There was actually a beautiful symmetry to it.
In the first year after bringing my cat, Clifford, home from the shelter, I had a pretty substantial knee surgery, one that would leave me in a significant amount of pain and relegated to my couch for four days. I learned in those days how supportive [read : unhealthily attached] Cliff was going to be – twice a day, he would efficiently combine his trips to his food dish, water bowl, and litter box in one loop, and then promptly jump back up next to me on the couch. No looking out the window, no sleeping elsewhere – he was at my side 23.9 hours a day.
Now, thirteen years later, it was my turn. Cliff needed to have emergency surgery to remove stones from his bladder. The procedure itself is usually routine, but with a seventeen year old cat, any kind of anesthesia is a risky proposition, and the recovery is going to be difficult.