Saturday, December 29, 2007

MiloGuido -- The Christmas Cat

Milo strayed in a few days before Christmas 1997. He was cold and hungry, but very friendly and absolutely loved attention. He was a large orange/yellow cat with a prominent nose (almost a roman nose) and huge yellow eyes. He was a huge hit at Christmas that year.

My mum named him Milo after a character in a mystery series (by Jonathan Kellerman), but it soon became apparent (to me anyway) that he needed another name for his kind of punky ("evil") alter ego, so I tagged him with Guido. So he was Milo when he was good and Guido when he was bad. Soon I just began referring to him as MiloGuido. I even signed up for a couple of online message boards as miloguidosmom because he would "help" me when I was on the computer.

He loved to sleep with...well, more accurately, on me. When I would get ready for bed he would practically be dancing on the bed demanding that I hurry up and get in bed and settled so he could jump up on me, lay down on my chest with his face just inches away from mine and purr. Loudly. He purred like a diesel engine. And if I used a certain hand cream he would lick the backs of my hands. You try sleeping with an almost 20 lb cat laying on your chest, purring loudly, and licking your hands. It was kind of a pain in the ass, but it was also funny and sweet.

During that ten years I never knew MiloGuido to be sick. He was always exuberant, energetic, a very hearty eater (how else does a cat get to be nearly 20 lbs?), and just the picture of excellent health. Last weekend I noticed he was off his food a bit and just seemed a bit off overall. I thought he might have some infected teeth and took him to the vet on Thursday. His teeth looked pretty good although his gums were pale. He also had a distinct heart murmur (never noted before) and he was breathing fast. The vet took blood and urine samples for various tests and sent them off for testing.

MiloGuido and I came home. As usual he slept on me, but he barely licked my hands and his purr was much more muted. He also didn't dance around on the bed waiting for me to get in, but just sat and waited. As I lay there patting him I couldn't help but think "I don't think this is going to end well." It wasn't that he seemed so terribly ill, because I've had other cats that seemed much more acutely sick that I didn't that feeling from, but he just had "the look." That look that says "it's time."

I had an appointment at the vet with Little Black Cat (LBC) for his second set of shots on Friday and when I went into the examination room the vet told me to put LBC and his carrier on the table and she pulled out a stool and told me to sit there. I said "Oh. That means bad news." She said yeah and proceeded to tell me MiloGuido had feline leukemia. For those who don't know feline leukemia is one of those diseases with no good outcome. A cat can have the virus for quite a while without showing any symptoms, but once sick they generally only get worse. And it's contagious (even when a cat has no symptoms).

After having one last night with MG sleeping on me and getting lots of attention and patting, I took him to the vet today and had him put to sleep. He got lots of patting and got to look out the window at the birds outside as we waited for a shot of tranquliser and pain killer to take effect. Then when he was very comfortable and relaxed he was given the shot that put him to sleep. I'll miss him so much, but it was right for MiloGuido.

He came into my life just before Christmas and ten years later he left just after Christmas.

Here are a few pics:

This morning. He still looks good, but he was so weak and tired. He just sat there which was so unlike the normal MG.

In the clothes basket hamper. Sometimes he would jump in and the lid would flip over, but stay on so when I would go to drop clothes in there would be MG looking up at me -- just as he is in this photo.

I always loved this photo. MG would sit on top of the toaster oven and look out the center of a beveled glass piece in one of the sidelights we had. There was lots of bird and squirrel activity out there!


Blogger CouldBeAnyone said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry.

9:01 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

You are having a very rough year pet-wise. I'm so sorry to hear about yet another loss of a friend. I don't know what else to say. He was a gorgeous cat.

1:06 PM  
Blogger veleska1970 said...

i'm so sorry, eek. and you just lost bruiser, too.

well, it was a good ten years with MG. and catz's right~~he was gorgeous.

here's a toast to both MG and bruiser. let's raise a glass to two handsome fellas that will be missed.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Queen Hatshepsut said...

Oh Holly, I'm so sorry. What a beautiful blog you wrote about MiloGuido. I'm sorry I haven't been around more. That's going to change. Gosh, I'm just sitting here crying. I can only imagine how you feel. I remember you talking and writing about MiloGuido a lot. He was a beautiful cat. He obviously adored you. I see you lost another animal too. I look at my cats and just tear up thinking about losing them. You are an amazing person to love all these animals like you do - and go through the pain of losing them. Yet you continue to give so much love and your kindness to animals speaks volumes about your amazing soul and spirit. Hugs to you. {{{}}}

4:53 PM  
Blogger Sam Sejavka said...

My sincere comiserations. losing a cat is one of the saddest things ...

2:52 AM  
Blogger JafaBrit's Art said...

sheesh, I can't believe you had to say goodbye to another cat. I am really sorry :(

10:05 PM  

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