It is a sad fact that our pets do not live as long as we do. Well, unless you have a parrot, tortoise or elephant, that is. There will come a time they will have to leave us as their bodies fail them, and we will sometimes have to make that painful, but respectful and loving, Big Decision to free them from the confines of a body that is betraying them.
My opinion; I will always hold their memories dear to my heart.
Every. Single. Cat. I've. Ever. Loved.
...and I will look forward to the day I get to meet them all at The Bridge. In the meantime, I will honor the memory of the love I've had for all of my kittehs, by loving as many more kitties for their (short) lifetimes during my own lifetime.
Expect for grieve when you lose your kitty. Know that it will happen. But also know that eventually the tears will turn to smiles at the beautiful and fond memories you will have shared with your cat. Then I would recommend getting another cat who needs to be loved and cared for, and keep the love you had for your first cat alive by loving the new cat. The new cat(s) never replace previous cats, the love is always individual to the pet, and I feel they enrich our lives immensely and I could never be without a furry family member.