Quilting is one of the most rewarding hobbies I have ever pursued. I was a manic crocheter and also loved to cross stitch. But these items, though lovely to look at, did not WARM the maker nor the recipient.
I do not mind cat fur on my quilts except when I am making one for someone I know has allergies or has chosen a dark fabric for part of their quilt. I made my hubby a guitar quilt and used black for sashing strips and don't you know that little bit of black gathered every bit cat hair in the house!
I am sorry for your loss of your mother but am pleased you do have her quilts to remember her by. I know when I go that I have left a part of me with everyone I loved.
Baby Sugar is my sewing kitty. When I first got her she needed constant care so she was in my sewing room for two weeks. As a result of this she supervises every project now. She really enjoyed the cat beds I was making. She tried out all 20 of the first batch. I know I posted a pic of that. She was worn out. She only needed to touch the iron once with her nose to know to leave that hot thing alone. And she is a climber. I have found her in places I shudder to think how she made it up there. She uses the kitchen cabinet handles as a ladder!