Oh, babybugmama, I am so sorry
I am just seeing this thread and my heart goes out to you.
Our beloved Elsa died on Aug. 4. She was only a year old and seemed to get sick after our vacation also
Persistent vomiting, some urinating and not eating. The vet decided to look for a blockage (after we tried some other tx) and she died unexpectedly from a heart attack when they gave her the IV for fluids on the second visit. It was so awful. The vet said she must have had a genetic heart problem.
We did what your family did and brought her home and planted a Blue Spruce next to her. Rose of Sharon is another idea. I just wanted to share our story and say how sorry I am. I also have an adult cat. Take care.