Is your mum young enough to have another cat in time? Maybe a slightly older cat from a rescue centre? I know its much too early for you to mention this to her and, sorry, seems disrespectful to her just deceased cat, but ... maybe your Mum could, when she has properly mourned the loss of her much loved pet.
He was a rescue cat and not that old maybe 9. But he was a Cornish Rex and very nervy, highly strung and with some health issues like poor teeth and ears that had to be kept cleaned regularly. My mum is 75. She used to talk about what would happen to the cat when she died. Another cat from the rescue home is what I immeadiately thought but as you say it is too early to say to her now.
Sorry to read this - I had to have my lovely Cat put down last year (rescue cat 12 years old)- it is a raw feeling and took me a long time to feel better- I found that other than my DH most people didn't really appreciate how I felt - so wanted to say that you have the chance to give your mum that understanding which will truly help - and how lovely for her that you are so caring. we still have his sister which I know makes it different but for me a replacement was not what I wanted it is a personal choice of course.
I live 400 miles away. My brother is going to see her today to help. I phoned this morning and she has brought him in and had a quick look. He had black marks down one side and on his paws plus grit in his fur so it definitely looks like a car but wether he was laid at the door or made it himself is not clear. DDs are making granny a card today.
My FIL lost his dog 3 years ago and still fills up with tears thinking about it.
What we did was treat it a bit like the loss of a person.
we planted some bulbs and spoke about her often and didnt treat it like it was just a pet,older people become very dependent on their relationship with their pet.
As it was a rescue cat could you manouvre the topic around to how she managed to turn the cats life around when she adopted him and how very loved the cat was.
We knew fil wasnt getting over his loss very well at all and this was one of the biggest reasons we ourselves got a dog to enable fil the pleasure of looking after a dog (he babysits the dog often) he can still walk the dog and pet him and he now can still but dog treats and hes almost got a pet but without the responsibility and the 'replacing the old pet' issue never has to be discussed.
Oh your poor mum. My cat died in November. I'd had her for 19 years. I thought it would be such a long time before I could have another cat, but after six weeks of having a huge catshaped hole in my life, I gave in and took on two kittens who needed a home. They have been such a joy. (One of them has now gone missing, but that is another story.) I know it might seem too soon, but maybe in a few weeks time, you could help her start thinking about it. If you are a cat person, a house is so lonely without one.