As some of you know, I have been caring for a 17 year old cat with diabetes that I have had since he was a kitten in '91. I found him at Memphis Motorsports Park that year while I was racing there. My then girlfriend and I tried to feed several wandering kittens that were there, and she had made pork chops and gravy for dinner that night. I cut up the pork, and put a plate on the ground, and this orange tabby just walked into the middle of the plate, up to his ankles in gravy, and ate his way out from the center! All the while pausing to hiss away any other kittens with designs on 'his' food. From then on, he just wanted to be near me. He would go nowhere in the truck but my lap for the entire 8 hour drive back to Atlanta. Over the years, he showed himself to be a truly amazing animal; getting along with everyone and every animal that came along...my old roommate's Husky, and the other 2 cats I acquired when my best friend passed away 6 years ago. He was affectionate--more than most cats; he just had a 'quiet strength and confidence' tempered with a love and a trust for me that I've never encountered before in any animal. He fought the diabetes and the problems associated it for almost 3 years, with a strength and resiliency that amazed me, and his vet! Well, today, he succumbed to it. When I got home from dinner with the DBSTalk crew in Atlanta last night, he seemed a little listless, but not enough to cause undue concern. But this morning when I woke up, he was in pretty bad shape. He couldn't remain standing, and fell over several times. I tried to treat him at home, with some glucose that the vet gave me to have on hand for just such emergencies. But, after 4 hours, he just wasn't getting much better...a little, but not much. So I loaded him in the car and took off for the Emergency Clinic, where he's been twice before for this. Within an hour, they called me back and told me that there was nothing they could do to even make him comfortable, he was so sick from kidney failure. So, I went back, crying like a little girl, visited with him for a few more minutes, thanked him for being such a good friend, and held him in my arms while the vet administered the drugs to put him down. Tomorrow, I will bury him in the back yard, next to a 15 year old cat that passed from natural causes 10 years ago. Thanks for letting me put this out here. I was thinking of Strejek's avatar caption, and thought you all wouldn't mind too much. I will miss my buddy Kawie, very much. I've known this day was coming eventually, but it was still a devastating loss to me. Thanks again for letting me release a little here.