Stinky jumped off my lap last Monday evening and disappeared into the gap between our fence and the neighbors'. I had picked him up in the front yard so I could brush him--he was unusually dirty that day, and as I groomed him I noticed he seemed even thinner than he had been lately. I tried to grab him as he ran away, but he slipped out of my grasp.
We haven't seen him since, despite our searching, and we have accepted he's not coming back. He was 16-ish, and in hindsight he'd been undergoing a decline over the past month or so. No pain that we knew of, no drama, just a gradual dimming of his Stinky light.
Eric and I are both so sad. But man, we were so lucky to have him. He was just a great, great cat. And he seemed pretty happy right up until he disappeared.
I took the last picture of him about 15 minutes before I saw him last. I'm not posting it. It's a terrible shot of his backside; he was moving past me in the late-afternoon sunshine, steadily making his way through the grass, and I couldn't get my phone out in time to capture how pleasant he looked in profile at that moment.
Bye, Stinky, and thanks. We miss you so much.