Our cat Cleopatra went to kitty heaven this past week. She'd been with us almost 15 years. She was really my daughter's cat - she picked her out at the Humane Society when she was going into 6th grade. But children grow up, go to college, move out, and leave the pets behind. Not that she wasn't still attached - pets don't work out so well in apartments. So she adopted my husband as her best buddy. She wasn't a cuddly cat - only on her terms. In fact, she could be downright mean at times. She didn't like strangers and let you know with hissing, growling, and swats. But still, she was part of the family and she is missed. No more food dishes at the bottom of the basement stairs. No meows in front of the refrigerator. Doors that have stayed closed for 15 years don't need to be closed anymore. I know we'll get used to it. Right now its just hard.