Eli got Mel as a kitten in about 1989. She was always self-assured and assertive. She would face down dogs who dared to pass the house. She and Philo were great friends, though. He came to our house as a puppy, and Mel took to him right away.
Mel has a kidney disease and had lost a lot of weight. We put her on a special renal diet. She also can't hear very well, which means that she speaks very loudly when she is looking for us. Being thin she needs to seek out auxiliary heat -- mostly Linda's lap and our bedclothes at night.
Here she is last summer on the lawn: