As far as I know, he picked Cloud out of a list of names and vague descriptions.
Virgil. Grey and white. Long hair. Green eyes. Eight weeks old.
That was all we knew when he got the call that we should pick a different cat. The foster family that had him didn't think he was going to make it. He'd been found in a gutter with his mother and other littermates. He was the only one alive. And it seemed like he would soon be following his family.
But my now-husband-then-boyfriend had already paid the adoption fee and filled out the paperwork. So, we went around town to different foster families, looking at other kittens. We saw a lot of cats. A lot of really great ones. I loved them all because who doesn't love cats. On our journey, my now-mother-in-law-then-boyfriend's-mom found a cat for herself that she called Mother Moon. But I just kept going back to that original kitten. I hadn't even seen a picture of him, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he was the one.
I asked if we could visit him. They reluctantly let us. He was tiny and his fur was silly long. He looked like a perfectly round little grey and white cloud. He could fit in the palm of my hand. While I held him, he climbed up onto my shoulder and snuggled in against my neck, under my hair.
And that was it. I was done looking at cats. He was the one.
When I finally got him, I had to feed him this paste to boost his caloric intake. They told me he would be a tiny cat.
He wasn't. He grew up big and healthy enough to defeat death a few more times. He was a fantastic feline companion. I changed his name to Cloud because I was really into Final Fantasy VII at the time.
Recently, a friend of mine on Facebook posted pictures of a cat she'd found in the gutter. He's grey and white with green eyes.
I know that he isn't Cloud. No one could ever be or replace Cloud. But the two are similar enough that it scratches that part of my brain that says some things are meant to be. So, we agreed to bring him home.
His name is Virgil. He's a little broken, but the vet says he's not in pain. He's already gaining weight and looking stronger. I hope we can get as many good years out of his as we did with Cloud. I think he's going to be a good cat.