Hello Everyone at the Bay Cat Hospital,
It’s been about 3 months since Miles died (and 2 and 1/2 since Benny passed). I and my daughter Vivienne want to thank y’all for the great care you gave to our boys in their senior years. I was hoping you could post the below (text and photos) in your In Memoriam section on your website. Thank you all again for the excellent care you gave to them. They were deeply loved and are missed.
Kena and Vivienne
Miles (1999-2016) and Benny (1999-2014), RIP.
If someone had told me I would end up with two cats for a combined 17 years, I would have never believed them. I grew up with dogs. Cats to me seemed alien and cold. Boy was I proved wrong.
Back in 1999, my finance and I decided that we wanted to become pet owners. He convinced me cats would be perfect. Skeptical at first, I read up on cats and decided, okay, let’s give it a try. After a few visits to the Missouri Humane Society, we ended adopting two kittens, first, Miles at 3 months and then 3 months later, Benny (also at 3 months old).
The boys basically grew up with each other and what joys they were. Benny from the get-go was an all out floppy, lap kitty, an extroverted charmer. Miles, on the other hand, grew into a cat of a more quiet but loving dignity. His idea of social was to come and sit calmly in the room at a distance while Benny would work the room and jump into every available lap and charm the pants any self-declared cat hater.
Miles, though, was far from cold. He would at least greet folks (never running and hiding) with a polite “head butt” and accept a pet from a stranger but he did have his preferences when it came to close physical contact: myself and my daughter. When Vivienne was born and came home from the hospital the first thing Benny did was run and hide (clearly he couldn’t “work” the baby for treats like he could the adults!) but Miles? He jumped straight in her bassinet. From then on it was clear that Miles regarded Vivie as his baby. When she got old and big enough to sleep in a regular bed, Miles was finally permitted to do what he wanted to do from Day 1: settle in to sleep right next to her. He also loved to settle down next to me if she were away and unlike Benny, Miles gave us lots of “kitty kisses,” you know, those soulful, long eye blinks that say “I love you” like nothing else does!
The lads were indoor cats, but when we went out to the cottage we allowed them out. Benny? He stayed close to the house and spent his day sunbathing, opening doors, cabinets and angling for belly rubs and food. Miles? It turned out he was quite the hunter but what really touched me is that he followed us everywhere we went with our daughter. He followed faithfully no matter how far we walked or how hot it was. It was clear no one was taking his baby without his careful watch. And when we went swimming, while he had no reaction if any of us adults were in the lake, as soon as his baby was in the water, he would pace up and down the pier, looking at us, then at Vivie, then at us again meowing loudly. His meaning was undeniably “Get her out. Are you people crazy?”
As the years went on, the cats stuck with me through many major milestones in my life: marriage, motherhood, divorce, relocation, etc. I can’t imagine all those years without their affection and their two distinctly different personalities.
And they seemed quite attached to each other as well. Sure, Benny could get under “alpha cat” but patient Miles’s skin from time to time (Benny was a greedy little eater pushing his brother away from his bowl), but I never doubted the two cared for one another.
When Benny passed, Miles spent a solid two weeks doing something he had never done: he sat near the door meowing plaintively. He knew his rascally buddy had left and not come back and he missed him.
I missed Benny too but in a way it gave Miles and I another two years with him the center of pet attention and I’m grateful for that.
There’s so much more to tell about my boys but suffice to say, I am also grateful to the entire staff at the Bay Cat Hospital for their amazing care and how they helped myself and my daughter get through both their deaths. I recommend Bay Cat to anyone I meet and if someday when the grief I have for Miles and Benny subsides some more, I hope I’ll come across another bundle of fur (or two) who, like they were, discarded but willing to share a home and love with me.
Miles and Benny, we love you and will never forget you.
Thank you Bat Cat Hospital.
Kena and VIvienne