Zootie LOVED squirrels!!! Although admittedly, I'm not sure he had any idea what to do with them in the event he'd ever captured one (unlike my other two predators).
Thank you all for your kind words and messages. As many of you had predicted, Zeus told us when it was time, so we cuddled last night and I told him that he could go. He died peacefully in his sleep early this morning, but before doing so he came over to where I had been sleeping and laid down next to me, which was a tremendous gift. Something woke me up not long after he passed ... and for reasons I won't go into, I'm so thankful to have found him then and been able to say goodbye, rather than finding him later when the alarm went off.
He was a gentle giant and unforgettable friend. We'll greatly miss him.
And a big thank you to my neighbors, who helped out when I needed them most this morning to do something I never could have done on my own.
And to the rest of you, my tremendous thanks for your care and compassion. I really appreciate it.