Our cat had been with us for 17 years. We brought him home as a kitten when we were first married. A short haired gray domestic with pale green eyes. You've seen them before. I've had cats in our family over the years. This was the first one I've declawed and neutered. I'll never do that again. I got talked into it by the vet who convinced me that indoor cats live longer, (they do..) and it's a standard procedure. I did it. But he carried an attitude throughout his life until he got too old. I guess if you had your balls and fingernails removed, you'd have issues too.
But he was ours, and he became mine. I fed him. I changed his litter box. I played with him. But he'd been going downhill for the past 3 months; losing weight, exhibiting trouble getting around. He rapidly lost body mass and finally started eating little food. 17 years is a long run, and I knew he was going. I'd hoped that he'd pass peacefully. That wasn't to be, he started really getting worse. He was obviously uncomfortable and his mewing were obvious cries for help. He couldn't even crouch to take water; I had to lift his head to the dish as he laid on the floor. I had to take him for his last ride to the vet today. I didn't want to do it, as anyone would feel. I couldn't muster the courage to put him down myself, I loaded him into a pet carrier that he didn't like, but didn't have the strength to resist, I almost poured him into the carrier.
I turned out the flourescent light in the garage tonight. We'd kept it burning for almost four years for our cat who slept there in his later years. I know I did the right thing, but I feel like sh*t nonetheless.