Yang turned 17 earlier this month. Not bad for a kitty who received the then-apt nickname of “vomicat” many years ago. A diet of homemade cat food has kept the old-cat ranginess at bay, and he may just be primed to register to vote next summer.
I know we’re lucky to have had such a great cat in the family for so long. (Not that Yin was any slouch in the long-term pet department: 14 years is not the shortest of cat lives, either.)
Animal lovers automatically surround themselves with other animal lovers, and are thus always experiencing the happiness and the tragedies of animal companionship. Just a couple of weeks ago, a friend’s 8-year-old cat died suddenly, and this week another friend is facing an undetermined, yet probably terminal, diagnosis for his family’s cat. He has the additional burden of helping his young sons deal with their grief, too.
If we had any common sense when it came to protecting our emotions, we’d stop turning animals into family members. The joy we would lose if we chose a lesser relationship with our pets, however, is simply unfathomable.
Thus, we choose, again and again, to love these furry little beasts, knowing that they’re going to leave us much too soon.
Totally worth it.