I noticed something wasn't right a few days earlier when Sweeps would stop and pee every few metres while playing out in the backyard. Concerned I called the vet and she was seen right away. It turned out she had kidney stones and one of the stones had actually traveled into her urethra and caused a blockage. The vet told me this was extremely rare in female cats, but not incurable (if she was a boy it would have been fatal). Any way, long story short, Sweeps could have gone in for surgery but because she was 13 years old the vet said there was every likelihood that she might not survive the surgery and could possibly have tumors or renal failure. Sweeps would also have to go on a special diet to prevent further kidney stones but we couldn't stop the renal failure.
So I had to make an extremely difficult decision. I decided along with the vets and my dear mum's advice that it would be better for Sweeps to be put to sleep. I honestly thought she would live forever. I never thought saying goodbye would hurt so much. She was still lively, full of life, purring and playing on her last morning. She even wandered around the little room we were put in at the pet hospital, being her usual nosy self she walked all over the computer keyboard, got into cupboards and jumped and climbed everywhere she could. She just didn't look or act sick!
Sweeps had a mild anesthetic to help her stay calm, then she had her needle and I watched as she stopped breathing. I hugged and talked to her for as long as I could, then it was time to leave.
My Sweeps is home with me now. I had her cremated and when I'm ready I'll put her out in the garden where she loved to pounce and play with lizards and butterflies. Right now I just don't want to let her go.