Soon after he started vomiting and wouldn't move. I rushed him to the Animal Emergency Centre (what do people do who live miles from one of these places?) and he was immediately admitted, by then panting heavily. Had he poisoned himself on the lillies in the garden? Had he finally eaten one of the small pieces of Lego he loves chewing on? By early next morning, they finally knew what was wrong: his stomach was sitting in his chest. Probably congenital, exacerbated by some form of trauma (pictures of him jumping off trees came immediately to my mind.) I didn't even know such a thing was possible. There was a hole in his diaphragm, and the stomach and parts of his small intestine had moved through it and were squashing his lungs and heart.
A complicated operation, requiring a specialist surgeon, was all that could save him. In the end, with the vets assuring me that the chances of Rajah leading a normal life again were good, I decided to go ahead. He nearly died during surgery, but he made it through.
Now he is home. I can only hope the vets were right, and he will be able to resume a normal cat's life to make all the pain he has to go through worth it. At the moment he can't bear to lie down, his nose is snotty and his breathing rattles, but flashes of his indomitable personality come through in the few minutes after a good sleep and a small meal. Late tonight he crawled on my lap and finally, awkwardly, lay down and slept. I told him I loved him and that all will be good.
I can only hope I have made the right decision.