They tell us when they need to go. I firmly believe this. When Gypsy was blinded by his cancer, I made a deal with him that the day he couldn't get into the cat carrier himself (he was such a good patient the carrier was like a second home to him) was the last day we'd be together. Phredd was an aberration, that Steve and I will always believe was caused by something wrong done to him by our vet at the time. Datsa just grew dizzy one day, not two hours after he'd woken me up and I shoved him off the bed as usual. And now Amy, who has lived 18+ wonderful, feisty, brat-girl years, has deteriorated in stages (first the arthritic back legs, then the ears, now the eyes) and can no longer find her food or litter box. Tonight we keep vigil (mostly Robin, I'm just back to work and need my sleep, troubled though it may be). Tomorrow morning I bid her a final farewell, then Robin takes her to the vet to be put to sleep. This will be the first time I'll have been without feline companionship for at least 30 years. I know it will be a temporary state, but we will miss Amy tremendously, as we have missed all our cats.