A little over 2 weeks ago, I lost my best friend Mike to congestive heart failure on the same day he was diagnosed. I raised this giant guy from the time he was a kitten, and we had adventures for almost 15 years (his birthday would have been in May).
Mike was a special soul, and he was always there for me. He had a gift for knowing when humans needed a little extra kindness—and I found out that he also had this gift for other animals, too.
SO, what to tell you about this guy? Because, really, there’s no way to share with you exactly how wonderful he was.
- He was GIANT. At one point in his life (for a couple of years) Mike weighed in at 30 pounds. Thankfully, we have a wonderful vet who helped us to put Mike on a diet and he eventually got down to 23 pounds (almost healthy—his goal was 20 pounds) and she helped us to maintain his joints and activity levels as much as possible. Mike had very bad arthritis following an accident he had when he was 7, but Kim helped to keep him as healthy as we could.
I can’t tell you how great it was to have a giant teddy-bear of a cat to cuddle with and to use as a pillow in the winter. It wasn’t so great to wake up to this guy standing on my chest at 5:00 a.m. every day asking for his cat food!
- He was loud. Mike had a growly, rumbly, perfectly grumpy voice and he liked to have “conversations” with me. He talked A LOT. My husband swears that I can actually talk to all cats, but with Mike it was definitely true. Mike also had a purr with a backfire that sounded just like a Harley. And he snored! Sometimes, he’d hide under a bed or behind the pillows on my bed for a nap, but his snoring always gave away his location!
- He was a kind cat. There’s one perfect story I can share that will tell you about his special personality. Several years ago, we got a new neighbor who (we didn’t know at the time) had a cat that ran away shortly after she moved in and couldn’t find his way back to her house. He was wandering alone outside for about a month, when he came into our yard one day and must have run into Mike on the patio. This cat had no outdoor skills and he was starving. I found them in the kitchen—Mike had brought him in to show him to the cat food dishes, and was sitting with him while he ate, guarding him from our other cats. We thought this new cat was a stray! We named him Francisco and we kept him for about a week to get him a bit healthier before we took him to Pet Refuge to find a home. Luckily, we found out he was our neighbor’s missing cat (real name: Joey) before we sent him to live in a new home! Now, Joey-Francisco and our cats talk to each other through our kitchen windows in the summer, remembering the good times they had for a few weeks that summer!
I will never forget, though, how Mike brought him home. He knew this cat needed help and he brought him to the help he knew would be there for him. It was just the kind of mush-mush loving guy that he was.
Mike was one-of-a-kind and I’m going to miss him greatly. He was the best cat a girl could have, and I’m so glad that I got to start this business when I did because I spent the last 7 months of Mike’s life, sitting next to him on the couch everyday, working on projects and scratching his fluffy cheeks. It’s time that I will always cherish as precious and irreplaceable.
In Mike’s honor, I’d like to do a little fundraiser with my followers, if you don’t mind. Please use this link In Honor of Mike to donate to The Meow Mission—a trap/neuter/release program that supports the feral cats in our area. Mike would be proud to know that you all helped him to feed more skinny friends like his pal Joey-Francisco!
Hug your fur-friends for me!