I've had a rough past week.
We have lived with a dependable family member for 18 years -- the AlarmCat. We called him this because of his reliability and skill in managing the two humans of our household: wake up times (different for each of us), dinner time (depending on who was home to remind), bedtimes (again, different for each of the humans, one of whom was incredibly inconsistent and just had to be kept company after getting the other safely to bed-- or eventually yelled at that enough is enough - Get to bed! Yeow!!!)
Our AlarmCat was gradually getting older (aren't we all?!) and sicker. He was alternately having days of repeated vomiting, being shaky on his feet, and sleeping the day and night through -- then rallying to do all his usual routines and human-caretaking for a couple weeks. But the cycles were getting shorter and shorter and last week was the point at which it seemed necessary to stop his growing discomfort.
His last day was the best we could create together.