I have had a pure black cat for as many years as I have had cats.
Flea, the most recent resident of 14 years, just died on the past weekend. She seemed to be deteriorating in a quite subtle way for the last month or two. She was always the most neurotic of cats, being prone to avoidance of both cats, and people. She actually left home one time many years ago after the introduction of a new kitten. She showed up again after many months, pretending she had never left.
Much of her time was spent hiding away in the upper regions of the basement; the hot water heater being a favourite perch. In spite of her rather bizarre habits, she and I were great friends. She would occasionally bless us with her presence at breakfast to bum a few bites of ham.
She was essentially an indoor cat since moving to Maryvale almost 9 years ago, only taking little forays when she was sure there would be no interference from dogs. I sometimes would have her wander around the garden with me for short periods.
Lately she visited to perch on the computer paraphernalia, usually the scanner.
She would sometimes "help" with seed packaging.
Otherwise her last days were spent living under or on our bed, as long as no other cats or dogs were on the scene.