One fears the inevitable as cats get older. They slow down, they become impossible to insure - you try insuring a cat over the age of 12 - and, eventually, they die. Given that my five cats were born in 1991. 1992 and 1993, my luck had been pretty good. Victoria was the first to go last year, as cancer finally caused her to succumb. Franklin suffered a stroke and Eleanor fell to renal failure, all of them last year.
That leaves me with Cincinnati, a big orange and white bruiser with a heart of gold and a purr which would melt the resistance of even the most inveterate cat-hater, and Katherine, a rather neurotic calico who, in recent months has blossomed into something of a people person. The two don't interact much, but they are rather good company, and I like to take time out to sit, with a cat on my lap, reading, or drinking beer, or catching up on the events of the day with Ros.
However, such reverie was disturbed by a call from Suffolk. Cincinnati is unwell, was the message. On returning to the house, Cincinnati was lying on the bed in the spare room, and purred quietly when I stroked him. Overnight observation led me to conclude that he's not in great shape, a bit wobbly on his hind legs, and rather too keen on lying curled up on the bed for my taste.
Oh well, to the vet on Saturday in the cat carrier of doom. I fear the worst...