Shadow has a special place with us, not simply as our only cat in a house full of dogs, but because we got the little kitten shortly after we got together. He’s been with us through four moves now, and he’s still going strong.
Like most cats, Shadow is an often infuriating mix of wanting to be part of everything and not giving a toss. He’s more or less on his own schedule, although he still wants to be fed on time. He’s affectionate to me, although he’s equally obvious about when he wants to be left alone. And he’ll probably never forgive us for bringing three huge, stinky dogs into his life. (Although he might forgive us for Reilly. Reilly is a Being Of Pure Love™ and Shadow seems to have a soft spot in his aloof heart for him. Sometimes.)
As of 2014, the average lifespan of domestic cats had risen to between 12-15 years, according to Wikipedia. I’ve had friends with cats that lived closer to 25 years, and the oldest reported domestic cat lived to 38. So Shadow is technically “old” but we don’t know if we have a lot of time left with him, or a little. He’s got a good life—we make sure he has everything he needs, he gets as much attention as he’ll allow, and he’s even expanding his horizons a bit: he’s started venturing out into the yard, enjoying the outdoor sun (until the dogs chase him back inside). Hopefully he can enjoy life for a while to come. And maybe, one day, forgive us for the dogs.