In an email to me about other matters, reader Jay Lonner of Bellingham, Washington added a few words of memoriam abou his late cat Milo:
Also, as a fellow ailurophile I’d like to note the recent passing of my beloved cat Milo this July 4th (the attached photo is from 2010). Milo was 18 when he died, having spent his first 2 years as a stray before I adopted him. In the course of my educational pursuits he journeyed with me from Seattle, to Madison, WI, and finally back to my hometown of Bellingham, WA. He had reached sexual maturity before he was neutered, so he had the appearance of a tough, grizzled tom even though he was a sweet and gentle boy who charmed the neighbors wherever we lived. In his day he ruled the neighborhood, but slowed down considerably over the last few years due to progressive arthritis in his hindlegs. Still, he enjoyed an incredible quality of life up until earlier this year, when he began wasting away from a suspected lymphoma. It was tough saying goodbye, but his passing was comfortable and peaceful; he just faded away as I was giving him fusses.You’ve written before about your apprehensions regarding death, and even though I miss Milo terribly I am so grateful for the years that we spent together. A gentle death seems a small price to pay for a well-lived life, and we should all be so lucky as to live – and die – as Milo did.
Jay added later, “I do like the photo that I sent you – he was always happy outside, and with his coloration he reminds me of an 8-ball on a billiards table.” I, too, had a 2-year-old stray that was an adult male when I had him neutered, and had the big “apple head” that you see on Milo. He, too, was sweet. Let’s spare a thought for the lovely feline companion Milo, who had 16 good years in a loving home.