Last night, shortly before midnight, I had to say goodbye to my companion of more than twenty years.

Spot was the only kitten born from my previous cat, Sasha, and she fused in the womb with one of her siblings, so she’s technically a chimera. She was there with me through every major life event of my adult life, from college to a career to our first house. She outlived my other cat by a decade and every other pet in our family. Halfway through her life, a genetic defect demanded that we remove her left eye. Coupled with the distinct line down her nose, she is arguably one of the most recognizable cats you’ll ever see. She was perpetually affectionate and almost annoyingly attentive. She would sit for hours in my lap, on my desk, or at my feet while I worked, and she greeted me like a dog when I came home. I named her after Data’s cat from Star Trek because he was one of my favorite characters, and having a female cat named after a stereotypical male dog was just funny to me. I didn’t realize at the time that a silly name would become one of the most important in my lifetime. Spot lived for 7,471 days, almost 100 years in human terms, and I’ll miss her for the rest of mine.


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