My parents and I are sharing a house right now, with their four cats and my two. If I died, Clyde and Pearl would simply stay with my folks... but if something happened to my mom, god forbid, my father would have to go into a nursing home, and I would have to find a way to live that would allow me to take care of all six cats.
Financially, that would probably mean finding a roommate with a house... I've yet to see an apartment that would allow six kitties!
Your question has made me realize that I need to state my wishes very specifically, because if something happened to both my mom and me, my brother would be in charge of everything, and although I love my brother dearly, I have no illusions about him: he would want nothing
to do with the cats. At best, he might think to call the no-kill shelter I volunteer for, rather than the nearest kill shelter.
So I will make a document and give copies to everybody to make it clear that if anything happens to both Mom and me, my brother should call my friend in Rush down in Austin. Rush is my dearest friend and was once my significant other, and he's the one person on earth in whom I have complete faith. He and his family would take care of our cats until he could figure out a good, safe solution that would let the two bonded pairs (Clyde & Pearl, Dylan & Sassy) stay together in loving homes.
He probably wouldn't be able to find a place for Abby, our recluse (Clyde's mom)... and he probably wouldn't be able to part
with St. John, our adorable baby of the family. Luckily, Abby actually doesn't seem to mind St. John -- he likes to sneak into her room and visit her -- so they'd be okay together.
Thanks for making me realize this needs to be put in writing! I guess we all need to do that, just in case.
And may none of us ever, ever need