Well Gretchen - I guess people handle issues such as this, differently. I know I could never do what she is going to do, but that's just me. Last summer I elected not to go away anywhere because of Sparky's declining health. He was not in any absolute danger of passing within a specified time, but at the same time, he could have gone at any time. If I had gone away and he passed when I was gone, it would have devastated me and left me with guilt till the day I died. He (and Myndi) have always been there for me thru good and bad, and I needed to do the same for him - and will for Myndi when her time comes too.
Like you, Ellie, I would never go away, knowing that one of my cats was seriously ill. For one, I would feel so guilty I wouldn't enjoy myself - even if communing with nature. It would be like leaving a sick child