The first visitor I had in my new home, July 2004, swaggered in as if she owned the place, demanded lunch (I had none to offer her), then settled next to our only heating in the house, an oil filled radiator. She has been with us ever since, although only officially owned by us since May 2005.
This evening she is huddled next to that self same radiator and I have been curled on the floor next to her. She is now late middle age, and very sick. The vets are calling in a specialist as she is puzzling them all. Meanwhile I watch my darling girl with big saucer eyes purr heavily to comfort herself. I have made the floor cushion wet, crying by her side. I don't have her company for much longer, I am sure of that. I wish there was someway we could communicate with them to let them know, beyond any certainty, deeper than the deepest purr that we love them and appreciate all that they give to us.