Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Tribute to Mickey, aka "Mouse Man"


In June of 1999, I went to the grocery store and there was a man standing outside collecting signatures for a political petition. I walked past him to my car, trying to ignore the voice that said I needed to go talk to him, but it wouldn't abate.

So I went back to talk to him, and learned that his cat had just had kittens three days earlier and he really wasn't equipped to care for them. I felt I needed to help and besides, who could resist kittens? Well…I couldn't. Yes, I know that "I have kittens at my house, would you like to see them?" sounds like something a predator would say to lure a potential victim. But I trusted my gut, and went to see the kittens.


There were two orange boys, a tortie girl and a solid black male. Over the next 8 weeks, I spent a lot of time with the kittens. I had no intention of taking one home, because my Binky cat was 19 and I felt that the energy of a kitten would be too much. I also didn't want her to feel as though I was replacing her.

I ended up bonding with one of the ginger boys anyway, and it was extremely hard to let him go when we found him a good home. We found homes for the other ginger and the tortie, and then the black one was all alone. I looked down at him one day and was just overcome with love and longing. Strangely, I hadn't really felt connected to him until that moment, but it was clear that my heart wanted this precious soul so very much, and I just couldn't say no.

I loved and cared for Mickey for 17 ½ years to the best of my ability. He was a sweet and gentle soul, but he was not a cuddler and not fond of being held or kissed. However, he was affectionate in his own way, on his terms. Of course, I always wanted more than he could give. It took almost his entire life for me to come to accept him for who he was and to see that what he offered was no less special than my other cats who loved cuddling.

And it took a diagnosis of kidney disease for me to fully understand the true depth of my feelings for him. I always knew I loved him dearly and completely, I just had no idea how much. But faced with the prospect of his death, there it was – I saw a love so deep, so pure and intense that I would do anything to help him stay with me just a little while longer.


This past year, dealing with all of the stress and struggles that come with kidney failure was so difficult for both Mickey and me. But something amazing and wonderful came from this. My bond with this beautiful boy was strengthened beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Not only did I finally understand just how much I loved him, but he was able to show more affection to me as well. 

I would put my face near his and ask him if I could have a "Mickey lick" and he would give my nose a few quick licks. I can't begin to explain just how much these nose kisses meant to me this last year of our life together. I felt that these Mickey licks were his way of saying "thank you" to me for all that I did for him, and it's a memory I can hold dear in my heart.

RIP my beautiful boy. My "earth angel with fur" is now an angel in heaven. I shall always remember how much happiness and love you brought into my life.

(Special thanks to the lovely Ann at Zoolatry for the Rainbow Bridge badge and Mickey Montage).

61 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for you loss of this special boy. It's interesting how a human's bond with a cat can change and deepen over time.

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  2. Oh Julia I am so deeply, deeply sorry. This was just a wonderful story. I lost my Bobo a day after his 18th birthday (I got him when he was 6 months old), so I know somewhat how devastated you feel. I am so sorry. catchatwithcarenandcody

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  3. Such a lovely tribute to Mickey! So sad that he has gone and your love for each other is eternal. ❤️❤️❤️

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  4. Sometimes it takes a while to realize how much we love our cats. But when they purr for us, or purr for dinner when we're there, that is really something.

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  5. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your handsome boy.
    XOXO

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  6. There was never any doubt that you loved Mickey with all your heart. That your communication grew enriched when he was diagnosed,sent a special message you'll always have with you. A wonderful tribute to an amazing kitty and a great life you had together. (((hugs))) ~ Tinker, Anastasia, Chopin, Bridgie and Mom Julie

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  7. Godspeed your journey to heaven Mickey; we send hugs two your mom; we know how devastating this is for her ♥♥♥♥♥ boomer, dai$y, tuna and dude and sauce two ~~~~

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  8. We're so sorry for your loss. He's such a handsome boy. You wrote such a beautiful tribute to him.

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  9. Awww you were so meant for each other to learn about unconditional love. Such a heartwarming story and I'm so sorry for your loss of him. Big hugs and love to you. You will meet again some day.
    ~Brenda

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  10. We are so sorry fur your loss. Mommy totally unnerstands da not 'posed to be my cat thing, as sis Lexi was only 'posed to be a foster. It's amazin' how much luv can take hold befur ya' know it. We're sendin' hugs and purrayers.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi, Raena and mommy A

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  11. I am sorry for your loss. Mickey was a handsome boy.

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  12. We are so sorry for your loss of Mickey. Such a handsome boy and we are sending prayers and soft purrs to all of you.

    Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs, Spike William

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  13. The Mickey licks really got to me... My Spunky Bear used to affectionately groom my hair or at least try to. If at any time you feel a Mickey lick, that's just your sweety comforting you to let you know that all is good and he will see you again... -Katie

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  14. Thank you for loving him. He knew such deep love and comfort. We're sending hugs and soft purrs.

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  15. Beautiful tribute to Mickey!
    I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Sending soft purrs to comfort you
    (( hug ))

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  16. What a sweet story of how you met. We're so sorry for your loss. Mickey was obviously very special to you. A warm hug.

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  17. What a lovely tribute to your beloved Mickey. The bond the two of you had, especially in the last year of his life, is the stuff of eternity. Surely you will be reunited with your Mickey, one fine day. Love and hugs to you, dear friend.

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  18. We are so very sorry that Mickey has crossed over. It is difficult to live with kitties who have kidney failure, knowing they have a short time left on earth. Many hugs and purrs and purrayers to you during this difficult time. From all of us at Forty Paws and Maw.

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  19. What a beautiful tribute to Mickey. Purrs of comfort paws of sympathy and hugs from all of us here at ATCAD

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  20. Always in our hearts, be at peace beautiful boy, you have earned your wings.

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  21. So sorry for your loss.....Mickey was a beautiful panther and is now a beautiful Angel here at the Bridge. I became an Angel December 2nd myself so I am making it a mission to welcome new Angels and I can tell you Mickey is feeling good again and wearing his wings proudly. He visits you every single day and always and forever will. It's what we do. Our love NEVER dies even if our earthly presence moves on. Your tribute to Mickey was really beautiful.....we know how hard it is.

    Love and Hugs,
    Angel Sammy (and Mom Pam)

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  22. Many purrrrrsssssss and prayers and {{{{hugs}}}} for you and all your family as you mourn your beautiful Mickey.

    Love from Grace, Marilynn, Ruse, and Audace

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  23. So sorry to hear about the loss of a member of your family. Big 'klemmer' from Mara, Brom and Miss Oswin in Norway

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  24. I am so very very sorry to hear of the loss of your furbaby
    Sending you lots of luffs and hugs
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  25. I am so sorry for your loss. Such a lovely tribute to your dear boy.

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  26. What a handsome house panther Mickey was too.
    He had 17 1/2 years of loving care and lived the life of the king he was
    Hugs madi and mom

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  27. I' m so sorry and my tears are running while reading your post.... hugs and potp...

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  28. We hope your precious memories will bring you comfort, so sorry to hear of your loss.

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  29. What a wonderful tribute to Mickey. It is just amazing how attached we can get to our animals. We are so sorry that Mickey had to leave but just remember he had so much love while he was there with you. Big hugs to you.

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  30. He sounds like he was a free spirit. He loved you so.
    Purrs.

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  31. Mickey will be furever missed. You gave him an amazing life and we all loved him very much. Fly high, sweet kitty!

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  32. Beautiful post for a beautiful boy. We're sending soft, healing purrs to you. We know how much Mickey will be missed but he'll live on in your heart.

    The Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

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  33. We are so very sorry to hear about your dear Mickey, such a special guy. Love and hugs from all of us.

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  34. So very sorry for your loss.
    RIP Sweet Mickey.

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  35. Not knowing Mickey prior to reading this post, we feel this tribute was perfect because we now have a sense of who he was and why he was so special. We just lost our house panther on the 9th and know how much you're hurting. It seems like Mickey couldn't have picked a better Mom if he tried. Thank you for being so devoted to him and his care, especially the last year. *ear licks* Noodle and *hugs* Mom

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  36. We're so sorry that Mickey is not feeling too well and hope he will recover very soon.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  37. We just heard about Mikey, and like some of the others, we were not aware of the lives you two led. Clearly, you had a special bond. We're sorry Mikey had to take his leave. What a beautiful remembrance. The Boys, Hope and Mom Karen.

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  38. oh that painful and bitter ache, but I know full well you wouldn't trade a moment of it. My deepest condolences for your loss, and what a blessing you had such a connection.

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  39. Another sweet panther boy gone home... soo hard to loves and let go... yet Mickey is waiting fur you... Whenever you feel a loving lick on your nose, Mickey is letting you know that all am goods and you will be together again... (I wrote a comment before... hope you see this one) -Purrz, Katie Kat.

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  40. Mom and I are so very very sorry for your loss of dear dear Mickey. What a beautiful story to help us realize how special you both are to each other. Tears falling from Mom's eyes just thinking about how sad you must be feeling. One day you will meet again.

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  41. My heart goes out to you for losing Mickey. We have a rescue who was just diagnosed with kidney disease. We just began a regimen of sub-q fluids and pills. I is so difficult to face losing her. And I totally relate to what you are saying about longing for a dear cat to share more affection. We have several of these, including our diseased Tabby. My heart goes out to you with compassion and prayers!

    http://RescuesAndMore.blogspot.com

    Debby in Arizona

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  42. I'm have to pay my respects to Mickey *bows head* and offer comforting purrz to you. Beautiful tribute but the sentence that stood out was "It took almost his entire life for me to come to accept him for who he was and to see that what he offered was no less special than my other cats who loved cuddling. " I fear it may take nearly that long for TW to accept that I'm not a lap cat nor am I a cuddler. Sometimes she seems to get it but not often enough.

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  43. What a wonderful tribute to your special boy. We agree, if love could have saved him, he would still be here. We send you comforting purrs and gentle headbutts.

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  44. Our hearts are with you.

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  45. We are so very sorry for your loss. Sending you love and hugs. He sounds like a wonderful little man. He will be waiting for you.

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  46. What a touching story about how this special boy came into your life. We know the heartache and grieve with you at this very sad loss.

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  47. We are sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby. Our prayers are with you.

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  48. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved family member. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Abby Lab and her Mom LB in Chicago

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  49. Oh Julia what a wonderful love letter to your precious Mickey...I pray the memories of this special cat will comfort your sad heart right now and in the dark days that will follow. We care very much at the cozy cottage and send you warm soft hugs and nose kisses, Karla and Miss Hope

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  50. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful cat.
    My own Mickey,a black cat , also passed at age 17.
    They touch our lives so much and we are better for that love.
    We send you comforting purrs as we know how hard this will be.
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ
    and mum Nancy

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  51. How very special to have such a bond with such a trusting soul. purrs and paw pats for your loss of precious Mickey

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  52. I have, to my shame, not discovered your blog - for that I am sorry to you and Mickey. Why? Because every word you write here is one that hits home to my own heart.

    How lucky you are to have had Mickey for so long, what a wonderful boy he has been, and I appreciate reading about you two finding each other - it is a post that moved me and made me smile at the same time.

    I hope you keep blogging, I will, as a tribute to Mickey and for your lovely post, do my best to follow you now.

    Farewell to a wonderful cat who came, and has left the world immeasurably richer for his presence.

    Marjorie from Dash Kitten

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  53. I did not know you or your baby, but I do now. I send my love and my deepest condolences for you at the loss of your precious baby Mickey. I understand. I have been through this too. Many times. It is always the most exquisite pain. I am so sorry.

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  54. So sorry that we have not gotten to know you before this sad parting. Beautiful tribute to your gorgeous house panther. How blessed that you and Mickey had such a long and special life. Please accept our sincerest condolences for your sad loss.
    Marty, Mom and the Gang

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  55. I'm so sorry for the loss of your purrecious boy Mickey. He must have been very special. Fly free beautiful Soul. Soft Pawkisses to comfort you <3 <3 <3

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  56. We never know where love will come from, or in what form it will find us. Mickey and you were blessed to have each other. Godspeed, Mickey.

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  57. We are so very sorry Mickey has left for the Bridge. What a beautiful heart-felt tribute for such a beautiful, loving boy. Sending hugs and love.
    With deepest condolences,
    Angel Normie, Angel Mika, Sasha & Grady Lewis

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  58. We are so sorry for your loss :'( Sending you lots of Prayers!

    xoxo,
    Matt, Matilda & Bell Fur Zoo Mama

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  59. A beautiful tribute to your love for Mickey and his for you. I have found that caring for a seriously ill cat does make the bond grow even tighter with all the one on one attention and love given over time. But in the end it is even harder to let them go. Sending love and light to you as you mourn your beloved man cat.

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  60. What a beautiful story and tribute to your sweet Mickey. What a special love the two of you shared. Sending you our gentlest purrs and thoughts of love.

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