Sorry for your loss, Geoff.
We had a break from having cats for several years because of the pain when they pass. We now have two cats again, thanks to the kids wanting them, and we do enjoy having them around.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Mark Twain
My early and invincible love of reading, . . . I would not exchange for the treasures of India. Edward Gibbon