CC Humane had a storefront in Lafayette in when I started a new job nearby in May 1998, I would go in and visit the kitties on my walk to/from BART. There was one big, black and very shy male cat who had been rescued in January 1998. He held out under a car in a parking lot for several hours and was named “Car-mine” — he was so shy, but I couldn’t resist. I would visit him and pet him, but leave before he got anxious and looked like he wanted to run. Pretty soon, the staff were asking “When are you taking your cat home?” Finally, in October 1998, I took him home and my other cat, Missy, was not too happy about that. He won her heart, and they were best friends til she died a few years later. He was skittish and gentle, and over a few years turned into a very sweet, trusting, loving cat who would snuggle up with me when I read and roll onto his back so I could rub his belly. He was always good with other cats, and despite his very big size (a lean 16-18 lbs most of his healthy life) — he never hissed at or fought with other cats (even though I brought in two fiesty boys in 2004 and 2005). Carmine had a very good memory — he would remember and greet friends of mine as though they were his first. He was very cleaver — he could open closet doors and showed the other cats how to open drawers. After 15 years together, he started really losing weight — and despite medication and surgery, he succumbed to lymphoma in June 2014. Carmine was very sweet, gentle and loving presence and I miss him very much. Carmine is the at the top of the photo, with his buddies Dobson (middle, East Bay SPCA) & Mercy (failed feral from TNR) and George (head tucked, Berkeley Humane).