A friend was trying to find homes for a litter of feral kittens. I offered to help. It was Christmas so we decided to call the little tuxedo kitten with a white mustache and a feather of white from nose to ears "Alleluia." While everyone thought "Lui" was the cutest kitten on the block, no one stepped forward to adopt him. So when a job change took me to Pennsylvania, he became my companion. One day when I came home from work, Lui came to meet me at the door. Then he ran to the bookcase, leaned against it, put his head down and did a full somersault ending up spreadeagled on the floor inviting a tummy tickle. After that, every day I received a "so glad you are home" somersault. Lui loved the outdoors and was happy to take me for walks on a leash. That year we spent time daily walking downhill to the lake where Lui was fascinated by the tiny fish near the dock. The next year my job took me to Michigan. Our apartment was down several stairs immediately from the front door. Lui continued to meet me at the door, but no more somersaults. Then one day I was surprised to see him put his head down on the stair and do a revised somersault, a sort of twist sideways from one stair to the next. He had taught himself another trick! While I've been in Michigan the past five years, Lui and I have fostered 9 kittens, (all but one of them feral) and Lui has helped teach them to be happy housecats. Now, however, due to leg problems, it is difficult for me to go on walks with Lui and I have decided to find him a new home with someone younger who can keep him happy in the outdoors. He is 6 years old and very adaptable and people-oriented so I am hopeful with the kitten adoption center's help, to find the best match. Lui is healthy and will certainly outlive me, so this is a good thing, though I will certainly miss my companion!

Olivia Latiano