Merlin captivated me at a Cat Show, and I bought him over The Redhead's quite intelligent objections (too many cats, too many males). He looked georgeous at the Cat Show, but we didn't know how much the breeder had done to make him look good. He was a mess from day one His eyes teared because of his "extreme" Persian face. His coat was kind of kinky, so it matted and twisted and required constant brushing and combing, not to mention expensive professional grooming at intervals.
But to make up for all that he was extremely friendly and gregarious. He wanted nothing more than to have your attention. He would reward you for it with the loudest purr I've ever encountered. And he would purr at the drop of a hat. He purred when he sat on my chest. He purred when he ate. He purred for no particular reason. He would climb on my chest, purring, and lie down and settle himself there. He would stay sometimes as long as I could stand it. If I got up in the middle of the night he would follow me to the bathroom and sit in my lap and purr. At 4 or 5 AM he would crawl on my head and purr.
He never really grew up.
He was always a kitten.
He was hard to photograph. He would come back from the groomer. I would grab the camera. His well groomed, fluffy hair would instantly become a mass of tangles, and his cleaned up eyes would turn into a mess in a split second. His blue eyes, like all blue eyes, showed red from the flash unless you did a lot to cure it, as above, done post-production.
But we didn't get him and love him for his low maintenance capabilities but because he gave out so much love.
When I got the new digital Nikon he climbed on the instructions and relaxed. Thus the second photo with the new camera turned out to be the last photo of Merlin. His beautiful blue eyes show their natural color, and his innocent expression comes through.
He was healthy and loving until the day he died. He suffered from the same congenital heart disease that took Bear, but we didn't know it. A doppler ultrasound 6 weeks before he died failed to detect it, and he was pronounced healthy. There was no hint of a problem then. The day before he died he purred in my lap, and I told him how I loved him and wanted him with us forever.
But it was not meant to be. Apparently we were only meant to have him for a short time. Losing him, especially so soon after losing Bear was awfully hard. We can only figure that God didn't have enough purr in Heaven.