RIP Milo

July 9, 2014 • 2:16 pm

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.Β  Let’s spare a thought for the lovely feline companion Milo, who had 16 good years in a loving home.

20 thoughts on “RIP Milo

  1. That is a nice example how to deal with the death of beloved ones. When my dog passed away I cried whole day, including inside the plane that I had to take on the very same day to go to a conference.

  2. Nice story read it all i know what it’s like to lose a pet.I was sitting on the couch yesterday remembering how i’d just hug our dog for no reason and he liked it.He died a few months ago.Whenever i throw out left over meat from dinner i remind myself don’t have to save any for Romeo. They really are like children to us and much cuter.

  3. A fine, handsome cat. When we lose our pets they leave an extraordinary hole in our lives and the bereavement is real. Milo will be fondly remembered for even longer than he was alive.

  4. Awh, I’m so sorry for the loss of Milo, 16 is a good number though to have had a loving companion cat! Milo looks like my Bootsie Tuxedo cat, who lived to be 12 he suffered two strokes about 7 weeks apart from each other. We thought he was out of the woods after th first stroke and blood clot, and on many many meds, but alas it happened again and he had another blood clot and was in excruciating pain and had to be put down. We really loved that cat!

  5. Thanks to our host for the obituary, and thanks to all for the kind thoughts. Milo always hated the sound of fireworks, and in that way it’s a mercy that he died the morning of July 4th, before things got all loud and boomy.

    This is actually the second cat that my wife and I lost this year, and our remaining cat is also elderly. 2014 is not shaping up to be a good year for pets in our household.

    1. So sorry for your losses! That’s a wonderful shot of Milo–what a cutie he was!

      We’re on tenterhooks here–a 14-year-old dog, a 12-year-old dog, and an 11-year-old goat. Fortunately the current cat crew is at the young end of the spectrum. Multiple geriatric animals (well, just one, too) can be so difficult to deal with.

  6. Eighteen years is not enough time for cats to live, even if it’s more than most can expect.

    Thank you, Jay, for giving Milo the type of foreverhome every cat deserves, and I’m sorry the two of you didn’t have the century or three together you deserved.


    1. I wish we would breed our pets to live longer lives so they could be companions to us for much longer. I’ve loved all my pets as much as I could love any person & maybe more since a relationship with a pet is much simpler than with humans & pets don’t do things that hurt you in the way humans do.

      1. Right on. In our apartment building, where d*gs and kittehs aren’t officially allowed (plenty of defiant pet owners in residence here, of course), we are simply fond of our black turtle, for whom Dr. Coyne had penned in his book to me a cute drawing of her wearing a Santa hat. At 30 years of age now, she’s about as big as a boule, loves to be hand-fed bits of salmon, chicken and chikuwa (fish paste shaped like a bamboo stalk), and enjoys hours of leisure time out on the verandah, or a friendly snuggle on our laps indoors occasionally. This has been genuinely satisfying for us over three decades — though it’s a bit of a shame that she’s not into sports, like the lively one in the video I saw posted here recently. Naturally, we will very likely need to adopt her out when the last of us two must depart this earth…. My taiko drum teacher has offered to take her then, so that’s a relief! πŸ™‚

  7. What a fine fellow Milo was. Thanks for sharing his story and being such a wonderful owner. You two were lucky to have found each other.

  8. What a handsome kitty. No matter how long we have with them, it is never enough. It sounds like you gave him a beautiful life, and I’m glad the end of it was so gentle and loving.

  9. Sorry for your loss – over the decades I have lost many cats. The grief of losing a beloved pet is a very small price to pay for all the years of joys and unconditional love that pet gave one.

  10. Poor sweet Milo, he looks like a delightfully pudgy version of Bill the Cat my ex-stray who lived until 22. It’s a real gut-wrencher to lose these older guys who are so ingrained in the family for so long. I miss Bill horribly and still sit in my office with one ear cocked for his dreadful caterwauling – his signal that he was back from wherever and we’d BETTER have food and an open door. RIP Milo.

  11. Somehow I find that more moving than thinking about my poor parents… Which I suppose says something about me πŸ™

  12. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. On the other hand, you are to be greatly commended for adopting a cat without a home.

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