LC left for The Rainbow Bridge 8 years ago today. I suppose there will come a year when I forget to remember that. But this isn't the year, yet.
I got LC in 1993. She wasn't MY cat; she was Skeeter's cat. Due to work and commuting, I was gone from 5am to 6pm (and asleep from 10pm to 5am). And asleep from 10pm to 5am, so basically (from Skeeter's point of view) I was non-existent from 10pm to 6pm every day, leaving him to the untender unmercy of "Mean Old Tinkerbelle" whose only desire was to be an "only cat".
Skeeter was SO needy of attention and companionship that I got him "his own cat" - LC. I deliberately focused her attention to Skeeter. I've often wondered if that was the best solution, but it seemed right at the time, and Skeeter and LC became inseparable. He protected her against Tinkerbelle, and she adored him in return.
Tinkerbelle left the yard at age 15 and never returned. I personally think she went off to die on her own, but I hope she just found a new home without other cats for the final couple years of her life. She seemed healthy as a horse at the time.
Skeeter and LC became the basis of my cat life for years after that. What little time I had at home included wand toys and tossed toys, and at night (unlike Tinkerbelle) they spent time under the covers with me at night, so we had "close-time".
When Skeeter finally had to leave for The Bridge in December 2008, LC had a hard time adjusting. Ayla was there, and they got along OK, but LC missed Skeeter so very much. She had never been a lap cat (being accustomed to snuggling with Skeeter), but one evening she hopped up on my lap while I was watching TV.
I was very surprised (and pleased). I think she was surprised by my attention too. She did that often afterwards. I didn't mind being "the replacement". We had 13 months of good companionship together, and she got along with Ayla with some snuggling too.
LC went over The Bridge rather suddenly. One night, she was fine. I heard a slight noise in the basement late that night but thought little of it. The next morning, when she didn't show up for breakfast, I searched the house. I finally found her, unmoving and still, pushed in to some stuff in the basement. I could detect no heartbeat or breathing.
I went upstairs and cried, but knowing she was over 16 and she had to leave eventually. Later, I went down to collect her body. She was still warm! I rushed her to the vet. They tried fluids and medications.
The vet called a few hours later. LC had roused, but died soon after. I felt sick. I was there at the end for Skeeter, but not for LC. She died not being held, not being told what a Good Cat she had been, in a cage in a strange place.
At least she was with her beloved Skeeter again, over The Bridge.
You were a Good Cat, LC...