When my husband I and were newlyweds 14 years ago we were at the markets in Brisbane and saw this very very tiny tabby kitten being kept in a bird cage. He was only $10 so we brought him home and named him Guido.
He was always a scaredy cat. The only place he wanted to be was on my lap or down the back of the couch.
One day in the first year we had him, he got hit by a car. DH took him to the vet and got him fixed up. Guido's jaw was broken in 3 places. He had to have a feeding tube for weeks and when his mouth healed it remained crooked. He had an underbite -- his bottom fangs stuck up over his top lip! After the accident, Guido was even more attached to me, and would choose a cuddle over anything else, including eating.
We have had other cats over the years -- Misty, Pumpkin and Lizzie -- all terrors who had ended up being adopted by others when we've moved from a house to a unit or from one city to another. We never gave Guido away because frankly only his mother could love him [me].
He was never very good at cleaning himself and was always a little smelly. He suffered the indignity of being bathed every weekend in the tub in the laundry without even complaining.
Guido has not been well for awhile. His mouth has been ulcerated and when one sore healed he has got quickly got another one. Our friend who is a vet said he was just old but unless he was in pain [he didn't appear to be -- I used to wash his sores every day and he never reacted like it was painful (yuk I know)] that we should just make him comfortable in his last years [or get all his teeth pulled out which sounded way to traumatic for such an old fella].
This morning when I went to let Guido in he couldn't walk. His back legs were paralyzed. He was a dear old cat that had had a wonderful life. We took him to the vet to be put down.
Farewell Guido -- I love you. You were part of our family for 14 years.
I can't stop crying ...