December 21, 2002 - July 28, 2008
In the fall of 2002 after Jimmy and I had gotten married, I wanted to look into adopting another cat. That's when I fell in love with a "very BIG gentle boy" named Brady. He was orange and white and about a year old and needed a good home. On December 21, 2002, we headed out to NEADY Cats to meet Brady. (Although we thought he looked more like a "Mango") He was hiding under a futon, and Marilyn had to get him out for us. I held him (boy was he heavy!) and he just looked up at me for a moment, our eyes met and he blinked at me. I said "Do you want to come home with us??" I knew the answer. Jimmy and I changed his name to Mango and took him home. I sat in the back seat with Mango so he wouldn't feel scared. He got me to open the door to the cage (I thought he wanted me to pet him) and he just crawled right out and sat on my lap purring all the way home.
Mango had a big sister to meet, Milo, and a brother dog, Motsy. What a circus the first few weeks were... Mango wanted to know Milo, but Milo doesn't like other cats... Motsy loved cats, but Mango didn’t like dogs. Eventually they all got along well enough. Mango and Milo even had what we called "kitty smackdown." They were play fighting... they'd just sneak up on each other and "SMACK!!!!!"
One of his greatest accomplishments is when he caught a MOUSE in my apartment. Who would've thought he had any kind of hunting skills in him at all? He just comes walking into the living room with it in his mouth... Jimmy's like "Hun, I think he has a mouse!!!" I said "Yeah he has plenty of mousies out there..." He goes "No, I mean a REAL mousie!!!!"
Mango was always the first one at the door to see who it was... he was so personable, and he always had to sleep with his mommy. And sit on my lap when I was on the computer, and if I was reading a magazine or book on my tummy, he'd come up and sit on my back. And all that when he was over 20lbs!
This past year I've noticed steady weight loss, and just thought it was from the food I bought for overweight cats. His personality hadn't changed, so I saw no concern. Until about a month ago, when I noticed he was losing TOO much weight. I brought him to a few vet visits (his weight was down to 11 lbs.) and they ran a whole bunch of tests, and come to find out he had chronic kidney disease. This meant Mango could still live a long life, he just needed extra things to help him deal with his disease. This meant I had to give him 1/4 tablet of Pepcid twice a day to help with stomach acid problems, and 100 cc's of I.V. fluid every other day. And you know something... I have to have B-12 shots, which I could do myself at home, but I can't bring myself to do it. But with Mango, it was never a question... I can and WILL do it. And I did.
Mango had his 1 month check up scheduled for August 9. Everything was going fine. He was tolerating me giving him shots and shoving pills down his throat. He trusted me and knew I wouldn't do him any harm.
This past Friday, July 25, everything changed. Literally all of a sudden, Mango just was extremely irritable and crabby. He couldn’t get comfortable no matter what.... and he did not want anyone touching him. I'd noticed he hadn't pooped in a couple days, but sometimes if he eats something crazy like curling ribbon or a piece of a plastic bag, that will happen. Saturday rolled around and he crawled in his cat carrier and stayed there all day. Very minimal eating and only one bathroom break (for #1) and only when I brought him food/water and carried him to his litter box. Plus he was throwing up bile and whatever little he'd just eaten/drank... and dry heaving. Sunday was even worse, and again, he just picked one spot (my toy chest in front of the window) and stayed there ALL day long. During the middle of the night he climbed up in my bed and slept on the pillow on the inside of my bed. Since 2003 he's been sleeping on the outside of my bed without a pillow. I knew something was up. Today I called the vet and got him a 6:00 appointment. I told Jimmy to MAKE SURE he goes to my house for lunch and sees Mango because I didn't have a good feeling about this vet visit. He made it. He tried to give Mango water and food, but he just didn't want it. And yes, he was still on the pillow, and his eyes weren't even fully open. He had a bad feeling about this vet visit tonight too.
I got out of work a little early and spent some time with Mango. I laid on my bed and just pet him. He purred. I took some pictures of him and I started to cry.
I got him in the carrier and I took him to the vet. Usually when I take him for a ride he wants to see outside and sit on my lap. This time he was just laying in the carrier, with his head on my hand. I cried almost the whole way there. I talked to him and tried to ease his mind. Still, he purred.
The vet tech called us in the room, took notes from what I told her was wrong and it was another 25 minutes until the vet came in. I was glad she was running late. Mango only weighed 9lbs. He was just kind of spacing out and a little shaky. I kept petting him and talking to him. The vet came in and checked him over and said with his symptoms it seems like he went from having chronic kidney disease to acute kidney disease - which is more rapid and harmful. She said I could bring him to Tufts and have them give him IV for a couple days and antibiotics but there was no guarantee. I would've done it in a heartbeat if he didn't have the kidney disease already. I said "But it won't cure him.. he's in pain. I've never seen him like this...." That’s when she told me if I didn't want to go that route then the most humane thing would be for me to have him euthanized. I bawled my eyes out and said ok. I knew it had to be done... for his sake. He'd always have this horrible disease and worse - I knew he was in a lot of pain.
I told her I wanted to be with Mango when they euthanized him, and I wanted to take him home for a proper burial. She took him away for a catheter and when she held him he looked back at me.... and he blinked. She brought him back and left us alone for a while until I was ready for her to come back in and start the procedure. The first shot they gave him was to make him very sleepy. His eyes were on ME the whole time... I just kept petting him and talking to him and then she gave him "the" shot and I kept looking into his eyes until they went blank. I kept petting him the whole time. I've never cried so much my whole life.
I called my mom and asked if I could bring Mango there to be buried next to Teddy, the cat they just lost 5 months ago. "Yes! Of course!" They said. The vet wrapped my little Mango in a nice blanket and even put a toy in with him and put him in a box for me. I got to my parents house and dad was outside waiting for me. He gave me the biggest hug ever and we both cried. Mom came out and more tears came. Dad took Mango and brought him up to the back hill and took him out of the box for burial. We all chose flowers to bury with him. I picked a beautiful stargazer lily that dad pointed out to me. We walked up the hill and said our goodbyes and dad did the burial.
Mango was like a baby to me. I loved him with all my heart. He was one of those cats who everyone who met him.. loved him. Everyone always said how handsome and sweet he was. He had such a big heart and he and I had a very special bond. He didn't deserve this disease. He had a lot more living to do!!
I know some people think it's crazy I'm so crushed over his death, but he was my family. My little boy. Milo's brother. Some are lucky to have kids, I was lucky enough to have adopted my cats.
Rest in peace, my sweet pink nosed Mango cat.
NEADY Cats Inc. (dba Cats In Need) P.O. Box 213 West Boylston, MA 01583