We found out today that Sammy, our old lady, has advanced oral cancer. The vet hasn't given her much time. I knew when we adopted her that she wouldn't be with us for a long time. She was 16, and her kidneys were already in the beginning stages of kidney failure. Still, I hoped. It took her a very long time to warm up to us. In March she started sleeping on our bed, and in the past few weeks she's started sleeping with us at night.
Sammy and Mittens never got along. His playing felt like attacking to her, and in the past two weeks he's been vicious to her, trying to bite her and chasing her out of the bedroom. I can only guess that he senses her declining health and is posturing for the top-cat position, but maybe I'm giving him too much credit. Maybe he's just being hateful. They will be permanently separated now.
It's very sad to lose another cat. Spooky has only been gone for two years. But I know that this is the price we humans pay for sharing our lives with our four-legged friends.