My brother just SMSed me and told me that old Maja, our family cat, was put to sleep this morning. Over the past year, she had lost most of her hearing, was almost completely blind with cataracts (she could probably see strong sunlight), and would amble around bumping into things. Although she sometimes screamed loudly (day and night!), she didn't seem to be in any pain; I think she was just afraid and feeling lonely, because when we stroked her she calmed down and started purring. It is a small miracle that she lived to be 17 years old next to a heavily-trafficked street. I am happy my parents made this decision and let her die with some dignity left.
This picture, which I took in mid-June, is one of the last pictures I have of Maja, in the arms of my sister Ronja. Note the enormous pupils, even in the midday sun.
So farewell, dear old matriarch and ancestress of Lennart, Nikodemus, Lydia (who proved to be a boy), Spock (who was seriously ill himself and put to sleep last week), Kaos, Lisa and a dozen other cats spread around friends and family, and may the earth rest lightly on you! I will never forget you. :-