After 20 years as a companion and friend our little kitty is gone. Her name was Sadie, but over the years I've called her Mittens and Puddy Tat. She was generally well-behaved. She never scratched the furniture or bit and clawed us. She proudly left parts of birds and rodents on the front stoop and could be trusted to go outside without running off. She wasn't a lap cat, but if you laid down she'd happily lie on your chest and accept petting. I made up a song about that called "Quality Time" and the girls and I would sing it to her as we stroked Sadie's long fur.
But time caught up to the old girl. Lately she's refused her food, allowed her coat to get matted, and her eyes have leaked. She was supposed to be put to sleep three weeks ago, but I figured that as long as she could leap a six-foot fence I'd wait. Today was the day she was scheduled to be put to sleep, but she cheated the hangman. Yesterday morning she went out and never came back. We assume she found a quiet, private place to sleep the big sleep.
I wish I had a better photo in my computer of Sadie, but this is such a typical scene; opening the door to find her patiently waiting on the stoop. Good-bye kitty, and thanks for being our dear friend for all these years.