We had to put to sleep our 18.5 y/o cat last night, it was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do. The weirdest thing is that she was fine up until yesterday morning when she just stopped eating and moving.
I'm so sorry about Dakota. It just tears me up when one of our dogs die, and I know this is a terribly sad time. If there is a silver lining to the cloud, it sounds like Dakota didn't suffer very long.
Losing a pet is never easy, especially when they've been part of the family for so long and you're emotionally attached. Just remember that your cat won't have to suffer anymore, and that is the most important thing.