~ 2003: My stepbrother's girlfriend rescues a kitten. After having left it at our house a few times she realized that she had to give it away. My mother wanted the cat, but my stepfather wouldn't have it. She begged him to tears and we were eventually the caretakers of a dark black/dark grey cat. She aptly named him Tyke as he was a rambunctious outside cat.
~ 2005: My mother, stepfather, and I moved to North Carolina. Tyke came with us, along with his rambunctiousness. He would, for the years I lived with my mom and stepfather, be a nuisance; bringing into the house small birds or rabbits as live trophies. Being a general brat, as my mom put it, because he wasn't super affectionate to her, but was to my stepfather.
~ 2012: I decided to go live with my father in Florida and start looking at colleges to finish getting my bachelors. At this point I would never again live with my mother and stepfather, but I would visit them and call my mother frequently. During these calls I would ask for updates on Tyke and the answer would usually be more of the same as when I lived with them, but she was ever getting closer to Tyke.
~ 2012: Around this time I was living with my father, I got a call from my mother about some recent developments. As it turns out she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Needless to say I was as devastated as she was, but she always had an positive outlook and was very determined to beat it.
~ 2014: I started at UCF and at this time I was constantly either calling my father or mother. The conversations with my mother always consisted of updates on Tyke and sometimes the progress on her treatment. She would tell me that tyke has started to "mellow" out, this was her way of saying he has starting to get more affectionate towards her.
As the years went by, when we talked on the phone, she told me of a bad habit he started to have. Being an outside, he started to disappear for days at a time, but he would always come home. This sometimes entailed him getting stuck in the sewers and her having to go out and call his name tills she heard him crying. One time I even helped my stepfather remove a curbside sewer grate to get him out.