Mom here. I wanted to thank each and everyone for their kind words about Bandit. He was a very gentle cat and was always a bit shy around strangers. The only time he would willingly let me hold him was at the vet's office. Then he would try to stick his head under my arm or into my arm pit to hide. It was his "if I can't see them then they can't see me" routine.
Bandit came to our house in a round about way. A shelter from Frankfort, KY brought some adoptable animals up to Louisville. They set up a booth in the foyer at the K-Mart where my brother was working. My brother struck up a conversation with one of the volunteers and was telling her about our Fiona. Like Fiona, Bandit was missing one eye.
Later in the day my brother found out that the shelter's donation jar had been stolen from their table! My brother felt bad for them and he donated $20. When he was leaving one of the volunteers asked if he would be interested in adopting Bandit. His adoption fee would be waived. After discussing it with me it was decided that Bandit would be coming home to us. The shelter held Bandit for a week as I was leaving town and my brother didn't want to contend with a new kitty plus the 6 we already had.
When we did bring Bandit home he fit right in with our cat family. There was very little hissing and growling. Over the years he and Jazzpurr became buddies and would groom each others ears and faces. Occasionally he would allow Daisy to groom him.
Bandit was not a lap cat, but if he was laying on top of the cat tree he would get all silly and roll around demand to be petted! And almost every morning he would greet me in the bathroom and jump on the side of the tub.
He spent a lot of time sleeping on the floor vents as the temperature got colder this year. I don't remember him doing that so much in the past winters. Maybe it was indication that something wasn't right. Or maybe, like a heat seeking missle, he just wanted to have a warm place to sleep. I'm not going to second guess why he decided it was time to go.
Much to my surprise, and relief, the vet's office called today. Bandit's ashes were back and I could pick them up. My boy is home now where he belongs. He is resting next to Panda's ashes. I want to add a plaque to his box with his name. The top of the box is carved, so it would be difficult to put his picture on it (like Panda's box has). But I don't need to have his picture there. I will never forget his face.
Thank you all again for your condolences. It means the world to me.
Malinda and Clarissa & Co.