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.