I am VERY sorry to hear about Norty. I know how u feel. I had a cat named Doonesbury for over 15 years and he was my BEST friend. Over 10 years ago, He stopped eating one day and rapidly lost weight since then. The vet told me that I had a choice- to put him on an iv to force feed or put him to sleep.
I couldn't accept either choice (what kind of quality life would Doonesbury have hooked up to an iv???) so I brought him home praying that he would start eating again so I wouldn't have to make that choice. During the weekend, I tried everything I could think of to get him to eat and didn't have any luck until that Sunday nite. He finally ate some tuna. I was sooo THRILLED and thought that meant he was on his way back to recovery. Monday was my first day working after school so I didn't come until 5 and when I arrived home, my dad had to tell me that Doonesbury died around 3 (my usual time to arrive home) I still wonder if he was waiting for me to come home before he died. I guess I will always wonder about that. I feel guilty about that myself. It BROKE my heart! I cried, cried for over a month and couldn't sleep for at least 2 weeks (Doonesbury ALWAYS slept with me). My neighbor's cat just had kittens and when she heard that my cat died, she told my mom that she'll keep one kitten for me. When I first heard of this offer, I got really upset because I knew that NO cat can ever replace Doonesbury in my heart (we had a VERY VERY special relationship) and I felt it was too soon but after a month of not sleeping and feeling empty, I knew I needed to have a cat to love and care for. When I went to pick out a kitten from my neighbor's litter, I MADE sure that the kitten was the TOTAL opposite of Doonesbury in every way- Doonesbury was black, male and BIG. Rusty, the new kitten I picked was a calico tiny female. That helped me heal and I grew to love Rusty.
No cat will ever replace Doonesbury in my heart and I know it will never happen BUT other cats have created their own niche in my heart in different ways. I have 4 cats (2 are living at home with my parents now) and 2 cats living with me and I love them all in different ways.
It's important to remember that u gave Norty the best care possible and u did everything u could do to meet his needs. He was very lucky to have lived with u and ur hubby.
U will see him someday in heaven. I know that WILL happen! I know Doonesbury will greet me in Heaven.
Several times when I was at my parents home, I got a real strong feeling that Doonesbury was there in the room. I just can't explain the feeling but I KNEW he was there with me. Norty will check in on u once in a while.
Hang in there! When u feel ready to adopt a kitten or cat, I encourage u to make sure the new cat will be the "opposite" of Norty..
Remember we all understand what u are going thru and we empathize totally with u.