for all the comforting comments about Quality Control. I still half expect to hear the cat-flap bang and her triumphant 'I've caught something!' song, but we are beginning to accept that she isn't coming back. I've been surprised at how upset I've felt, given that she wasn't my favourite of all our cats, but I think that's because, as Cobi said, cats should die in the comfort of their own homes at a ripe old age - and all our previous female cats have. (The two males both contracted nasty illnesses, but somehow that isn't as bad as dying in a road accident.)
We have decided not to replace her, as, being realistic, another cat could outlive us. It is a little sad, but, I think, the most sensible decision. I shall enjoy my grand-dog and grand-cats instead.