Ember came into my life as a surprise from his tiny Maine Coon-like mom Sally, whom friends rescued from an abusive situation, We didn't know she was pregnant when Sally came to live with me. Sally decided to move in with my neighbour after her babies were weaned (and her spay operation) and her little orange son - who grew to be a big orange son - stayed with me. Ember was my friend for 18 years, 9 months and 7 days (January 23, 2015). He developed medical issues in his middle and elder years but cheerfully put up with all the interventions and required support, and would come on his own for all of the routines. He felt heroic I know, defending his deck and patio - he was "Mr. Territorial". Ember didn't save anyone from a fire, or do anything dramatic and notable like that. Can you be a hero by being a good friend for many years? Can you be a hero by living with life's challenges with grace? He did all that . I miss him.