Thank you all for your kind words. My friend is indeed grieving for 20 years is a long time.
Still, I shared the story mostly for the triumph of that little cat's life. She never weighed over seven pounds and remained very spry and active until about the last year of her life when kidney failure began. It is amazing what love and good care can accomplish.
About 20 years ago, I found a very small black and white cat. She was covered with fleas and roaming around a parking lot where I worked. I already had three cats of my own and could not keep her. I picked her up, put her in a box and asked the guard to keep her for the day. The boss would not let me bring her inside. I called my best friend and she agreed to give her a home. We thought she was only about three months old because of her size. When she was taken to the vet, he guessed her to be about six months old and the small size because of malnourishment. He told my friend she would not be a long lived cat because of her terrible start in life. Monday I went with my friend to take that cat to be put down. Her body was failing due to age and my friend let her go with great sadness and dignity.
She told me it was only fitting because I gave her to her for me to be there at the end. I enjoyed the happy part of giving her to my best friend and I was glad to provide support when she did what needed to be done.