Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Then there were three . . .

Mikey came into our lives on Friday night May 25, 2001. I was at home sewing Ems' graduation dress for the next Tuesday when she called me at 10 pm. "Mom! I found five kittens at the restaurant park!" Me: "Leave them there. Their mother must be around." Ems--"It's too late. They're already in the car!" I contacted the Howard County Cat Club which is a rescue group because I was concerned about the mother cat. Ems had seen her and she appeared to be feral and hid. The cat club trapped the mom a week later, had her spayed, gave her shots and released her as she was, indeed, really wild. I knew ultimately that the babies would have better lives if they were taken care of. In they came! Five tiny, and I mean tiny babies. Ems' first words were "One's polydactyl! Can we keep him?" Without hesitation, I said yes. These babies were about 12 days old. I had grown up with mom cats and I was well aware of all the developmental stages of kittenhood. I was worried that they may have been exposed to things that I didn't want my 4 indoor kitties to get so the babies were put in a box with a blanket in the kids' bathroom. We started them on KMR immediately. There were two all black males, one tabby and white male, a tabby female and Mikey, also tabby and white with his extra toes. He was named Mikey after Ems' friend Mikey who was with her when she found them. Mikey, the human, was really stocky. Mikey, the kitten, was also stocky with his big old feet, much like like a little bulldog. The kittens grew and we adopted out 3 of them. We kept Mikey's brother who was named Greg. Greg was the runt, weighing in at 1 3/4 pounds at 6 weeks old when the others were all in the 4 pound range. He was sickly and I couldn't part with him because he got so much extra mothering. Greg is now a 19 pound black panther.

Mikey had so much personality. The kitty sitter we have has always said, "Don't be surprised if Mikey is missing when you get home!" He was very talkative and personable. He would carry his cat teaser around (that's the feather on the end of a long stick) and drop it at our feet so that we would play "spinny" with him. Spinny was when we would make him run around in circles chasing the feather--much like chasing his tail. It was comical to see him do this on his big old feet!

This is how I remember him most--lying on the couch in his "rub my belly" pose. It was part of our nightly routine. In fact, if I was busy, he would come over and nag me to come to the couch so he could lie on his back for a belly rub.

I chronicled his illness here and in the last post I talked about the ordeal of the last week. We had decided last night to put in a feeding tube because he was doing so much better. I talked to the vet today and he wasn't doing well. I went to see him and his temperature had dropped to 96, his blood pressure had gone down and he had some fluid in his lungs. Ironically, his electrolytes were up to normal. He was very cold when I was with him and he was covered with a blanket and surrounded by heated rice bags to warm him up. He cried like I've never heard him and I knew what I had to do. He just had that look in his eyes. I told the vet and she cried too--saying that they had all become rather attached to him. I stayed with him when they injected his IV and he was already half asleep. He died peacefully. My gut tells me I did the right thing, but I am still heart broken.

Here are some favorite photos of my Mikey:

Running around under the rug!

Waiting for mom to get ready in the morning:

Nestling by the creche at Christmas time:

Napping on the dining room table:

Curious Mike:

Watching Mom vaccuum:

Celebrating the 4th of July:

Cuddling with sibling Greg:

Cheek to cheek with Harley:

Hanging around the window with Samantha:

Rest in Peace my little angel kitty. You enriched our lives more than you will ever know. We miss you.


  1. I am so sorry. There are no words. My heart is with you and I will light the candle to illumine Mikey's way to the beyond.

  2. that is a trully beautiful tribute to Mikey. I have tears running down my face as i read it.

  3. I'm so very very sorry. I just so wish he did not have to go. My heart goes out to you.

  4. Oh V, I'm so sorry it turned out this way {{{hugs}}} I know we were just talking about how "you'll know when the time it right". I went through that with Ziggy and the fact that Mickey's was half asleep is his way of letting you know he was waiting for you to let him go before he moved on. That's what I think when I think back to when we had to give Ziggy the injection for kidney failure. She left us before the vet finished giving te full injection. It was her way of holding on till we were ready to say goodbye.


  5. Bless you for giving him such a lovely home, and for understanding that, even though you might have wished otherwise, he was telling you it was time to go.


  6. I remember when I came over to see the kittens in your bathroom. I honestly don't know more devoted pet owners. Your cats have always been a part of your family and Mikey knows how loved he was. I'm glad that he helped make the tough decision. I hope you find peace soon.

  7. I'm so sorry, I am typing this through my tears. I lost my beautiful Penny in January through kidney failure and it still cuts me up.

    My thoughts are with you at this very sad time....Tracy

  8. I'm very sorry for your loss. he sounds like a total sweetheart.

  9. Oh what a beautiful kitty Mikey was! Just gorgeous! And this is a beautiful tribute to one of your babies. Bob and I know what a gut wrenching decision that is to make. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Vicki and DH. Big hugs!

    Love, Meredith

  10. V- So sorry to hear about Mikey. I know how much you loved, and so did he...