Darth Swank and family apparently made an unfortunate discover the other night: his oldest daughter's pet goldfish died in a fishtank-related accident. (Really. It involved some kind of intake pipe or something.) His poor kid, who is five (the same age as The Daughter), was obviously quite traumatized by this. Losing a first pet is never easy.
We haven't lost any pets since we had two cats die within four months of each other, two years ago, when The Daughter was just three, and she didn't really know what was going on at the time. She did experience something of the sort a month or so ago, when she went to the Grandparents' house to spend the night and learned that their oldest cat, a calico that managed to chug along for twenty years, had passed. That calico was a very friendly animal and had slept with The Daughter on her last couple of overnights to the Grandparents, so she was very sad to learn of the calico's passing. But it wasn't nearly as traumatic as if either of our own cats was to pass on.
It actually hasn't been a very good few weeks for pets in Blogistan. David Trowbridge and Wil Wheaton both had to bid farewell to long-lived, and long-loved, cats. As well-written as both tributes are, I have no doubt whatsoever that both Dave and Wil would trade a thousand finely-honed blog posts for their cats back, in the prime of their lives.