So very sorry, SirSugar. She must be devastated. Always difficult when an old, old boy like that goes especially when he's a link with the past. I dread my own old boy going because he's my last link with my Mum.
Had you thought about maybe getting an older rescue cat for her? (Not to replace the boy who went but so as to be companions for each other.) I know that many rescues have healthy but old cats who have lost their owners and want nothing more than to sit in someone's lap all day and purr.
Mum had been to stay with me this christmas and I took her home the day before yesterday. Mum lives alone and has mobility issues and I am usually the only person that takes her out.
Her lovely, very old (19 years) devon rex went to the usual cat place to stay whilst mum was with me but sadly the lady that looks after him rang me this morning to say he had passed away in the night. I guess my mum was spared finding him like this, she had not called to have him brought home as soon as she got back because she is unwell with a terrible cold.
I had to call mum this morning and tell her. She has since arranged with the lady that took care of him to get him cremated.
I feel so upset for my mum, and myself as he has been with the family a long time. He had no teeth left, a heart murmur, arthritis and no whiskers, however he spent his days sitting with mum and slept with her at night. He was clean and content. Mum adored him - my father passed away 18 years ago and he was the last cat they got together.