My cat’s name was Clinton. My dad named him that in 1997 when we adopted him from the North Shore Animal League in Long Island, New York. He chose the name because my cat was gray and white like Bill Clinton’s hair, the president at the time. I can’t tell you how many Monica Lewinsky jokes I got from that point forward. If I had a dime…
A few years after we adopted him, we discovered that he had a malignant tumor at the very tip of his tail. We discovered it when my brother accidentally ran over his tail with a scooter. I remember being so mad at my brother for doing something so stupid in the apartment, but if that hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have detected it in time. He had surgery and had a shorter tail from there on out.
About a year ago, we noticed that his eyes started shifting from side to side. I did what most people tend to do and Google’d the symptoms, and I wasn’t happy with what I read. When we took him to the veterinarian to confirm his condition, she referred us to a neurologist. There, we found out that he had a brain tumor at the very top of his head–an inoperable brain tumor. We were given a few options that primarily included radiation, but they were well beyond our financial means.
So the neurologist gave us medication to reduce the inflammation and told us that we’d have two or three months with him.
On May 5th, 2014, following Star Wars Day, I had to say goodbye to my best friend and co-pilot of 17 years. I don’t think I ever experienced so much pain as I did on that day. Over the course of the week, whenever I found myself sitting on the couch, I kept expecting to see him just casually walking around the apartment. I still do. The worst part is when reality sets in and there’s only silence.
Clinton, like Star Wars, was a big part of my life. He was my companion during the dark times when I was trying to find employment. He was my personal heating unit because he would always try to find a way to sit on or around me. And he was my friend.
Earlier this year, he made a small appearance during the Kessel Run, a charity event organized by MakingStarWars.net to help raise money for Rancho Obi-Wan. Like I said, he always tried to find a way to sit on me…
Even though I still hurt, I also have comfort in knowing that he’s no longer in pain. He will always be the best thing that I ever happened to me. As Mandalorians would say in that galaxy far, far away, “Nu kyr’adyc, shi taab’echaaj’la.” Not gone, merely marching far away.