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Not Gone, Merely Marching Far Away

My cat, Clinton
My cat, Clinton

My cat, Clinton, wearing a Star Wars tie from Petco.

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 to help raise money for Rancho Obi-Wan. Like I said, he always tried to find a way to sit on me…

My cat, Clinton

The Kessel Run

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.

My cat, Clinton

About JM (703 Articles)
Content creator of The Wookiee Gunner and Geeky Bubble. Contributing writer of Fangirl Next Door and Fashioned for the Geek. Podcasts: @RebelsChat, @GalacticFashion, @Team_Kanan, and @StarScavengers. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

7 Comments on Not Gone, Merely Marching Far Away

  1. I’m so sorry, Jo. *hugs* May he be one with the Force.

  2. Hi Johnmarie, thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt history. Clinton looks like such a sweet heart.

    I tweeted you a picture of my cat, asking your opinion on his Jaig Eyes and I’m wondering if that exchange prompted this post.

    In any case, thank you!

    • Hello there, Ken! I do remember the tweet and the picture. I believe I responded by saying that my cat also had hints of Jaig Eyes, hehe! As for the inspiration behind this post, I had it in mind for a little while now. I knew there would come a time when my cat would no longer be with us, so I had it in the back of mind to write a post in his memory. Thanks for commenting! :)

  3. Hey Jo, I’m Aliena from tumblr. I’m so sorry for you, I know how important pets are,they become a member of family and are with you always. I’m sure he cares for you wherever he is.

  4. Beautiful and touching post. *hugs* I’m sorry for your loss as losing a pet is always very hard. I am glad that he had a long and god life though. I’m sure he is hanging out with my Sissi (and her brother, Jedi). I am sure they’re talking about how many times they snuggled to us in the middle of fangirl flailing even when we woke them up by squealing too loud.

  5. I’m so sorry, Jo. Animal companions are more than pets, they are our friends, a part of our family.
    Beautiful entry, Clinton was an amazing cat :) He’s now with the Force!

  6. What a beautiful thing to read about a family and their animal companion. Some people don’t give them enough credit, but I know first hand how much pets can mean to us, and us to them. Clinton was obviously an amazing cat and so loved in your family. I am happy for you that you got 17 years with that beautiful kitty and that he is now resting peacefully, no longer in pain. RIP Clinton.

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