I am sure her longevity is due to her being such a distrustful and nervous little cat, she stays well clear of everyone apart from my partner and myself.
As I look at her fast asleep in the chair, I cannot help but hope that when her time comes she will go in her sleep. I have had to make that sad last trip to the vet's too many times in my life.
Over the years, I have rescued and rehomed many animals. Most I was successful in finding good homes for, but some of the oldies nearing the end of their life would stay with me until it was time for that last trip to the vets.
This lad came to me as a pup in 1985 and stayed with me until his death 13 years later. He was the most gentle of dogs with a lovely temperament, never having growled or barked at anyone in his life, and never needing a lead. He tolerated all the rescue animals that came our way, but sometimes would have a pained expression on his face when I took in a stray that proved to be boisterous. He liked nothing better than traveling with me in the van, and indeed we travelled many miles together, at times living in the van.
A neighbour turned up at my door with two kittens that had been found abandoned in an outhouse, they immediately found a foster dad to take them under his wing (paw!).
As the kittens grew up, they all remained good friends.
This handsome lad was with me for five years and suffered with heart disease, he was prescribed tablets and I had decided that as soon as life became painful he would be put to sleep. However fate took a hand - He was asleep in his favourite chair, then woke up, looked at me, started to cross the room to where I was, but dropped down dead before he reached me.
I received a call from the pound to say that they had an old dog that was due to be put to sleep as no one had come forward as the owner. When I arrived at the pound a pitiful site confronted me, an old dog covered in lumps, teeth broken, looking as though he had been through the wars lay whimpering and crying in the corner. I took him home with me, spent an enormous amount of money at the vets, and for the next two years I had a constant shadow and very faithful little friend.
There were many others, including this old gentleman. I took him from a drunkard who used beat and kick him whilst intoxicated. I found a lovely home for him with a retired couple where he lived out the rest of his life.
I have been a sucker for waifs and strays, both four and two legged. As for the two legged ones, that would be a story in its self!