crack of dawn to remind me it’s feeding time. Thanks to him, I’m rarely ever late. My only complaint with him is he likes to pet me in return, but doesn’t realize his claws hurt!

Today, Boomer is a very healthy, active and surprisingly intelligent cat that has proven to be a bit of a klutz and is addicted to laser pointers. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be with me for a long time.

-Daniel from MI