Our old man, Fat Cat, died this morning. He joined our family in February of 1999 and the vet said he was at least 3 years old; so he was at least 17 years old-- I suspect he was older than that. He was great pals with our terrier, Maggie. If she needed to go out, he would come get us. When he thought it was time for her to come back in, the same. He was a "talker"-- we could look him in the eye, talk to him, and he made sounds, not meows, actual sounds, back--he was a regular conversationalist! He's not been well for some time and I suspected that he wouldn't make it thru the Summer. He has kind of been the daughter's cat, even with her off at college. I told her when she got home that she needed to spend some time with him, just to prepare her. She spends part of her break in Indiana and subsequently spent the last 3 weeks there, plus some traveling. When she got home and saw how bad he was, she blamed me for not taking him to the vet. She is young enough to not realize sometimes there is no cure. They weren't going to make him better. If fact, they probably would have suggested that we go ahead and put him to sleep. I didn't want to do that unless I suspected he was in pain, which he didn't seem to be. (I've had to do that with enough past pets--I just didn't have it in me to do it again unless there wasn't an alternative.) So things have been tense. She's still asleep and I dread having to tell her. My guess is she will head back to Indiana again, which maybe is for the best. Someday she'll realize I wasn't ignoring him, but for now I'll just go with it. It doesn't really upset me--I do remember being young.