We lost one of our cats yesterday. OJ was 17 years old.
He had an Iconic status within our home. By far the senior cat - a wise old sage. Fiercely independent, he established his own boundaries where the other cats were concerned. The dogs even respected him.
Sometime back - I'm thinking about 7 years ago, he had one eye surgically removed. I recall really feeling sad for him when he lost it, but it was feared his bad eye would rupture so there really was not a choice. He actually seemed to feel much better afterwards and adjusted very well.
He was a strong cat. He had been quite large at one time, but over the past couple of years lost much weight and although he sometimes appeared quite frail, if you wanted to pick him up, he could dig his claws into the carpet and it was coming up too.
At one time he had been prone to seizures. We had to administer Phenobarbital. He grew out of this for the most part, but it was always a possibility that existed. So in many ways, I perceived OJ to be resolute, a tough dude who had endured a lot in his life, but at the same time saw him as fragile.
He is missed!