Once upon a time, before a mixed-use building replaced it, a storefront at 4724 California SW held the West Seattle Petco store.
Among its offerings in the early 2000s: Shelter cats up for adoption.
Back then, our son liked to visit the store to see the fish, some of which came home to join our aquarium (until the 2006 windstorm outage claimed the last one). Your editor would usually insist on a visit to the back of the store to see the cats.
In summer 2005, one shelter-maintained cage held a 5-year-old Tonkinese/Siamese mix, whose info card from Purrfect Pals said his name was Kitty Boy and that his prior owner had to give him up upon moving to a long-term-care facility. Kitty Boy looked at us with big sad “get me out of here” blue eyes. But we had a cat at home already, a 5-year-old tortoiseshell adopted three years earlier during a Seattle Animal Shelter “foster cat” event. The next time we visited Petco, the card for Kitty Boy indicated an adoption was pending. We felt relieved for him.
On our next visit a week or so later, though, he was still there – and we learned the adoption didn’t go through. That changed everything. We took him home (and renamed him Miles, which seemed a bit more befitting than Kitty Boy).
A few months later, we started WSB (as a personal site, almost 2 years before going all-news). Miles has been our “shop cat”/mascot the whole way – low-maintenance as house cats go, no escape attempts, not much furniture clawing, occasionally putting his head on my arm while I typed but never trying to commandeer the keyboard. He had a few endearing habits like swatting at the straps on co-publisher Patrick’s camera bag when we returned from a story – left jab, right jab, left jab.
Miles became our lone cat when Sweetie the aforementioned tortoiseshell died of cancer at 13 on the 4th of July, 2013, while we were out covering the Kids’ Parade. The years ticked by and we wondered what amazing feat of kitty longevity Miles was aiming for.
Early this year, though, as Miles turned 20, there were signs of decline – going into corners of the house and yowling for no apparent reason. A few weeks ago, he became notably skinnier, and then started to wander around the house in apparent confusion, mewing rather than yowling. But he seemed relatively OK until this past Wednesday morning, when suddenly, he couldn’t stand up, and soon lost consciousness.
We sat with him, thinking death was near. He wasn’t going without a fight, though. Our vigil lasted 34 hours, and then Miles was gone – during a breaking story (the power outage). After one last round of goodbyes, we called Resting Waters, which came to tenderly transport him.
It’s odd around HQ now. No cat lying in the morning sun, or curled up on the couch. No playful paws to take aim at the camera-bag strap. So whether your pet is 2 or 20, give them a hug on our behalf, as we remember Miles.
| 112 COMMENTS