My cat Fetus passed away on Sunday. He was 15 years old, which is something like 200 million in cat years, I think. It was a sad day in our house, but a reflective one for me. It was the passing of an era, the completion of a phase that had its roots a long time back.
Let me explain a bit. I got Fetus in 1996. I inherited him from a friend who had inherited him from another friend and didn't want to keep him. I was in a pretty crazy cat lady phase at the time, and agreed to take him into my small apartment, even though I already had two cats. I was 23 years old and two years out of college. Fetus was my companion through a difficult relationship, my first "grown-up" job, my first solo apartment, meeting my husband, moving to a new city, buying my first house, having my first (then second, then third) child, and remained with me through my current status as wife, mother, and business person. As all the other things fell away, Fetus remained steadfast. I was reminded of my former life each time I had to explain to someone why I named him Fetus. (For the record, I didn't. He was already named and was 2 years old when he arrived, so I didn't want to confuse him with a name change.) Fetus used to sleep on my pillow, before he had to be put outside due to the unfortunate habit he had of peeing all over my carpeting. He adjusted to his new status grudgingly, and lost much of his devotion to me, but could still be counted on to purr like an engine every time his head was stroked. As cats go, he was a class act. And he will be missed.