Early on Sunday morning we said goodbye to Piro, my sweet kitty boy. He was only 10 years old.
Back when I was working for the library, I was helping host a meeting of a local amine club. I remember we were watching a show called Kanon. During the show, one of our regulars, a girl probably around 10 or 12, came in with a couple kittens. She'd found them on the side of the road in the local neighborhood. They'd basically been left in a ditch. She was going to keep one and give the other to a friend.
Eventually anime club ended, everyone left, and the library closed. We were cleaning up when there was a pounding on the back door of the meeting room, a door no one ever used. I opened the door to see the girl standing there with one of the little fluff ball kittens. She thrust the tiny thing into my hands, said, "My mom won't let me keep this!," and ran off. I was left standing there with a confused look on my face and a tiny kitten in my arms. I took him home with me with the intention of finding the little guy a home with someone else. I decided to call him Piro after the kitten in the show we were watching that day.
Well, as you can probably guess, the little guy stayed. Luna fell in love with him and adopted him as her own. He took to eating raw like a champion and clawed his way into our hearts.
Piro grew up to be the sweetest cat. He loved being scratched around the head and neck and would fall over sideways while rubbing his face against your hand. He must have had some Persian in him because he ended up with a huge, puffy coat that I would sometimes shave down, leaving him a lion's mane and fluffy tail. He would snore when he slept. He also had chronic mild urinary issues that resulted in him peeing on anything and everything left on the floor. No rug, dog bed, or dirty laundry was safe. He taught us the hard way to keep the floors clear!
More recently he and Rialey developed the sweetest relationship. They had a morning ritual. He would jump up in the bed just about every morning and clean Rialey's head, licking carefully around her ears and nibbling on her ears. For her part, Rialey would hold perfectly still not even turning her head if we called her name. We said Piro was giving her a case of cat paralysis, and she loved it.
Of all my animals, it was Piro who there for me when I most needed him. Unusual for a cat, he would sense when I was having a hard time and just be there with his furry little paw on my knee or shoulder. When Anthony and I first got together, Piro would climb up onto his chest, put his front paws on either side of his neck, and look him dead in the eye as if to say, "You hurt her, I kill you."
The last month or two his appetite had been dwindling. We went to the local vet, tried antibiotics, fluids, anti-nausea meds. We also tried some natural remedies, oils and homeopathics. We did bloodwork, xrays, and ultrasounds. Nothing seemed to help, and the vet wasn't certain of the cause. He just wouldn't eat. He lost a little weight, but generally seemed ok. As a last resort, we tried steroids, and he just crashed. The weight melted off of him until he was skin and bones. He was desperately thirsty and still eating poorly. One more trip to the vet for more testing, and she concluded that we were looking at large cell lymphoma, a fast acting cancer that seemed to have spread to most of his major organs. She recommended euthanasia and sent us with pain meds and fluids.
Even though it was a couple months in total, it felt so quick. He was doing ok, then he just wasn't. I wish we could have done more, but if it was cancer I guess there wasn't much else to do.
I'll miss my little man. My tuxedo clad pee monster. My sweet headbutting fluff ball. He was one cool kitty cat.