Oh my gosh I am so, so, sorry. It is so hard when things like this come out of no where. It sounds like you did the right thing. Cats have a very high tolerance for pain so the fact that she was howling like that means she was really suffering. You showed her a great life with love, something that unfortunately many cats never even know. Focus on the good times you had with her and do not harp on the question of if you made the right decision. I went through the same emotions after I had my last cat put to sleep. Its never an easy decision to make but as long as you had her best intentions in mind you are always doing the right thing.
This is probably not what you want to hear right now but what helped me the most to get over my feelings of guilt and sadness was adopting another cat.
If you are not ready to do that, try fostering or even volunteering at a shelter. Its incredibly rewarding and there are a sickening amount of homeless cats out on the streets and in shelters and rescues. I foster for a city shelter and in the first week of August, they took in over 230 cats!!! Many of them are hungry, malnourished, pregnant, or injured. Whenever I get sad about my cat that I had to put down, I think about all the cats who never knew love from a person or have been abused, starved, or surrendered to the shelter just to be killed because there isnt enough room. Then I think about what I can do to help those in need. Nobody will ever replace your kitty, but keeping a positive outlook and remembering her in a positive way and spreading those positive feelings will help tremendously.
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"Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered" - Bob Barker