There was something quite extraordinary about seeing a a giant photo of someone you knew fairly well splashed across the front page of a major Toronto newspaper. He was being carried out of the burning house in his underwear, by a firefighter in full regalia. The caption noted that all human family members had survived the house fire, and that the only fatality had been the family's cat.
"What's fatality mean?" I wondered.
My mother explained the term to me. It made quite an impression.
My friend Lilliette and I spent the next several Saturdays riding the subway to Sick Kids, where Chris spent many months recovering. He had lost most of his eyesight, and had to wear a tube in his neck to breath properly.
That didn't stop him from playing 9-ball with us (without a cue and cheating miserably, I might add!) on the floor's pool table. Afterall, the only fatality was the cat.