It happened so fast. She'd been eating less than usual for a couple of months now, but not enough to be alarming. Then on Sunday or Monday she stopped eating altogether, and by Tuesday she could barely move. We had an appointment for the vet on Wednesday afternoon, the earliest I could get, and all Tuesday night I was pretty sure what was coming, and tried to prepare myself for it.
Well, she made the decision herself. When I came home Wednesday afternoon to take her to the vet ... she was already gone. So much better for her that she just slipped away, and at home. And no agonizing decision for me to make. But coming home and finding her like that ... well that was just about the worst I've ever had to encounter.
As devastated as I'm feeling right now, I'm trying hard to focus on how extremely blessed I was to have had such a wonderful creature in my life for 19 years. She was my first cat (I'd been "a dog person" previously), and she shattered any preconceptions I'd had about cats. She was so loving and affectionate, never held a grudge, and was a perfect companion. She was tiny in stature but huge in personality, and she's left an enormous void in my life.