The last mortal generation.
Emily has a gimpy leg. She may have two gimpy legs but one is worse than the other so it's hard to tell if the other appears gimpy only because it's covering for the one. They are her back legs and one is definitely gimpy because the veterinarian, Dr Felicity, said so (although she didn't use the word "gimpy"). Emily's vertebra is encroaching upon her spinal cord at the base of her tail and confounding the neural pathways to her leg, rendering it gimpy. This happens to old dogs and to a few old cats. (Emily is almost fifteen and people have said thinks she is a dog.) It may get worse or it may not, it is a dog thing not much observed in cats. If it gets worse her other back leg will become gimpy, which may or may not have happened already. After her legs go she will lose control of her tail, eventually she will not be able to lift it. And finally she will lose control of her bladder and maybe her bowel. Dr Felicity said "finally" because that is when the afflicted cat can no longer maintain their hygiene and dies from associated complications (such as their owner's wish that they not suffer such distress). Emily is aware of her condition, she was there when Dr Felicity told me about it and in fact she is sitting on my lap while I write this. She knows that if she urinates in the wrong place it's off the air conditioned comfort of Dr Felicity's free pet termination service.
This understanding is demonstrated by her behaviour when she chooses to go to the toilet inside the flat but not to use the litter tray. When I came home on Thursday I was met by the odor of cat pee due to the puddle neatly deposited on the linoleum beneath the chair next to the washing basket. After sanitation and reprimand action Emily protested her competence as a continuing pet based on her deliberate decision to minimise the impact of her indiscretion and the fact she can still use her tail. Either that or she was hungry.
However it was only the statute of limitations which saved her this morning when I pulled my washing out of the machine and found pellets of cat faeces which had been washed loose of my clothes. She knows if she had urinated on my clothes she would be certified decrepit and spared the associated complications, however defecation was not a criterion. So (to protest whatever it was she had developed an adverse opinion of this time, probably the availability of food) she took a dump in the clothes basket and masked the presence of her spoor beneath the overwhelming odor of cat pee (and later vanilla fridge cleaner, although that was by fortune rather than design) carefully situated to demonstrated the continued mastery of her key urinary tract.
She has the brain of a cat.