A Tribute to Mickey

We first heard of Mickey when his previous owner contacted our Helpline seeking assistance. One of our incredible Helpline volunteers returned his plea for help and talked to the owner extensively to see how our programs can best help his situation. The gentleman explained that he recently lost his wife and was feeling overwhelmed with caring for Mickey. His family helped Mickey find another home, but sadly heard that Mickey experienced physical trauma and suspected abuse. His family was able to bring Mickey back home to him, but now his care was beyond what he could manage.

Though the cause is unknown, Mickey now had significant nerve loss in his backend which left him unable to feel when he had to eliminate. Mickey would still use the litter box, but more often than not, he wouldn’t feel the need to go. After examination by a vet, it seemed that the nerve damage would never recover and Mickey was permanently incontinent at four years old. He was then entered into our rehoming program to hopefully find a home situation that could handle his care, but ultimately we knew his special case made him a candidate for the Sanctuary.

We welcomed Mickey to our Sanctuary in March of 2022 where he had his own room to acclimate and get comfortable in this new environment. The Cat Team placed lots of potty pads to help with any accidents, but still ensured Mickey had blankets and beds to feel comfy and cozy. He was a bit nervous at first, but slowly started to rub on legs and enjoy getting his chin scratched. Due to the lack of feeling in his back end, Mickey would often drag his back legs when walking and be a bit imbalanced. Still, that wouldn’t stop him from chasing or jumping for toys- having fun and living life to the fullest! Once comfortable in his room, he even became friends with a few of his feline neighbors. Mickey loved hanging out on his catio, feeling the fresh air, but ultimately Mickey was happy whenever he was with his friends. He loved being adored, receiving lots of attention and pets from anyone that would stop by. Mickey never met a person he didn’t like, and we can say for a fact that everyone that met Mickey couldn’t help but fall in love!

Mickey then moved to our social living room with Lucky to offer a single room for another shy kitty. Mickey and Lucky truly hit it off and a bromance flourished! Where one went, the other soon followed! They became instant best friends and loved each other’s company, whether it was just hanging out on their catio together soaking up some sun or grooming each other on the couch getting ready for a quick nap. The Cat Team would even do clicker training with the pair for enrichment and fun time!

Mickey did experience some medical bumps in the road, like a urinary tract infection and appetite loss. The Cat Team would do PEMF, Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field, technology to stimulate and exercise cells to help resolve cellular dysfunction and to support overall wellness. The team would also try to express Mickey’s bladder to hopefully help minimize his potty accidents and would give him fluids. After vet visits, he would seem to bounce back, but then it seemed like he would once again experience appetite loss and lethargy. Eventually staff noticed Mickey one morning very disorientated, lethargic, unsteady on his feet, and constantly vomiting. After several diagnostic tests with no clear answer, it seemed that Mickey’s body was shutting down. Mickey was steadily declining and we made the difficult decision to help him pass.

It’s hard to accept an ending like this for such a sweet, young boy. Even though we’ve experienced losses in the past, it never gets easier to accept this might happen despite our best efforts. Time after time our Sanctuary opens their doors to special animals like Mickey in the hopes of helping them heal and be healthy. And though physically we couldn’t help Mickey, we know he was healed emotionally in our care with our amazing staff and volunteers, and even furry friends. He found his furever family with us; a family that loved him unconditionally, a family that said good morning and good night to him every day, a family that he felt comfortable and safe with. We feel that he appreciated the love and friendship he found with his Sanctuary family, because in turn, he gave us friendship and love as well. He may be gone, but he’ll live in our hearts forever.

Below are condolences we received from our community to Jon, who announced his passing, and everyone that was touched by Mickey’s beautiful soul. Thank you to everyone that reached out and to everyone that helped give Mickey the love and family he deserved until the end. A memorial will be held for Mickey at our Sanctuary on Sunday where we will spread his ashes and treasure his memory.

“Thank you Jon, even though this is such sad news.  Mickey was such a sweetheart and looked exactly like my kitty, although Mickey was about 4 times bigger than my little girl. See you soon.. “ -Sally D.

“Thank you Jon. I’m sorry for your loss. I got to do Tuck In Wednesday and my hubby was able to join me. We were able to enjoy snuggles on the couch with him and even got a small mild purr even though he wasn’t feeling well. He was a joy and a special boy. Thank you for taking the time to let us know.” -Xoxo Allison B.

“So sad to hear about Mickey. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with him, but I did spend some, and he was very sweet and friendly. A very sad occasion, to be sure, and please let me know when/if there’ll be memorial for him…” -Dan

“So sad…. nothing with his kidneys because of his paralysis? Such a sweet boy❤️” -Mary F.

“I am so very sorry to hear this.  Thank you for all you do for the animals❤️” -Kristin T.

“Jon, I’m so sorry to hear that and sorry that you had to make that difficult decision. Mickey is a real sweetheart and I know OC did everything possible for him. ❤️” -Susannah

“I am so sad to hear this. He is a gentle kind soul…..such a sweet boy 🙁 “ -Melissa

“Hi Jon, We are so sorry that nothing can be done to help Mickey’s health improve. We are very thankful that he’s had the best care during his time at the sanctuary. Mickey is such a sweetheart and very easy to love. He was always happy to greet us even when he wasn’t feeling well. We’re grateful for being able to visit with him last weekend. He was alert, playful and loving (to us and Lucky).😊 Thinking of you all during this difficult time. ❤️” -Dina + Loren

“I am so sorry, he will be missed. 💗. Thinking of all of you. We appreciate all you’ve done for him.” -Jill K.

“Poor sweet Mickey.  He is such a sweetie.  You all are so amazing.  You gave him the very best care and love and he got to live out the rest of his days in a safe and loving environment.  You are doing a kindness to him.  Don’t forget to give yourselves some grace.” Best, Kim P.

“Poor Mickey, give him a hug for me and Eli. He’s such an awesome little cat.” -Jamila and Eli

“Thank you for the update. Sending lots of love to Mickey today.” -Michele F.

“Thanks for letting us know ..I just saw him a couple of days ago…I didn’t know he was that sick…..and I was just getting to bond with him….at least he had some comforting times at OC….thanks for all you do….” –Mary D.

“I am so sorry to hear about Mickey and that you were once again having to make such a decision.  I know it has to be the hardest thing for OC staff to do.  Mickey is a lovable dear cat who has had many challenges in his life but is so fortunate to have had been at Our Companions.  I am glad he found a buddy in Lucky and loved his space and comfort at Jane’s Place.” -Sheila R.

“I’m so sorry. Such a sweet cat. I had a feeling when I saw him yesterday that he wasn’t going to be able to rally. Thinking of you.” -Risa