Thank-you, everyone, for your kind comments and sympathies. It's both sad and comforting to feel others feel this sadness, too; and how it extends well beyond the loss of an animal, into a sense of the connections we make with them.
I called in to the vet's last night, to let them know to take Mima off their mailing list for the reminders for her various medications and check-ups. It's a big practice and it was a busy time, but the nurse took time to give me a hug and they all remembered her and commiserated. And for the first time I shed tears and sobbed all the way home.
Mima's vet, Anu, wasn't there, but she kindly phoned me up this morning and confirmed that yes, what with the kidney problems, the hypertension, the thyroid problem, the arthritis, and the epileptic fits, it was most likely that she had simply realised the time had come and it was easier just to slip away. The nurse last night thought she was trying to save me the agony of watching her deteriorate further, and I must say I was not looking forward to a final injection. Anu said what a lovely cat she was, and so easy and gentle to treat, and said they would always remember her, in her wicker picnic basket. I must say, this group represents best vet practice, as far as I can see.
It's feeling more and more real every day, though I see her in different parts of the house and garden each day.
I should have said, though, that the previous post was for Eileen, because she confessed in Siena she didn't at first like blogs because she didn't want to read about people's cats. She graciously said she had changed her mind (heavens, her dog now has his own facebook page!), but I thought it odd that the thing that brought me back to the blog was in fact the disappearance and death of my dear cat. So it proves she was right to make the association; and it also says something about the way a blog can somehow both extend you into community (a community of animal lovers, in this case), and how a cat can also remind you that you make those extensions beyond yourself, all the time.
That's not making a huge amount of sense, I know. I guess it's part of the work of mourning, to go over and over the same feelings.