Happy 21st Birthday, Lucy

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Almost 21 years ago, I went into a place called Vet Pets and picked out a tiny kitten for my birthday. It seems like yesterday, and it seems like a lifetime ago.

I had been around cats before. My mom had a cat. My sister had a few cats of her own. But I had never entered into the rare privilege of cat ownership until that moment when I picked one scrawny little feline over all the rest. That was a watershed moment in my history.

Lucy was a loyal and faithful companion for 17 years. I still get a little sad when I think about how I couldn’t save her at the end, but had to let her go and say my final goodbyes. But I’m thankful for that little tabby and what she meant to me.

Nine days after she passed, I was able to rescue another cat. She turned out not to be a carbon copy of Lucy, but quite a loving personality of her own. Her name is Peanut, and she is going on 4 years old.

I’ve learned that you can never go back, but you can remember. For me, memory is a fickle thing. You can’t will a memory into being, but certain smells or words or sights will trigger a random memory, like watching an old home movie.

I am an unashamed full-fledged cat person. Sometimes, I think I am the male equivalent of the crazy cat lady, whatever you would call that. Sure, I like all animals– cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits– but I have a special affinity for cats because I know how rare and special it is to have been chosen not by one but by two felines who loved me with all their hearts.

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