I got Slayer at the Toronto Humane Society sometime around Canada Day weekend 2007.
I have only snapshots of the experience of getting Slayer. All the other cats were purring against their cages, and I found one guy under his paper lining, hanging with his paw out. I took a look at him and said, "Awww. You are winking at me." And he kept on winking and winking and winking until I clued in that he had only one eye.
None of the other cats caught my attention, just this one-eyed cat. I returned to his cage and asked if he wanted to come home with me. He didn't respond or move; somehow, I knew this lack of attention meant that we were meant to be together. He was playing hard to get.
When I asked to spend some time with this one-eyed cat, he purred like an engine. He loved being petted and never shied away. He was found as a kitten. The story that I was told was that he got into a fight with another cat. He got an infection in that eye, and they removed it to prevent it from spreading.
Slayer went through multiple names before I landed on Slayer. So many people gave me suggestions, winky, pirate, blinky. Let's say I refuted ALL of them. Toronto Humane Society gave him the name Tyler. No good. I had a cousin named Tyler. So I decided on Rollins after Henry Rollins. Within a day, I changed my mind. Rollins is an angry and energetic traveller. This cat was not those things. He was a sweet, gentle soul who loved being homebound. So I decided to call him Elliot after Elliot Smith. While the name suited him, Elliott Smith stabbed himself to death. I was not too fond of that association.
While meditating over the name, I played Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss album. The cat came up to the music and rubbed his head against the speaker. I got so excited. I said out loud, "Is your name Slayer?" He meowed and went to sleep. Best. Cat. Ever.
Slayer was a comfort creature and a soul mate to me. He saved my life in so many ways. He showed his loyalty by trolling any potential partners. When Andrew and I first started dating, Slayer would sit in between the two of us. Slayer would drink from his water cup constantly and consistently. Slayer would ONLY drink from Andrew's cup. He woke Andrew up by walking on his head, and I delighted in all these displays of devotion.
Slayer had very few demands. He demanded to be the little spoon every night. He wasn't a lap cat but preferred being next to me. Andrew's kids loved Slayer. During the pandemic, Slayer would write to the kids.
He passed away purring on January 7, 2022.
I started volunteering with Annex because of Slayer.