When I was 25 my cat was hit by a car. I was heartsick.
A week later Pete met me at the door when I came home from work. There was meowing coming from upstairs.
He had found a stray, the strangest looking cat I had ever seen. My first question was, "Did you shave him?"
No, he hadn't. That was just how he came.
He also came with only one functional eye and the worst case of worms our vet had seen in her almost twenty year career.
We found his owners but they never showed up to take him back home.
That was sixteen years ago.
Spike has been with us since we were just starting to figure out what "us" even meant.
Every unfolding of our life.
Marriage. Parenting. All of it.
There was Spike. The almost hairless one-eyed cat.
A few years ago cancer set in. We had one of his ears removed, then the other. In the past few months it began to spread across his forehead and to his nose and throat. Open sores that never healed. He was hurting.
It was time.
Today we said goodbye.
Sixteen years, six houses, two kids, three other cats, three dogs, one family.
Travel well, old man. You were truly one of a kind.
And you will be missed.