Prince was almost 18 years old and had been getting thinner and weaker the last few weeks. We knew the end was coming, because he eating less and less everyday and was far more willing to be held and cossetted as we liked than was his norm. He did not seem to be in any pain, but I've known it was probably coming.
Still, it hit me very hard when DH went upstairs this evening after we got home and I realized there was no mewling greeting him. Sure enough, when I asked, he confirmed that he was gone. It appears that he fell asleep and passed quietly and peacefully.
He lived a very long life and a pretty good life. He was insistent, demanding, smart, condescending, loud and intuitively sweet.
I owned him from the time he was a kitten; and I am so very sad right now. I just ache.