We came home tonight from our trip to Colorado and found Digit dead. He apparently passed away this afternoon, since he was alive when our housesitter came by earlier. We had had him since he was an 8 week old kitten in September 2000.
He was an unusual cat, incredibly sweet and affection and loyal. I always put my hands under his chin and pressed my forehead to his in a "Digit mind meld" while he purred. He loved having his belly rubbed and would turn over to get it rubbed at the slightest provocation. He purred all the time and loved everybody, including the veterinarian. He hated being picked up so he always left the room when Q told him "Heraus!" (German for "get out!") so he could leave with dignity. He always wanted to be near us and followed me from room to room.
Until I was heavily pregnant and slept sitting up, he spent almost every night of his life sleeping on my pillow, next to my head. He loved sitting right next to people's heads and strived to be allowed to snuggle Willow's head; he couldn't understand why he wasn't allowed to love on her the same way. A few weeks ago, with very careful protection, I let him lie down next to her and he sat next to her face, purring and purring. She was fascinated and reached up to touch him. After several of her groping pats, he got disgusted and moved...all the way up to above her head where she couldn't reach him but he could still be close. Best cat ever. I hope Marbles and Isabel don't miss him as much as I know I will.