We watched her lose about 30% of her body weight and get more and more listless. She was sleeping more, becoming dehydrated (no matter how much water she drank) and was losing hair. Last week, another trip to the vet confirmed what we thought - she had reached the end of her time and her body was shutting down. This morning, I noticed that she couldn't even make it downstairs to the litter box (stumbling when she tried to decend the 3 steps to a landing).
It was time. I took her into the vet this morning and she travelled quietly, even when we got into the exam room. She was ready to go. While she and I were waiting for the vet to come back into our exam room, I was petting her and she mustered enough energy to do some of her distinctive barely-perceptable purring. What a dear, sweet animal.
She was a remarkable cat, winning over the hearts of many non-cat people - Kate and her farmer father, included. She tolerated more child-love (read: rough handling and ungainly carrying) than most cats would put up with. She's been dressed, bathed, carried in boxes, tormented by laser pointer dots and dangling strings. We even found that she could be trained, learning to sit and rear up (like a meerkat) on command. Thanks for your time with us, Snowball, Critter, Cat. You'll be remembered fondly.