ok, full story. turkle is my mom's cat, but was the family cat from when i was 12 after we lost demeter to a car. we got her when she was somewhat older, so her final age we guess to be at least 18. my mom was going on a trip to california, and with turkle's failing health, decided to take her along therefore driving. at some point while in a park in southern california, mom had turkle out for a walk, she slipped the harness. this was before thanksgiving. my brother reported it all to me tonight, said they looked for her, even driving down there later after hearing about a mysterious cat in the park only to find it wasn't turkle. at this point, the assumption is that she went off to die; and regardless, she was too old to survive alone (arthritic legs, tiny cat to begin with, she couldn't eat hard food, her breathing was obstructed by a chronic infection if she wasn't on meds, etc).
i am going to miss her. in the early days of this breaking arm mess, she would cuddle up and keep me company a lot. she was also the cat i mainly grew up with. :(