Silly was my cat. He chose me -- I was trying to select a cat from the many available at the Humane Society that day, but every single time I tried to look at another cat, he reached through the bars to snag me and pull me back. I was a long-time Siamese/Oriental cat lover, and I had never really considered a long-haired black cat. But there he was, determined I should take him home, and so we did.
He was a baby, really, although gigantic--the first vet we took him to looked at his teeth and said "Wow, he's young!" as though in shock that a cat that large could be still just above a kitten. I sometimes suspected he had a touch of Maine Coon in him, since he loved to play with water (we had one of those upended water-bottle water bowls then, and he would literally dig all the water out all over the floor until the bottle was empty -- we had to stop using it for a long, long time), as well as his size and luxuriant fur, which he kept in absolute pristine condition for most of his life. Where most cats sleep in the sink, Silly would stretch out in the bathtub... and he filled it.
I tried to rename him a few times, but he stayed "Silhouette," the name he came with, and we called him Silly, and he knew his name.
He would sit and stare at me when he wanted something (see icon), and he NEVER gave in. When he wanted to sit on a table or a chair, there was no removing him; I always lost that "put him down, he comes back up" fight.
He was four or five, I think, when he was hit by a car. (We had already stopped letting them out, but he escaped, and continued to escape when he could, all the way to the end.) He came back to the door and asked to be let in, and it took me a while to notice something was wrong as he sat on the desk next to me; I petted him and found blood all over his chin and running down his neck. We rushed him to the vet to find he had road rash on his back and his upper two fangs had been knocked clean out -- but he was overall fine and despite HATING the itch as the road rash healed, he did just dandy without those fangs.
Over the years, he slowly lost the rest of his teeth, and I think had maybe two or three left. He still ate Greenies treats with enjoyment.
At some point he developed some sort of strange tumor in his ear which often got infected and leaked, but he kept on going, despite the fact we couldn't afford to have that seen to--and by the time we got to our current and best vet, it was just "use various antibiotics" and he continued to be fine.
He lost his best feline friend, Kojiki, who suffocated during an asthma attack and is buried in our garden. For a long time afterward, I sometimes feared coming home and finding Silly as I had Jiki. But he kept on going -- for more than a decade.
He got thin; his beautiful, carefully kept fur started to mat and lost its shine; he was arthritic and couldn't make the magnificent jumps he used to, but he kept on going. (Not to say he didn't TRY -- there were frequently examples of his attempts in entire tabletops being cleared of things.) He went through phases where he barfed everywhere, but he kept on going. He stopped using his litterbox and forced us to get him a cat condo to stay in when he couldn't be supervised, and he kept on going.
He loved me and always came to my lap to drape himself, or enjoyed the "hammock" I made for him when I'd use the recliner. He never really slept in bed with me, but during awake hours he was never far from me. If other people sat in my chair or my place on the sofa, they'd find themselves confronting The Stare (again, see icon).
He was frustrating, he was lovely, he was sweet, he was The Boss of the House, he was a Cat among Cats. Cairo loved him; Churro wanted desperately to play with him (never really understanding why the Old Man didn't want to play), and obviously loved him, since there were the rare and wonderful times when they would share space without horrid cat-spats. Silly put up with dogs and other cats being brought into his house, changes in furniture and other such thigns, and rarely got ruffled by any of these changes in his surroundings. He just adjusted, found out where I moved to, and moved along with me.
For the last six months he's had to live inside his little cage, keeping him from peeing in unauthorized places and saving him from being pounced on by Churro (who is also enormous, but Silly would have mopped the floor with him when he was young). It was definitely time, and I know I made the right choice saying "yes" when Barb called to ask. But...
For two decades he's been here. It's going to be very empty without him.