Thank you Lee. And thanks for the supportive words. (I happen to agree with your father in law's perspective). Your story that perfectly illustrates my surprise at the experience. Like she felt she was meant to make herself at home on my lap. Presumptuous kitty. I like it. Where she's concerned, it's all but settled...and I actually have something to look forward to.
A little sleep helped when I finally got there, btw.
One thing that came to me was something a little different from what some others who have lost their furball might do. Some swear never to have another one because of the pain of the loss. My determination has been to again have a family. I've been swearing - albeit second-guessing myself - never to let myself be limited to a single cat again. In hindsight, yeah, I probably could have introduced a laid-back female to Ricky seven years ago when the others were lost and he might have been happier with a fellow feline conspirator. Quite selfishly, I wouldn't be going through this kind of pain without a feline comforter on my comforter.