I didn’t have a lot of pets growing up. What pets I had were a combination of dogs we inherited or just randomly adopted (or they adopted us), and a cat or two that liked to be around us. Mom had some parakeets once, but then she lost it when they died. There is also the story of me adopting a baby chick that grew up to be a rooster.
When I started dating my wife ten years ago, we mutually adopted a little cat. My wife already had a 14 year-old Maine Coon with an attitude. The Little Cat was our little girl, a sign that our relationship was going somewhere. When we brought the Little Cat home, the Big Cat almost packed up and left. Seriously, he was pissed. But they grew to respect each other and live in harmony.
Big Cat passed away about six years ago, and Little Cat became the alpha cat of the house. She then got a little brother that ended up dying in an accident. After him, she got two sisters. Along with the dog and the Guinea Pigs in my office, they all got to give the house a lot of life. They gave us a lot of love, too. And we got a good bit of laughs from all their shenanigans.
Unfortunately, the Little Cat developed cancer on her neck. After a few months of trying different things, the tumors got so big that they got in the way of her eating, drinking, and breathing. The humane thing to do was to euthanize her. So we took her to the veterinarian last week and said goodbye to her. It was very, very hard to do. We miss her dearly.
I’ve always been amazed that we humans come to be so close to these furry animals. They truly do become our family. The Little Cat was truly our little girl, a symbol that our dating did progress to our current marriage (six years and counting)… That we are both committed to this home, to ourselves, and to these kittens.
Goodnight, kitten. I hope you’re enjoying a big batch of catnip with the Big Cat and the Boy Cat… And all other cats who’ve moved on.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.