NANAIMO -- The cat, whose name was Kitten, couldn’t have been more cute, or unpredictable.

“I’d say, ‘No, no, don’t touch kitten,” Laura recalls telling the children in her daycare. “No, no, he’ll bite you.”

So one girl, who always wanted to pat the cat, would talk to him from afar.

“[The girl] was only about two,” Laura says. “And she would call him No-No!”

That name stuck. Even Laura’s son, Finnegan, called the cat No-No.

Laura shows me a picture of the boy as a baby sleeping next to the cat. No-No would say ‘yes-yes’ to any opportunity to cuddle with him.

Finnegan and No-No were best friends until the summer of 2017.

“He always came when he was called,” Laura says. “Then one day he just didn’t come home.”

Laura did everything she could to find No-No — for months.

“You realize he isn’t coming home,” she says. “It’s pretty sad.”

A year-and-a-half later they finally decided to move on and adopt a new cat named Mortimer.

“It was love at first sight,” Laura smiles.

Like No-No, Mortimer befriended Finnegan. For more than a year nothing could come between the two, until Laura received an unexpected call from the SPCA.

“They said, ‘We have your cat.’ And I said, ‘What cat?’ Because Mortimer was right beside us,” Laura recalls. “Then they said, ‘Oh. It’s a 15-year-old tabby.’”

It was No-No. The cat was discovered living as a stray more than 12 kilometres away and — thanks to a tattoo in his ear — returned home after being gone for more than 3.5 years.

“There were tears of happiness,” Laura says. “We were pretty excited.”

No one more so than Finnegan. Now he had two best buddies.

“They both really like sleeping with me,” the now six-year-old smiles.

They both really like being read books in his bed too, but seeing as neither cat had to learn how to share their boy until now, both sometimes get told ‘no-no.’

“They always fight (to see) who gets a spot,” Finnegan says, before Laura shows me a picture of both cats sleeping with him.

While the cats may quarrel over who gets the best spot in his bed, Finnegan has learned that no matter how many best friends he has, no matter how long they’re gone, they’ll always find a spot in his heart.