For those of you who have been following me over the years, you will recognize this handsome fellow, my love and my biggest inspiration, Ando. It is with tremendous sadness that I have to tell you that he passed away recently. I am devastated, to say the least. He was a piece of my heart, which is now empty.

Ando was the first cat I got as a kitten and he stayed by my side for just short of 14 years. Unfortunately, he had been battling a number of different ailments including diabetes, kidney failure, hyper-thyroid and, the thing that took him from me, heart failure.

Over the years and right up until the very end, he was always my best product tester and model, eager to try anything new the moment I took it out of the box. He would look right at the camera and pose perfectly with his shiny black coat and yellow-green eyes.

He was the most charming cat I’ve ever met and I’m pretty sure everyone who ever met him would agree. His presence was huge and his demeanor regal and calming.

Ando was also incredibly destructive, usually when he wanted attention or food, and he had me wrapped around his little paw.

He was into everything and all of his brothers and sisters absolutely adored him. We said he was like the Fonz, every girl cat wanted to be with him and every boy cat wanted to be him.

He was a complete crack-up and kept us laughing all the time. The thing I miss the most is that he always sat on my desk when I was working, usually with his paw or head on my hand, and he slept on my pillow at night. It has been incredibly difficult not to have him around but the thing that has been the most comforting has been hearing from friends and fellow cat lovers like you, my readers, who know what it’s like to love a cat in this way. We love them all, but some are very, very special.

He was my guardian angel in this life and I know he continues to be now and forever. Ando, you are a piece of my soul and I will love you for eternity. You are my number one Hauspanther.