Hi, this is my first message, and I thought people talking about elderly cats would understand more how I am feeling. I have a baby who will be 19 next month. She has some trouble with her teeth, but the vet says they think it would stress her too much to try to clean them. I overcame that by chewing chicken or turkey for her, and she is back now to eating kitty food. The thing is, after we get closer and closer because they are dependent, how do we ever stand it when they go? I cannot bear the thought of it. Maybe this is a depressing subject for this forum. We have 7 cats, but Yasmine (that's her picture) is the oldest, and the one I sleep with. She wakes me throughout the night for treats (I think her tummy bothers her if she doesn't keep something in it)--she has food out all the time, but prefers the temptations. She will still play some, too---my bookmark has a string tied through it, and she will bat it. She breathes very hard then, and I try not to play with her too much. I also try not to pick her up as much, and tend to cut out a mat if she gets one. She lays in a condo in front of the door watching the world during the day.... and I have steps for her to get in bed and on the couch. I feel so attuned to her, and connected. You know how kittens will mew to their mother, and then when the mother comes, they make a little trill noise?? Well, Yasmine does this to me. I just cannot stand the thought of losing her.... and I know I have been lucky to have her this long. She was abandoned when she was 10, and I adopted her. I just needed to write this. thank you.