Yes, you read that correctly. My first "child" was given to me for my 13th birthday. I named him Snickelfritz. He was black with white stripes built into his fur- there was white down-like fur at the root and black on the tips and the longest tail I'd ever seen on a cat. We found out quick that he LOVED water. I would have to race him to the bathroom in order to shut the door before he could get in the shower with me. He was an adventurous child. One morning we all awoke to the sound of something being dropped on the piano. Turns out Fritz was tightrope walking on the outside of the landing and fell onto the piano. We went out to see him look up at us, shake his head, and jump down. He loved pizza. There were many times when I would be sitting on the couch eating pizza watching TV and all of a sudden see this black paw coming in to swipe my pizza. He'd always cause trouble and magically not be there when we went in to yell at him. :) He also loved red licorice. My mom used to keep it in her nightstand... until she caught him trying to get in to the drawer to get it out. :) As a kitten, he slept on my head, with his claws in my hair to keep me from moving around. He graduated to sleeping on my chest and I began falling asleep while petting him as his loud purr rumbled against my chestHe was there when I broke up with my high school boyfriend and spent hours crying- he kept head-butting me and coming in to snuggle. He was my child and I was his. When Sawyer was born, the dynamics changed a bit. I no longer had one child, I had two. They avoided each other for a while, but eventually Fritz came around to the fact he wasn't going anywhere. It seemed that I no longer had two children, but another parent to help me with Sawyer. He started sleeping with Sawyer at nap time and every time Sawyer would move, Fritz would move along with him.
He'd follow Sawyer around and vice versa. When Sawyer got old enough to begin "helping" around the house- he chose to feed the 'mimi's'- (cats). Last night Fritz wasn't doing so well healthwise and I sat with him 2 hours yesterday evening. Sawyer would play for a while, then come over, pet Fritz, kiss him, kiss me, then leave to go play. We informed him that Fritz was sick and very old. I ended up sleeping on the family room floor with Fritz and Bailey last night- Bailey and I wrapping Fritz in our love. Fritz passed away early this morning. He'd been my baby for 18 years. I picked Sawyer up from preschool this afternoon and he was telling his teacher about his pets. He said "I have a doggy. His name is Bosco. I have 2 cats- Frizzy and Bailey." I got down to his level and said "Sweetie. We only have one kitty now. Remember? Fritzy was really old and very sick. He's in heaven now." Sawyer turned back and said "Yes. Fritzy no sick no more." I lost it- huge alligator tears and God-bumps all over. We had never mentioned what heaven was. Amazing.
Fritz has passed on his stubbornness to my child. His spirit will live on in all of us.