We also call him James-of-the Lucky-Tummy. This title came from a game of Yahtzee, late one Saturday night, in which one rub of James' ample belly ensured that you would roll the dice the way you wanted to. Full house! Too bad we can't take him to Vegas.
James is unique in that at a young age, he didn't meow as much as bark. He arrived as a Christmas eve gift for G2 (with sister Mowsie/Mimounette for G1) in 2004. As a tiny kitten, he would position himself in the stairwell for maximum sound amplification. He seriously sounded like a small yappy DOG. And he's huge. We have limited his food lately, bringing him down to a svelte 16 lbs, but for a while he was up to 19 lbs. He would obliviously squash his sister Mowsie when they snuggled. He was a truly fat cat!
James snuggling with Sister as his slimmer self
James has also had several near-brushes with death. We figure that he has used up at least three of the proverbial nine cat-lives already. At one point he had a virus that caused paralysis of his lower extremities. The vet recommended that we put him to sleep, but we just couldn't do it. He didn't appear to be in pain, so we decided to nurture him as long as we could. He recovered completely. Then last fall, he began a territory war with a neighbor's cat (thankfully, that neighbor has since moved). We had his abscessed wound operated on once, at great expense, but let him know that if he kept fighting, that was it. If I have to choose between children's medical bills and pets' medical bills, I'm sorry, but the choice is simple. While recovering, he wore this adorable newborn shirt also worn by G1 & G2 in the past, which didn't seem to bother him one bit:
He must not have understood my words of warning, because he had another fight and developed another horrific abscess. We could see down to the muscle fascia after it drained. We kept it as clean as possible, and again, he recovered completely. I hope he's with us for a long time. Long Live the James!