Death is inevitable
On September 25 - a makeshift birthday combining our vet's educated guess with the anniversary of his joining our family - Vector will turn 6. This means that sometime early in Nicholas' life - hopefully not before third grade or so - Vector will pass away.
In looking at Nicholas's dearest elder family members - three grandparents, a few close great aunts and uncles - he is fortunate that none have hit 70 and all are in relatively good health. All will probably outlive Vector, who in all likelihood will become Nicholas's first up-close experience with death.
And unless any of his grandparents end up living with us in the next decade - which (ahem!) almost certainly won't happen - Vector's death also will be Nicholas's first truly intimate experience with loss. A family member with whom he grew up - with whom he spent every night under the same roof, even the same bed - will suddenly be gone, and gone forever.
Like his history and missing body parts, Vector's passing will, for Nicholas, be a cold, hard and altogether valuable lesson in reality. His death will leave an upsetting, gaping void proving, through harsh silence, that life is both precious and finite.