Our cat Moxie died suddenly last Wednesday, just fell over and was gone within a minute. It was a real "sudden death." We had never seen such a thing. One moment she was there, the next--gone. The vet couldn't find anything wrong at the autopsy, told us it was probably a birth defect. The Birman breed is known for them. It was strange because we had kept her inside and were very protective after losing two previous cats last year. One was probably kidnapped, the other hit by a car in an alley (we blame a silent Prius). But Moxie's life was shorter than the cats who went out. For a week the world seemed very dark. We cancelled a planned trip because we couldn't deal with the suddenness.
The story has a bittersweet ending, luckily. Yesterday, someone we know, in a pure coincidence, showed up with a kitten from her sister's cat, who had a litter. Did we want him? Yes. He doesn't have a name yet, though we went to the vet today and were told he's in good shape, about 10 weeks old, and tested negative for feline leukemia virus. We think we'll keep him... and I'll post a photo later.