If you're the kind of person who can't stand reading sappy, sentimental stuff about other people's pets, then please skip this section.

I buried Jack today, 2002 March 9. By my best guess, he was a kitten when Jimmy Carter was President of the United States. He came into my life sometime around 1988 and he has lived in seven states since then.

Jack was not bright, even by the less demanding standards of feline intelligence. I had a cat door in one of my houses, Brandon used it constantly, and Jack never figured it out. After one move, Jack went outside for the first time, got his fat stomach over the fence, only then realized he didn't know his way home, and showed up three days later all beat up.

Brandon was my cat since I got him in 1984 February. When company came, Brandon retreated under the bed. One time I closed the bedroom door before a party and Brandon was mad enough to go away for seventeen days.

But Jack was a cat of the people. He liked everybody. He would sit in any lap and crawl up to any shoulder in search of a friendly scratch behind his ears or a warm place to rest his head. Anybody who came to my house when I was not home had nice things to say about my cat with no tail.

Jack was old, he was tired, and it was time. But I don't have to like saying goodbye.

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