When William showed up about 13 years ago, he was an amazingly confident kitten. He had been wandering the neighborhood for days when my ex-wife brought him inside and declared that someone had to take care of this little guy.
He was tiny then, but he was already a lion in his own mind. He walked right up to the older cats in the household and let them know there was a new sheriff in town. His dominant and fearless attitude earned him the name of William — after William the Conqueror.
There’s little he won’t get into. He has talented paws that are especially suited to opening drawers. Since he enjoys finding soft clothes to sleep on, he has a long habit of opening drawers and setting up shop on top of the clothes for a long nap. Here’s an example of his handiwork. He always jumps up and looks innocent after he’s been caught.
Over the years, he’s remained a very, very confident cat. Loud sounds and intrusions that send the others flying can sometimes barely wake William up. He’ll open an eye to see that there’s nothing exciting and then go back to sleep — while the others have taken off underneath the bed. (The exception is the sound of the vacuum cleaner, which does send him flying. Fortunately, I’m a lousy enough housekeeper that he rarely hears that terrifying sound.)
Even though he’s confident and dominant, William has always gotten along with every cat and dog in his life. The two oldest cats I have now are Thomas and William, and they’ve always been good-natured enough to get along well. Here’s William grooming Thomas recently, for instance.
When the three youngest girls were kittens, William was sort of like a surrogate father. When they weren’t sleeping with their mother or aunt, it was invariably him who they would choose to tuck their little bodies up next to. He tolerated them and seemed to make them feel safe. Even if he wasn’t a father to them, he was at least a big brother. And he still is now that they’re grown.
William doesn’t have any heart-tugging history or adventures to report. He’s just a confident little fellow who came in and conquered hearts and a household. He’s not the oldest, but he’s definitely the reigning royalty — and everyone seems happy to give honor to this king.
Editor’s note: If you enjoyed meeting William, you might enjoy previous stories and pictures about Anne, Dagny, Sonny, Alex, Bessie, Molly, Oliver, Munchkin, Sam, Maggie, Henry, Lucy, Amelia, Charlotte and Emily.