In 2009 we lost our beloved cat.
Kitty came down with symptoms of 'Bobcat Fever' late in the week. Bobcat Fever or cytauxzoonosis is a blood parasite native to bobcats and spread by ticks from bobcats to domestic cats, which are not equipped to survive the infection. He was only four years old.

We adopted Kitty from the Good Shepherd Animal Shelter in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in the fall of 2005. He was a beautiful silky black shorthair. When we opened the cage to look at him and his brother, his brother began exploring the room, but Kitty walked immediately to Steven, begged to be held, and began purring. He chose us.

Kitty tried to catch snowflakes and hiked with us in the snow, and wasn't adverse to splashing through icy puddles on the way home. In summer he hiked with us to the Buffalo River (about 2 miles round trip) and always kept up a careful inspection of our whole property.
During the holiday season he went on his spirit-quest and was gone for nearly three weeks. We were devastated and with the new year we went back to the shelter to get another cat, assuming his demise. We adopted Yoda, another black shorthair. When Kitty eventually came back he found another cat to contend with.

They became friends and companions despite occasional spats.

Kitty's training at rope chasing and tassel fetching served him well in hunting. He often brought home rodents and his muffled meow would bring Yoda running as Kitty caught things for Yoda to play with.
I learned to trust Kitty's alert observation and body language. One day I was sitting in the gazebo, and Kitty was sitting opposite me in another chair, and I saw kitty sit up straight and look wide-eyed over my shoulder. I turned around to see a bear peeking over a rock about 20 feet behind me.
We all miss him a lot.