20 years ago today, I fell in love.
It was the best kind of love, since it was both unexpected and profound. And it still endures.
On this day, 20 years ago, I happened to be visiting my friend Alice when her cat gave birth. Though I knew her cat was expecting kittens, I had never thought about adopting one of them. But for some reason, which I still can’t explain, it was love at first sight when Buddy made his first appearance. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a newborn kitten, but they look very strange indeed, besides being covered with blood and goo, as any newborn animal is. Despite these aesthetic drawbacks, I fell in love with Buddy and never looked back.
Through the next 18 years, he was my constant companion and friend. We grew up together, and he was always there for me. As my father said of his beloved dog Jesse, “We knew each other for 14 years, and he never thought I was wrong.”
Three months before his 18th birthday, Buddy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. His strong heart wouldn’t give up, though, so we had to get our vet to come to the apartment and release him from his pain. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I realized that I had been there for his first breath and his last, and that was a privilege. I am very lucky to have had such a friend for so long. So on this day, I am especially thankful that he came into my life, and that we had such a wonderful journey together.