And it's not just me saying that: ask my family, my friends who knew him, even my old neighbors. He was mine, and he was universally loved. (Well, almost universally loved, but that's another story.) Once, my dad and my first boyfriend were talking about him and my dad said, "It's a shame you never met him." My boyfriend laughed, thinking my dad (who never admitted liking animals, especially cats) was being sarcastic, but my dad quickly corrected him, saying, "No, it really is a shame. He was a good cat."
I loved my boyfriends, but now that they're out of the picture that love is gone. Milo has been out of the picture for almost 9 years but he's still the love of my life. Today he would have turned 16. I would have made him a cake (wet food on a plate with dry food sprinkled all over, topped with a candle), would be telling my friends to come celebrate, and would have taken pictures. He would have hated it but he would have put up with it, because that's just the kind of guy he was.
It was with him that I recognized that warm spark in my heart, and because of that I was able to recognize it with others, even Chloe, as different as a cat could possibly be from Milo. Somehow animals give more than people do, something I'll always be grateful for.