I adopted CK when she was 2 years old.
Her owners did not want her anymore and they were going to have her put-down.
I took her instead and we shared a life together for 18 years. 

At the age of 10, she had a cyst on her lower intestine and the vets didn't give her much hope for survival of a major operation. Near death, she looked up at me, meowed and began to weakly purr. I elected to have her get the operation. She survived it fine and during her two week recovery at the animal hospital, I visited with her every 4 hours. 
Over the years there were little scrapes and bruises, etc. that she endured and me along with her. CK loved to ride in the car and we were never apart for more than a few hours for the entire 18 years. 

Around May 1, 2004 she became ill and started failing. Her beautiful long and soft orange fur got unruly and she began losing weight. She rebounded several times but around the 20th of May, she began to rapidly fail. On May 23rd, we spent our last night together and I lay awake all night with her on the floor with her on her favorite blanket. The next day, I took her into the animal emergency clinic and they helped me determine that there was no hope of her surviving. 
Her organs were shutting down,etc. I asked that they help her to pass-on. They gave her a sedative and then I took her in my arms and they gave her the injection that would finally ease her pain. My heart is heavy and a part of me is gone. I know that we'll be together again someday. 

I had her cremated and her ashes will be returned to me in her little urn. I will keep her with me and when it's my turn to pass-on, she will be joined with my ashes and we'll be buried together. This sweet little lady enhanced my life and I know I did right by her all through the years that we were together. I miss her so very much and it's difficult trying to find ways to ease my pain of her loss. However, I know that the love is eternal and that love is why I cared for her in the first place and why I chose to help her cross over the rainbow bridge.