Again. If you break it down, "again" could mean "without gain." And so it is here.
I wrote just recently about our 16-year-old cat, Shadow, that had just died. I would call this an echo but it's more a loud crack than a mere echo: Our 18-year-old cat, Isis, died early Saturday morning.
I found her sprawled under the corner of the bed. I nudged her with my foot, expecting her to emerge with that sort of "What do you want?" air that cats can put on, seemingly at will. Instead, she didn't move. I took her out from under the bed, picked her up, and she was a rag doll. Her eyes were open but she was unresponsive and clearly unconscious. For a moment I thought she was dead but I checked and she was still breathing. Very shallow, but she was breathing.
So I lay in bed, with her wrapped in a towel and laid across my chest as we - essentially - waited for her to stop breathing. Sometime in the night, she did.
Isis was solid black except for a bit of white under her chin and for her entire life she was as skinny as a rail. By the end of her life she was about as close to skin and bones as you would think to get. But right up to the end, she ate, drank, used the box, got around fine, still loved being held.
Which makes this one harder than Shadow because with her we'd known for a time she was failing and this time it was sudden: in the afternoon fine, in the late evening barely alive (if alive at all; we suspect that when I found her she truly was already dead from either a heart attack or a massive stroke and her body just hadn't realized it yet).
It's also harder because, well, I'll be honest enough to say Isis was my favorite of the "original three" and the one that seemed most attached to me. Thinking the other night that she would never again come and lie across my chest when I went to bed or snuggle in my right arm as I sat on the couch watching TV, well, yeah, that was kinda hard.
Anyway, thanks for letting me go on about it.