On his 17th birthday I wrote in here about my California Cat, Dude. He was the oldest cat I've ever owned, and today he gave up the fight after more than 18 1/2 years.
He was born July 9, 1988 behind the couch in the apartment I shared with then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) Melody in Lakeside, CA, on the same day that I flew to Illinois to check on job prospects that soon led to my return to Illinois following a 3-year stint in San Diego. I had him before and since my 16-year marriage, a fact I find amazing.
His father was my cat, "Tranch" (short for Tarantula, a name given by a friend who was amused by the long white hairs that stood out through his otherwise smooth black coat); his mother was Melody's cat Gizmo (who earlier survived a near-fatal encounter with a car, and had pins in her leg). On that same morning, my female cat Jasper & Melody's male cat JYC (Junkyard Cat) had a litter under the dishwasher that included Misty, who passed away in February of '04.
Dude & Misty were the 2 kittens that we brought with us from California when we moved. He's older than 3 of my kids (one of whom will graduate from high school this spring), and remained the alpha male in a 5-cat household.