My wife and I are big "cat people." It has been a rough week for us. Our wonderful guy Scooter has been battling hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, and liver problems, and on Wednesday he had an apparent embolism. The vets could not do anything and we had to put him to sleep. I was with him and luckily it was very peaceful. The day before that, we had learned that one of our other great guys, Billy Purr, had a large tumor in his abdomen. We knew it was terminal, but my wife is out of town and we were hoping he could hold on until she got back to see him. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. In the middle of the night he started going downhill and he passed away at home at 7 this morning. Luckily the vet had sent us home with some buprenorphine (pain killer) and he got several injections of that and was pretty "out of it" and (I hope and pray) did not feel much discomfort at the end. Even though we have had losses before, it doesn't seem to get any easier. My wife and I are both sad and lost but also relieved that they are not in pain any longer. She feels terrible that she was out of town and did not get to see them. (She did talk and sing to them on the phone, which seemed to comfort them. Billy's favorite song is "You are my sunshine." Yes, really!) I am still in that stage of disbelief where I keep looking for them and momentarily "forget" (that's not exactly it, but you know what I mean...) what has happened. They are such a fixture in our lives. Scooter and Billy were brothers from the same litter. They were both 17 (and even though you know that an elderly guy is going to go, oddly enough, that doesn't make you feel much better.) My wife took in Scooter and Billy and their other brother Bold when they were kittens and she has had them all this time. (I married into a complete kitty family!). Bold and our other wonderful boy Little Bit are very down today, as you can imagine. Just a brief intro to these wonderful guys. Scooter: Orange tabby with one white "boot" on his leg and a white "beauty mark" on his cheek. A very serious and intelligent guy. We call him "the empath" because he is very sensitive to the well-being of everyone. One time one of the other cats was sick during the night and Scooter came into the bedroom and meowed until we woke up and went to see what he was "talking about." A comfort to have nearby. Billy Purr: Billy was originally named Purr because he purred constantly. A happy-go-lucky guy. Also orange tabby, more rotund than Scooter. A real "boy at heart" -- funny, sweet, mischievous. Liked for you to massage his toes. (! ?) Could put a smile on your face anytime. In short, my wife and I are very sad but blessed to have known these amazing guys. Sorry for the long post, but a lot on my mind and in my heart. Just wanted to share with the BYC "family." Thanks for listening.