I've spent a lot of the last few days grieving, as expected. Today I rested a lot, then moved on to trying to warm my house up.
I've managed to put things together so that I am reasonably sure that my cat didn't really suffer. I doubt he even was aware of more than a moment or two, just enough to jump down from where he'd been sleeping (and most of the blood was), stagger a few feet, and be unconscious. That knowledge helps so much.
I also realized that he had every chance of having a hard life. He was going to be cut off from his favorite window because of too much risk of eating things in that room. He very well might have spent his life looking for more plastic to eat; many animals who start this do. He was so overweight and at 6 his joints were already showing signs of arthritis. He'd probably have had other problems as well. And I NEVER thought he was genetically typical. You'd have had to see him to understand, but he did not appear quite right.
I'm going to get another kitten at the end of February. I'm on vacation in mid-February for 10 days. Most of that time I'll be halfway across the country, but I return on Wed. and don't go back to work until Monday. The cat shelter conveniently is open on Thursdays, so I'll pick out a kitten then and have the next few days to get it to the vet, and acclimate it to my home and the other cats to it.
The waiting is hard. Friday someone asked me if I had pets and I had to answer "two cats" and about choked on the answer. I want the kitten to help me move on. Kittens are, of course, known for being funny and I need this. Nothing will replace Elijiah, and I know that. But this is a 3 cat household. Cats are the only "children" I'll ever have, and so my connection to them is greater than even most people's connection to their pets.
So, moving on because that's the way things have to be.