It’s been a year since my beloved cat Midnight (15) died. I was about to teach communication to an Animal Carers Course at TAFE when I spotted the Heathcoat Vet advertisment about a caring black rescue cat needing a home. Within 2 days he was hugging Mae on the lounge and snuck into our hearts. At bedtime he needed to be held like a teddy bear, purring musically while we fell asleep. A few years later I got my miniature Chihuahua puppy Pepi who was very territorial and growled terribly when Midnight approached the bed. So he would wait until the puppy was asleep on my left side and cuddled up to me on my right side. It was a nightly ritual. He also became attached to his young chick Ruby when she joined our family and masochistically enjoyed her tough love, that is being wrestled to the ground howling when he tried to cuddle her. But his main love was Mae. Then last year he was in pain and sat up awkwardly for his cuddles. So on a visit to the vet he was diagnosed with late stage cancer and needed to be put to sleep. I cried and cried. Mae, to a greater extent than Ruby, searched and searched for him for months. Pepi was relieved the competition was gone. My tears are pouring out as I write now. Grief takes longer when the offspring are busy with their own lives. Thank goodness I have the rest of my pet family still with me.