|Minou and Spot by the Fire|
Minou joined our family 10 years ago, when we still lived in Edmonton, Alberta. He was declawed on both the front and back feet at some point in his life. When we found him he was living on the streets and had moved in to a co-workers garage, very much against the will of the co-worker. Our vet in Edmonton guessed that he was between 3 and 5 years old. We took him in and loved him dearly, bringing him with us when we moved to Ontario and making sure he always had everything he needed.
Minou returned the favour by adopting and caring for every kitten we took in after that. As long as the others were smaller than him, he allowed them to chew, snuggle, bite, or simply lay in front of the fire with him. When they got older and were no longer kittens he taught them, gently, that personal space was very important.
A few months ago Minou was diagnosed with Cancer. He was put on a daily regimen of pills and given as much soft cat food as he could eat. The vet said he could drop dead one day, or he would live to be a ripe old age. We just had to keep an eye on him and make sure he was not in pain and continued to eat and drink.
Minou stopped eating Thursday. He had lost all muscle tone and seemed to be loosing weight as we watched. Friday he wouldn't eat or take his pills. Saturday he refused to eat or drink and could barely walk two or three steps without needing to lay down and rest. In other words he was dying slowly, and presumably painlessly.
Minou left us last night at midnight. We had to make the hard decision to have him put down.We called the emergency vet services and found a vet will to come to the office at such a late hour to put Minou down. The cat that hated car rides barely protested as he was driven to the vet's office.
An examination by the vet showed that Minou had developed a large tumour in his abdomen. We are not even sure he would have survived through the night, but we chose to intervene and make his passing quick and painless. He went under quickly and without a struggle on his part.
Now we have a hole in our hearts where he took up residence so many years ago. The other cats are doing their best to fill that hole, or to at least make it fill smaller and less painful. But I will always remember poor toeless Minou and his willingness to love every kitten and human equally.