In the dim and distant past when I first had a job, I used to get a lift to work with a friend. In return I would look after their family animals while they were away on holiday. This meant feeding and mucking out three or four rabbits and four guinea pigs which lived in a huge wooden hutch in the garden. He would ruefully remark to me at times that he wished the animals he had bought to teach the children about life and death would actually oblige. They must have had the longest living rabbits and guinea pigs I have known.
Fast forward thirty five years and the cats of my lap in the Alentejo shed are giving me a prime example.