Cleo and her sister Chloe both arrived to the Sanctuary after their elderly owner could no longer care for them and needed to enter an assisted living facility. Despite being sisters and living together in the same home, they didn’t get along with each other in the same room at the Sanctuary and were given separate rooms. As soon as Cleo had her own space, she was very relaxed and affectionate. At 13 years old, this senior sweetie always had a calm presence about her and loved greeting her friends when they would come visit. But at 13 years old, there were some underlying medical concerns that needed to be addressed.

During one of her first vet visits, it was discovered she had tumors near her anal glands and they needed to be removed for further testing. After removal, tests showed she had malignant tumors of her sweat glands. Of course, with any sign of malignant tumors, there’s always the possibility of returning. We kept a watchful eye on Cleo to note any further signs of medical issues. At one point, staff did make note of abnormal wheezing and concerns of her breathing. After a number of tests and observations, it wasn’t entirely clear as to the cause of her wheezing. She seemed to be breathing fine, despite the occasional snoring during her cat naps.

Though she played from time to time, her favorite pastime was curling up by the window in her room, which always caught the brightest sunbeam out of all the windows in the cottage. When her friends came to visit, Cleo would change her napping spot to be right next to her people, sometimes even choosing their warm lap instead. You couldn’t help but smile when hearing her purrs and chirps, just proving how content and happy she was just by being with her friends. With all the hustle and bustle throughout the day, Cleo’s room was always a place of peace. A place to escape from all life’s troubles or worries; an opportunity to reflect with a friend. Words didn’t need to be exchanged to communicate, you could just feel the warmth and comforting presence Cleo always seemed to carry herself with.

Towards the end Cleo was starting to get very sick, vomiting and lack of appetite. After several visits and overnights at the vet, an ultrasound led to the discovery of lymphoma. Though the intervention of medication would’ve given us a bit more time with her, her condition continued to decline. When it was time for us to say our goodbyes, Cleo was surrounded by her closest friends, on her comfy couch, under her window. It seemed as if the sun shined in her room a bit brighter than it ever has before. Though her time with us was a rocky road medical-wise, it was also filled with pleasant, peaceful moments with lots of love and happiness. The thoughts of Cleo continues to bring us warmth, tranquility, and a reminder to reflect on the moments that mean the most.

7 Comments

  1. BETTY Villante on July 1, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    So sorry, she was a beautiful girl, I’m happy she had O.C. to see her through her bad days. Rest In Peace little girl

  2. Judith Boyko on July 1, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you for being a real sanctuary. RIP Cleo.

  3. Jean Anderson DeVito on July 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Having been an animal lover and feline enthusiast since I was 16 (and suffice it to say I am a proud hippie of the 60’s), my personal experience has been that when it comes to my beloved pets I find it’s a journey where being cat “mom” I have loved them hard and said goodbye hard as well. Reading about Cleo broke my heart and tears fell in her honor. Rest in peace sweet girl, and rock your world on the other side of the “Rainbow Bridge” … where there is everything you want (even though you will miss your people) and you will feel wonderful again. Goodnight, little one.

  4. Janis Harwood on July 1, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Such a beautiful story. Thank you to Our Companions for all the wonderful work you do for and with animals.

  5. Linda Lapery on July 1, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    So well said – what a wonderful life and what an honor you gave to Cleo with your tribute. Brought tears to my eyes!

  6. S. Sellers on July 2, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    It never gets any easier. When she left too, it really pulled at my heart-strings. In November 2019 when she seemed to be wheezing, I thought it was just an infection that might be cured with antibiotics. However, to hear it was lymphoma, omg, I thought, “surely it can’t be”. But, like some have said, she is finally resting in peace having crossed the rainbow bridge. God bless.

  7. Karen on July 3, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Very sad, tears fell for this girl. Forever in my heart sweet precious Cleo💜 Heartfelt tribute.

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