We recently had to get rid of our three cats because our son has developed allergies and/or asthma. One of them had the distinction of being the pet we had kept the longest – 7 years. She was especially hard to part with.

So, although this fact was not necessarily at the top of my mind while doing this comic (and starting the subsequent mini-storyarc), I have no doubt that it played a subconscious role in it.