Last night, he had some sort of seizure, and I thought we had lost him then. But he rallied, and determinedly hauled himself up and, stumbling and falling, made it to the back hallway. He was intercepted before he could get to the stairs and possibly fall, and collapsed again. Andrew and Kash and I petted him and talked to him gently, expecting him to be gone. But he got up and shoved Andrew off the cushion he'd brought for sitting on the floor with him, and took it over for himself. Yep, that was Ming! And he rallied. We offered him the durian fruit ice cream bar he's been licking off for a couple weeks, and he went after it avidly. Andrew got a video of how durian can revive a dying cat. And it did. In half an hour, he got up and drank some water, then asked for some food. I gave him the expensive salmon pate' cat food I'd been saving for a special treat, and he enjoyed it. He came back and got on the bed and went to sleep. I woke up in the night to find him nestled against my chest, and that was where he was in the morning, with my right arm wrapped around him. But I knew he was on the measured mile.
Today, he got his favorite foods, and I fed him Sheba filet mignon cat food, a saved container for "special occasions." He devoured it with enthusiasm. But he just didn't have his old energy. He slept most of the day on the bed, with Jiro next to him. This evening, as we were getting ready to go out, he let out a cry of distress and started to get off the bed, via the basket of laundry with my nightgown laid on top, and collapsed there. Another seizure, and he collapsed panting. We knew it wouldn't be long. Andrew called the Center and said we would be late, and we stayed with him, as his heartbeat raced, then started to slow. He was lying stiffened, then started to finally relax, and pulled his legs in to a more comfortable position. And just at the last, with us by his side, he purred. And then he was gone.
Poor old guy, or maybe not. He passed at home, with his people at his side and his buddy Jiro looking on. (Jiro is going to need a little extra attention. He's been a little freaked, and making distress noises. And has now just jumped into my lap and is rubbing his chin on my thumbs.) He was just shy of 16, the oldest I've had a male cat last. But it seems just a little while ago he was being a charming kitten. But with a cantankerous and ornery streak, hence Ming the Merciless. Walking into the driveway to keep me from pulling in without stopping, getting out and physically removing him from in front of the car. Eternally cadging food, or stealing it off the cutting board (or out of the trash) when you weren't watching. Or announcing morning and his need to be fed with a loud and unceasing yowl. But he had a purr you could hear in the next room, and loved laps.
I'm going to miss him. To the very end, he was very much himself.