Pepper liked to jump. And, unlike my other cats, Pepper jumped with grace and beauty—as well as a good deal of planning. My fat yellow Tom, Lothario, an advocate of leaping before looking, often missed his target completely or skidded across the side of a low table. But, Pepper's jumps were a thing of beauty. She'd stand on her tiny hind-paws to assess the distance and height and then with one seemingly effortless leap she'd land on a table or bureau without so much as a clicking of her claws. But, one day Pepper stopped jumping. It seemed sudden. Pepper no longer tried to jump on the bureau or the table and to get up on the bed she'd first climb onto the chest sitting at it's foot—something she'd never deign to do in the past. She seemed happy, but she didn't jump and on rainy days she'd lay in her heated cozy cushion instead of running around the house peering out the windows with the rest of the cats.