I, too, will try to keep this short, but I know myself... :P
Up until Niko, I had never had a pet- save for a couple of fish when I was little, so when I finally convinced my mother to allow me to have a cat (yes, I was 27 at the time, but technically.. mom lives with /me/, not the other way around, hehe). She HATED cats. And when I say hate.. I mean, she had said if I ever came home with one, she would promptly put it outside and allow it to run away. :/ It took over a week of cajoling and arguing to finally get her blessing, and the very next day, I was off to my local kitty shelter to go take a look around.
Originally, I was looking for an older female cat that was already out of her kitten phase.. just a sedate, hopefully cuddly, cat who I could give a good home to. I must have spent at least three hours at the shelter, getting to know the various personalities of all the free roaming cats that would give me a second glance. None of the ones I met seemed to be 'the one' and I was about to leave. That's when the shelter manager brought me back where they had some of the caged kitties, who were either unneutered, too young, or special needs/ill. And that's when I saw him.. this skinny little male, 6 months old, who was curled up in his empty food bowl. A bright green sticker on his cage said SPECIAL DIET/SPECIAL NEEDS, and I'll be honest, it put me off a little. Before I could even walk past to look at someone else, he was rubbing against the cage and sticking his paw out to touch my arm. I said eh.. what the hell, lemme see him and how he reacts to me. Well, that was the end of that.
The moment the manager took him out of the cage, he was literally reaching for me. I scooped him into my arms and he was all purry and excited- so excited that the very tip of his tail was vibrating. He didn't try to clamor out of my arms and jump down, he was just content to let me hold him. I walked around with him, for about an hour, while he groomed my chin and rubbed his sweet little face over any part of me he could find. Every time I'd put him down, he'd find a cat tree or a shelving unit to climb on so that he could crawl or jump onto my shoulder and settle back into my arms. He simply would NOT let me go, not even for treats when the manager tried to get him back to his cage. I stayed, that night, till the shelter closed and let him fall asleep on my chest. I remember all of the shelter workers walking past me with big grins, "Aww, Crackers (his first name was Firecracker), is in love! I've never seen him like this!"
After a couple of days, I was approved for adoption and took him home... he's been by my side, almost 24/7, ever since.
Oh.. and his 'special needs' was only an upper respiratory infection, and a tummy problem which was found out later to be worms. Now, he's as healthy as a horse (and eats like one, too!) And best of all, mom is utterly /in love/ with him, just like I knew she'd be.
See... I knew I couldn't keep this short. LOL