I lost my cat Skippy this morning. He died at 6:00 am. Skippy came into our family in 1991, when my kids were just 4, 7 & 9. He and our cat Sally grew up the youngest of our 5 kids. Skippy, a cream/white tabby, was once a strappin 25 pounds with the heart of a teddy bear. He loved everybody, and everyone loved him. Every visitor that ever took a seat in our home got a warm welcome from Skip, and some snuggle time. Free to come and go as he pleased, he lived the life of both indoors and out. Fierce hunter and sunbather by day, snuggle buddy by night. Over the past year Skippy grew very frail as his poor old body began to give out on him. He was in a lot of pain, and we realized we may have to make the tough decision to have him put to sleep. Over the weekend, his situation became severe. We realized the time had come, so I made the appointment. I feel for anyone who has ever had to face the moral inner turmoil that comes with making that decision. It's heart wrenching. But in the end we do what we know is the right thing to do. By his final evening, he could no longer walk, so I stayed by his side last night and helped him. I dreaded having to watch him go another day and a half like this. Thankfully, the good Lord stepped in, and took Skippy gently while he rested. I hope that Skippy has met back up with his dog pal Kojak in Heaven, who we lost a few years go. Skippy loved him, and cried for weeks after he died. They will be happy to see each other again. When I think of that, it helps ease the pain. We will miss Skippy. He was a truly great cat. I feel lucky to have found him and had the joy of his love and companionship for so many happy years. It will be very empty without him here, he is so much a part of our everyday lives. But I am thankful for the time that we did share together. He had a long and happy life with a family that adored him.