On Saturday, the vet uttered the dreaded words "stomach cancer" and arranged to take him in on Tuesday for further investigation. But on Sunday he deteriorated, and overnight became very uncomfortable so I took him in this morning. The subsequent operation confirmed my worst fears - stomach cancer which had spread to other organs, so I took the difficult decision not to let him wake up from surgery.
Despite his discomfort yesterday, he spent the afternoon and evening outside in his favourite spot where he spent many hours watching birds and bats over the nine years of his life. Despite his inability to settle comfortably last night, he snuggled up to me from time to time and I woke with him lying in his accustomed position on my feet.
I am glad that over the last two years I spent huge amounts of time with him through working at home, I am glad the illness which killed him was mercifully short and that he had less than 24 hours of real discomfort at the end.
He had perfected the "begging" look (usually accompanied by a prod with his sharp claws) when he wanted food, he used the bedpost as a scratching post, destroyed other wooden items in the house, upholstery and clothing. But he was always great and affectionate company in good times and bad, and I shall miss him deeply.