Not long ago Sammy posed for this picture. This was kind of in the middle of his decline. When he adopted me 17 years ago he was a mangy, sad little cat. The house where he technically lived had a bunch of big dogs and the cat was left pretty much on his own. I would leave the back door open so that my oldest son could go out and play in the back yard (I was pregnant with my middle son) and often as soon as I opened the door the cat would appear begging for food and attention (and he loved kids). When we moved to Colorado I'd invested quite a bit of time fattening up this guy, so I took him into the vet had him neutered and got his shots and took him with me. He filled out to a nice 16 to 18 pound cat (his top weight was 18 pounds, the vet whined that he should "lose a few"). He thought he was a dog and if I went outside to visit the neighbors here he'd come to visit too. He was a chatty fellow and enjoyed always getting the last word in in any conversation. This past year his health started to slip. Not a lot, but he lost a little weight and just slowed down a bit as old cats do. In the past couple of months he became a shadow of himself and I questioned how well he could see/hear/smell and he got a little thinner. Day before yesterday my daughter dropped her pillow off the couch and it landed on Sam's tail and he yowled because he was not strong enough to pull his tail out from underneath the pillow (folks this was not a big or heavy pillow). I'd been portioning out his food for quite a while, but in the last couple of weeks he was only able to eat a tablespoon or so of wet food (I kept dry food out all the time for him and he'd nibble at that), but then he'd throw it up.
Yesterday I called the vet and took Sammy in and held him while he went to kitty heaven. I decided that to keep him alive would be cruel to him and he deserved to leave this earth with what little dignity he still had. My dear 18 pound cat weighed 8.5 pounds. The house is sure quiet without him. He had an opinion about everything and like I said, he always got in the last word. There will be no more cats for me. I've had a cat all of my life, but this is the first time in my life that nearly everyone I know is allergic to them. And living where I do cats have to be indoors or they become wild animal food. I was always amazed that Sam lived as long as he did. about 9 years ago something did get him and I found him lying in my flower bed all chewed up, after that I didn't have to fight with him to get him to come in at night. The last few years of his life he only wandered away from the house if I was visiting with the neighbors, then he'd come and sit at my feet like a dog otherwise he liked to go out and sun himself on the deck.
I sure miss him.