The oldest of our 4 cats who shared his live with us for almost 19 years, was given back to the heavens at 10:10 am February 13th,2013
Milo was a proud and fiercely independent little Persian kitty that we adopted from the SF SPCA in 1996 and became a huge part of our family unit. Milo was an indoor cat and had a full and comfortable life until just the last few weeks when we noticed that his breathing seemed to be very labored when he slept. A visit with several vets revealed that he had a massive tumor of the spleen which had been compressing his lungs and had probably metastasized as well. Because of his advanced age we did not want to put him through the pain and stress of surgery. We decided instead to watch him closely and spend as much time with him as we could until it was time. God only knows how long the cancer had been growing. In retrospect there were signs a full year ago that something wasnt quite right, but given how normal he acted around us we just assumed it was old age.
Despite the horrible discomfort he must have experienced the past few weeks, when he was awake he still went through the motions of eating and drinking, using the litter box, even purring, but when he would lie down to rest his breathing would become very fast and labored. It was then we knew he was suffering terribly. For the next 9 days we spent every waking moment with him, caressing him, loving him, playing with him. We fed him is favorite treats and even took him outdoors for a few minutes everyday to distract him from his pain and labored breathing. Our other Persian cat Winston followed him around constantly and slept next to him everyday, something he’s never done before and something Milo would never have allowed before.
On Wednesday morning as he was waking up, he had an extremely severe bout of respiratory distress which seemed to last 10 minutes. Miraculously it calmed and he was actually able to get up walk around a little and went to the bowl for a few bites of food. It was then that our worse fears came true, we knew it was time to do the unthinkable. We knew that in order to release him of his suffering, that we would have to let him go forever.
As we held him during those final moments in the vets office, I could tell by looking into his eyes that he was tired of this life of pain. It’s almost as if we was giving us permission to proceed and not to worry about him. We told him thank you for being in our lives and that we loved more than he’ll ever know. Less than 2 minute later we was gone. And along with him our hearts. How could a tiny creature like this have such a huge impact on your lives.
The fact that Milo lived 19 years is a pretty amazing in itself. Considering all that he went through in the final months of his life, he must had a tremendous will to live , or didn’t want to leave for fear of letting us down. We are so lucky to have had his companionship for all those years. The amount of joy he brought to our lives is well worth the excruciating pain we are experiencing now.
I will always remember him as a proud kitty. Master of his domain. He would often stand in front me all puffed up staring deeply into my eyes like he was seeking my approval and a good pat on the head and jowl rub. I will miss you so much buddy.
Till we meet again, Farewell little Milo. Nothing can hurt you now. You will always be a part of us and never ever forgotten.
For those of you facing a similar situation, or are tormented over making the right decision, I highly recommend you read the following chapter from Franklin D Mc Millin’s book “Unlocking the Animal Mind”. I think it may help.