My mom emailed me last night and the subject line was the name of one of their cats. Immediately I knew that something had happened. She said that he was dead in the bedroom doorway when she got home yesterday afternoon. He'd been fine when she left in the morning, but in retrospect said that the last three nights he'd been insistent on getting as close to her as he could, like he knew something was wrong and was trying to tell her. I guess it was just his time - and he really wasn't that old, maybe 10.
My parents had their family when they were very young, so they became empty nesters in their mid-late 40s and now their pets are their world. Every time you turn around, there is a cat or a dog begging for a treat. Poor cat probably had clogged arteries from all the cat treats they gave him. Not that I'm blaming my parents for his death. He had a good life - my youngest brother rescued him off the street when he was a kitten, and the life my parents gave him was certainly better than the life he would have led as a stray. He always had a bit of the street in him - only allowing you to touch him for just so long and then - rrrawwhrr! He would tell you when he'd had enough. But he had a soft side too and sometimes he would crawl into your lap or burrow between your legs late at night. When that happened, you just let him be and enjoyed the purring and heavy warm weight against your body.
Mom and Dad buried him in the back yard along with the old St. Bernard and two other cats who met their demise in the last decade or so. They keep the ashes of their Australian Shepard in the knick-knack cabinet. Every now and then my Mom still cries and carries on about what a good dog he was.
Heavy sigh. Sucks getting old.