Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Passage of Time

I had to put my cat, TC, to sleep today.

I was at my parent's house after staying there after Brian's bachelor party last night, and when I got up this morning, the poor thing was shaking and could barely move. I knew that was it. The weird thing is that my Dad said she had been declining lately, but she could still walk and the shaking thing was new. It was almost as if she waited for me.

For those who aren't aware, my cat was almost twenty years old. My parents got her for me when my brother was going off to college. my brother is now 37, and I'm 31, so do the math. She had been a great pet, and I have plenty of funny stories that I will always remember. She was a real cool cat, too, not one of these spaz-outs. I guess it's true that pets often take on the personalities of their owner, because a lot of people thought my cat was a real bitch, but I knew she was a really nice pet. She was independent and free and did whatever she wanted and didn't take any shit. A cat's life, for sure.

Obviously, she was old, so this was not a huge surprise to anyone, and it was my call and I decided it was her time, but what really gets me is that this is just another glaring example of the passage of time. TC (Top Cat) was the only pet that was really mine, and it's doubtful I'll ever get another one. Maybe a gecko one day, but those things don't last 19 years. On a day like this, I really wonder why people get pets at all, knowing that this is the inevitable outcome every time. I mean, there's not much chance something like this won't happen.

So, 19 years is a long time. I've had a lot of friendships that are shorter than that. And if you add up every relationship I've ever had, it doesn't even come close to 19 years. Barely half, actually. TC was a good friend for a long time, and there really wouldn't be any replacing her. In fact, now I really regret not taking her with me when I moved out. Not that she would have been very happy, because she always enjoyed roaming the woods at night, but at least we could have hung out some more. Then again, sometimes I wonder if she even knew I was gone.

The point is, she is gone now, I have two weddings next month, and suddenly, I feel very old. She was my childhood pet and she's gone, along with just about everything else from my childhood. All the good stuff, anyway. Isn't there anything I can do that can make me feel young again?

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