He didn't think he was much of a cat person until he met Matilda. Matilda was a small, scraggy, skinny cat (or maybe kitten, he wasn't completely sure) who had turned up out of nowhere on the day he moved into the house.
Obviously a stray, with patches of pale pink skin shining through the missing squares of black fur, his heart ached when he saw her. An actual, physical pain which surprised him. He was not a caring person. He scrabbled through boxes marked 'KITCHEN' until he found an old tin of tuna that had been shoved to the back of his previous home's larder. It took a while to find the tin opener, but he managed it, and put the tin down in front of the house.
The cat was cautious. Too many times teased and kicked and yelled at, she just wasn't sure. And then her hunger overwhelmed everything and over she came. Still eyeing him warily, she gobbled down every crumb of fish, and as he watcher her, he fell in love.
He named her Matilda after his favourite book as a child. He remembered that time of his life as the happiest, and since the cat made him happy - so completely happy - it seemed apt.
Slowly, bit by bit, over a period of months, Matilda became his. She moved in, he bought her proper cat food, and they kept each other company.
Until one day, when a knock came at the door, and the child said, "Have you seen my cat?"