Some not so good news about Mia

This is my baby girl Mia.

This is a photo from about ten years ago, but she pretty much looks the same. Except she’s had a lump on her back for a while, and last week I noticed it had become quite pronounced. I’d noticed something not so nice on her spine in January or December, but I sort of did this denial thing where I just said it was her being old. Because I knew what was coming, and I didn’t want to face it. Well, today I faced it.

We don’t have the confirmed diagnosis, but Mia pretty much has cancer. They’re testing the cells to see how bad and if surgery is a good idea on a sixteen year-old cat. She has some bony things that might be attached to the spine, and she has a big, big cist. If they can do the surgery, we will. If it’s too malignant, we’ll just make the last bit as good as we can.

I got Mia in the spring of 1996. She was either one or two years old then; I got her at the Iowa City shelter, where they’d already fallen in love with her. She came in pregnant and was so attached to her kittens that she had to be put in a kennel with them for a long time before they could be weaned. When I came to look at cats, she was the only one not meowing; she just rubbed the front of the cage in hopes that I’d pet her.

When her foster-brother Gulliver died suddenly in 2001, Mia mothered me. She took Gulliver’s place beside my pillow, nuzzling me until I stopped crying, then waited until I was settled before going off to her own place. A few years ago she took to spending the whole night by my head, and she goes there now. Every night she comes to put me to bed; if I stay up too late, she looks at me sternly, then goes to the bathroom to hop on the toilet for her glass of water.

She loves to play with dental floss and always has. She is a little shy with guests until she knows them, but there are going to be a lot of people who cry when they read this post.

Me too. Bawling my head off as I type.

I have made it a point to be grateful for every day I’ve had with Mia for several years now. I try to take an extra moment to pet her when she asks for it because each day has been a gift for some time. I’m a lot more ready for her end than I was for Gulliver’s, and yet I find as I realize it might be measured in weeks now, it really doesn’t matter. She’s my little princess, and whether it’s this year or five from now, I will miss her terribly when she’s gone.

The irony is that she’s probably going to spend the rest of the day consoling me. When you cry, she comes to sit by you to tell you it will be okay.

So later this week we hear how the tests come out. After that is surgery or… I don’t know. She doesn’t seem to be in pain, and I’m not putting her down yet. So we don’t need to have you all rush here for a wake. But if you want to think fondly of my little girl, I certainly won’t mind.

Time to go have a good cry, make some tea, and get on with it so she doesn’t scold me for being a mess.

64 Comments on “Some not so good news about Mia

  1. Mia sounds like a really sweet girl. Anyone who describes cats as mean & aloof has obviously never had one. I will keep your family in my thoughts.

  2. Mia sounds like a really sweet girl. Anyone who describes cats as mean & aloof has obviously never had one. I will keep your family in my thoughts.

  3. *sniff*
    I’m so sorry, Heidi. My 12-year-old kitty is sitting in my lap as I try to type this,purring madly against my forearm.

  4. *sniff*
    I’m so sorry, Heidi. My 12-year-old kitty is sitting in my lap as I try to type this,purring madly against my forearm.

  5. Mia Pia
    That is so sad, Heidi. I remember Mia, the cat that you told Dan when you got her from the shelter she was so “emancipated” — but you really meant “emaciated”. But, in a lot of ways, you were right, you did emanicipate her! It is hard to think of Mia not being around, but, as you know, that’s the hard part of loving someone or something — you eventually have to let it go, and that always hurts. I’ll add you and Mia to my prayers and think positive about the diagnosis. Bruce says he will, too :-) Mom

  6. Mia Pia
    That is so sad, Heidi. I remember Mia, the cat that you told Dan when you got her from the shelter she was so “emancipated” — but you really meant “emaciated”. But, in a lot of ways, you were right, you did emanicipate her! It is hard to think of Mia not being around, but, as you know, that’s the hard part of loving someone or something — you eventually have to let it go, and that always hurts. I’ll add you and Mia to my prayers and think positive about the diagnosis. Bruce says he will, too :-) Mom

  7. Sorry, Heidi! I recently had to put my cat down, and nearly had to put one of my dogs down last fall. It’s really a shame that we outlive our beloved pets. They enrich our lives in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing your special Mia with us. Katie H.

  8. Sorry, Heidi! I recently had to put my cat down, and nearly had to put one of my dogs down last fall. It’s really a shame that we outlive our beloved pets. They enrich our lives in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing your special Mia with us. Katie H.

  9. (((((((((((((((((Heidi))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    If it helps, Claude the cat had a similar lump and a cancer issue. He lasted happily for two years without surgery. Made it to age 19.

  10. (((((((((((((((((Heidi))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    If it helps, Claude the cat had a similar lump and a cancer issue. He lasted happily for two years without surgery. Made it to age 19.

    • Thanks, Chase.
      (Unrelated: this is not a prompt, just an LJ worry because I don’t trust the message system. You got my last reply, yes? Don’t want you to think I didn’t write back.)

    • Thanks, Chase.
      (Unrelated: this is not a prompt, just an LJ worry because I don’t trust the message system. You got my last reply, yes? Don’t want you to think I didn’t write back.)

  11. Why, oh why do I read these posts at work? Your title was a warning I didn’t heed. I hope for the best for Mia, prayers and all, and comfort to you.

    • If it helps, I just signed your copy of Hero, and it ought to make you giggle. Too bad it’s here and you’re there.
      Walter also would like to rub his cold nose in your face. Preferably when you’re dead asleep and too early in the morning.

      • Excellent! I forgot to request an autographed copy.
        Don’t forget I also love Walter’s I’m-going-to-dig-a-hole-in-your-hoodie-and-poop-in-it move!

      • Excellent! I forgot to request an autographed copy.
        Don’t forget I also love Walter’s I’m-going-to-dig-a-hole-in-your-hoodie-and-poop-in-it move!

    • If it helps, I just signed your copy of Hero, and it ought to make you giggle. Too bad it’s here and you’re there.
      Walter also would like to rub his cold nose in your face. Preferably when you’re dead asleep and too early in the morning.

  12. Why, oh why do I read these posts at work? Your title was a warning I didn’t heed. I hope for the best for Mia, prayers and all, and comfort to you.

  13. Heidi,
    I’ve been there. Too many times, I’ve been there. Every time it is heart-wrenching and every time I vow to never put myself through this again, because it is just too hard. Too difficult to make that decision. And yet as certain as the tides and the sunsets, my heart heals, and the sadness if loss is dulled by the happy memories of our shared time.
    I will be thinking of you and Mia.

  14. Heidi,
    I’ve been there. Too many times, I’ve been there. Every time it is heart-wrenching and every time I vow to never put myself through this again, because it is just too hard. Too difficult to make that decision. And yet as certain as the tides and the sunsets, my heart heals, and the sadness if loss is dulled by the happy memories of our shared time.
    I will be thinking of you and Mia.

  15. Erm…
    …I’m really not good in this kind of situation at the best of times, but I couldn’t not comment. It’s going to sound bizarre, but I’m not posting this to console you or offer you my condolences – I’m going to hope for the best possible outcome instead, and what that is depends on those results.
    Please accept some love and light from Stoke Newington, because I’m sending it in abundance.
    M
    xx

  16. Erm…
    …I’m really not good in this kind of situation at the best of times, but I couldn’t not comment. It’s going to sound bizarre, but I’m not posting this to console you or offer you my condolences – I’m going to hope for the best possible outcome instead, and what that is depends on those results.
    Please accept some love and light from Stoke Newington, because I’m sending it in abundance.
    M
    xx

  17. This has been a really bad couple of weeks for my LJ friends with cats (myself included). I’m sorry for you and your furchild. :(

    • Thanks. Still waiting to hear on the biopsy results. Sorry to hear about your kitty too.

    • Thanks. Still waiting to hear on the biopsy results. Sorry to hear about your kitty too.

  18. This has been a really bad couple of weeks for my LJ friends with cats (myself included). I’m sorry for you and your furchild. :(

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