My childhood cat is dying.

Mom messaged me on facebook yesterday to tell me that Rugby, my childhood cat, has stopped eating.  With pets this is a near certain sign that they’re not long for this world.  It’s ok, Rugby had a good cat life that was full of love and wet food every evening at 5pm.

Of course, I was sad.  We got Rugby when I was 13ish.  He was with me through all of high school and a staple of every return home.  Every Christmas we gave him a can of tuna.

Honestly, it’s hard to recall a time without Rugby.  I got to thinking about that the other day and realized I owe Rugby a big thank you for the gift of perspective.  Sometimes I think about the swiftness of life.  I’m 31, about to be 32, and it feels like I graduated high school just yesterday.  That feeling really punches you in the face with thoughts of how short life is.

But Rugby?  He’s been there forever, it seems – through all manner of life events.  I realized today that I have enough room in my life for two more cats, maybe even three.  That’s a lot of life left.  I hate that Rugby’s about to die, but he has helped me to realize that life isn’t as fleeting as I had thought.  I have so many more years that won’t pass in the blink of an eye that I can fill with good times and new ideas – and even a Corgi for Michaelyn and I to love like we did Rugby.

Perhaps it’s cynical to see the bounty of my remaining years at the conclusion of a beloved pet’s life.  Although, when my time is up, I would love it if those who survived me found some peace in it.  You’ll be missed, Rugby.  Thanks for the good times and for the comfort those times are bringing to my mind.

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